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small business bank account

How to Shop for a Small Business Bank Account

One of the first things any entrepreneur should do as they’re getting their company off the ground is sign up for a small business bank account.

Could a small business owner get by with running all of their company’s financial transactions through their personal accounts? Sure, in some cases, it would technically be possible. But in other cases, you simply can’t, and even if you’re able to, it pays in many ways to ensure your small business has its own bank account. Among them:

  • By keeping your personal and business finances separate, you gain limited liability protection.
  • Separating your finances also causes fewer headaches come tax time.
  • It looks more professional. As a business owner, would you feel more comfortable with checks made out from “Some Guy,” or “Fellow Business Inc.”?

The benefits are so myriad that you’d immediately be upgrading by simply closing your eyes and picking a small business bank account provider at random. However, if you take the time to shop around, you possibly can reap additional rewards, have an easier time doing your finances, and set yourself up with a partner for when you have more advanced banking needs in the future.

Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping around for a small business bank account:

Your Small Business Bank Account Checklist

Basic Services

One of the first things you’ll want to check off is which basic services each potential bank provides. After all, you don’t want to assume they’re all part of the package, then come to find later that they’re only available for a fee:

  • Online banking
  • Checking account
  • Savings account
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Deposit only card

Minimum balances/initial deposit

Especially early on, your small business could live on the financial edge. So when evaluating any banking partner, check to see the minimum initial deposit necessary to open each account type. Also determine whether there’s a minimum required balance and whether that balance must be maintained on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.


Once your money is parked in a bank, of course, they’ll naturally want a cut. So you need to know how big a cut they’ll take, and what you’re paying the bank for. The types of fees to inquire about include (but aren’t limited to) monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, bounced-check fees and currency-exchange fees. Cash handling fees are a particularly insidious one — a bank might charge you 20 to 30 cents for a certain amount of dollars deposited over the institution’s handling limit.


While we’re on the subject, small business bank accounts aren’t always limitless. Your bank set minimums on how much you’re allowed to withdraw or deposit at any given time. Or it might even say you’re only allowed so many withdrawals or transfers within in a given month. So, depending on how frequently you think you’ll actually be using your business bank account, make sure to ask about any service limits.

Staff Services

Are you a go-getting technology wizard that can do anything as long as it has an app? Then you might not care whether your bank has a capable services staff that can help you make the most out of your small business banking account. But if you know you’re the kind of person who can use a little guidance around any new system, you’ll probably want to avoid low-service internet banks and go with an institution that is staffed to the teeth.


Along the same lines, physical proximity might matter more to you if you require a more hands-on banking experience. This is particularly typical among cash-based businesses that need to make frequent deposits or make change throughout the day. If proximity is important, make sure your bank has at least one nearby branch. And if you’re frequently on the go, a large number of regional or even nationwide branches is a must.

Mobile/App Features

Conversely, if you know you don’t have the time to go down to the branch every time you need something, and you prefer to be able to do everything from your smartphone or tablet, make sure your bank has the technology for that. Yes, at this point, most large and midsize banks (and even some smaller institutions) offer an array of mobile capabilities, but double-check to be safe — especially if you’re considering a more diminutive local bank.


If all else is equal — and only if all else is equal — sign up with the bank that’s throwing the kitchen sink at the problem. Some banks will dole out sign-up cash cards, while others will provide lower rates for new customers. And when you’re a young small business, every little bit helps.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Great Bank

Banking is an admittedly tedious part of owning a small business — but it’s also a critical one that comes up quite often. Our advice? Take your banking choice seriously. And if you’re not sure whether you’re picking the right partner, you can come to us.

McManamon & Co. is an accounting, tax, fraud, forensic and consulting firm that offers custom services to companies across a broad spectrum of industries. And our consulting arm can help you determine the best business bank account for you — and even help you to develop corporate banking relationships when the time comes.

Learn more about what we can do for your small or midsize business. Call us at 440.892.8900 or contact us online today.

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