The Best Small Business Banks in Pennsylvania

Written on September 22, 2021
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Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been operating for years, your small business needs at least one business bank account. This is even true if you’re a sole proprietor or an independent contractor. Having a small business bank account that’s separate from your personal finances makes it easier to forecast cash flow and file business taxes.

The Best Small Business Banks in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a great place to open and operate a business. Plus, the best small business banks in Pennsylvania are easy to come by whether you’re in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. There’s an option for every kind of business as well as each of your business needs.

In a state as big as Pennsylvania, it’s no surprise to hear that you’ve got a wide range of small business bank accounts from which to choose. Some offer free, no-frills basic necessities; others are designed to help larger businesses manage everyday cash and treasury needs. Here are some of the top options.

1. The Best Growth-Oriented Bank: First National Bank

Entrepreneurs who are just getting started should consider their short- and long-term small business banking needs. Most early stage companies have straightforward banking needs: a simple, no-frills checking account is usually enough to get started. Then, as your business expands, you can grow into a more sophisticated and expansive account down the road.

First National Bank is a solid option for those who are just starting out and need a robust, free checking account. Their free small business checking account comes with 150 free monthly transactions, no opening minimum, and no monthly service charge. First National Bank also has larger, more feature-packed checking accounts available if your needs change over time.

2. The Best for ATM Access: PNC Bank

PNC Bank has nearly all of the Keystone State covered, be it through ATMs or branches in addition to its digital banking platform. With 309 branches across Pennsylvania, you’re never far away from accessing your account or withdrawing cash.

There are several small business account options at PNC Bank, which means you can start small and work your way up the ladder as need be—all while having fast and accessible access to your money. Each requires a $100 minimum balance to open. Their basic business checking account comes with a $10 monthly fee (after the first three months) that can be waived with a $500 balance, $500 worth of charges to a linked PNC business credit card, or a PNC Bank merchant services account through which you generate $500 in qualifying monthly processing deposits.

Their more advanced accounts, Business Checking Plus and their Treasury Enterprise Plan, come with higher monthly maintenance fees as well as other features.

3. The Best for Online Banking: Regions Bank

Regions Bank is another major player in Pennsylvania as far as small business banks go. Their physical presence in the state is big, but their online banking platform is intuitive and feature-rich enough for you to limit the number of times you need to go to a nearby branch.

Regions’ online business banking platform makes it easy to check your balance, deposit checks, authorize multiple logins for employees, and transfer funds (via wire or ACH). Their online banking system can also help you examine checks for fraud, which can save you from potential financial headaches.

Regions Bank also pairs with Quickbooks and Paycor, which can be a great benefit if you use either of these two platforms to help manage payroll or invoices, among other uses.

4. The Best Credit Union Option: PSECU

Credit unions are a fantastic (if underutilized) option for small business banking. You may not get as many bells and whistles with a credit union as you would with a regional or national bank, but you’ll benefit in other ways. Unlike a bank, where you are an account holder, you’re a member of a credit union when you open an account. This means you are entitled to certain benefits that are unique to each credit union. You’re also likely to get superb customer service too.

PSECU (Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union) is one of Pennsylvania’s biggest credit unions, with branches across the state. Their business checking, savings, CD, and payment processing options are cost-effective and cover the basics of what most businesses will need in their financial partner.

5. The Best for Small Business Lending: JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is perhaps the biggest bank to make it in our list of the best small business banks In Pennsylvania, but for good reason. They’re an excellent partner for small businesses that are looking to borrow money to finance growth.

Chase offers a variety of term loans, business lines of credit, and business credit cards. They’re also a solid partner for SBA loans. The Small Business Administration paired with JPMorgan Chase to finance 472 SBA loans in 2019. This came out to a total loan volume of $91,328,900 in SBA 7(a) loans.

If you opt to borrow with JPMorgan Chase, it may help to make sure your business credit is strong and that you know what kind of small business loan you need. Be sure to do your homework beforehand.

What to Look for When Choosing a Bank for Your Small Business

When you get down to it, the best small business bank in Pennsylvania is the one that gives you the right capabilities at the right price. If you’re just starting out, consider banks that offer you a free business checking account. You’re not likely going to need the advanced features and free transactions an expensive account provides.

On the other hand, if you’re a bit more advanced as a business or may need to pursue a small business loan in the near future, you may want to think about which banks can meet your needs. Those who are already established and expanding may be more concerned with obtaining money through an SBA loan or a small business line of credit. In that situation, a larger bank may be preferable.

The Bottom Line

Prior to selecting a small business banking partner in Pennsylvania—or anywhere across the country, really—it’s always a good idea to consider fees, restrictions, and access. Having to deal with transaction limits each month can set you back if you need greater flexibility to grow. That’s true for ATM access as well, should you run a cash-based operation.

There’s no bank that’s perfect for every business. Be sure you investigate your options thoroughly before you commit; that way you can manage your cash with confidence. The less you need to worry about your banking provider, the more you can think about growing your business.