If you have any specific account needs, you’ll need to take that into account as you search. Some banks only have one or two types of accounts. Others offer dozens of options.
So if, for example, you know you want an interest-bearing checking account, that will narrow your choices a lot. If you only want a standard business savings account, though, then many business banks will work for you.
As we’ve mentioned above, many banks charge fees on their business accounts, including these:
- Monthly maintenance fee
- Cash deposit fees
- Transaction fees
- ATM fees
Some banks don’t charge any fees, and some give you a certain number of freebies per month before they start charging.
So as you compare bank accounts, think about how you’ll use your business account.
Will you deposit loads of cash? Then look for a bank that gives you plenty of free cash deposits and has low cash deposit fees after that. Plan to withdraw lots of cash from an ATM? Then you’ll want a bank that doesn’t charge its own ATM fees and maybe even refunds ATM fees charged by other banks.
While this guide focuses mostly on bank accounts, we do want to point out that banks offer way more than just checking and savings accounts.
You may also be able to get the following:
- Business credit card
- Business loan or line of credit
- Business insurance and liability coverage
- Billing and invoicing software
- Retirement investment accounts
- Merchant services
- Payroll services
- HR support
Just keep in mind that the exact offerings will depend on the bank you go with.
A huge national bank like Wells Fargo, for example, has tons of products. It offers three different credit card options. It’s got many kinds of business financing, including term loans, SBA loans (loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration), commercial real estate loans, and lines of credit. It also has retirement accounts and merchant services.
A smaller online bank, though, often offers exactly none of those things. It may just have a business checking account.
So if there are other banking products you know you’ll need, you may want to factor them into your decision.
There are a few other ways to narrow down your choices.
If you already do your personal banking with a certain bank (and you like it), then it might make sense to do your business banking there also. Some banks (like Bank of America) even reward customers for their loyalty.
If you’re looking at savings accounts, you may want to find a bank that offers a high APY (annual percentage yield) so you can make the most money possible.
And finally, you probably want to choose a bank that hasn’t recently had massive scandals (a lot of the big ones have) and that has positive customer reviews.
If you’d like some specific bank recommendations, we’ll have some for you in just a minute. But first, let’s talk about what it takes to actually open an account.