Affiliate Disclosure

Small Business Banking: Top Banks in 2021

Ivan Stevanovic Image
ByIvan Stevanovic
September 22,2021

Searching for a bank for your growing startup or small business? Don’t worry - we’ve performed thorough research, so you don’t have to, and compiled a list of the top-performing banks for small businesses in 2021.

Show More...

Best for Small-Business Checking Accounts
1. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo Logo
Bottom line

One of the oldest banks on our list, Wells Fargo, offers a wealth of options for personal, small-business, and commercial loans. It’s also a stand-out when it comes to checking accounts and credit cards, making it one of the top small-business lenders on our list. Our table focuses on Wells Fargo’s Business Choice checking account, but the bank also offers great SBA loan options and lines of credit. Read Review

  • ⦿Wealth of loan options to suit businesses of any size
  • ⦿Easy application process
  • ⦿Excellent SBA loans
APPLY NOW
On Wells Fargo Website
Loan types:
Lines of credit, SBA loans, letters of credit, commercial real estate financing, healthcare practice financing Monthly checking account fee: $10-$75 ($500 - $10,000 no-fee balance)
Opening deposit:
$25
Monthly transaction limit:
Up to 250
Branches/ATMs:
Over 7,200/13,000
Best Mobile Banking
2. NorthOne
NorthOne Logo
Bottom line

NorthOne is a digital-only banking services provider. NorthOne’s business checking account is the heart of its offer and comes with a low monthly fee, unlimited monthly transactions (deposits, transfers, and payments), in-app live support, invoice-making software, Mastercard debit cards, and seamless integrations with some of the most popular payment and accounting platforms. Read Review

  • ⦿Access to cash deposits
  • ⦿Mastercard debit cards
  • ⦿Variety of integration options
SEE SPECIAL OFFER
On NorthOne Website
Loan types:
None
Term loan amounts:
N/A
Monthly checking account fee:
$10
Opening deposit:
$50
Monthly transaction limit:
Unlimited
Branches/ATMs:
Over 60,000 ATMs
Best for Small-Business Credit Cards
3. Chase
Chase Logo
Bottom line

With $2.73 trillion in total assets, Chase is the largest bank in the United States and the sixth-largest bank in the world. Its biggest argument for being the best bank for a business account is its excellent credit cards. Nonetheless, Chase also boasts a wealth of loan options and excellent checking account plans. Our table has information about the bank’s most popular checking account: Chase Total Business Checking. Read Review

  • ⦿Fantastic credit card options
  • ⦿No opening deposit on checking account
  • ⦿Fantastic ATM coverage
APPLY NOW
On Chase Website
Loan types:
Term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, commercial real estate loans, equipment financing options
Term loan amounts:
$5,000 to $12,500,000
Monthly checking account fee:
$15 ($0 with $2,000 daily balance, $2,000 in purchases with Chase Ink® Business Card, $2,000 in deposits from Quick Accept® or other eligible merchant services, or with a Chase Private Client Checking® Account)
Opening deposit:
$0
Monthly transaction limit:
No fee-free transactions
Branches/ATMs:
4,700 branches/16,000 ATMs
Best for Startups and High-Transaction-Volume Businesses
4. Capital One
Capital One Logo
Bottom line

Despite being one of the younger banks on our list, Capital One is an excellent small-business bank. It offers a variety of business loans, lines of credit, checking accounts, and credit cards, with preferential loan terms for people who already have business accounts at Capital One. The main attraction of a Capital One checking account is the unlimited monthly transactions. The table below has data about both of the bank’s checking account offers: Spark Business Basic Checking and Spark Business Unlimited Checking. Read Review

  • ⦿Unlimited monthly transactions
  • ⦿No upper limit on business loans and lines of credit
  • ⦿Better loan terms for existing account owners
APPLY NOW
On Capital One Website
Loan types:
Term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, equipment, and business auto loans
Term loan amounts:
$10,000+ with no upper limit
Monthly checking account fee:
$15/$35 ($2,000/$25,000 no-fee balance)
Opening deposit:
$250
Monthly transaction limit:
Unlimited
Branches/ATMs:
755/70,000
Best for Waiving Maintenance Fees
5. Bank of America
Bank of America Logo
Bottom line

One of the oldest and largest banks in the US, the Bank of America is second only to JPMorgan Chase. It provides solid loan and checking account options across the board. While its maintenance fees are a bit higher than most of its competitors, Bank of America also provides the greatest number of ways to waive these fees. Our table has information regarding the bank’s basic but extremely popular Business Fundamentals checking account. Read Review

  • ⦿Plenty of options for waiving maintenance fees
  • ⦿Excellent mobile app
  • ⦿Above-average transaction limits
APPLY NOW
On Bank of America Website
Loan types:
Term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, auto loans, commercial real estate loans
Term loan amounts:
$25,000+ ($10,000 to $100,000 for unsecured loans)
Monthly checking account fee:
$16 - $29.95 (many ways to waive, see our review)
Opening deposit:
$100
Monthly transaction limit:
200 (unlimited electronic transactions) Branches/ATMs: 4,300 branches/17,000 ATMs
Best for Business Real Estate Loans
6. TD Bank
TD Bank Logo
Bottom line

Although it operates only along the East Coast of the US, TD Bank is in the top 10 largest US banks both in terms of deposits and total assets. It’s possibly the best choice for customers looking for SBA and commercial real estate loans. The checking account data below concerns its most popular checking accounts: Business Simple Checking and Business Convenience Checking Plus. Read Review

  • ⦿Fantastic SBA and real estate loans
  • ⦿Very high transaction limits
  • ⦿Very low maintenance-fee-waiving balance
APPLY NOW
On TD Bank Website
Loan types:
Term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, commercial real estate loans, USDA
Term loan amounts:
$10,000–$1,000,000 (up to $350,000 for SBA loans)
Monthly checking account fee:
$10/$25 ($1,500 no-fee balance) Opening deposit: $25/$100
Monthly transaction limit:
200/500
Branches/ATMs:
2,300 branches/4,000 ATMs
Best Digital Bank
7. Axos Bank
Axos Bank Logo
Bottom line

Despite being an online-only bank, Axos offers a wealth of loan options. It also provides fantastic checking account options, including possibly the ​​best small-business checking account with no fees. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer credit cards, unlike most of the other banks on our list. Our table below has information about its most popular checking account: Basic Business Checking. Read Review

  • ⦿No monthly checking account fees
  • ⦿Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements
  • ⦿50 free checks
APPLY NOW
On Axos Bank Website
Loan types:
Term loans, lines of credit, equipment financing, commercial real estate loans, and invoice factoring
Term loan amounts:
$250,000 to $5,000,000
Monthly checking account fee:
None/$10 (waived with $5,000 balance)
Opening deposit:
$1,000/100
Transaction limit:
200/50
Branches/ATMs:
Free access to 1,900 ATMs

Our Methodology

Lending Options and Costs

This category looks at what sorts of loans focused on small businesses you can open within a bank, how much money you can get, and under what conditions.

Whether you’re just starting out with your company or got it into some financial trouble, choosing where to take out a small business loan wisely can help keep your business on track. Different types of loans offer wildly different conditions and fees. You might find that the requirements for the best loans, such as Small Business Administration loans, can be stringent and require a long time for approval. Bad credit can also be detrimental to your chances of scoring a good business loan.

We focused on the loan options available to small-business owners, so that you can judge whether the loan amounts and repayment terms suit your particular business. We’ve listed all the available options, but put emphasis specifically on the best loan terms for most small enterprises. For a more in-depth look at the other options, interest rates, APR, and credit score requirements, you can consult our article explicitly focused on loans.

Checking Account Options and Costs

This category looks at the checking accounts focused on small businesses you can open in each bank. We also highlight the terms, conditions, and fees related to opening and maintaining such an account.

There are many factors to consider when opening a small-business bank account. The first and most important one is the monthly maintenance fees your account will incur. Depending on the bank, these can range between $0 and $25 for small-business accounts, with fees rising sharply for the advanced accounts larger companies and enterprises would use.

Banks usually limit your monthly transactions and earn money on any transactions you make over that limit. In this section, we first look at monthly fees and transaction limits and analyze how those affect your overall monthly costs.

The top banks also offer ways to waive those monthly fees altogether. You can usually do this by keeping a specific amount of money in your account on a daily or monthly basis. Banks typically check the average of your daily closing balances each month. This way, you can estimate how this lines up with your average daily and monthly cash flow so you can pick the best option for your business.

Finally, when picking a bank as a small business owner, you should know how much money you need to deposit on opening. Remember that lower minimum deposits often translate to lower maximum transaction limits and higher charges. Striking the right balance between all these factors is vital for picking where to open your small business account.

Credit Cards

This category looks at the credit card options offered by each bank. One of the main ways banks attract new customers is by offering attractive credit card packages, with perks and benefits based on subscription tiers. When choosing a bank you should consider how these benefits stack up against the costs.

The areas we’ve examined in this section include cashback offers and bonuses, as well as fees and APR. This should help you determine which credit card is best suited to your business needs.

Branch and ATM Availability

The type of business you operate plays a key part in what services you need from your bank. These determine whether you require brick-and-mortar offices or e-banking will get the job done. If most of your transactions are conducted digitally, online small-business banking can be an efficient and hassle-free solution. On the other hand, if you’re running a brick-and-mortar retail store yourself, chances are that you will want a physical branch, as online banks do not support cash deposits.

The same goes for ATMs - depending on the business you run, the number of cash-out points your bank has, and the fees it charges if you use ATMs from other banks can be extremely important. 

Online and Mobile Banking

This category looks at how good a bank’s website and mobile apps are.

Mobile phones and the internet have changed the way we think about work. Efficiency, flexibility, and portability are the paradigms for the new century. Being able to access your checking accounts, loan information, and other banking details on the go makes handling your finances a lot simpler.

We’ve looked at the quality of each bank’s online platform and mobile banking apps, evaluated how intuitive the software is to use, and checked the supported operating systems. Knowing how easy and intuitive it is to use your bank’s features should help you make the right choice.

Featured Snippet Image

Best Bank for Small Business: Our Top 5 Picks

  1. Wells Fargo
  2. NorthOne
  3. Chase
  4. Capital One
  5. Bank of America

Small Business Banking Options Reviewed

Wells Fargo Review
Wells Fargo Review Logo VISIT WEBSITE
Loan Options

GOOD

Loan Repayment Period

MEDIUM

Checking Account Options

VERY GOOD

Monthly Checking Account Transactions

VERY HIGH

Number of Branches and ATMs

VERY HIGH

  • ⦿ 1.5% cashback on all business credit cards
  • ⦿ Very competitive loan rates
  • ⦿ SBA loans up to $6,500,000

Overview

Wells Fargo is a multinational financial services company headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices across the United States. Established in 1852, it’s one of the oldest banks on our list. It’s also in the top five banks in the world in terms of market capitalization and total assets.

Loans

Wells Fargo offers an incredible number of loan options split between personal and commercial financing options. As this article focuses on the best small-business banks, we’ll be covering Wells Fargo’s small-business lines of credit.

As you can no longer get small-business loans at Wells Fargo specifically, you can instead make use of its business lines of credit and SBA loans. The former is available in two variants: Business and Prime. The first one is an unsecured loan with loan amounts between $5,000 and $100,000, with the rate being as low as Prime’s + 1.75%.

The Prime option is secured with business assets and covers lending from $100,00 to $500,000. The rates for Wells Fargo’s small-business lines of credit are calculated based on origination fees and rates from competing lenders.

Wells Fargo also offers outstanding Small Business Administration loans, with repayment terms of up to seven years for working capital and loan amounts of up to $5,000,000/$6,500,000 - depending on the type of SBA loan. It is also rated second on the list of SBA 7(a) lenders in the United States in terms of the number of approved loans and dollar volume.

Checking Accounts

When looking for a checking account, you need to consider your business size, capacities, and needs. Wells Fargo offers three account options to cater to various combinations of those three factors: Initiate Business Checking, Navigate Business Checking, and Optimize Business Checking.

The most popular option - Initiate Business Checking - gives you 100 free transactions per month, with a $10 monthly service fee that can be waived in several ways. You can make cash deposits of up to $5,000 per month without paying any fees, which is more generous than most competitors on our list. It also gives you access to mobile and online banking.

Credit Cards

The best business banks offer a variety of credit cards, and Wells Fargo is no different. All of its cards offer 1.5% cash back on all purchases. They also feature a sign-up cashback bonus between $300 and $500, depending on the card you apply for.

The Wells Fargo Business Platinum card has a 0% APR over the first nine months. After that, APR totals range from 13.49% to 23.49%.

Branch and ATM Availability

This is one of the largest banks in the United States. As such, Wells Fargo small business customers can visit over 7,200 brick-and-mortar offices and 13,000 ATMs across the country. The number of branches used to be even larger, but over 2,000 have closed in the past 20 years as more and more people have begun embracing online banking options.

Online and Mobile Banking

Of course, Wells Fargo bank has online banking. Its website is well-organized, with a clean layout and plenty of content. The mobile app is very highly rated on both Apple and Google’s stores. Its features entail depositing checks, getting ATM access codes, tap-and-pay digital purchases, as well as facial and fingerprint recognition.

Summary

Wells Fargo is one of the most comprehensive banking options across the board, whether you’re looking for loans, checking accounts, or credit cards. It’s perfect for small-business owners looking for competitive lines of credit or SBA loans with flexible options and low rates. However, it does enforce tighter repayment restrictions than some of its competition.

+ Show more
NorthOne Review
NorthOne Review Logo VISIT WEBSITE
Loan Options

NONE

Loan Repayment Period

N/A

Checking Account Options

EXCELLENT

Monthly Checking Account Transactions

VERY HIGH

Number of Branches and ATMs

VERY HIGH

  • ⦿ No limit on monthly transaction volume
  • ⦿ 61,000-strong ATM network
  • ⦿ Low monthly fee of $10

Overview

NorthOne is a digital-only financial services provider. Developed with small businesses, startups, and freelancers in mind, NorthOne offers an easy-to-use mobile-friendly business checking account solution that comes with unlimited fee-free transactions and access to more than 61,000 ATMs. As the best digital banking option for small business owners, this bank account provider supports integrations with some of the most popular payment and accounting software solutions.

Loans

Unlike most other banks on our list - e.g., Chase and Wells Fargo - offering a wide variety of business-funding solutions, NorthOne doesn’t focus on providing loan products to its users. Still, thanks to its partnership with Cross River Bank (FDIC member), this financial services provider gave its clients an opportunity to access relief funds through the Paycheck Protection Program. However, now that that government program has finished, NorthOne is back to being a banking-only service.

Checking Accounts

As the best internet bank for small-business owners, NorthOne offers an excellent digital-first alternative to traditional business checking account solutions. Unlike some of its competitors, this provider has a single online-based business checking option that can be opened and entirely managed via your Android or iOS phone.

For a monthly fee of $10, users get unlimited fee-free transactions, including check deposits and debit card purchases, fee-free access to more than 61,000 in-network ATMs, and a selection of useful money-management tools, such as Envelopes (dedicated sub-accounts with custom rules), as well as bill-paying and invoicing features. NorthOne is completely transparent about its checking account fees. You’ll need to deposit at least $50 to open an account and, in addition to the $10 monthly fee, there’s also a $15 charge for incoming and outgoing domestic wire transfers.

While NorthOne may not be an actual bank, its accounts are still FDIC-insured thanks to the provider’s partnership with FDIC member, Bancorp Inc.

Credit Cards

Credit cards aren’t listed among this financial services provider’s products. However, NorthOne offers Mastercard debit cards as part of its solution. You can use your debit card to make cash withdrawals at any MoneyPass ATM nationwide, shop online or in-store anywhere that Mastercard is accepted, and activate, freeze, or order additional cards directly from your phone.

Branch and ATM Availability

NorthOne is a digital-only bank, which means that it doesn’t have brick-and-mortar locations that clients can visit. However, you can complete all your banking tasks using your phone and, should you experience any issues, in-app live support will be there to assist you.

In addition to providing online-only banking for small-business owners, NorthOne lets you make fee-free withdrawals at more than 61,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide. Note that you can also use out-of-network ATMs, but NorthOne won’t reimburse the fees such transactions may incur.

Online and Mobile Banking

Not only does this small-business checking account provider offer a fully featured mobile app, but it also recognizes that being able to access your account from a computer is equally important. NorthOne offers proprietary invoice-making software, lets you export your financial info into Excel, and integrates with some of the most popular payment and accounting tools, such as Expensify, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero, Wave, PayPal, Shopify, Amazon, and Stripe.

Summary

NorthOne top choice for small business and startup loans, simply because business funding isn’t the type of service this provider focuses on. However, if you are on the hunt for easy-to-use and affordable business checking solutions, this may be it.

Some of the most apparent advantages of NorthOne’s business banking include unlimited fee-free transactions, sub-accounts, bill payment, expense management, valuable integrations, and in-app live support. On the downside, the $10 monthly fee cannot be waived, and there are no reimbursements for fees charged by out-of-network ATMs.

+ Show more
Chase Review
Chase Review Logo VISIT WEBSITE
Loan Options

EXCELLENT

Loan Repayment Period

LONG

Checking Account Options

VERY GOOD

Monthly Checking Account Transactions

AVERAGE

Number of Branches and ATMs

VERY HIGH

  • ⦿ Loans up to $12.5 million
  • ⦿ Plethora of ways to waive the monthly fee
  • ⦿ Excellent cashback rewards

Overview

Chase is a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., headquartered in Manhattan, NYC. Since being founded in 1877, it has been through several mergers, the latest in 2000 with J.P. Morgan. Along with Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America, it’s one of the “Big Four” banks in the United States, accounting for 45% of all US customer deposits across the country.

Loans

Chase is a very good bank for small-business owners, offering a variety of loan options. There are many options for small-business loans, including term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, commercial real estate loans, and equipment financing options.

Chase bank loans range from $10,000 to $5,000,000, with varying interest rates. Terms range from 12 to 84 months. If you want an SBA loan, there are three options: A classic SBA 7(a) loan, SBA Express term loan or line of credit, or SBA 504 loan. You can borrow up to $12.5 million, depending on loan type and project. Chase is a preferred SBA lender, meaning you can get access to SBA loans sooner than usual.

Checking Accounts

With Chase business banking, you have access to three business checking accounts: Business Complete Banking, Performance Business Checking, and Platinum Business Checking. Chase small business checking accounts are all aimed at different stages of your business’s development. We’ll be looking at the most popular and starting option, the Chase Business Complete Banking.

Unlike Wells Fargo’s offer, this account is free to open and charges a $15 monthly maintenance fee. The fee can be waived if your daily balance is over $2,000, you spend as much using a Chase Business Ink card, deposit the same amount using QuickAccept or other Chase Merchant Services, or link a Chase Private Client Checking account.

Credit Cards

When it comes to credit cards at Chase the two most popular offerings are the Ink Business Unlimited® and Ink Business Cash® credit cards.

Both come with no annual fee, a 12-month introductory period of 0% APR (15.49% to 21.49% after that), and a $750 cashback bonus if you spend $7,500 in your first three months. Ink Business Unlimited will also earn you a standard 1.5% cash back on all purchases, while Ink Business Cash gives you as much as 5% on the first $25,000 spent on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. Finally, for $95 per year, you can opt for an Ink Business Preferred® card. This gets you further benefits, like 100,000 bonus points if you spend $15,000 within three months of account opening, as well as triple points on purchases in select business categories.

Branch and ATM Availability

Chase small-business loans, checking accounts, and credit cards are all linked to one of the bank’s branches or ATMs. It’s no surprise that Chase, as one of the largest banks in the country, has a vast number of locations across the United States. With 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs, Chase is comparable to Wells Fargo, the Bank of America, and other leaders in the field.

Online and Mobile Banking

If you’re looking for an internet bank for your small business, you want a bank with a well-organized website. Thankfully, the website for Chase Bank International is all that and more. The bank has a highly rated app for iOS and Android systems, and all your accounts are integrated within the app, which makes handling multiple bank accounts a breeze.

Summary

Chase is an excellent small-business banking option, whether you need loans with long repayment terms or low-cost business checking accounts. The real stars of its offer, though, are the substantial cashback and reward earnings you get with Chase’s business credit cards. The one downside to this is the fairly strict limit on monthly checking account transactions. This means Chase isn’t the best bank around for business-account purposes if you make a lot of monthly transactions or payments.

+ Show more
Capital One Review
Capital One Review Logo VISIT WEBSITE
Loan Options

GOOD

Loan Repayment Period

AVERAGE

Checking Account Options

VERY GOOD

Monthly Checking Account Transactions

EXCELLENT

Number of Branches and ATMs

AVERAGE

  • ⦿ Up to 2% cashback on business credit cards
  • ⦿ No upper limit for loans and unlimited monthly transactions
  • ⦿ Relationship-based loan rates for existing customers

Overview

Capital One Financial Corporation specializes in auto loans, banking, credit cards, and savings accounts. It was founded in 1994 in Virginia and has since become the 10th-largest bank in the United States in terms of assets.

Loans

When it comes to loans, Capital One small business banking provides several options. You can take out a line of credit, equipment or business auto loan, business installment loan, or SBA loan. The bank’s business installment loans start at $10,000, with terms from one to five years and fixed monthly payments. There is no upper limit, and the rates vary depending on the amount borrowed and repayment terms. You can also take out SBA 504 and SBA 7(a) loans, and the bank gives you more favorable “relationship-based” conditions if you already have an established Capital One business account.

Checking Accounts

The banks with the best account options for small businesses have plans that target businesses of all sizes and are suited to different stages of their development. Capital One offers two very straightforward options here: Spark Business Basic Checking and Spark Business Unlimited Checking. Both accounts are free to open and come with unlimited transactions each month. You can deposit up to $5,000 in cash per month with no extra fees with the Basic account, and there is no limit on the Unlimited Checking option. The accounts have a $15 and $35 monthly service fee, respectively, waived if you maintain a minimum 30- or 90-day average monthly balance of $2,000 or $25,000.

As with other top banks in this category, both accounts also come with a free business debit card, online bill-payment options, and online and mobile checking. Besides unlimited monthly cash deposits, Unlimited Checking also gives you free incoming domestic wires and up to five free outgoing domestic wire transfers each month. The wire fees are otherwise $15 per incoming domestic wire and $25 per outgoing domestic wire.

Credit Cards

Deciding which bank is the best option for your small business depends on a lot of factors. Credit cards are certainly one of the more important things to factor in. 

Capital One offers several credit card options: Spark Classic, Spark Cash Select, and Spark Cash. Spark Cash Select is our favorite pick for small businesses. It comes with 1.5% cash back on all purchases, a $200 cash bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of having this account, no annual fee, and a 0% APR for the first nine months. After that, the APR ranges from 13.99% to 23.99%.

Online and Mobile Banking

Capital One has a pretty standard banking website, but the Capital One mobile app has been rated number one in customer satisfaction more than once. It’s a well-designed product for both iOS and Android systems.

Summary

To be a great choice for small-business owners, a financial institution needs to provide more than just good loans, credit cards, and checking accounts. Capital One’s claim to fame is its devotion to small businesses. In addition to free unlimited monthly transactions on all business checking accounts, the bank offers small-business owners access to Spark Business IQ, a program created to help entrepreneurs manage their business and cash flow.

The only major downside that we can think of is that, while Capital One provides access to over 70,000 ATMs, there are only 755 branches across the US.

+ Show more
Bank of America Review
Bank of America Review Logo VISIT WEBSITE
Loan Options

VERY GOOD

Loan Repayment Period

AVERAGE

Checking Account Options

GOOD

Monthly Checking Account Transactions

VERY HIGH

Number of Branches and ATMs

EXCELLENT

  • ⦿ Unsecured loans up to $100,000
  • ⦿ Easy-to-waive fees and high transaction limits
  • ⦿ Excellent smartphone app

Overview

While looking for the best bank online, Bank of America is undoubtedly a name you’re bound to come across. A banking industry staple, Bank of America Corporation is a multinational investment bank and financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was formed through NationsBank's acquisition of BankAmerica in 1998, but its origins stretch back to 1784 and the formation of the Massachusetts Bank. It is the second-largest banking institution in the United States, after JPMorgan Chase.

Loans

Bank of America small-business packages offer secured and unsecured loans and lines of credit, as well as SBA loans, auto loans, and commercial real estate loans. Its secured loans start at $25,000 and have no upper limit. Rates vary depending on the amount borrowed and repayment terms, which can be up to five years when secured by business assets. Unsecured lines of credit are in the $10,000-$100,000 bracket. You can also get SBA loans ranging from $25,000 to $5 million, with various repayment terms depending on what your loan will finance.

Checking Accounts

There are two Bank of America business account options for small business owners: the Business Advantage Fundamentals account and the Business Advantage Relationship account.

The Fundamentals option is the one most small-business owners will be interested in. It features a rather expensive $16 monthly fee, though there are several ways to avoid it, such as by spending at least $250 in new net qualified debit card purchases or by maintaining an average monthly balance over $5,000. You can also avoid the fee if you become a Preferred Rewards Business member.

If we make a small-business bank account comparison, we can see that Bank of America’s transaction limits are exactly the same as those offered by Wells Fargo. With 200 and 500 monthly transactions per account tier, both banks offer above-average numbers in this category.

Credit Cards

Bank of America has a wealth of credit cards aimed at businesses. The one we’ll be taking a closer at is the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card. It offers a 1-3% cash back depending on the type of purchase you make, as well as a $300 statement credit offer if you spend $3,000 or more in your first 90 days of owning the card. As with other top banks for startups and small businesses, there is also no annual maintenance fee. The APR is 0% during the first nine monthly billing cycles and ranges from 12.24% to 22.24% after that.

Online and Mobile Banking

As expected, the Bank of America has a very patriotic-looking website, featuring predominantly red, white, and blue accents. Like other national banks, it’s available in English and Spanish, and is generally very well laid-out and intuitive. 

You can monitor your Bank of America small-business account and make payments, as well as benefit from exclusive BankAmeriDeals from its mobile app. It also tracks your rewards and gives you access to a virtual assistant and customer support. While BoA’s customer service feedback is a bit mixed, people are delighted with the mobile app, and it’s highly rated on both the App Store and Google Play.

Summary

With three different ways to waive the maintenance fee, the Bank of America might just be the top choice for a small-business owner who wants to keep the checking account costs at a minimum. It also offers good loan options.

The bank’s credit cards are pretty standard. Depending on what you use them for, they can offer up to 3% cash back, which is pretty good considering they have no maintenance fees. The downside is that, if you don’t manage to take advantage of the numerous fee-waiving options, this bank has higher costs than most of its competition.

+ Show more
TD Bank Review
TD Bank Review Logo VISIT WEBSITE
Loan Options

EXCELLENT

Loan Repayment Period

MEDIUM

Checking Account Options

VERY GOOD

Monthly Checking Account Transactions

EXCELLENT

Number of Branches and ATMs

LOW

  • ⦿ Up to 25 years repayment for SBA loans
  • ⦿ Term loans up to $1 million
  • ⦿ Loan annual fees waived for amounts smaller than $100,000

Overview

Founded in 1852, TD Bank is the US subsidiary of the Canadian multinational Toronto-Dominion Bank. Its headquarters are in New Jersey. It’s the eighth-largest bank in the US by total assets and the seventh-largest by bank deposits. Notably, it only has branches in 16 states along the East Coast of the US.

Loans

TD Bank offers business lines of credit, term, SBA, and commercial real estate loans. We recommend TD bank if you’re looking to buy real estate for commercial purposes, with government-guaranteed SBA 504 loans. Speaking of SBA loans, this bank is one of the best banks in the US when it comes to SBA loans, as it provides quick SBA 7(a) approvals, repayment terms of up to 25 years for SBA 7(a) and 20 years for SBA 504 loans, and interest rates depending on the term and amount borrowed.

Outside of that, you can borrow from $10,000 to $1,000,000, with term lengths from three to five years. Lines of credit range from $25,000 to $500,000. Both are secured with collateral, and annual fees are waived for amounts smaller than $100,000.

Checking Accounts

The best accounts for LLC and small-business owners provide more than just favorable loan rates. TD Bank has several checking account offers, but we’ll be looking at its two most popular accounts: Business Convenience Checking Plus and Business Simple Checking accounts.

The more expensive Business Convenience Checking Plus comes with a $100 minimum deposit and a $25 monthly maintenance fee. The latter can be waived if you have at least $1,500 in your daily balance, and a personal checking account with TD Bank. As one of the top small-business banking services, it allows for as much as $5,000 in monthly cash deposits and a fantastic 500 free monthly transactions.

If you don’t need such high numbers, or find waiving the fee difficult, you can also opt for the basic Business Simple Checking account, for $10 a month (with the same waiving conditions). This one comes with 200 monthly transactions and $5,000 in cash deposits, which is pretty good for such a low maintenance fee.

Credit Cards

Like other banks with no fees for maintaining credit cards, TD Bank offers a great opportunity: The Business Solutions Credit Card. In addition to no annual fees, the card lets you earn anywhere from 1% to 3% cash back, depending on what you spend money on, and the bank’s welcome offer is $150 cash back - in the form of statement credit - on your first $1,000 spent within 90 days of obtaining the card.

Online and Mobile Banking

To provide good online banking, a bank needs to have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate. TD Bank is one of our favorites in this regard. Its modern, aesthetically pleasing page is less cluttered with offers than most of the competition. The mobile app also has a nicely designed UI, and users rate both the iOS and Android versions very highly. They feature a simple green-and-white color scheme and a navigation pane on top of the screen, so switching between options feels seamless.

Summary

TD Bank might be a good choice for new small-business owners looking to get commercial real estate or SBA loans. In addition, the bank offers solid checking account options with easily waivable fees and high transaction and cash deposit limits. Its credit card offer is also pretty competitive. The biggest downside is that TD Bank only operates across the East Coast of the US, which means it has a smaller number of branches and ATMs compared to the larger banks on our list.

+ Show more
Axos Review
Axos Review Logo VISIT WEBSITE
Loan Options

AVERAGE

Loan Repayment Period

LONG

Checking Account Options

GOOD

Monthly Checking Account Transactions

EXCELLENT

Number of Branches and ATMs

LOW

  • ⦿ 200 free transactions per month
  • ⦿ No monthly maintenance fees
  • ⦿ 50 free checks as a sign-up bonus

Overview

The second digital bank on our list of small-business bank reviews is also the second-youngest. It was founded in San Diego, California, and has been headquartered there since 1999. The bank also has branches in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Columbus, Ohio. Despite being online-only, Axos gives you access to a wide network of ATMs with no service charges.

Loans

Axos offers a wealth of loan options, but most of them are aimed at mid-size to large businesses. It offers commercial term loans and lines of credit. You’ll also get a dedicated account rep to help you with any questions you may have and access to the bank’s 24/7 online lending services.

Commercial term loans have 3.5- and seven-year repayment terms and range from $250,000 to $5,000,000. Lines of credit also start at $250,000. This means that Axos has higher than usual line of credit requirements. The very high minimum borrowing amounts, however, mean this bank isn’t the right choice for micro-businesses or startups needing much smaller loans.

Checking Accounts

Axos offers three different checking account options, depending on whether you are interested in accruing interest or avoiding monthly costs. If you’re looking for banks with no fees, the Basic Business Checking account is ideal for you. After you put down an admittedly hefty $1,000 initial deposit, you won’t have to maintain any average daily or monthly balance requirements, nor pay maintenance fees.

Axos is the only bank on our list besides Capital One to offer unlimited monthly transactions. This is an especially impressive offer considering that, unlike at Capital One, there are no maintenance fees when using the Basic Business Checking account at Axos. You also get 50 free checks, which is a nice bonus.

Credit Cards

Unfortunately, Axos doesn’t offer any credit card options, so there’s not a lot we can say here.

Online and Mobile Banking

We’ve already hinted that Axos may be the best internet only bank on our list. Its website and mobile app don’t quite live up to this high standard, unfortunately, judging by the very mixed community reviews. While the website is pretty standard and reasonably optimized, users report frequent crashes and poor performance from the mobile app. However, the app features are solid, so if and when Axos fixes these issues, we’ll update our score as well.

Summary

Overall, Axos is a great bank that deserves a place on our list. It has plenty of loan options with repayment terms of up to seven years. It is also an online bank for small-business owners looking for a no-hassle checking account with no monthly fees or requirements.

On the downside, Axos doesn’t offer credit cards, and has only three branches and around 1,900 ATMs across the country. Then again, that’s to be expected from an online-only bank.

+ Show more
FAQ
How do I choose a bank for my small business?

First, decide what you want from your bank. Compare the banks for loan terms, checking accounts, credit cards, online and mobile banking, and customer service. Better yet, you can just read our guide to get started with some solid picks.

What banks have free business checking accounts?

Axos is an example of a bank with a free small-business checking account that has no maintenance fees. You need to make an opening deposit of $1,000, though. Plenty of banks on our list offer easy ways to waive monthly maintenance fees - our favorites in this regard are Chase, TD Bank, and Bank of America.

Which bank is best for a startup business?

Signing up for a checking account or loan with Capital One gives you access to Spark Business IQ, a phenomenal repository of small-business and startup tips and resources.

What is the optimal bank for a small business owner?

It’s a hugely competitive market out there, and different banks provide different benefits, which means it’s not easy to definitively pick just one. Any of the six options from our list will serve you well, but we’ve selected Wells Fargo, Chase, Capital One, and Bank of America for various reasons. They are well-established brands with huge ATM and branch networks, excellent customer service, and outstanding loan, checking account, and credit card options.