Best small business checking: What to look for

As a small business owner, you might be wondering how to find the best bank for your small business checking needs. To help you, we put together the following post with everything you need to know about small business checking. 

How do you find the best bank for small business checking?

Here at BlueVine, we’ve heard from thousands of small business owners—from sole proprietors to fast-growing SMBs to startups and everyone in between—about what’s most important for their business checking needs. Through customer interviews and surveys, we discovered what business owners like you want, need, and expect from a business checking account. From there, we built our BlueVine business checking solution from the ground up.

Here’s a summary of what we learned about your needs and preferences:

  • No fees. 58% of small businesses rank “no fees” as the top benefit of a business checking account.
  • Interest. Small businesses also prioritize APY, so they can make money from their existing balances.
  • Customer Service. Business owners want a bank that will provide dedicated support and guidance as well as simple communication options, like texting, email, chat, and phone (with an actual human, not a robot answering service).
  • Trust and transparency. Business owners want a trustworthy bank that functions more like a financial partner. Part of this trust is earned when a bank is transparent about how the account works, what fees there might be, etc.
  • Scalability. A business’s needs evolve as it grows, and so should its checking account.
  • Financing options. 87% of business owners surveyed want to use the same provider for their banking and credit needs.

Ultimately, you want to find a solution that’s built specifically for small business. After all, business banking is different from personal banking.

What factors should I consider to find the best small business checking account?

Small business checking accounts and personal checking accounts cater to different needs. In a nutshell, business checking accounts provide more liability protection and less complicated tax filings for a business owner. 

But that’s not all. 

As a business owner, you face your own set of needs and challenges, which is why the best small business checking account is one built expressly for you. 

Some features you can expect (and which you can compare) include:

  • Minimum deposits/balance. Some business checking accounts require you to have a minimum balance or deposit amount—otherwise you’ll be charged a fee.
  • Transaction limits. Some banks limit how many times you can deposit, withdraw, or transfer money. Others offer unlimited transactions.
  • Fees. Traditionally, business checking accounts come with fees—like an account opening fee, monthly service fee, and NSF fees. Some of these fees can be waived if you meet certain requirements—OR you can avoid them altogether by finding a true no-fee business checking account.
  • Interest. Earn interest on your account balance. The national average APY is 0.1%.
  • Integrations. Connect your account to other services you use (like an accounting app), transfer funds to/from other accounts, or easily pay vendors and bills.
  • Easy/online account opening. Some business banking solutions let you open an account online, while others require paperwork and/or an in-person visit to a local bank branch.

How do you compare small business checking accounts?

As we just listed, there are a variety of features to expect from a business checking account—but not all business checking accounts are created equal. As you do your research, select a few banking providers and see how they stack up to the following criteria:


Feature

BlueVine Business Banking

Most Business Banks
Interest✓   1.0% – high interest checking0% interest, typically
Monthly maintenance fees✓   No monthly fees (unconditional)$15 on average, waived only upon meeting certain conditions
Balance requirements✓   No minimum balance $1,500+ minimum balance to avoid monthly fee
Deposit requirements✓   No minimum deposit $25 – $100 minimum deposit required 
Transaction requirements✓   Unlimited transactionsOnly first 200 transactions are free, on average
Checks✓   2 free checkbooks$15 – $35 per set
Wire transfers✓   Free incoming wires$15 per incoming wire, on average
Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees✓   Zero NSF fee$35 NSF fee, on average
ACH payments✓   Free ACH payments$0 – $30 fee, on average
Credit card fees✓   Transparent fee while paying bills by credit card – pay 2.9% only      Layered, complex fees + per-transaction fee 

Check out small business checking reviews

Before opening a small business checking account, it’s always a good idea to read reviews from banking experts and other business owners. Typically, you can find them on sites like NerdWallet, FitSmallBusiness, and Money Under 30. Just make sure the reviews focus on the best business checking accounts for small businesses.

List of banks for small business checking

As we mentioned previously, we created BlueVine Checking with the small business owner’s needs in mind. In fact, BlueVine Checking is the first online banking solution built specifically for small business—it checks all the boxes that business owners want and need today (see the next section for the full breakdown).

But as you’ve likely seen from your own research, there are other business banking options out there. Here are a few (and the pros/cons of each):

  • Chase Total Business Banking
    • Pros: No minimum deposit required; high-rated Android and iOS mobile app
    • Cons: High fees, low interest rates (even for interest-bearing accounts), poor customer service
  • Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking Account
    • Pros: Up to $7,500 fee-free cash deposits each month; highly-rated Android and iOS mobile app
    • Cons: High minimum daily balance of $3,000 to avoid fee; no interest.
  • Capital One Business Checking
    • Pros: Two types of accounts offered — basic and unlimited — depending on your business size and/or needs; extensive free ATM network
    • Cons: No interest; you have to open an account in person

How BlueVines’ small business checking account works

At BlueVine, we know that you want more from a business checking account — that you want features and support that will streamline your banking, increase credit access as needed, and give you the flexibility to run your business on your terms. 

So we built our checking account accordingly, with no minimum requirements or hidden fees, 1.00% interest when you have a balance of $1,000. 

Here’s a breakdown of how BlueVine business checking account works.

  • Requirements. Or, should we say, lack thereof. No minimum deposit or balance required, plus unlimited transactions.
  • No fees. No monthly service fees, ATM fees, or NSF fees
  • High APY. 1.00% interest (the highest yield business checking account)
  • Easy payments. Easily pay vendors or bills via ACH, wire, or check (and, if needed, schedule one-time or recurring payments)
  • Simple account transfers. Make transfers to and from your other accounts
  • 60-second account setup. Easy online account setup (takes only 60 seconds)
  • Mobile app. Check your balance and make deposits and/or transfers directly from the BlueVine mobile app.
  • Credit access. BlueVine offers a business line of credit and invoice factoring solutions. We also participated in the PPP and stand ready to continue should the program restart.

At the end of the day, BlueVine is 100% focused on small businesses. We understand that you need flexibility in your business—especially when it comes to banking and credit. 
Learn more about BlueVine’s business checking and open an account today.

Disclaimer

The information, opinions, and advice in this blog post are provided for educational purposes only, and do not necessarily state or reflect those of BlueVine and/or its partners, including The Bancorp Bank and Celtic Bank. Neither BlueVine nor its partners are responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s). For information about BlueVine products and services, please visit the BlueVine FAQ page.