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Best Banks for Small Businesses

Check out our top picks for the best banks for your small business

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Small businesses need a dedicated checking account, as well as savings, credit cards, and other accounts to keep their earnings safe and build a financial record for the business. But which bank offers the best services for your business?

We reviewed small business banks and took into consideration factors like cash deposits, mobile check deposits, free ATMs, account types, fees, and more so you can decide which bank is the best choice for your business's unique needs.

Let's take a look at the best banks for small businesses.

Best Banks for Small Businesses in 2022

Best Overall : Chase


Chase

 Chase

Why We Chose It

Chase is your best option as a small-business owner if you're looking for the traditional bank experience. Chase has locations around the country plus one of the best online banking and mobile banking systems available.

Chase is also a great bank for business credit cards. Chase Ink Business Preferred offers high-value rewards you can use toward free and discounted travel. If you have your checking and savings accounts at the same place, it is easier to manage everything with one online banking login.

But if your small business doesn't maintain a $2,000 minimum balance, you might be subject to fees.

Overall, Chase takes the top spot because it offers everything your business might need, including lots of locations, solid business credit card options, and exceptional online and mobile banking systems.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Locations across the country

  • High-value rewards credit cards

  • Online banking

Cons
  • $2,000 minimum balance to avoid fees

Best for Online-Only Checking : Axos Bank


Axios Bank

 Axios Bank

New business owners get a $200 welcome bonus with promo code NEWBIZ200. Not a new business? Use promo code NEWAXOSBIZ for a $100 bonus.

Why We Chose It

Axos Bank claimed our spot for the best online checking account for small businesses. Axos Bank pioneered online-only banking in the United States when it opened in 2000. The company has ample experience in providing banking services for both business and personal customers.

The Business Interest Checking account is free with a rather large $5,000 average daily balance. Otherwise, you’ll pay a $10 monthly fee. The account includes up to 50 free transactions per month, so it is not ideal for businesses that demand a large number of transactions or smaller businesses that keep a low daily balance. But it pay interest, currently 1.01% APY, as well as great online and mobile banking options.

Axos also offers a basic business checking account with no monthly fee, up to 200 free items per month and other goodies with no interest. Depending on your needs, this may be better than the Business Interest Checking account.

Axos also offers money market and savings accounts for businesses, in addition to CDs and a full suite of cash management services.

Even so, if your small business requires cash deposits, you'll need to look elsewhere. All transactions are done online.

It’s pretty impressive for any bank, not just online banks. If your small business needs online-only transactions, consider Axos Bank.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Pioneer in online-only banking

  • Basic business checking account includes up to 200 free transactions a month

  • Money market and savings accounts available to businesses

  • Business Interest Checking Account pays 1.01% APY

Cons
  • Business Interest Checking Account requires a $5,000 daily average balance to avoid a $10 monthly fee

  • Business Interest Checking Account offers only 50 free transactions a month

Best Credit Union : Navy Federal Credit Union


Navy Federal Credit Union

 Navy Federal Credit Union

Why We Chose It

Navy Federal Credit Union offers top-notch business banking services perfect for a wide range of small businesses. These include business checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, payment processing, and even retirement and insurance for you and your employees.

Credit unions are not-for-profit entities. This means they tend to charge lower fees and offer higher interest rates on savings than for-profit banks.

To open a business bank account at Navy Federal, you’ll first need to become a business member. This requires you to join the credit union yourself as an individual first, and in order to do so, you'll need to be an active-duty military service member, a veteran, have ties to the U.S. Department of Defense, or have an immediate family member who has a Navy Federal membership.

You’ll also need a $250 opening deposit for sole proprietorships or $255 for business entities to get started as a business member. Additionally, you already need to be a regular member of the credit union which requires a $5 deposit into a savings account.

Credit unions are typically geared more toward consumers than businesses,​ but if you meet the membership requirements, don’t overlook the opportunity to save money with a business checking and savings account at Navy Federal.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Offers business checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and payment processing

  • Features retirement and insurance for business owners and their employees

  • Lower fees and higher interest rates than for-profit banks

Cons
  • Active-duty military, veterans, U.S. Department of Defense workers, and immediate military families only

Best for Number of Branches : Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo

 Wells Fargo

Warning

Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the company fraudulently created millions of checking and savings accounts between 2011 and 2016. The bank still faces criminal and civil suits totaling an estimated $2.7 billion.

Why We Chose It

Wells Fargo made our top pick as best small business bank for number of branches because it has more branches than any other bank in the United States. Additionally, it boasts a massive network of ATMs.

Not only does Wells Fargo have a large number of locations, it's also one of the largest Small Business Administration lenders for SBA loans.

Wells Fargo offers three different business checking accounts. These accounts all have monthly fees, but you can avoid them with a minimum balance requirement in most cases. For the Initiate Business Checking Account, the minimum is $500 to avoid fees.

Because Wells Fargo is so big, it offers virtually any service your business might need. That includes things like payroll, HR, and business tax services.

If your small business uses a lot of cash, Wells Fargo is one of your best options. Not only can you deposit cash at the largest branch network, but you can also withdraw fee-free from its massive network of ATMs.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • More branches than any other bank in the United States

  • Largest bank for Small Business Administration loans

  • Offers payroll, HR, and business tax services

Cons
  • Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for opening millions of fraudulent accounts between 2011 and 2016

  • All business accounts charge monthly fees

Best for Business Analysis : M&T Bank


M&T Bank

 M&T Bank

Why We Chose It

If you live on the East Coast, consider M&T Bank for your small business banking. M&T has 700 branches in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

M&T Bank offers relationship managers who do more than offer you bank accounts and help you with customer service questions. These bankers review your business finances inside and out to help you better understand them and achieve the best small business success. In fact, these relationship managers are why M&T is our pick for best bank for business analysis.

M&T Bank claims it is a top 10 SBA lender and offers a range of bank accounts. There are five checking options that may be a fit for most small businesses, plus specific accounts for medical and professional services industries.

The biggest downside is that you need to maintain a big balance to avoid fees in most of those accounts. To avoid the $10 fee on the basic Simple Checking for Business account, you have to maintain a $2,500 average balance.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Relationship managers review your small business needs

  • Five checking account options to fit most business's needs

Cons
  • Only available in 11 East Coast states

  • Must maintain a $2,500 average balance to avoid a $10 monthly fee for the Simple Checking for Business account

Best Fee-Free Brick-And-Mortar Checking : US Bank


US Bank

 US Bank

Why We Chose It

US Bank isn’t quite as big as some of its competitors, but it still offers a large network of branches and ATMs around the United States. The biggest standout for small businesses is the Silver Business account, which offers checking with no monthly maintenance fee. This account is great for smaller businesses with fewer
than 125 transactions per month (you’ll pay $0.50 each for additional
items). You can deposit up to 25 mobile checks each month with no fee
and pay the same $0.50 for additional mobile deposits.

But keep in mind that other checking accounts have a higher number of fee transactions and require a large average balance to avoid monthly service fees of up to $25 per account.

Like others on this list, US Bank offers additional services through a bundle including credit card processing, payroll servicing, and invoicing. This makes it a great choice for small businesses.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No monthly maintenance fee for the Silver Business account

  • Bundles available for credit card processing, payroll servicing, and invoicing

Cons
  • Other checking accounts have high average balance requirements to avoid fees


Final Verdict

All of the banks on our list of the top banks for small businesses have something special to offer business owners.

But Chase made the cut as our best overall option because it's branches are widely available, and its online banking and mobile apps systems are stellar.

Your business's needs may vary, so you'll also find great options at Axos, Navy Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, M&T, and US Bank.

How Do I Choose the Right Bank for My Small Business?

When choosing the right bank for your small business, you'll want to consider things like fees, minimum account balances, branch locations, the number of monthly transactions included in your account, and customer service, among other things.

Because every small business is different, what works for one small business might not work for yours. Weigh your options carefully before picking a bank that has everything your small business needs.

Does My Small Business Need a Bank Account?

Some banks do allow sole proprietors to use their personal checking accounts for business purposes. But the vast majority of banks require small business owners to have a dedicated account for their business. Check with your bank to see which option is right for you.

How We Chose the Best Bank for Small Businesses

We took a look at more than a dozen of the top banks, all taking into account how these banks would work for small businesses. We considered factors like costs and fees, services, customer reviews, security, minimum account balances, the number of monthly transactions, branch locations, among others.

Article Sources
  1. Axos Bank. “Business Interest Checking.” Accessed Jan. 5, 2021.

  2. National Credit Union Administration. “Credit Union and Bank Interest Rate Comparison.“ Accessed Jan. 5, 2021.

  3. U.S. Small Business Administration. “100 Most Active SBA 7(a) Lenders.“ Accessed Jan. 5, 2021.

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