Every small business can benefit from opening a business bank account—even if you’re just a one-person operation. When you separate your business and personal finances, you’re able to better manage both of them. Plus, you’ll set yourself up for success later on if you intend to take out a small business loan or other small business financing options. In these cases, a small business bank account is all but essential to the application process.
There are several contenders for the title of best bank for small business in Maryland, each of which boast its own benefits depending on what you need out of your banking relationship. Here are just a few of the best small business banks in Maryland.
M&T Bank gets high marks for its handling of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. In fact, M&T Bank won awards for being among the top SBA lenders across the country, helping small business owners secure more than 1,110 loans during the SBA’s 2021 fiscal year. This means you might want to consider opening a small business bank account with M&T Bank if you foresee an SBA loan in your future.
There are four business checking accounts available at M&T Bank: Simple Business Checking, Tailored Business Checking, BizFlex Checking, and Commercial Checking. Simple Business Checking is their most straightforward account option and comes with 100 free transaction items every month. The account’s $10 monthly fee is waived so long as you maintain $2,500 in your account, or if you’ve made five transactions in the month). Tailored Business Checking adds on merchant services options, waives monthly fees, and more.
Chase Bank is one of the biggest business banking services providers in the United States. This means you’ll never be far from a Chase branch or ATM, and that you have a national partner behind you when you consider things like expansion or relocation. Plus, Chase business checking accounts come with a variety of options suited to businesses of different sizes and with different goals.
Chase’s Total Business Checking is the ideal option for new businesses or those with relatively low requirements from their banking provider. For a $15 fee (that’s waived by keeping a $1,500 balance), you’ll get unlimited electronic deposits, up to 100 free monthly transactions, and can deposit up to $5,000 in cash every month. Other accounts, such as Performance Business Checking and Platinum Business Checking, come with more free items but have their own requirements in order to waive your monthly fee in return. This means they may not be the ideal fit for companies that don’t need much out of their business bank account.
Truist may sound like a newcomer to the Maryland area, but that’s in name only. BB&T and SunTrust banks merged to become Truist, which means you’ll still be banking with a company that has a storied history and years of experience handling business clients. Truist offers a robust online banking experience that is great for business owners on the go, or for those who primarily need to access their account online rather than at a local branch (although there are several throughout the state).
One of the unique advantages of banking with Truist is their focus on small business. Their small business checking accounts are designed to do more than simply help you run your day-to-day finances. Rather, they see themselves as the providers of financial partnerships that grow as businesses take off. Their online banking system can create financial tips on the fly as you manage expenses, move money between accounts quickly, and alert you to suspected fraud or other issues with your money.
The introductory-level Truist Simple Business Checking account comes with no monthly maintenance fee, 50 free monthly transactions, and $2,000 worth of cash processing at no charge every month.
Credit unions are generally diamonds in the rough both for individuals as well as businesses. Unlike traditional banks, credit unions have members rather than simply account holders. That means that when you join a credit union—be it for yourself or your business—you become an actual stakeholder in the credit union itself. This may entitle you to certain perks that you wouldn’t otherwise have working with a regular bank, such as voting rights and profit-sharing opportunities. Plus you have the same financial protections that you would with a conventional bank.
SECU is the best credit union option for small businesses operating in Maryland. They offer an abundance of business banking services beyond business bank accounts. SECU has three different business checking account options, beginning with a free business checking account without a monthly maintenance fee. This account gives you 100 free items per month and $2,000 in cash deposits monthly. Their interest-earning business checking account actually helps you earn interest on your checking account balance in exchange for a $10 monthly fee. This account also raises your no-charge monthly cash deposit maximum to $5,000.
Every small business is unique—even two competitors in the same industry may not have the same financial needs. That’s why it’s critical to do your research before committing to a business bank and, most importantly, to see which one best reflects your needs.
Ideally, you’ll want to work with a bank that can support your immediate needs—be they a straightforward and fee-free checking account or something more sophisticated. You’ll also want to work with a bank that’s equipped to support you as your business needs grow and become more complex. That’s when it makes sense to work with a bank that offers different account tiers, as they’re usually meant to help you scale up your financial needs as your business finances get more nuanced.
Consider what your financing needs are both now and in the future. Banks tend to prefer working with existing clients when they review loan applications. This is particularly true for SBA loans; most SBA lenders prefer to work with existing clients, making it important to opt for a bank that has robust experience financing SBA loans if you think you might want one in the future.
The best small bank in Maryland is—you guessed it—the one that best fits your needs. These may change over time, which means the best bank for your needs might change as well. Changing banks can be a pain, however, so it’s often worth putting in the time and energy up front rather than hunting around for a better alternative later on. Start by sizing up your options in basic terms: monthly fees (and the balances required to waive them), how many banking items you need every month (such as transfers), and how easy it is for you to access your account (be it online or in-person). The answers to these questions will help point you in the right direction during your selection process.