The state of Minnesota is characterized by its freezing winters and proximity to the Great Lakes. It is also known for its hospitable and friendly people, which is reflected in their local and community-operated small business banks. As a small business owner in the upper midwest, you’ll find that many of the best small business banks are primarily focused on serving regional communities.
With so many small banking options in Minnesota, it can be challenging sometimes to decide which bank is right for your business. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an experienced business owner, finding the right business bank has the potential to strengthen your business operations and generally make life easier.
In this guide, we cover the best small business banks in Minnesota and outline a few things to keep in mind as you search for a bank that’s suited to your business.
The following list of banks is a combination of larger, national banks, smaller community banks and credit unions, and one alternative online bank. If none of these banks fit your exact business banking needs, several other banks offer strong business bank accounts.
Financial Security Bank has been around since 1884. With over 136 years of banking experience, Financial Security is one of the leading SBA Lenders in Minnesota, and they also provide comprehensive business banking services and accounts.
Financial Security has three business checking accounts. Their free small business checking account is for small businesses that don’t have high transactions, and is for the most part free–there are no monthly fees or minimum balance fees. The only payment you have to make is a $100 minimum deposit to open an account. Financial Security Bank also has digital banking options such as mobile and online banking, which comes at no cost.
If you aren’t looking for local small business banking options in Minnesota and just need a bank that offers reliable, quality banking services, Chase Bank should be on your list for top business banks in Minnesota. Chase’s entry-level business checking account, Chase Business Complete Checking, charges a $15 monthly maintenance fee; but as long as you maintain at least a $2,000 balance, they’ll waive it. And unlike other options on our list, you can receive a $300 sign-up bonus for opening an account.
If you already have a Chase bank account, it might be worth looking into opening a business bank account with them for convenience. A nice feature that Chase offers is the ability to do immediate money transfers between your personal and business bank accounts, which could come in handy down the line.
Citizens Bank Minnesota is a smaller bank with only five branches, but it is entirely community-owned. Community banks typically serve customers in a small area, and they tend to be more customer-focused than most other banks.
In terms of business accounts, Citizens Bank Minnesota offers four checking accounts. The first level, basic business checking, is one of the few business bank accounts on the market with no monthly, maintenance, or minimum balance fees. You also can get free access to online and mobile banking as well as free e-statements.
If you are looking for an interest-bearing account, Citizens Bank also has an interest-bearing checking account called WooHoo! Business. With this particular checking account, you can earn between 0.05% APY and 0.50% APY depending on your balance.
If banks aren’t your thing, you might want to consider a credit union. SPIRE Credit Union is a top business credit union in Minnesota with over 90,000 members and 20 branch locations. SPIRE offers four types of business checking accounts with small businesses and non-profits in mind.
Their most basic business checking account has no minimum balance or minimum deposit fees. There is a $10 monthly service fee, but that can be easily waived as long as you use paperless e-statements and use your complimentary Visa debit card. With SPIRE, you can access over 30,000 ATMs and make deposits and withdrawals without paying a single fee.
US Bank is one of the largest banks in the nation and has over 140 branches across Minnesota. US Bank consistently ranks as one of the best banks for small businesses in Minnesota, and for a good reason: they’re one of the most accessible banks in the state. They offer 24-hour customer service, making them easy to reach. Plus, they provide comprehensive business services–from business bank accounts to business loans and business credit cards, you can service all of your business banking needs in one place.
US Bank has four-tiered business bank accounts. The lowest tier is Silver, which is targeted at newer small businesses. The Silver bank account is the only account that isn’t interest-bearing, but it is one of the cheapest options. You get 125 free banking transactions a month and up to 25 free monthly cash deposits.
If having a physical banking branch isn’t a significant concern, and you mostly do most of your banking transactions online, you might be a prime candidate for online business banks. Enter Axos Bank, an online bank that provides a suite of business bank accounts and services. Axos has four business bank accounts. Axos Basic Business Checking, their starter business bank account, has zero monthly service fees and is QuickBooks compatible. You can also conduct an unlimited number of banking items free of charge. This checking account has no minimum opening deposit requirement.
Axos Bank also has an interest-earning checking account, but you’ll need to have a minimum daily balance of at least $5,000 to waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee.
When you’re looking for the best small bank in Minnesota, you’ll notice that most business bank accounts are the same, generally speaking. When trying to decide which bank to choose, what you should consider is the bank’s track record, level of customer support, business services, and critical banking features such as online or mobile banking. Local banks and credit unions tend to provide better service, and larger banks are generally more known for convenience.
Your business bank account should grow with your business. If you are a new business, it may be wise to look for business bank accounts that aren’t saddled with fees; but as you successfully grow and generate higher transactions, you’ll probably need to upgrade your account. Fortunately, most banks generally offer at least two business checking accounts, one for newer businesses and another for businesses that need more premium services and benefits.
Some business bank accounts will help you earn interest and even integrate with business software like Quickbooks. Other small business bank accounts come with features such as payroll services and discounted fees. Online banking typically comes with a small business bank account. Of course, not all of these features are necessary, and you should pick a bank account that works with your business. Just be mindful of any hidden fees that aren’t disclosed up-front.
From large banks to community credit unions, Minnesota doesn’t lack in terms of small business banking options. Many of Minnesota’s local banks have been around for years, so if you are looking for reliable business banking services, there are many solid options available. We recommend going with your local or regional bank for more personalized service and larger banks for ease of access. But if you prefer to do most of your banking online, you should look into online banks.
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.