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Opening a business checking account is an essential part of getting your small business up and running. A business checking account can help you separate your personal and business finances, providing you with protection and making tax season a lot less stressful. A dedicated business bank account can also give your company a sense of legitimacy, which could work in your favor if you ever want to apply for financing in your company’s name.

Yet, even if you recognize the need to open a dedicated bank account for your business, you still have another important task ahead of you: choosing the right business checking account to fit your company’s needs.

Just as you should compare bank account options and features when shopping for a personal checking account, a bit of research may also help you find the best small business checking account for your situation.

To help you get started, here are six things you should evaluate when choosing a business checking account.

1. Online Banks vs. Traditional Banks

One of the first details to consider when shopping for a business checking account is whether you want to work with a traditional bank or an online bank. If you value the ability to visit a physical bank branch, receive personalized service, and make frequent cash deposits, a traditional bank might suit your company’s needs better. However, if you’re seeking the ability to earn higher interest rates on your deposits and avoid or pay lower bank fees, an online bank might be more your speed.

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2. Interest Rates

Once you decide the type of bank that makes the most sense for your company, you may be ready to start comparing small business checking accounts. One of the first details you’ll want to consider when you begin side-by-side account comparisons is the annual percentage yields (APYs) that different banks offer their small business customers.

When you find a bank that offers your company a higher APY, it means the cash in your small business checking account can grow at a faster rate. And, of course, if you decide to open a small business savings account to complement your company’s new checking account, you should pay close attention to the interest rates different banks offer on those types of deposit accounts as well.

3. Fees

Not only should you pay attention to the interest rates banks pay out when you’re shopping for a new small business checking account, it’s also wise to look at the fees that banks charge. Bank fees can cost your business money on a monthly basis and potentially for other services, such as the following:

  • Minimum Balance Fees
  • Direct Deposit Fees
  • ATM Fees
  • Overdraft Fees
  • Wire Transfer Fees
  • Check Fees
  • Debit Card Fees
  • Cash Deposit Fees
  • Transaction Limit Fees

The most attractive small business bank accounts are those that limit the fees charged to customers. Online banks tend to outperform their brick-and-mortar competitors in this area. However, many traditional banks give customers the opportunity to qualify for fee waivers.

It’s also worth noting that paying a few small monthly fees may be worthwhile to your business if you value the ability to have access to in-person banking services. Yet, even in this scenario, you can still shop around for traditional banks that charge fewer fees than others.

4. Account Features

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The account features that different banks offer can also make a meaningful difference when it comes to finding the right solution for your company’s banking needs. For example, you might place a high value on the ability to deposit mobile checks with little restriction. But if a bank only allows you to deposit up to $2,500 in mobile checks per day, that could be an issue.

Below are some common bank account features that have the potential to make operating your business a little easier.

  • Debit Card Access
  • Check Writing
  • Wire Transfer Services
  • Bill Pay Capability
  • Online and Mobile Banking
  • Business Financing Services (e.g., Business Loans, Business Line of Credit, Business Credit Cards, etc.)
  • Merchant Account Services
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5. Bank Account Bonuses and Promotions

Some financial institutions offer business bank account bonuses to new eligible customers. Such promotions have the potential to put hundreds of extra dollars into your company’s account, sometimes more.

To earn a bank account bonus, you typically must open a new small business checking account and complete a list of qualifying activities. For example, you might need to open a merchant account with the bank and accept a certain amount of transactions from customers. Or your business might need to complete a certain number of debit card transactions on its new business checking account. There’s generally a time limit to complete the qualifying activities as well.

If you’re interested in earning a business bank account bonus, be sure to read the fine print before you open your new account. Sometimes, there’s a special link or code you need to use to qualify for the promotion. And it’s always important to understand the rules of the promotion to make sure you don’t miss out on a bonus opportunity due to confusion.

6. Software Integration

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Once you set up small business banking, you may want to connect your new checking account to other small business financial software tools. A payroll program, for example, could help you pay yourself and any employees your company hires. Accounting software, like QuickBooks® or FreshBooks, may make it easier to track your business spending and expenses. These products might also make the process of invoicing customers and getting paid a lot more seamless.

Some banks may be able to integrate with your favorite business financial software in a seamless fashion. Other banks, however, might not have the capability to connect that you need. As a busy small business owner, the ability to save time on monthly financial tasks could be a huge benefit that you shouldn’t overlook.

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Next Steps

Once you’re confident you’ve found the right small business checking account to serve your company’s needs, you’re ready to apply for your new account. You’ll want to gather your basic business and personal documents (e.g., EIN number, driver’s license, articles of incorporation or organization, etc.) and complete your application online or in person, depending on the bank.

The good news is that even if you’re a first-time entrepreneur, opening a business bank account should be a relatively simple process. But if you’d like some extra tips, check out the Slickdeals guide on how to open a business bank account for the first time.


Michelle Lambright Black

Michelle Black is founder of and Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.