The 7 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020

If you’re serious about running and growing your small business, you’ll want to set up a business bank account as soon as possible so you can start managing your finances.

But when you start searching for a bank to work with, you’ll quickly realize that finding the right small business bank is easier said than done: It takes more than just knocking on the door of the bank nearest your business.

It can be overwhelming to sort through the fine print on bank websites and figure out if they offer the products and services your business truly needs, like the best high yield business savings account or a free business checking account

Luckily, we’re here to help—we’ve scoured the banking landscape and put together this definitive guide on the best banks for small business. First, we’ll break down the seven best banks for small businesses in 2020, and then tell you how to find the best bank for your company.

7 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020

Before we dive into the details, you can find the best banks for small business summarized in the chart below:

Bank Checking Account Options Savings Account Options Top Additional Services Best For
Wells Fargo
4
2
-Strong SBA lending program
-Merchant services
-Payroll services
Branch accessibility
Chase
3
2
-Business credit cards
-Human resources and payroll programs
-Business loans including SBA loans
Business credit cards
Capital One
2
2
-Spark business credit cards
-Spark Business IQ
-Online banking program
High volume deposits and monthly transactions
Azlo
1
N/A
-Online invoicing
-Connection with Stripe, PayPal, and Square
-Online bill pay
Digital, no-fee business checking
NBKC
1
1
-NBKC Visa business credit card
-Treasury solution options
-Business loan options
Easily accessible, low-fee checking and savings accounts
Axos
3
2
-Online bill pay
-Industry-specific solutions
-Commercial lending services
High-yield accounts
Consumers Credit Union
3
3
-Visa business credit and debit cards
-Merchant services
-Online bill pay and mobile banking
Credit union

1. Wells Fargo: Best for Branch Accessibility

Wells Fargo has about $2 trillion in assets, making it the third-largest bank based on total deposits.[1] Despite that huge number, Wells Fargo doesn’t just think big picture: they’re also very focused on small businesses. Here’s why Wells Fargo makes the list of the best banks for small business:

Wells Fargo Business Checking Accounts

There are four different Wells Fargo business checking accounts, which vary according to your business’s size, needs, and banking capacities: Business Choice Checking, Platinum Business Checking, Simple Business Checking, and Analyzed Business Checking.

The business checking account you choose to use will depend on what kind of small business you run and your needs. But let’s run through the details of Wells Fargo’s most popular and versatile small business checking account: Business Choice Checking.

Wells Fargo Business Choice Checking includes:

  • 200 transactions per month
  • $7,500 in cash deposits per month
  • Text and mobile banking
  • $14 monthly service fee, which is easily waived with one of several qualifying transactions

The Business Choice Checking account is a particularly good fit for small businesses that deal largely in cash, because you can make cash deposits of up to $7,500 a month with no extra charge. (That’s almost twice the amount other big banks will give you.) Once you’ve hit the $7,500 limit, there’s a charge of $0.30 for every extra $100 in cash deposits.  

Additional Services From Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers robust checking accounts for small business owners. But you can also take advantage of other small business services from this bank like:

  • Business savings accounts
  • Full-service payroll solutions, employee benefits, human resources, and tax programs
  • A variety of merchant services and new payment technologies to run your business more efficiently
  • Wells Fargo business credit cards
  • Small business insurance coverage to protect your business, assets, and employees
  • Manage your account with Wells Fargo online banking and financial tools
  • Business loans including SBA loans (in fact, Wells Fargo is a top SBA lender)

Wells Fargo also allows you to integrate your QuickBooks accounting software so you can easily and safely maintain all your financials online. On the other hand, if you prefer to bank in person, you can visit one of Wells Fargo’s 6,000 locations nationwide.

The Bottom Line on Banking With Wells Fargo

Across the board, Wells Fargo is particularly small business-friendly. It’s an especially good option for small business owners who are looking for branch and ATM access from their bank, as well as a strong lending program.

2. Chase: Best for Small Business Credit Cards

With $2.39 trillion in assets, Chase has the biggest banking presence in the United States.[2] In fact, Chase serves almost half of all American households.

But Chase isn’t only focused on the consumer—it also has a significant small business banking program. Here’s why Chase bank might be the best bank for your small business.

Chase Business Checking Accounts

With three Chase business checking accounts—Total Business Checking, Performance Business Checking, and Platinum Business Checking—Chase can easily meet your business’s checking needs.

Each account is designed for the different stages in a business’s lifetime. The one that’s best suited for small businesses, though, is probably the Chase Total Business Checking account.

Some fundamental features of the Chase Total Business Checking account include:

  • A monthly service fee of $12 when you enroll in e-statements (or $15 for paper statements)
  • Service fee can be waived if you maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance in your account
  • 100 free transactions per month
  • Up to $5,000 in cash deposits each month with no fee

Additional Services From Chase

If Chase’s business checking accounts aren’t enough for you to sign up for an account, here are some other advantages to consider:

  • With the cards in the Ink suite, as well as their co-branded cards, Chase business credit cards are some of the best on the market
  • Chase offers both human resources and payroll programs for businesses of any size. With the full-service payroll program, you can manage your payroll (and payroll tax-filing) completely online.
  • You can access a Chase merchant services account to make your checkout process as streamlined as possible.
  • Chase provides a mobile banking system that’s easily accessible from any mobile device. One of the best features of Chase Mobile Banking is QuickDeposit, where users can scan and deposit checks electronically without visiting a branch.
  • Chase has 5,300 branches and 15,500 ATMs nationwide.
  • When you sign up for Chase’s small business banking, you’ll be given access to free business debit cards for you and your employees.
  • In addition to their business checking account options, you can choose from three different Chase business savings accounts.
  • Chase offers a variety of types of business loans including SBA loans and business lines of credit.

The Bottom Line on Banking With Chase

Without a doubt, Chase offers some of the top business checking account options on the market. They also provide a number of other business products—which can be particularly useful if you want to bundle your services with one bank.

Where Chase stands out, however, is with their business credit card program. As we mentioned, Chase offers their Ink suite of cards, as well as a number of co-branded cards—which are some of the most substantial cash back and rewards points business credit cards on the market.

3. Capital One: Best for High Volume Deposits and Monthly Transactions

Although Capital One has substantial consumer and commercial banking programs, their comprehensive suite of financing solutions proves that they’re equally devoted to small business owners.

Capital One Small Business Checking Accounts

Capital One offers a straightforward small business checking account system. You have two Capital One business checking options to choose from: the Spark Business Basic Checking and the Spark Business Unlimited Checking.

Here’s what you can expect with a Spark Business Basic Checking account:

  • Unlimited transactions each month
  • Deposit up to $5,000 in cash each month with no extra fee
  • $15 monthly service fee, waived if you maintain the minimum 30- or 90-day average monthly balance of $2,000
  • Free business debit card, online bill pay, and online and mobile checking

It’s hard to find a business checking account that has unlimited transactions and a high number of free cash deposits—especially from a brick-and-mortar bank. So, if you run a business that has a high number of monthly transactions and cash deposits, banking with Capital One is a smart choice.

Moreover, the Capital One Business Advantage Savings Account is a stellar choice for a first savings account for many businesses, too, which requires a minimum initial deposit of just $250.

Additional Services From Capital One

When you sign up for a business account with Capital One, you’ll find that their Spark Business program has a lot to offer. Here are some of the features you can take advantage of:

  • Capital One has a pretty great array of business credit cards, and they’re easy to sign up for if you already have a business account open.
  • Spark Business has a comprehensive online banking program, so you can do all your banking online.
  • If you use Capital One’s online banking, you’ll have access to different cash flow management tools that can help you analyze and control your business’s cash flow.

The Bottom Line on Banking With Capital One

With low-cost business checking accounts, as well as business savings accounts, and their robust suite of Spark business credit cards, Capital One is certainly one of the best banks for small business.

With their Spark Business program, Capital One recognizes that no two small businesses are alike and therefore, their products meet various banking needs across various industries.

On top of all of this, when you bank with Capital One, you’ll have access to Spark Business IQ—a program designed to help entrepreneurs manage their business’s operations, finances, and cash flow. You can tap into Spark Business IQ to access valuable guides and share ideas on how to grow your business.

4. Azlo: Best for Digital, No-Fee Business Checking

When you think about the best bank for small business, you’re probably thinking of brick-and-mortar banks—like the three we’ve discussed so far. But with Azlo Business Checking, you don’t need to step foot into a traditional bank to have a positive banking experience.

Created especially for freelancers, self-employed individuals, and side-hustlers, Azlo Business Checking stands out for two very obvious reasons: This bank account is completely digital, and it’s completely fee-free.

Azlo was launched with the backing of BBVA Compass Bank, which holds all accounts on this platform and ensures that all deposits are FDIC-insured.

Azlo Small Business Checking Account

Azlo offers a single business checking account, and that account comes with no attached fees on any of its transactions. Some key features on Azlo’s app and dashboard include:

  • Free bank-to-bank ACH transfers (domestic banks only, with free international transfers coming soon)
  • Free debit card with free ATM access at select AllPoint ATMs (there’s an ATM locator in the app) and no foreign transaction fees
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Receive domestic and international wires for free
  • No minimum balance or opening deposit requirement

Since there are no fees and only one checking account tier involved, Azlo’s platform doesn’t come with the (admittedly complicated) fine print that some other checking account terms do.

The model is super-simple: Without any minimum balance requirements or tier caps, Azlo offers users a free space to deposit, store, and transfer as much cash as they need.  

Additional Services From Azlo

In addition to all the capabilities you’d expect from a business checking account, Azlo streamlines your business expense tracking and management through their app and dashboard. Some additional tools on Azlo’s platform include:

  • FDIC-insured accounts
  • Fast and free application
  • Create and send invoices to request payment
  • Connect your account to Stripe, Square, or PayPal
  • Electronic bill payment  
  • Pay others via mail with digital checks
  • Instant, free payments between Azlo users

The Bottom Line on Banking With Azlo

If it’s convenience that you’re seeking, then Azlo might be the perfect bank for your small business.

Azlo offers a completely digital banking experience for small business owners. Some features, such as cash deposits, that you could get with a physical bank are missing—however, Azlo makes up for this in their lack of fees.

Plus, Azlo’s target customer is the busy small business owner who needs to access their account online and handle transactions electronically.

5. NBKC: Best for Easily Accessible, Low-Fee Checking and Savings Accounts

 

Similar to Azlo, NBKC offers a digital-friendly banking experience—even though the bank itself has four Kansas-based locations.

Nevertheless, NBKC offers a business checking and savings account, both of which are nearly fee-free. Plus, with NBKC, whether you opt for a checking or savings account, you’ll be able to apply for your account quickly and easily online (in about five minutes according to their website) and manage everything on your computer or on your smartphone or tablet using the NBKC app.

Therefore, with two easily accessible accounts and almost non-existent fees, NBKC is certainly one of the best banks for small businesses.

NBKC Business Checking Account

The NBKC business checking account, as we mentioned, is a totally online-based account with very few fees. You’ll be able to open your account without a minimum deposit and once you do, you’ll have no restrictions and no limits. Specifically, your NBKC business checking account will include:

  • $0 minimum balance
  • NBKC Business Debit Mastercard with free access to over 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs around the U.S.
  • $0 transaction fees and no limit on number of transactions
  • $0 fees for returned items, overdrafts, NSFs, stop payments, or incoming domestic wires
  • Free business online banking and banking through the NBKC app
  • $0 check deposit whether in-person or through the app
  • $0 eStatements and Cashier’s Checks
  • $0 to talk to your NBKC banker on the phone, via email, or in-person
  • $12 in monthly refunds for ATM fees charged by other banks

All in all, the only places where you’ll incur a fee with an NBKC checking account is for sending a domestic wire ($5) or sending or receiving an international wire ($45). Moreover, NBKC gives you the option to add ACH credits and debits, as well as desktop deposit to your account for low monthly fees.

NBKC Business Savings Account

With the NBKC business Money Market Account, you’ll receive many of the same benefits of the NBKC business checking account. You’ll have online and mobile access to your account, no fees (other than the two mentioned above), and you’ll be able to open your account with no minimum deposit—a fairly rare quality of a business savings account. Moreover, the NBKC business savings account offers a high-yield APY at 1.01%.

This being said, however, as federally regulated, you’ll only have access to six account withdrawals per month with this account. Nevertheless, the NBKC business savings account will allow you to start planning for your business’s future even if you’re only able to contribute a small amount of funds.

Additional Services From NBKC

In addition to the specifics of their business checking and savings account, as a financial institution, NBKC will offer some additional banking features including:

  • Multi-factor authentication for all accounts
  • Option to apply for an NBKC Visa business credit card
  • Treasury solution options such as fraud management, bill payment services, and cash management
  • Business loan options

The Bottom Line on Banking With NBKC

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a tech-friendly bank where you can manage all of your account operations online, NBKC might be the best bank for your small business. Additionally, NBKC is a top option for low-fee for banking and for a high-yield savings account that doesn’t require a minimum deposit or monthly fee.

NBKC does offer some additional business products, and although they might not provide as wide a variety of solutions as other financial institutions, their business bank accounts are highly accessible—making NBKC a great bank option for freelancers or sole proprietors, as well as businesses just starting out.

6. Axos Bank: Best for High-Yield Accounts

Axos Bank is a digital bank that offers a range of consumer and small business solutions.

From financing to checking accounts and savings accounts, Axos offers a suite of products that can help your small business. Axos tries to help small businesses grow, evidenced by their interest-bearing checking and savings options.

Axos Business Checking Accounts

Axos offers three different checking accounts for small businesses. Their entry-level account, Basic Business Checking, requires a $1,000 opening deposit, but after this, charges no monthly fees—regardless of what your balance is.

Next, the best Axos business checking option if you can maintain a $5,000 balance, is the Business Interest Checking account. You can earn up to 0.80% APY on your balance. The account also includes free online bill pay, up to 60 items of remote deposit, and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Axos Business Savings Accounts

Just like consumers, small business owners should put some money away for a rainy day.

Axos Bank has multiple savings options to help you save for unexpected costs. With their Business Savings account, you only need a $1,000 opening deposit and can earn up to 0.80% APY. You do, however, need to maintain a minimum balance to avoid a monthly maintenance fee.

For bigger savers, the Business Premium Savings account earns up to 1.06% APY and requires a $25,000 initial deposit (but no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees going forward).

Moreover, Axos Bank offers business certificate of deposits (CD) with yields of up to 1.35% for a 5-year CD. A certificate of deposit lets you put away money for a specific period of time, in exchange for higher interest yields. The catch is that, comparing a certificate of deposit vs. a savings account, with a CD you typically have to pay a penalty if you withdraw the money ahead of time.

This being said, however, if you know you want to invest money for a longer period of time, you might consider an Axos CD.

Additional Services From Axos Bank

When you open a business checking or savings account with Axos Bank, you can take advantage of the bank’s additional features and services, including:

  • Dedicated account representatives
  • 24/7 online account access and online bill pay
  • FDIC-insured accounts
  • Online application and account opening
  • Industry solutions (e.g. non-profits and public sector)
  • Commercial lending including lines of credit, equipment financing, term loans, and factoring

The Bottom Line on Banking With Axos Bank

Axos Bank is a good digital banking and lending option for small business owners.

You can accomplish all your tasks online or by speaking to an account representative on the phone. Plus, if you opt for an interest-bearing checking or savings account, you’ll be able to grow your funds when banking with Axos.

Moreover, as a digital bank, Axos has fewer overhead costs than brick and mortar banks. As a result, they might be able to offer you a lower interest rate on loans and higher interest yield on accounts—making Axos one of the best banks for small business.

7. Consumers Credit Union: Best Credit Union

Credit unions have many of the same financial offerings as banks, but their structure is slightly different. Credit unions are member-owned and operated, and their products are available only to members. Credit unions are often a good choice for business owners because their products come with lower fees, higher interest yield, and better service.

Although the name of this credit union might suggest otherwise, this credit union is not just for personal banking. In fact, Consumers Credit Union provides a range of both personal and business banking services. Plus, Consumers Credit Union is easy to join. To join this credit union, you simply have to pay a $5 membership fee and open a savings account with a minimum deposit of $5.

Consumers Credit Union Business Banking

Consumers Credit Union offers both checking and savings accounts for small businesses. Two of their three checking accounts have no monthly fee—and the third allows you to waive the $20 monthly fee with a $5,000 minimum balance.

Additionally, you can open an interest-bearing savings account with as little as $5—plus, there’s no minimum balance requirement if you have an existing Consumers business checking account.

Consumers Credit Union Business Credit Cards

Consumers Credit Union offers a Visa credit card and Visa debit card for small business owners, perfect for separating your business from personal finances or for authorizing employee purchases. Individualized credit limits are available for different cards, so these can be used by you and your entire team. If you get their debit card, you can access ATMs in the credit union’s nationwide network at no cost.

Additional Services From Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union offers a range of value-added services for small business owners, similar to what you’d expect at a bank:

  • Federally insured bank accounts
  • Nationwide ATM access with CO-OP ATM Network
  • Merchant services solutions available
  • Online bill pay and mobile banking
  • Free online transfers
  • Certain business loans

The Bottom Line on Banking With Consumers Credit Union

If you’ve entrusted your money at a bank all your life, it can be difficult to switch to a credit union.

This being said, however, many who’ve made the switch are pleasantly surprised with lower fees, higher interest yields, more affordable loans, and better customer service. The main hurdle is the eligibility to join a credit union. Fortunately, Consumers Credit Union requires just a one-time $5 fee and a $5 opening savings deposit to become a member.

Learn more about the best credit unions for small businesses here.

What Is the Best Bank for Small Business?

With seven top options on our list, you may still be wondering: What is the best bank for small business?

Ultimately, it’s hard to name a single institution as the best bank for small business—after all, the best bank for your business will be the one that meets your unique needs.

In this case, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar bank with a diverse product suite, like Chase or Wells Fargo, an online-based bank, like Azlo or NBKC, or another institution entirely, it’s up to you to decide which bank is right for your business.

To make this decision, therefore, you can ask yourself a few questions:

  • Will your small business need financing in the future?
  • How much cash flow will you have moving in and out of your bank account on a monthly basis?
  • Do you prefer to bank in person, or do you want mobile and online capabilities?
  • Are you okay with paying monthly fees to access certain value-added services (such as more included transactions)?
  • Do you prefer to do all your banking at one bank, or are you okay with using different banks for different products?

When you’re answering these questions, be sure to have both your business’s current situation and future goals in mind. If you stay realistic and upfront with your banking needs, you’ll know exactly how to sort through the fine print and find the right small business bank for your company.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the good news is that small business owners have a lot of options about where to bank in 2020. On the other hand, the bad news is that all those choices might make it harder to narrow things down and figure out what works best for your company.

Fortunately, your choice doesn’t need to be a permanent one. If you’re unhappy with rates or the customer service at your current bank, you always have the option to change your business bank account and try to find a better fit for your needs.

Article Sources:

  1. WellsFargoMedia.com. “Wells Fargo Today
  2. Forbes.com. “#1 JP Morgan Chase
Senior Contributing Writer at Fundera

Priyanka Prakash, JD

Priyanka Prakash is a senior contributing writer at Fundera.

Priyanka specializes in small business finance, credit, law, and insurance, helping businesses owners navigate complicated concepts and decisions. Since earning her law degree from the University of Washington, Priyanka has spent half a decade writing on small business financial and legal concerns. Prior to joining Fundera, Priyanka was managing editor at a small business resource site and in-house counsel at a Y Combinator tech startup.

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