Massachusetts is a wonderful state in which to start a new business. Whether that means bringing the next big tech startup to life in Boston or starting an antique store in the Berkshires, there are lots of opportunities to be had throughout the state for burgeoning entrepreneurs. There are also several small business banking options available to you, so figuring out the best banks for small business in Massachusetts can be a bit of a challenge.
If you’re looking to find the best Massachusetts banks for small business, you’re in luck. We’ve assembled a list of the best small business banks in Massachusetts based on a few key criteria that can help point you in the right direction as far as finding the right financial institution is concerned.
Every kind of business needs its own bank account, whether you’re opening a shop with employees or are venturing out as an independent contractor. A separate bank account, along with separate business bookkeeping, can help make your finances easier to operate and understand. So in that spirit, here’s what you need to know about the best small business banks in Massachusetts.
Leader Bank is one of the strongest banks in Massachusetts for small business lending. The company participates in Small Business Administration (SBA) loans as well as the Massachusetts Small Business Banking Partnership.
In fact, Leader Bank was Massachusetts’ third-highest SBA lender in terms of loans in 2020. Even though Eastern Bank and TD Bank lent more money and closed more SBA loans, neither currently participates in the Massachusetts Small Business Banking Partnership program. This means Leader Bank gives you more options specifically tailored toward small businesses.
Leader Bank’s business checking account comes with no monthly charge or service fee, no minimum balance requirement, free ATM in-network transactions, and even a welcome kit that includes free checks and an endorsement stamp to get you up and running. Their Business Cash Back account offers you 0.5% cash back for debit card transactions if you maintain a $5,000 average monthly checking account balance and make $1,000 debit card purchases every month.
Citizens Bank is one of the biggest banks for small business in Massachusetts. The same is true for other kinds of banking too, given that Citizens Bank has 1,000 branches and 3,000 ATMs across the state. That means you’re never far from a physical access point in which you can make deposits and withdrawals whether you’re in Cape Cod or Pittsfield.
Better still, Citizens Bank offers three different business checking accounts, each of which offers different advantages and features. Their Clearly Better Business Checking account comes with no monthly maintenance fee, 200 free check transactions every statement period (and a low $0.50 fee for every additional check transaction thereafter). You can open an account with any amount of money, which is true of all three account types.
Citizens Bank’s other two checking accounts, Business Advisor Checking and Citizens Analysis Business Checking, each come with different benefits designed for businesses with bigger financial needs.
Business Advisor, the bank’s mid-tier offering, provides 500 free check transactions per statement period and a lower $0.30 fee for each transaction thereafter. This account comes with a $25 monthly fee, which you can waive by maintaining a $10,000 average daily balance or a $35,000 monthly combined balance (with a business deposit account, for example).
Citizens Analysis Business Checking includes cash management services, ACH transfers, sweeps, wire transfers, and more. This account comes with a $20 fee that can’t be waived but can be offset through specific arrangements between you and your relationship banker. This is also true for the number of included monthly transactions, which varies between business relationships.
Axos Bank gets high marks for being one of the country’s best online-only banks. That means there are no physical branches, but the bank’s excellent perks make up for its lack of locations. For example, Axos bank offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, online check deposits, bill pay, and even a $200 sign-up bonus for new businesses when they open an account ($100 bonus for all other businesses).
Axos offers two different business checking accounts: Basic Business Checking and Business Interest Checking. Their interest-bearing business checking account offers an APY that’s higher than most banks around. Plus you only need to maintain a $5,000 average daily balance to waive the $10 monthly fee.
Bear in mind that Axos has great customer service and competitive features, but their user interface leaves much to be desired. This can be a deal-breaker if you’re looking for a top-tier online banking platform but is worth the additional hassle in order to take advantage of its range of free services.
Big national banks offer plenty of advantages for business owners. But so do regional and community banks. The size of these institutions is often a benefit for account holders: You stand to gain a closer working relationship with your banker, improved customer service, and may even be able to build the kind of relationship that can help you put your best foot forward when it comes time to get a small business loan.
Cambridge Savings is one of the best community banks in Massachusetts, as well as one of the largest in the state. Cambridge Savings is a mutual savings bank, which means it’s a financial institution owned by its members. Their mission, therefore, is to serve their members first. This translates into excellent customer service, feature-rich checking accounts, and support to help your business grow.
The bank offers two business checking accounts geared toward small businesses: Small Business Checking and Analyzed Business Checking. Small Business Checking comes with no monthly fee and 125 fee-free transactions per month. Each additional transaction costs $0.50. Analyzed Business Checking comes with a $10 fee that’s waived with an average collected monthly balance of $10,000, 300 basic transactions a month with the same $0.50 fee for any additional transactions. Better still, an Analyzed Business Checking account entitles you to treasury management services, helping you grow your business while still getting excellent customer support.
Most small business banks offer accounts that overlap in terms of core features. The real story rests in the details as well as how they accommodate your specific needs as a business and a business owner. You’ll want to consider which bank can offer you a range of accounts that accommodate your growing financial needs over time. Knowing how you plan to use your bank makes a difference too – that might mean ample ATM access if you’re on the road, or a robust online platform if you don’t necessarily have to have branches nearby.
These are just a few of the qualifiers to consider, and there are plenty more that might play a bigger role in your decision-making. No matter what you prioritize, be sure that your bank can match your needs both now and in the future.
The Bay State is a great place to start your business. There’s opportunity all over the state across a slew of different industries. The state makes it easy to get started, and the banks in Massachusetts offer different advantages for small business owners that can cater to different needs. Whether you want an SBA loan or a fee-free account when you’re first getting started, there are heaps of banks ready to help.