Tips for Choosing a Business Bank Account Provider

Photo Courtesy: kate_sept2004/iStock

Becoming one of the estimated 33.2 million small businesses that operate in the U.S. is exciting, but it also means there’s quite a bit to take care of. In most cases, opening a business bank account is essential, particularly if you want to simplify your company’s finances and maintain a degree of protection against liability.

While selecting a business bank account provider is potentially daunting, the process isn’t unlike choosing a financial institution for a personal bank account. If you want to ensure you choose the best option, here are some tips for selecting a business bank account provider.

Evaluate Fees

Fees can chip away at your business banking account balance with surprising speed. As a result, it’s critical to evaluate every cost you may shoulder if you choose a specific bank. That ensures you can determine if you’re getting enough value from the account to make the fees worthwhile or if a lower-cost bank is potentially a stronger option.

Along with looking at the cost of various fees, examine whether there are ways to get them waived. For example, many banks waive monthly maintenance fees if you meet the minimum balance requirements. By reviewing these options, you can see if any of the fees associated with the account will become irrelevant to you based on your typical activity levels and average balance.

Evaluate Features and Offers

As with personal bank accounts, the features you get with a business bank account can vary. Some have merchant features that allow you to accept credit and debit card payments from your customers. Many offer bookkeeping platform integration or built-in money management tools. Fraud insurance protection or financial advisory services might also come with the package, as well as payroll processing or the ability to issue debit cards to employees.

When you’re examining the available features, consider not just whether they provide value today but whether you could benefit from them in the future. By looking at it from that angle, you can select a business bank account that will serve you long-term, preventing the need to make a switch if you need a feature later that you don’t get with your current account.

Finally, consider whether a bank has any one-time offers for opening an account. These usually involve cash bonuses that you receive after meeting specific requirements. While what’s required varies, it usually includes having the account for a particular amount of time and accomplishing various tasks, such as receiving a specific number of payments.

Other Considerations

After examining the points above, it’s time to factor in others. Check the interest rates to see if your balances can grow if they’re maintained. Higher interest rates may offset any of the fees you need to pay, so it’s wise to take them into account.

Additionally, check reviews to gauge the bank’s performance when it comes to customer service. That ensures you can get support quickly if an issue arises, and that makes a difference.

Finally, if you’re considering a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan either now or in the future, choosing a bank that’s an SBA loan lender could work in your favor. You’ll have an established relationship with the lender, and that could make the SBA loan application process easier to navigate.