Jason Fell
Jason Fell Last Updated: January, 22, 2023, 9:32pm

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Once you’ve formally launched the business of your dreams, one of the logical next steps is opening a business bank account.

Business bank accounts function in the same way as personal bank accounts. Authorized users are permitted to deposit or withdraw money. Like a regular bank account, you’ll have the option to open a checking account, savings account, credit card account, and merchant services account. Your banking needs for business finances will be similar to your finances, dealing with the same financial institutions.

Who offers the best business bank accounts?

While it might seem like banks are providing a service, they’re businesses trying to make money. You should treat banks the same way as you would any other company. If you don’t like the food at one restaurant, you will take your business to another one, right? You should apply the same concept to your bank account. Avoid things you don’t like transaction limits, ATM networks with withdrawal fees, minimum balance requirements, incoming wire fees, whatever it is for you.

These are four examples of bank accounts that you should look into first:

1

Chase

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Chase includes some of the most comprehensive banking services for business accounts. Three different types of business accounts are offered: the Business Complete Banking account, Performance Business Checking account, and Platinum Business Checking account. You can also open a business savings account, credit cards, lines of credit, and point-of-sale software solutions.

Chase provides a generous $300 bonus for simply opening your business account and requires no minimum deposit. There is a monthly maintenance fee of $15, but it’s pretty easy to waive it. There are 4,700 Chase branches across the country and more than 16,000 ATMs. You should have no problems finding a local branch for in-person customer service requirements.

The first 20 transactions of each month are free with Chase, but any transaction after that will incur a fee of 40 cents. In addition to transaction fees, look out for ACH, overdraft, and monthly service fees. 

There are also fees that you can accrue by depositing cash. The first $5,000 in cash is free each billing cycle but incurs costs of $2.50 for every $1,000 after that. There are also fees for using wire transfers that can reach $35 for domestic transfers and $50 for international transfers. 

Lastly, the $2.50 (plus operator fees) fee for using an out-of-market ATM isn’t reimbursed by Chase.

2

Bank of America

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Bank of America offers two business bank accounts: Business Advantage Fundamentals and Business Advantage Relationship Banking. These two programs have their own sets of unique features and characteristics that are worth exploring if you’re interested. Bank of America makes this list because it’s amicable for small businesses. 

Several services help small-business owners monitor their overall business performance, review analytics, and track account activity. All this can be done on the BofA mobile app, from bill pay features to checking card payments, daily balances, and overall cash flow.

Bank of America gives you 200 free transactions each month. Once you exceed this number of transactions, each will cost you 45 cents. There is a monthly fee of $16, but it can be waived with minimal effort. 

The rewards program is pretty lucrative as business credit cards can earn 25% to 75% bonus rewards that can be used for cash back and travel. Also, the average interest rate for a business savings account is typically five to 20 percent higher than a personal savings account.

The main issue with using Bank of America is the fees tacked on to cash deposits. The first $7,500 per month is free, but it will cost 30 cents for every $100. There are 16,000 Bank of America ATMs in the country. 

However, using an out-of-network will incur a $2.50 fee that isn’t reimbursed. The last issue is that you’ll need to make an opening deposit of $100. While that should be relatively easy to achieve, the only options on this list have no such requirement.

3

Bluevine

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Bluevine is an online-only banking option that offers several key benefits for small businesses. The primary benefit is earning interest as high as 1.5% APY on balances up to $100,000. You need to spend $500 or more with the Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard or receive at least $2,500 per month in customer payments. 

Domestic and international wire transfers are free and cost only $15. Additionally, there are no monthly fees, balance minimums, or opening deposit minimums. The last thing worth mentioning is that there is no limit for monthly transactions, and you won’t incur any fees from them.

There are a few downsides to working with Bluevine as there are no physical branches. All customer service will have to be done online through mobile banking integrations like mobile check deposits or via telephone. 

However, the most critical issue is that all cash deposits must be made at Green Dot retail locations. Each transaction will incur a fee of $4.95, no matter how small it might be. Any out-of-network ATM withdrawals will result in a non-refundable $2.50 charge. Lastly, only one debit card can be issued to your account.

4

NBKC

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NBKC (National Bank of Kansas) only has four physical branches spread across Kansas and Missouri. However, an online bank offers a particularly beneficial business checking account with several features. In addition, NBKC offers business savings accounts such as certificates of deposit and money market funds, four different business credit cards, business loans, business lines of credit, and various business solution services.

The best part about using NBKC is that there aren’t any fees, including no monthly maintenance fee. There’s no minimum deposit required to open an account, and you’ll have online and mobile access to your account. Using an out-of-network ATM can incur a penalty, but up to $12 of these fees will be reimbursed monthly.

The most glaring issue with NBKC is there are only four physical branches. Unless you live in Kansas or Missouri, most of your customer service-related matters will have to be handled online or on the phone. The fees for international and domestic wire transfers can also be a bit steep. A domestic wire transfer is $5, but sending and receiving an international transfer is $45.

Why should I open a business bank account?

No legal requirement says that you have to open a business bank account. Depending on the nature of your business, it might be next to impossible to open one. However, several benefits come from opening and using a business bank account:

  • Tax purposes. The IRS strongly recommends that business owners use a separate bank account for running their business. It will be much easier to track revenue and business expenses with an entirely different account than your personal account. Additionally, it can make things much easier in the event of an IRS audit. You would have well-maintained books to help prove your business is legitimate and not just a hobby. 
  • Fraud protection. Opening a business bank account will require getting an employer identification number (EIN). It’s easiest to think of an EIN as the business version of a Social Security number (SSN). The high activity associated with business-related financial transactions puts business accounts at a higher risk for fraud. You can protect your personal information using an EIN instead of your SSN. 
  • Purchasing power. Businesses have credit scores just like everyone else. A higher credit score for your business will grant it access to more purchasing power. With higher purchasing power, your business loan applications are more likely to be accepted, the interest rates might be lower, and you could seek higher balances. As long as you keep your credit score high, purchasing power is a special tool for your business.  
  • Access to business loans. One of the critical requirements for a bank to accept a loan application is that you must have a business bank account. The future is unpredictable, and the economy tends to shift dramatically and unexpectedly. You’ll likely need the help of a business loan at one point or another. If you suddenly need to borrow money, the last thing you want to do is jump through all the hoops of opening a bank account.
  • Professionalism. Everything matters in the business world, but professionalism is arguably an essential aspect. Every business move will come with a lot of risks involved. If potential partners or vendors think your business isn’t professional enough, it might scare them away. Just imagine how you would feel if you received a check from another business and it was from a personal account. Sure, you would still receive the funds, but would you take this person and business seriously? Opening a business bank account will remove the doubt surrounding your business. Business account holders automatically gain a crucial perk — a sense of professionalism.

How do I open a business bank account?

Opening a basic business checking account will require a few more steps than opening a personal one. Opening the account is similar, but you must include several more qualifying items. The EIN is just the beginning of the extra steps for opening a business bank account. You’ll also need to bring articles of incorporation, your business permits and licenses, a Doing Business As (DBA) certificate, and documents proving your identity.

The hardest part of the process will be securing all these items. Once you do, the process should be pretty smooth and relatively quick. Different banks will come with other requirements that can complicate the process. Traditional banks often require an in-person meeting with all relevant members of the business. Online-only banks don’t have this requirement but can have other qualifications based on your business type and the state where you founded your company.

Find the best bank account for your business

Generally, all banks provide the same essential functions of safely storing your money and allowing you to access it when needed. However, there are a lot of key differences between banks that can make your life as a business owner much more straightforward

You should look for a highly reputable bank that offers business accounts with fraud protection, branches across the country, and low fees. There’s no benefit to rushing into the first bank and opening an account. Take your time, compare your options, and select the one you think is best for your business.

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Information provided on Entrepreneur Guide is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, we do not recommend or advise individuals to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results