The Best Banks for Small Business:
Best Online Bank
The Best Banks for Small Business:
Best Online Bank
Best Banks for Small Business
Selecting the best business bank account for your small business comes down to four things:
- Type of business you have
- Needs of your business
- Bank requirements
- Other perks
In this review, we’ll look at some of the best national banks for small business and figure out what makes them the top choice for different types of businesses.
Our Top 5 Best National Banks for 2021:
- BlueVine is our choice for best online bank. They charge zero fees and offer unlimited monthly transactions. Online businesses operating 24/7 can bank without unexpected fees.
- Chase Bank is our pick for best brick-and-mortar bank, especially for businesses with a large number of cash deposits. Chase has conveniently located branches, variable fees, and tailored checking options.
- Navy Federal Credit Union is the best credit union business banking option. NFCU provides members with higher interest rates and no monthly service fee.
- Wells Fargo is our pick for best bank for businesses needing an SBA 7(a) loan as they are experts in processing SBA 7(a) loans.
- US Bank offers the best no-fee business checking account and is helpful to businesses that have only a few monthly transactions but need a large regional bank.
Recommended: BlueVine is an online bank with free business checking and no monthly fees.
Best Online Bank: BlueVine
BlueVine is an online bank we think you should check out. They are a good fit for businesses that don’t handle a lot of cash transactions and that are likely to need a business loan at some point. BlueVine started as a small business lender before transitioning over to the business banking space. They do both well.
Here is a quick summary of their Online Business Checking account:
- No monthly, non-sufficient funds (NSF), or incoming wire fees
- Unlimited transactions, no minimum balance required
- 1.0% interest when your balance is at least $1,000
- Pay vendors and bills by Automated Clearing House (ACH), wire, or check
- 38,000+ ATMs, no fees
- Dedicated live support
To open up a business checking account with BlueVine, you will need to visit their website to fill out an online application and submit your business formation documents, tax id number/EIN, and other basic information.
Extra perks: BlueVine offers a unique bill pay service called BlueVine Payments. With this service, you can use a credit card to pay vendors or anyone, and BlueVine will pay them on your behalf by cutting them a check or issuing an ACH payment. The fee for this service is 2.9%.
- Offers great business loans
- Earn 1% interest on balances over $1,000
- No fees — except for cash deposits through Green Dot locations
- Unlimited transactions — no minimum balance required
- Deposit checks from the BlueVine mobile app
- Friendly customer support
- Expensive cash deposits — $4.95 per deposit
- No branches — all online
Get a BlueVine business checking account to get unlimited transactions, zero fees, and a business checking account with a high-interest rate.
Or, read our full BlueVine Business Checking Review
Best Brick-and-Mortar Bank: Chase Bank
If you are operating a business that makes frequent large cash deposits, like a retail or restaurant business, Chase is the bank you should check out. They are a good fit for businesses that handle a lot of cash transactions and for businesses that operate multiple physical locations. Chase has more than 4,700 brick-and-mortar locations nationally. Chase also offers several competitive account options that are tailored to different business sizes.
Here is a quick summary of what Chase offers:
- Access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 Chase branch locations
- Low fees when opening an account
- Several opportunities to waive monthly fees
- Variety of packages tailored to different business sizes
- Higher interest rates and other benefits if you link multiple accounts together
- User-friendly website and mobile app
To open a business checking account with Chase, you'll need to visit their website or go to a branch and fill out an application and submit your business formation documents, tax ID number/Employer Identification Number (EIN), driver’s license, or state-issued ID card, and other basic personal and business information.
Extra perks: Chase offers several business checking account types. What’s more, they offer a couple of business savings accounts too. Each account they offer is designed to help different types of businesses operating under different circumstances.
- More than 4,700 branch locations, over 16,000 ATMs
- Largest US bank, most assets
- Numerous business bank account types, lots of versatility
- Great mobile app and website
- Several ways to eliminate fees
- 24/7 customer service
- Business savings account interest rates are on the lower end.
- Premium business checking is expensive — their Platinum Business Checking account costs approximately $95 per month
Recommended: Earn $300 when you open a new Chase Business Complete Banking℠ account with qualifying activities. Learn More
Or, read our full Chase Business Checking Review
Best Credit Union: Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal offers several business bank accounts for businesses of any size. They offer three checking accounts, two business savings accounts, and business Certificates of Deposit (CDs).
The only drawback to opening a bank account with Navy Federal is that you’ll need to have a personal checking account there and in order to get one, you must have a miliary affiliation. This may be deemed advantageous, though, considering credit unions generally offer higher interest rates and lower fees than banks. Navy Federal offers .05% interest on their lowest tier business checking account. Most banks offer no interest on their lowest tier checking accounts.
Here is a quick summary of their small business checking account:
- .05% interest rate
- First 30 non-electronic transactions included; $0.25 per transaction after that
- No monthly service fee
- Two signers
To open a business checking account with Navy Federal, you will need to complete several steps:
- Ensure all owners have a personal account with Navy Federal Credit Union.
- Download and complete a Business Solutions application.
- Download and complete a Beneficial Owner form.
- Gather all required documents.
- Call 1-877-418-1462 between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET (expect to spend an hour on the phone).
Extra perks: Navy Federal offers additional business products, such as loans and credit cards. On their website, they have a section dedicated to helping businesses based on where they’re at in their growth cycle.
- Higher interest rates than most banks
- Fewer fees or service charges on accounts
- More than 30,000 fee-free ATMs
- Must be a member — requires military affiliation to join
- Few branch locations
- Low interest rates compared to online-only banks
Learn more about NFCU's business accounts.
Best Bank for SBA 7(a) Loans: Wells Fargo
If you’re a business that needs funding or suspects that at some point you’ll need a business loan, then you may want to consider a bank that specializes in small business lending — specifically Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans. We did some research and found that the largest bank, Wells Fargo, is one of the best banks to do business with if you’re trying to get approved for an SBA 7(a) loan. For small businesses, Wells Fargo offers what they call Simple Business Checking.
Here is a quick summary of their small business bank account:
- The first 50 transactions are free
- Included per fee period at no charge
- The first $3,000 in cash deposits processed per fee period at no charge
- Text and mobile banking
- Access to their National Business Banking Center (i.e., their Small Business Customer Service phone center)
You can conveniently open a business bank account online with Wells Fargo. Just fill out the online application once you have gathered together the following:
- A valid Wells Fargo Online Banking username and password
- Social Security number
- Business tax identification number
- Valid driver’s license or state ID
- US State or Territory business registration information. They do not accept applications for businesses formed outside of the United States unless the business is in a US Territory.
- $25 opening deposit
Extra perks: Wells Fargo offers additional business products, such as SBA 7(a) loans and credit cards. You can also take advantage of Card Studio Design, a free service that lets you customize your business debit card with your business logo and tag line. When your business is ready, you can also apply for a merchant account and payroll services.
- 8,700 branches and 13,000 ATMs
- Four different business checking accounts, lots of flexibility
- Numerous ways to eliminate fees altogether
- Perks when you link a business credit card to your business checking account, cash back, etc.
- Savings account rates are lower than average
- Mobile app issues reported by customers
Best No-Fee Business Bank Account: US Bank
A no-fee bank account may be what you’re looking for if you’re a startup business with few expected monthly transactions. There are plenty of banks that offer no-fee accounts, but one stands out above the rest: US Bank. What makes US Bank different from most other no-fee bank accounts is the sheer size of the bank. US Bank is the fifth-largest bank in the United States, making it a great choice for businesses located in the midwest or western parts of the United States. US Bank has 2,895 branches spread across 26 states.
Here is a quick summary of their no-fee small business checking account (Silver Business Checking bank account):
- Mobile banking with bill pay
- Merchant account services to accept credit cards
- Check fraud prevention
- Remote check deposits
- Overdraft protection
You can open a US Bank business checking account online or by visiting a physical branch location. To open a US Bank business bank account, you’ll need the following:
- Your business’s EIN or tax ID number (sole proprietors can use the owner’s Social Security number)
- Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, or a charter or a similar legal document that indicates when your company was formed (not required for sole proprietors)
- Government-issued photo ID and Social Security number for you and anyone else authorized to sign checks or make transactions on behalf of your organization
For extra perks, US Bank offers additional features for its Silver Business checking account, such as:
- 125 free transactions per statement cycle
- 25 free cash deposits per statement cycle
- 50% discount on first check order up to $50
- 50% discount on Gold Personal Package checking monthly maintenance fee
- Great mobile banking app
- No minimum requirements for free checking
- Lots of locations across the midwest and western half of the US
- Hefty fees, including overdraft, transfer, and cash deposit limit fees
- Fewer features than some competing banks offer
Read our in-depth US Bank business checking account review to learn even more about US Bank.
Small Business Banking FAQ
Why you need a business bank account?
There are lots of reasons why you need a business bank account. The top reasons to have a business bank account are to safeguard your limited liability protections, so you don't pierce the corporate veil. Moreover, you want to have a business bank account to build business credit and have a way to collect and protect your business income.
We like BlueVine for online business banking. Their online business checking account provides a 1% interest rate if you keep a balance of $1000 in the account.
Visit our BlueVine review to learn more about why we rank BlueVine #1 for online businesses.
Is Bank of America a good bank for small business?
They didn't make our top 5 but Bank of America is a nationally branded bank and has branch locations near restaurants and retail locations, making it a good overall bank for businesses that take in a lot of cash. Having a branch near to your restaurant or retail store will make it easier and safer to drop off those daily cash deposits.
Who has the best small business checking account?
The best small business checking account will be the bank that offers you the specific features you need to run your business successfully, plus a bank that offers the fewest fees and highest interest rates. It is wise to check around in your local neighborhood, but if you're thinking of operating an online business BlueVine is likely to be the best option.
Are credit unions better for business accounts?
Credit unions are not necessarily better. Credit unions do typically offer better rates and have fewer fees, but they may come with fewer features. For this reason, we recommend you weigh the pros and cons and decide if a credit union is your best option or not.
Which bank is best for LLC?
We advise small businesses to start limited liability companies (LLCs) when starting a business. We can teach you exactly how to start an LLC to save you some money and we make the process of forming an LLC easy. The best bank for an LLC is going to largely depend on your business's needs.
Which business account is best?
The word "best" is relative at best. If you want a bank account that meets every need for your small business, you may be shopping around for a long time. We would have you consider doing some introspection and deciding the top most important features you require in a bank and narrowing down your choices until you find the single best bank that will help your business the most.
What should a small business look for in a bank account?
A small business should determine what their unique needs are and then match a bank that meets those needs. For example, if you operate an online-only business, it is best to go with an online bank like BlueVine because they'll give you better rates, fewer fees, and you'll get unlimited transactions.