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How do I Choose the Best Small Business Checking Account?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you started a business, you will probably feel the need to open a checking account at some point to help manage your finances. The first thing you should know is that every small business checking account is not the same. One of the biggest differences between them is costs, many of which can be avoided if you make the right choices. Another difference to consider when opening your account is the access you will have.

The costs often associated with a small business checking account can have a significant impact on your business’ finances. When you are ready to open an account, shop around so you can make sure your hard-earned money is not going to supporting the financial institution where your checking account is held.

One of the first fees banks often try to charge is an account fee. This is a cost a bank will charge just for having an account open with them. This fee is usually deducted monthly, even if you do not use the account within a given month. Try to avoid these whenever possible. Look for a bank that offers free checking accounts.

Some banks also charge for each transaction conducted in a small business checking account. These fees can vary widely. For example, some banks will charge you for withdrawals, deposits, and checks. While the cost of each transaction may seem small, it can quickly begin to add up, especially when you consider that it may not be necessary.

Try to find a bank that will not charge you transaction fees. If this is not possible, at least choose one where you get a large number of transactions free per month before you begin to pay. Also, try to avoid getting a small business checking account that will require you to pay for services that other banks offer for free as part of their standard service packages. This includes online banking and online bill payment.

If you just started out or if your business finances tend to be in flux, you should avoid a small business checking account that has a minimum balance requirement. Accounts with these terms require you to keep at least a certain amount in your account at all times or you will be charged until your account reaches the threshold again.

Another thing to think about when opening a small business checking account is your access to the bank. If you move around and conduct business outside of the area where you live or where your business is primarily located, you may want to open an account at a larger bank that has numerous branches. Otherwise, you could find yourself inconvenienced and paying more unnecessary fees.

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Discussion Comments
By mobilian33 — On Oct 14, 2014

One of the worst things for a business to do is to bounce a check. Any small business checking account should be set up so that the bank will cover checks that might be written for an amount more than is in a business's account. I mean, what kind of impression is a business making when it has a check returned? That's not going to make people have much faith in the business.

By Feryll — On Oct 14, 2014

I agree with the section of this article that warns against setting up a business checking account that requires you to keep a minimum balance. Not only will you being paying when your balance drops below the minimum balance, but you will also have money that you can't use.

What I mean is that if your required balance is $500 then it's almost like you don't even have that $500 because it is always in the bank and you have to pay a penalty to use it. And when you are operating a small business, $500 might be the difference between making payroll or buying supplies and not being able to do these things. Every penny you can get your hands on is an asset with a small business.

By Drentel — On Oct 13, 2014

There are so many mistakes you can easily make when you start a business. When I started my first business I made a lot of those mistakes. Looking back, one thing I did that I wish I had waited on was starting a checking account. I was in such a hurry to look like a real business that I immediately opened a business account when I would have been better off to use the personal checking account I already had.

Now that I am more experienced, I am always looking for ways to get better services from banks. Banks are always trying to lure in new customers, so it pays to keep abreast of all the new types of small business checking accounts that are available out there.

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