You’re starting your own business so you’re naturally excited to jump right in.
But don’t let that prevent you from taking some time to choose the best bank with whom you should do business.
It’s never a good idea to choose any old bank, such as one that you’re already using for your personal finances, before you do your homework to find the best one.
What banks are best for startups?
There are various banks that will offer you perks and advantages if you’re a new business owner, while reducing your monthly fees and making it easier than ever to bank on the go. It’s clear to see that it’s worth taking your time to explore your options!
With that in mind, let’s look at five of the best banks for startups 2020: secure funding and manage your assets with these highly-rated banks.
Not only will they help you keep your business money separate from your personal cash, but they will offer many features and benefits you might not even have thought about!
Best Overall: Chase
Chase has an excellent banking program for small business owners. Let’s check out its features! Their Performance Business Checking account is especially great for growing companies that have many needs.
- Payroll services
- 100 transactions at no cost
- Free debit card
- You get the chance to have three business checking accounts with Chase. These are the Performance Business Checking, the Platinum Business Checking, and Total Business Checking. The best one that you should use for your small business is the Chase Total Business Checking account.
- This checking account has many benefits for you, such as that it enables you to complete 100 transactions every month at no cost.
- One of the best perks of banking with Chase is that you can make use of its human resources and payroll programs, no matter how small or big your business is.
- The payroll program enables you to conveniently manage your payroll online.
- You’ll love being able to access the Chase banking app on your phone, no matter what phone you have. But you’ll especially love the mobile app’s Quick Deposit feature. This enables you to easily scan and deposit checks electronically so you don’t have to go to your nearest branch.
- A great perk offered by the bank is that when you enrol for small business banking you’ll receive access to a free business debit card – as a bonus, so will your employees.
- While the monthly service fee with this account is $12 when you get e-statements, it can be eliminated if you maintain the minimum daily balance of $1,500 in your account. Ensuring that might seem easier said than done, though, especially when you’re just starting out.
- The Total Business Checking account that’s offered by Chase and recommended for small businesses doesn’t offer you any interest.
- If you do have to go to a branch, it’s good to know that there are 5,300 Chase branches all across the U.S. and over 15,000 ATMs, too.
- You never know when you’ll need a business loan. Chase offers many kinds of business loans, such as SBA loans. SBA loans are partly guaranteed by the government. This can be helpful for you when you need a loan because banks traditionally consider lending money to small business owners as being too risky.
Chase is right for you if you like the idea of traditional banking and want to maintain that when opening an account for your small business. Chase is a well-known bank that’s located all over the country so you’ll never be stuck trying to find a branch or help when you need it, and this is just one of the features that makes it the best bank for startups.
Runner-Up: NBKC Bank
One of the worst things any small business owner wants to deal with is a bank that charges them high fees. NBKC Bank changes that but has more to offer its customers.
- Account application takes mere minutes
- No minimum opening deposit
- No fees for $0 balance
- When you start an account with NBKC, you can do so from the comfort of your device – an account application takes five minutes. This is the case for both savings and checking accounts.
- Your business checking account is really easy to maintain as you can keep a $0 balance without encountering problems.
- You’ll receive a NBKC Business Debit Mastercard that enables you to use 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs in the country whenever you need cash.
- If you want to save money by not paying exorbitant banking fees, you’ll love that this business account has zero fees for the following services: stop payments, incoming domestic wires, overdrafts, and returned items.
- The only times when you’ll have to pay fees are when you send a domestic wire or receive or send an international wire. You won’t even have to pay monthly service fees!
- Even NBKC’s savings account doesn’t have any of the fees listed above, which is a bonus.
- You don’t need to have a minimum opening deposit.
- One of the biggest drawbacks of NBKC is that you won’t have access to more than six account withdrawals every month with the business savings account.
- Another one is that the NBKC branches are in Kansas, so if you want to find branches elsewhere you might want to open an account with a more traditional bank that’s got branches all over the country.
- You won’t have the opportunity to upgrade to other business accounts in future, due to how the bank only offers you a business checking account and business savings account.
- If you end up having to pay charges for using an ATM from other banks, NBKC will refund you $12 per month for any of these fees you incur, which is a nice touch.
While there are a few limitations, such as a lack of brick-and-mortar bank branches across the country, if your main concerns when opening a bank account for your startup are high fees and a lack of tech-friendly options, then you’ll love banking with NBKC. It’s one of the best banks for tech startups.
Alternative 1: Azlo
What’s so great about this bank is that it was established specifically for people who work as freelancers or are self-employed in other ways. It’s not only low on fees but it also is a fantastic digital feature to manage your money wherever you are. Let’s check out its benefits!
- No transaction fees
- Invoicing services
- User-friendly app
- Azlo offers its customers no fees on any transaction.
- You won’t even be charged for receiving international or domestic wires.
- You won’t have to have a minimum balance in your account, and you won’t need to ensure that you open the account with a certain deposit balance, which is helpful if you’re low on cash.
- You can make use of extra services by signing up with this bank, such as an invoicing service. You can conveniently it this to send instant digital invoices directly from the website or app.
- You will lose out on services that you’d get with traditional banks, such as cash deposits.
- People who have used Azlo banking have reported that the Touch ID sometimes doesn’t work, which causes them to have to punch in their passwords a lot just to gain access to their accounts.
- Once you gain access into the Azlo banking app, you’ll love how simple and user-friendly the layout is to help you do your banking on the go.
- When you sign up for the business account, you’ll receive a free debit card that provides you with free ATM access at certain AllPoint ATMs. You can find one near you with the Azlo banking app’s ATM locator.
- To make your experience even more user-friendly, you can conveniently connect your business account with PayPal, Square, and Stripe.
- You’ll be able to make use of the account’s Invoice Matching feature which enables you to match incoming money with existing invoices you have on your device. This makes managing your account so much easier.
Azlo is the must-have banking app for people who are tech-savvy. By making use of their on-the-go convenient banking services, and extra features like invoice matching, you’ll be able to deal with a bank that makes managing your account a breeze.
Alternative 2: Axos Bank
If you want to earn more interest, Axos Bank is the one to do business with. Here’s what you need to know about how this bank can benefit your startup.
- Convenient online banking application
- Certificate deposits
- Mortgage and other services
- Three out of Axos’s four business accounts are all interest-bearing accounts.
- Axos offers its customers three different types of business checking accounts and various savings accounts. One of the noteworthy checking accounts is the Basic Business Checking which charges no monthly fees no matter what your bank account balance is, however you will need to make an opening deposit of $1,000.
- The bank offers a dedicated team of account representatives who will be able to deal with your queries and any issues you encounter. On the Axos website you’ll find a long list of contacts if you need customer service, and they’re user-friendly because they’re organized according to product.
- You can apply for, and open, a bank account online for the ultimate convenience. This is because Axos is an online-only bank that enables you to conduct your business online and control it via your mobile device or computer.
- One of the biggest drawbacks of banking with Axos comes into play if you want to do a lot of transactions every month. This is because all the business accounts offered by this bank have fairly low transaction limits.
- If you want to save money for the long-term, you will love making use of Axos’s business certificate of deposits. This offers yields that can go as high as 1.35 percent for five years, so it’s a great way to make more interest on a sum of money that you don’t intend on using for a few years.
- You can make use of various other services from Axos, such as mortgage loans and personal loans, which could definitely come in handy.
If you want the convenience of having your business bank account do more for you than what you’re accustomed to, you’ll love banking with Axos. Its various features and services make it one of the best business bank accounts for startups.
Alternative 3: Brex
Brex offers a corporate card that’s specifically for startups with tons of innovative features. Let’s check it out and Brex in general to find out if it’s the right fit for you.
- No personal guarantees
- No annual fees
- Personalized credit limits
- The Brex Card For Startups is unique because it doesn’t insist on applicants to personally guarantee debt they have on the card. So, if your business fails you won’t have to worry about your personal assets hanging in the balance and being used to settle your debt.
- Brex doesn’t take credit scores into account, which is fantastic for a startup owner who hasn’t got much of a credit history to his or her name. Instead of considering your credit score, Brex will see if you’re worthy of credit by reviewing the actual business, such as its spending patterns.
- When you sign up for the card, you’ll be glad to know you won’t be charged for foreign transactions and the card’s annual fee is zero. You don’t have interest charges to deal with because it’s a charge card, so you’ll have to pay the balance in full every month.
- This card for startups does have a big drawback, though. If your business has professional investors on board and you want to connect your bank to Brex, you’ll have to ensure that your bank account has a minimum balance of $50,000. If you don’t connect your bank, the minimum balance jumps to $100,000.
- The exclusive rewards that are offered by Brex might disappoint you because they’re tailored to companies that can meet certain qualifications. Yours might not.
- In addition to the above, if you don’t use the card exclusively, this could mean that you will only receive pretty average rewards.
- Despite the above drawbacks, you can enjoy a more dynamic credit limit with this card because it changes according to your startup’s cash flow. This is great because it’ll be more tailored to your specific needs.
- In addition to that, the credit limits you’ll have at your disposal could be between 10 and 20 times higher than what you’d find in other banks for startups.
If you’ve got a lot of money in your startup and/or you want to make use of high credit limits, this Brex card is a must for you.
Banks For Startups FAQ
After reading our best banks for startups 2020 reviews, you’ll probably have a better idea of the type of bank that will be best to use for your business.
But before you go ahead and make your choice, here are some questions you might have about startups and banks.
Does my startup need a bank account?
If you already own a personal bank account, you might wonder if you even need to get a bank account specifically for your company startup. You really do!
One of the main reasons for this is because it will enable you to keep your personal transactions separate from your business transactions.
Not only does this make managing your finances and taxes much easier, but it will also make potential customers see your business as being more professional, thus encouraging them to do business with you.
In addition to the above points, it’s worth mentioning that if you own a Limited Liability Company (LLC) but you haven’t separated your personal and business finances, you could be denied personal liability protection if your business faces trouble, meaning that creditors could have access to your personal assets if your business is in debt. You definitely don’t want that to happen!
Generally, most banks will want you to have a separate account for your business, and this is especially true if you conduct many transactions every month.
That said, if you’re a sole proprietor, your business and personal finances will be treated as one and the same by the taxman.
So, in this case you could use your personal account for your business transactions, however it still means that things could become confusing for you.
Having separate accounts will ensure that you can better manage all your transactions that enter your accounts and leave them, without a hassle, which helps you to be better organized.
Which bank is best for an LLC?
If you own an LLC, you’ll want to ensure that the bank you choose to do business with will help you manage your company finances better. Here are some things to look for in a bank.
- Low minimum balances. Starting an LLC means your business growth might be slow, so you don’t want to have a business account that has a high minimum balance that you have to meet. Rather choose a business checking account, such as from Chase Bank, that keeps these minimum balances to a minimum.
- Low or no transaction fees. Since you’ll be conducting a large number of transactions via your account every month, you want to ensure that you won’t be charged for less than what you need. Some bank business accounts allow you to complete an unlimited amount of transactions every month without charging you, which can help you save money.
- User-friendly banking app. These days you want the comfort and convenience of being able to do your business online, so you want to ensure that your business bank account has a fantastic app that you can use for a variety of tasks when you’re on the go. This is especially important if you’re regularly on the move or travel a lot for your business.
- Extra services. As a business owner, your bank should do more for you than just store your money, so you’ll love the perk of having extra services provided by your bank, such as loans and invoicing services that help you grow your business and manage it better. Consider the type of services you’d really make use of when choosing the right bank for your startup.
- Lots of bank branches. If you deal with a large amount of cash or you like having human interaction from your bank, you’ll want to be sure that you do business with a bank that has many branches so that you won’t find yourself stuck without help when you need it. Of course, if you’re going to be doing most, if not all, of your business online then you can make use of an online-only bank. This will better cater to your needs.
What to look for in a bank?
To have the best experience with banking, you want to ensure you choose the best business banks for startups.
Here are some important things that you should get from a bank, so make sure they’re present before you sign up.
- Think about your needs. Do you like being tech-savvy and doing most of your banking online? Or, do you prefer to go to a brick-and-mortar bank as that makes you feel more comfortable? As mentioned earlier, these are important to consider. There are many online banking options that can enable you to do everything from the comfort of your computer, while traditional banks thathave many branches and ATMs across the country will be better suited for you if you want something more traditional.
- Consider using a community bank. Instead of immediately opting for a national bank, you might find that your needs are met by a community bank instead. This is especially helpful for small businesses because they will usually provide greater lending options.
- Look for the chance to upgrade. Think in terms of what your business will need from your bank as it expands. Right now you might only look for some basic banking features, such ashaving online banking and checking accounts, but in future you might need payroll support and other services. So make sure you’ll have these at your disposal.
- Consider if you want to use the same bank you have. If you already have a personal account with a specific bank, you might want to use the same bank for your business account. This has the benefit of allowing you to have access to other services, such as lending and mortgages. But again, make sure the bank offers you the business features you want.
- Know the cash and transaction limits. You want to know how many transactions you can make via your business account before you’re charged, and it’s equally important to know your cash limits so that you won’t hamper your business functions. As we’ve seen in our buying guide, the bank account by Chase enables you to conduct 100 transactions at no cost.
- Check for accounting integration. You want your bank to offer you versatility on your account so that you can use your budgeting and accounting software with your account. This will help you to maintain better control over your business finances.
- Check the banking fees. Your business bank account could have higher fees than what you’d have to pay for personal bank accounts.
Hidden fees to look out for
Bank fees you might not expect can eat into your business’s cash flow, so make sure you’re aware of what you’re signing up for, especially since so many banks don’t give their clients enough transparency in this regard.
Here are some hidden bank fees you should be aware of for your startup.
- A lack of funds fee. Many traditional banks will charge you a small fee if your account doesn’t have enough money in it to cover a payment request. The extra frustration with this is that your bank might even do this when the payment doesn’t go through.
- Stop payment fees. If you want to stop a payment from being completed, your bank could charge you for this service!
- Early closure fee. If you need to remove the small amount of cash in an account, with the result that you’ll close it, you’ll probably be charged by your bank for withdrawing the money. This is especially the case if you’re dealing with a savings account.
- Fee for exceeding your withdrawal and transfer amount. In the U.S. federal rules state that there are limits for withdrawals and transfers from savings accounts. You can only do six every month and if you go above that number you could end up paying between $5 and $20 for every transaction. Check what these specific fees are for your business accounts so you don’t get a nasty surprise later.
- Fee for using your card in a foreign country. If you’re using your card to pay for things in a foreign country, your bank might do more than just charge the exchange rate for exchanging currencies. They could also add an extra fee you have to pay. This can come into effect when you withdraw money or pay for something with your card.
- Transfer fees. Be wary of banks who say that they offer free transfers – there could be a limit when it comes to how many transfers are actually free. The others could have a fee added to them.
- Returned deposit fee. If you need to deposit a check you received from a client and it bounces, you could be charged by your bank. This could end up being almost $13 that you have to fork out! It could also result in what’s known as an overdraft or overdraft protection fee, says Investopedia, such as if you write checks against the deposit faster than you put money into your account.
- Paper statement fee. With electronic statements becoming more popular, some banks actually charge their clients for requesting paper statements – and this can translate into a fee of between $1 and $5.
- Fees for online services. Some banks will charge small businesses fees to use their online banking services, even though on a personal account you’ll probably find these services are free. Don’t just assume a bank’s online services come at no cost, as it could cost you.
You’re starting your own business, so you’ll need a bank account for it.
But don’t just choose whichever bank you currently have personal accounts with.
By choosing the best banks for business accounts, you can take advantage of various perks to benefit your company’s growth.
In this article, we’ve looked at the best banks for startups 2020, featuring their pros and cons, so you can choose the bank that will suit you the best.