For businesses ready to move to the next level, finding the right business bank with the right type of banking services is crucial. Your business is unique which is why it is important to work with a bank that offers a range of account options that can meet your specific needs now and as your business grows.
The Difference between Personal and Business Checking Accounts
When opening a business checking account, business owners quickly see there is a big difference in how account fees are handled, and it can be somewhat confusing. With a personal checking account, there is usually no limit to the number of transactions that can occur, and if an account fee is charged, it is typically a flat monthly fee. With a business checking account, most banks put a transaction cap on the number of free transactions that can occur. Above this cap, they charge a per-transaction fee. Banks tend to offer different tiers of business checking, ranging from low transaction volume accounts to high transaction volume accounts. For example, an entry-level tier for small businesses might allow for 150 free transactions, including checks and deposits. Each transaction above the cap could be charged 40 cents. A higher tier for businesses with higher transaction volume might allow for 250 free transactions, and then charge 35 cents per excess transaction. Typically, business accounts are charged a monthly maintenance fee, but the fee is waived if a minimum daily balance is maintained. For a lower-tier account, the minimum balance might be $5,000, and for a higher-tier account, it might be as much as $20,000.
If tracking and controlling spending is important to your business, you should look for a business checking account that offers a free debit card. Using a debit card is an effective way to control and track spending, and it also reduces paper transactions. Some banks issue extra cards for employees at no additional cost.
In the digital age, there is no reason not to be able to monitor and manage your account activity online in real time. Banks that cater to small businesses typically offer online account management, which allows you 24/7 access to your account information at no additional cost. Some online platforms allow for exporting account information into your accounting software system.
Other Business Bank Services
As your business grows, so too does the need for additional banking services. Your business bank should have the capacity to keep your business moving forward, offering services such as credit card processing, Automated Clearing House and electronic funds transfer, remote deposit, small business financing, business credit cards, and business savings accounts.
More important than the services offered is the long-term relationship in which the bank becomes your partner for growth. Smaller community banks tend to offer more personalized services, although larger banks might have designated relationship managers assigned to business customers. Known for their highly personalized approach to banking, some credit unions are beginning to offer business services and are worth consideration.