As a small business, every decision makes an even greater impact on your bottom line. The steps you take and the foundation you establish early on in your company’s lifetime can either set you up for prosperity or plant the seeds that will cause problems later. While every small detail is ultimately key, some of the most vital ones stem from how you approach banking. More specifically, selecting the best bank for your small business account is an essential step for your future financial success.
At first, you might be tempted to simply select the same institution you bank with on your personal account, but this option neglects the key benefits many banks offer to cater to the specific needs of a small business. A bit of research into the best banks for small business could wind up saving you significant money — for instance, nearly half of small business owners reportedly pay unnecessary monthly fees. So consider these options as you determine which bank best suits your small business.
1. Bank of America
One of the largest banks in the nation, Bank of America is not only among the most accessible banks out there but also one of the best for small business. A preferred lender of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Bank of America has a support system in place to assist you every step of the way, with a strong focus on online and mobile capabilities. Moreover, the bank boasts an impressive range of products targeting business owners, including business checking, savings and certificate of deposit accounts.
Because business loans are so often an integral part of any small business, Bank of America also provides a number of options in that department as well. Secured and unsecured loans are available — with the former beginning at $25,000 — as well as loans tied to specific applications, such as commercial real estate, equipment, automobiles and healthcare practices. Bank of America has so much to consider that many incoming small business customers rely on their online recommendation tool, which can help better define the right service for your business. You can also reach out for in-person assistance at any of Bank of America’s thousands of physical locations nationwide.
2. Capital One
Here’s another bank that clearly has small business owners in mind. Their popular Spark Business Basic Checking and Spark Business Unlimited Checking have many attractive features, with free unlimited transactions chief among them. As a small business, you may or may not have a high volume of transactions going through your credit and/or debit accounts, but it’s always better to have the flexibility that Capital One provides. If you’re looking to streamline your finances and avoid fees, this is a great way to do that, especially considering that unlimited accounts even provide five free domestic wire transfers every month.
As far as loans, Capital One has you covered there as well. The bank is an SBA-preferred lender and can expedite the loan process within SBA guidelines, ensuring that your business gets the service and amount you need to propel your business forward.
The best bank for your small business is always the one that is most accessible for you. So if Capital One has a presence in your area, this bank could be an easy choice to handle all your financial matters under one roof. If not, perhaps its services aren’t quite right for your small business — you should aim to keep your company’s affairs within the same financial institution.
Some banks place such an emphasis on merchant services that we can’t leave them out of any conversation on small business banking — and Chase is one. Chase understands the fast pace at which small business owners move, so they present copious opportunities for payment processing (including mobile and online payments). In addition, Chase has one of the most impressive customer service teams in the industry. Support is available 24/7, as is an intuitive reporting tool to help small business customers stay on top of their finances.
Loan-wise, Chase runs the gamut from business loans starting at $5,000 all the way up to real estate financing beginning at $50,000. Credit lines range from $10,000 to $500,000, truly providing small businesses of all kinds the chance to acquire the funds they need. Of course, if all you need are more basic small business products like business credit and debit cards or checking and savings accounts, Chase includes those in its package too. Look into the Chase Total Checking option, which is one of the most popular for their small business customers.
4. PNC Bank
PNC may not offer unlimited transactions, but its extraordinarily high limits on free transactions and cash deposits mean you likely won’t even notice. The bank as a whole makes it easy to avoid monthly maintenance fees, even giving new customers three months of fee-free service upfront. But among the bank’s three types of business checking, PNC Business Checking Preferred easily stands as the most beneficial for small businesses. These accounts allow for a high volume of transactions and deposits — $50,000 on free cash deposits and 1,500 free debit or credit transactions monthly — and include a variety of tools to manage your cash flow as well.
In addition to the built-in advantages of PNC’s checking accounts, you can qualify for fee waivers simply by using a combination of other business products. The bank’s business customers have countless services at their disposal, including loans, credit lines and payment processing. However, checking is undoubtedly its strongest point, and if your business is focusing largely on its checking accounts, PNC may easily be the best bank for your small business since it minimizes the expense tied to such activities.
5. Wells Fargo
If your small business banking needs extend far beyond simply loans and checking accounts, you might want to consider Wells Fargo. This bank offers a comprehensive suite of options for business owners — including full-service payroll and tax solutions — in a powerful effort to provide small businesses with a one-stop destination for their banking needs. Wells Fargo provides in-depth services like an employee time-keeping system and a variety of retirement plan options. Yet, it doesn’t forget to fulfill more basic needs like direct deposit and sophisticated payment processing for businesses that only require the bare essentials.
Of course, Wells Fargo also provides several business credit card options, offering credit lines as high as $300,000. These accounts provide much-needed assistance for key business expenses, and they include rewards points and cash back programs to incentivize your own investment in your business. Business loans reach up to $5 million. While you might not need quite so high an amount for own your business, the fact that Wells Fargo puts so much trust in its small business customers counts for a lot.
Do you have any experience working with these banks for your small business? If so, how did it go? Let us know on Twitter @Revenued_com.
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