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small business bank account

What to Look for in a Small Business Bank Account

We’ve talk to you before about the importance of opening a small business bank account, and the benefits are myriad.

It helps to keep your personal and business finances separate. That not only cuts down on accounting headaches, but it also offers vital legal protections depending on your small business structure. And if nothing else, it looks a lot more professional to pay vendors from your business account rather than with a personal check.

But it’s not enough to just play “local bank roulette” and take whatever the nearest branch offers you. Your small business bank account is supposed to make your financial operations more seamless. It can’t do that unless it offers certain tools. And you probably don’t want it to siphon your funds dry with random fees.

So before you open up a new small business bank account, use this checklist to evaluate prospective providers.

Your Small Business Bank Account Checklist

  • Basic Services: Most of the services on this list are going to be standard. But because they’re such necessary basics, you don’t want to risk overlooking them only to find out that they’re paid extras after you’ve signed up.
    • Online banking
    • Checking account
    • Savings account
    • Debit card
    • Credit card
    • Deposit-only card
  • Staff Services: While increasingly more bank services can be done via your phone or computer, don’t discount the importance of a skilled business-services staff. Especially if you’re not as skilled at business finances as you are with designing the next great app, you might want a hands-on banking staff that can show you how to properly use your small business bank account and demonstrate how it can grow as your needs evolve.
  • Fees: “The lower, the better” isn’t exactly the right way to approach this. After all, Bank A might offer few services at a low fee, while Bank B might offer numerous services for a marginally higher fee. Value matters. But a few fees to inquire about, depending on your business, include monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, bounced-check fees and currency-exchange fees. Also find out what requirements are necessary to avoid triggering such fees.
  • Location: Physical proximity will matter more to some businesses than others. Specifically, if you’re a cash-based business that needs to make frequent deposits or make change throughout the day, you’ll want a bank with a nearby branch to cut down on time and gas spent on runs. Also consider whether you’ll everneed to use a physical branch. Internet-only banks sometimes offer excellent terms. However, personal service might be lacking compared to a traditional bank.
  • Perks: These aren’t “needs” by any means, but if all else is equal, go with the bank that “wants it more.” Perks might include anything from sign-on gift/cash cards to lower rates on certain services or discounts on business-travel musts such as hotels.

Banking is a significant (albeit tedious) aspect of keeping your small business humming. And because switching banks can be a pain, it’s best to get it right the first time. McManamon & Co. is an accounting and business-services firm that can help you with most aspects of your finances, from accounting and tax services to consulting about retail banking, corporate banking, SBA loans and other financial matters.

Find a small business banking account with the tools you need to thrive. Give us a call at440.892.9088 or contact us online today.

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