When you’re on the hunt for the best small business bank in Connecticut, picking between a host of different types of banks can make the process challenging. Are credit unions better? Do larger banks provide better business services? If you’re not sure which bank is right for your business, don’t fret. Connecticut has plenty of reliable options when it comes to small business banks; so whether you’re looking for the best business bank account or the best banking features, you’ll be able to find a suitable option.
In this guide, we provide a comprehensive list of Connecticut’s best small business banks. We’ll also go over some necessary information about choosing the right business bank account for your business.
The following list of banks is a combination of larger, national banks, regional community banks, and credit unions in Connecticut. We also discuss one online banking option. If none of these banks fit your exact business banking needs, several other banks offer strong business bank accounts.
If you are looking for more personalized banking, another strong banking alternative to consider is a credit union. Credit unions may not have as many features as larger banks, but they tend to fare much better when it comes to customer service. Credit unions are also popular because they generally offer competitive savings rates and lower fees.
One of the largest credit unions in Connecticut is Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, a financial cooperative with over $1 billion in assets. While most of their branches are in eastern Connecticut, Charter Oak is considered one of the top credit unions in the entire state. Besides personal banking and business loans, they provide business checking accounts for small businesses and nonprofits. Their most basic business checking account has zero minimum balance or monthly service fees and allows up to 50 free banking transactions.
If you are a business owner in Connecticut, then you’ve probably heard of Liberty Bank. With over 60 branches all over Connecticut, Liberty Bank is no stranger to small business banking. On top of business loans, digital banking, and business bank accounts, Liberty Bank also offers business credit cards that come with cashback rewards.
Liberty Bank has two business checking accounts, one for commercial businesses and smaller businesses. Their general business account, PayBack Business Checking, allows unlimited transactions and refunds on ATM fees, and you even get a $100 welcome bonus. Additionally, there are no monthly maintenance or minimum fees. To open an account, you simply need to deposit $25.
Sometimes, having easy access to a banking branch is all you need—enter People’s United Bank, which has 173 branches in Connecticut. People’s United Bank is a full-service financial services institution that serves small businesses, middle-market, and commercial businesses. In terms of banking options for small businesses, People’s United Bank has three business checking accounts: Premier Business Checking, Business Advantage Plus Checking, and Business Advantage Checking.
Business Advantage Checking is specifically for small businesses with low transactions. With a Business Advantage Checking account, you get up to 300 free transactions each month, online bill payment, Quickbooks Direct compatibility, and free cash deposits up to a certain amount. This checking account does charge a $10 monthly service fee, but you can waive it if you maintain a $1,000 balance in your account.
One of the most popular banks in the country, Chase Bank, is known for its strong sign-up rewards and branch network across multiple states. Chase offers every banking service imaginable, from business lending to merchant services to business credit cards. In terms of business bank accounts, Chase has three bank accounts for small, medium, and large businesses.
While there is nothing extraordinarily unique about Chase, it’s worth mentioning that Chase is one of the most accessible banks in terms of reach and service. They offer 24-hour customer service and, if you open a Chase Total Business Checking account, you get access to over 16,000 ATMs, can use online banking and online bill pay, and make 100 transactions per month for free. There is also a monthly service fee of $15; but if you maintain a $1,500 balance or if you open a Chase Private Client or Chase Sapphire personal account, you can waive it.
Webster Bank, one of the largest banks in Connecticut, is also one of the best SBA lenders in Connecticut. They offer SBA 7(a) Loans, which are essentially loans guaranteed by the federal government. Webster has three business checking account options. The lowest-cost option is Webster Business Value Checking. This bank account comes with up to 100 free transactions per month, digital banking, payroll services, ACH and wire options, and fraud protection services. There is a monthly service charge; but like most bank accounts, it can be waived so long as you have a $2,500 average balance.
Axos Bank exclusively offers online banking services. Axos has an interest-bearing business checking account and a basic business checking account. Their basic business checking account is one of the most affordable business checking accounts, comparable to some credit unions. There are no monthly fees, unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, and unlimited fee-free transactions. There’s no minimum deposit to open an account.
Axos also has a few savings and money market accounts. Their most basic business savings account earns 0.20% APY and there are no monthly maintenance fees if you maintain a $2,500 minimum balance. Axos requires a $1,000 minimum opening deposit to get started.
New business owners (incorporated after June 1, 2020) can use promo code NEWBIZ200 to get a $200 welcome bonus when they open an Axos business account. Not a new business? Use promo code NEWAXOSBIZ for a $100 bonus. This offer expires 09/30/2022. Terms apply.
Choosing the best bank for your Connecticut-based business requires some thought about banking features, convenience, costs, and service. Generally, most basic small business checking accounts won’t cost you too much. Banks usually waive most of the monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance fees if you have a minimum balance. Most of the differences between business banks comes down to convenience, service, and features.
Suppose you’re someone who does most of their banking online or generally doesn’t need to frequent your local bank branch very often. If that’s the case, choosing a bank that is located nearby probably isn’t a priority. If that’s the case, your small business banking options aren’t as limited. You may want to consider looking into online banks or banks that have robust digital banking technology. Online banking is what it sounds like—there are no physical branches, which means you can conduct most of your banking transactions through your desktop or mobile phone.
As we have mentioned before, credit unions or local banks typically have better customer service. If you are serious about establishing a relationship with your bank, larger, national banks are most likely not going to be a good fit for your business. However, it is worth noting that larger banks generally have 24-hour customer service while smaller banks and credit unions usually have limited hours.
Another point of comparison when looking at different banks for your small business is banking features. Banking features are, for the most part, associated with digital banking. They include mobile check deposit, email or text alerts, online bill-pay, security, etc. Most banks generally offer most digital banking features, but sometimes the smaller banks don’t offer as many robust features.
Connecticut is rich with banks for small businesses. Though Connecticut doesn’t have many regional banks, they make up for it with an impressive array of local banking services. As you go through this list of business bank options, we highly recommend thinking about each bank’s banking features, your banking preferences, and any other costs or fees. Once you’ve found the best bank for your small business, you’ll be able to take the next step and explore a few small business loans to accelerate business growth.
Zoe Weisner is a contributing writer at Fundera. Previously, Zoe worked at BlueVine, a fintech startup that provides working capital to small businesses. At BlueVine, Zoe worked with small business owners to understand their financial needs and wrote content about small business-related topics, including marketing, business operations, and small business financing. Today, Zoe writes articles about personal finance, small business, and banking.