5 Best Small Business Banks in Los Angeles
- Bank of the West: Best for ATM access.
- California Bank & Trust: Best for customer service.
- Chase: Best for nationwide access.
- Opus Bank: Best for a customized account.
- BlueVine (provided by The Bancorp Bank): Best for digital banking.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, it’s vital to get the right support system in place. One major part of that is finding a bank for your business that’s not only accessible, but also the right fit for your everyday and long-term needs. If you’re in Los Angeles, where a trip to the bank could take you anywhere from 15 to 50 minutes depending on the time of day, finding the right bank is crucial.
Thankfully, the best small business banks in Los Angeles aren’t hard to find. In fact, depending on what part of the city you’re in, you’re guaranteed to find a good fit for you and your enterprise. The best small business banks in Los Angeles pair convenience with time-saving features, all while giving you account options that can expand as your business grows.
Here are a few of the best small business banks in Los Angeles, whether you’re in the Valley or down in Long Beach.
The Best Small Business Banks in Los Angeles: What to Look For
It’s hard for entrepreneurs to know where to begin when it comes to finding the best small business banks in Los Angeles, as well as just about anywhere within the United States. There are tons of small business banking options to choose from, with most accounts offering similar features and requirements.
To a certain extent, there’s a ton of similarity between the kinds of business checking accounts. Most will offer you a baseline set of features, such as online banking, mobile deposits, a set amount of free cash deposits per month, and a monthly fee waiver in exchange for meeting a monthly minimum balance requirement. All things being equal, these features tend to vary slightly between different banking institutions, which makes small details all the more important.
Finding a Branch Near You
The first thing to consider is location. The best small business banks in Los Angeles have branches that are close to where you are—be that your shop, office, or your home. If you have to stop off at a branch often (say, to deposit or withdraw cash), be sure to pick a bank that doesn’t require too much travel. The last thing you’d want to do is get mired in rush-hour traffic on the 5 while trying to make an end-of-day transaction.
Know Your Needs
Narrow your search to small business banks in Los Angeles that offer tiered business checking accounts. As your business grows, you’ll often find you need to deposit more cash every month, make more wire transfers, or even conduct business internationally. These don’t come cheap, and fees can add up quickly if you’re not getting some of these items free as part of your account.
You’ll want to find a bank that’s prepared to offer more perks and features in exchange for a higher account balance. Most small business banks offer at least a few different accounts to help make it easier for you to do business without getting nickeled-and-dimed.
Lastly, consider establishing a small business bank account with a bank you already use for your personal checking, saving, or credit card needs. Some banks will reward you for keeping all of your personal and business banking needs within their family of accounts, which might avail you to more perks and free items for your business account.
Ranking the Best Small Business Banks in Los Angeles
Now that you know what to look for in a business bank account, here are a few of the best small business banks in Los Angeles to consider. The big factors here are convenience, location, and the range of accounts available. Your choice for best small business bank in Los Angeles might depend on other factors, such as your industry or location, but here are a few of the top general picks.
1. The Best Small Business Bank in Los Angeles for ATM Access: Bank of the West
Bank of the West business checking accounts are a great option for small business banking in Los Angeles, primarily due to the number of ATMs and branches it has throughout much of the city. You can find a Bank of the West branch from Santa Monica to East LA, and from San Fernando to El Segundo. You won’t likely be far from a Bank of the West branch no matter where in Los Angeles your business calls home.
Bank of the West offers two standard business checking accounts. Their basic checking account, Bank of the West Classic Business Checking, is designed to be a no-frills business checking option with 100 free transactions per month, as well as $2,500 in fee-free deposits every month. To waive the $10 monthly fee, you’ll have to keep a $3,000 minimum daily balance, or have a combined average monthly balance of $6,000 through linked money market, savings, or CD accounts.
The next highest tier is Bank of the West Choice Business Checking. This account takes Classic Business Checking a step further by offering unlimited deposits and withdrawals, in addition to free cash deposits up to $10,000 every month. You’ll skip the $20 monthly service fee by keeping a $6,000 minimum daily balance, or by holding a monthly balance of $15,000 across money market, savings, and CDs.
2. The Best Small Business Bank in Los Angeles for Customer-Friendly Service: California Bank & Trust
California Bank & Trust is available in almost as many parts of Los Angeles as Bank of the West, but their best feature is their accessible customer service. This bank is rooted in the SoCal region, with its headquarters in San Diego, and is focused on offering a level of customer care that isn’t always as easy to come by with some of the bigger banking providers out there. You can expect to get hands-on assistance when you bank with California Bank & Trust, which makes it a great option for entrepreneurs who would judge the best small business banks in Los Angeles based on the level of support they can expect.
There are four standard business checking accounts from California Bank & Trust (alongside more custom or specialized accounts, such as Analyzed Checking and Attorney Client checking accounts). Business Inspire Checking is California Bank & Trust’s basic, entry-level account, which offers a monthly cash deposit limit of $3,000, 50 monthly transactions, and a $1,000 minimum balance (or the same amount in transactions) every month. Otherwise the monthly fee is a modest $7. All it takes is $50 to open a California Bank & Trust, regardless of which account you opt for.
Business Growth Checking offers a bit more leeway in terms of monthly transactions and cash deposits. This account provides for 250 transactions and $15,000 in cash deposits each month. The $12 monthly maintenance fee gets waived with a $2,500 minimum daily balance or $10,000 in business loan balances. Otherwise, the Business Growth Checking account costs $12 a month.
Business Connect and is similarly structured, insofar as it offers an increased number of transactions and higher cash deposit limits. Business Connect Checking has a $15,000 monthly cash deposit limit and 400 monthly transactions. This account costs $15 per month, which is waived with a minimum daily balance of $3,500, a combined business deposit balance of $10,000, a business loan or credit card balance of $50,000, or by paying a minimum of $150 for other banking services with California Bank & Trust.
One particularly attractive California Bank & Trust checking option is Business Interest Checking, which pays you interest on your balance. You only need to maintain a $3,500 daily balance in order to keep from paying the account’s $15 monthly maintenance fee, and you’ll get $15,000 in cash deposits and 250 transactions per month—all while earning interest on your money.
3. The Best Small Business Bank in Los Angeles for a Nationwide Network: Chase
Regional and local banks are fantastic for customer service, but if you need access to a nationwide network of branches and ATMs, Chase business checking is the best option for you. Chase has more than 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs across the country, which makes it easy for you to manage your small business finances from anywhere. Plus, there are a range of small business checking options with Chase, so at least one is guaranteed to fit your needs.
Chase has three small business checking account options, each providing a different level of service depending on the needs of your company: Chase Business Complete Checking, Chase Performance Business Checking, and Chase Platinum Business Checking.
Chase Business Complete Checking is an entry-sized account for new businesses and those that don’t need a ton of features from their bank. The account comes with $5,000 in free cash deposits every month. Chase Business Complete Checking has a low monthly fee that can be waived multiple ways.
Chase Performance Business Checking takes Complete Business Checking a step further, offering account holders with 250 free transactions and $20,000 in cash deposits every month. You’ll also get two outgoing domestic wires for free every month with Chase Performance Business Checking, and can have the $30 monthly fee waived with a monthly deposit balance of $35,000.
Chase Platinum Business Checking is best suited for larger businesses that need to conduct a high volume of transactions and deposits. With Chase Platinum Business Checking you’ll get 500 free transactions every month, unlimited electronic transfers, and free incoming wires. You’ll also be able to deposit $25,000 in cash for free every month, and can have the $95 monthly account fee waived with a $100,000 average daily balance.
4. The Best Small Business Bank in Los Angeles for a Customized Account: Opus Bank
Opus Bank may not have the household name recognition or nationwide network of Chase, but it does offer its business clients with a slew of specialized banking solutions based on their industry. The bank has seven branches throughout Los Angeles, Glendale, and Pasadena, as well as other branches in California, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington.
What helps set Opus Bank apart are its specific packages for certain kinds of businesses. Opus has specialized accounts for healthcare, media, legal, and—of course—small business clients. Each of these accounts provide the checking account perks and features you’d come to expect from most midsize banks, but they also offer integrated business loan options that create a lot more opportunity to apply for small business financing, if and when you need it.
Opus Bank might be a great solution for you if you’re looking for a custom banking solution to help your business grow. Whether you’re just starting out, have been in business for a while, or anticipate needing the hands-on attention that comes with financing your business next great move, you’ll have an option with Opus that can help take you there.
5. The Best Small Business Bank in Los Angeles for Digital Banking: BlueVine Business Banking
Great For: NOTE: BlueVine has paused accepting new applications as of April 2021
Min to Open
No Fee Balance
Some of the best small business banks in Los Angeles aren’t necessarily limited to city lines. In fact, online small business banking offers many of the same (if not more) features than you’d find with conventional brick-and-mortar banking partners.
Take BlueVine, for example. Although BlueVine itself isn’t technically a bank, their banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC, and their business checking account is available entirely online.
Therefore, this means that the checking account approval process and all of your daily banking happens directly over the web. No need to visit a local bank branch to get your account set up, and no long lines at a branch to handle your business finances. This can be particularly handy if you’d rather not hop in a car and tackle LA traffic.
BlueVine offers many of the same perks that you’d only be able to get with a high-tier business checking account at other banks. For example, you’ll enjoy unlimited transactions every month, conduct wire transfers for free, and can take advantage of BlueVine’s network of affiliated ATMs to get cash on the go.
Plus, there are no monthly fees, no minimum opening deposit, and no minimum balance requirements. And—unlike other online-based checking accounts, BlueVine gives you the ability to deposit cash through their partnership with Green Dot, which has over 90,000 locations across the U.S.
Finally, if you have an account balance over $1,000, BlueVine also allows you to earn 1% interest on your account, which is just another added perk.
The Final Word on the Best Banks in Los Angeles
Whether you’re selling beach cruisers in Venice or starting a recording studio in Echo Park, there are plenty of things to consider when sifting through the best small business banks in Los Angeles. The biggest criteria to weigh when making your decision all come down to where your current business needs are, and what they’ll look like in the future.
Whichever bank you choose should provide you with plenty of support for what your business requires right now, as well as the flexibility to move toward a more feature-rich account to keep up with the pace of your business as it expands. By picking the right banking partner upfront, you can make it easier to grow into larger, more feature-rich account options when you need them.
Brian O’Connor is a contributing writer for Fundera.
Brian writes about finance, business strategy, and digital marketing. He is the former director of digital strategy at Morgan Stanley, and has worked at Foreign Affairs magazine, Student Loan Hero, and as a partner of a small consulting firm, too. Combined, these experiences allow him to offer a unique perspective on the challenges small business owners face.