5 Best Features for a Small Business Bank Account

Erin OsterhausMarch 7, 2024

Reviewed By: Amplify

Congratulations—you’re opening a small business! There are many decisions you’ll have to make as your business develops. To help ensure that your small company runs as smoothly as possible, it’s important that your business bank account works for you—not against you.

The right account can help your business grow and even thrive, but not all accounts offer the same benefits. As such, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research before you pick one. Here, we’ll review just what to look for.

1. Multiple Account Types

When researching a bank or credit union for your small business, look for institutions that offer a variety of account types specifically designed for small businesses. Such account types might include:

  • Business checking accounts. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or an LLC, this is the primary account type you’ll need for your small business. It’s the account you’ll use to perform the majority of your business transactions, such as paying vendors and suppliers, depositing customer payments, paying your employees and making business purchases. Depending on the bank or credit union you choose, your business checking account may also provide debit cards for your employees, as well as merchant services to help you process credit card payments from customers.
  • Business savings accounts. It’s a good idea to look for a bank that offers a business savings account in addition to a business checking account, as a savings account can be extremely helpful for your small business in the long run. Here, you can set aside money for tax payments that might be difficult to earmark if it’s in your checking account. You can also use a savings account to build up a cash cushion to deal with unexpected expenses.
  • Business credit cards. Some financial institutions may also offer business credit cards in addition to more traditional checking and savings accounts. These credit cards often have competitive interest rates and relatively lucrative rewards programs that can help your business save money.

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2. No Fees

Many financial institutions will charge fees if your business bank account doesn’t meet a specific list of minimum requirements. While at first glance those fees may seem minimal, over time they can add up, subtracting from your profits and, in turn, your ability to reinvest in your business. When seeking out a business account, these are the fees you should try to avoid:

  • Monthly maintenance fees. Also known as a monthly service fee, some banks will charge you a specified amount every month just to have an account with their financial institution. This fee might be waived if you meet certain requirements. For example, you might be charged $10 a month if you don’t maintain a minimum balance of $1,000.
  • Transaction fees. Some bank accounts only allow for a certain number of check deposits or withdrawals each month. These fees may apply if you exceed the bank’s transaction limit. When your business is very small, these fees might not worry you, but as your business grows, the number of transactions each month may grow as well and these additional fees can add up quickly.
  • Wire transfer fees. At times, your business may need to use wire transfers to move money. Many banks charge fees for this service, which can significantly increase the cost of doing business over time. If at all possible, make sure the bank account you choose for your small business does not charge wire transfer fees.
  • ATM fees. Many banks will charge you every time you use an ATM at another financial institution. If you only need to withdraw a small amount of cash, a $5 to $10 service fee on top of the withdrawal can make accessing your own money expensive and inconvenient.

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3. Mobile Banking

As a small business owner, you likely have hundreds of things on your to-do list every day. If you can take a trip to the bank off the list, it can save you time and also lower your stress levels. Even if you genuinely enjoy going into the bank branch to conduct business, opening a business checking account with online banking will allow you to manage your business finances from just about anywhere. Many financial institutions will also offer a mobile app—allowing you to check your balance or move money remotely.

4. Overdraft Coverage

Even the most meticulous bookkeepers can sometimes make a mistake. Running your business, you likely have enough to think about without the added worry of paying an overdraft fee—or worse yet—having a payment to a vendor or partner fail. That’s why overdraft protection is one of the top features to seek out when looking for an account for your small business. This service can draw funds from another one of your business accounts with the institution if necessary, allowing you to continue business as usual without any hiccups.

5. Deposit Insurance

You work hard to make your business successful, and your profits should be kept in a secure account where you won’t ever have to worry if your money will be there when you need it. Check to make sure the bank you choose is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund if you choose to bank with a credit union. When your financial institution is a member of these organizations, your deposits up to $250,000 are insured against any loss if the bank or credit union should fail.

Choose What Works for You

There are a variety of banking and checking accounts available at multiple financial institutions across the country. When choosing where to open your small business account, it’s essential to evaluate the overall package of features and services to ensure they align with your company’s unique needs. Before you make a final decision, you might consider checking out the offerings at multiple banks and credit unions to compare the features and terms available before making a decision. Then you can choose with confidence and focus on what matters most—growing your business.

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Erin Osterhaus

Erin is a personal finance writer based in Austin, Texas. Her work has been featured on TechRepublic, Yahoo Small Business, and Entrepreneur.com. She’s been passionate about helping others manage their money since she successfully paid off $60,000 in student loans in four years. When she’s not writing, Erin loves reading, studying languages, and spending time with her family.