How to Choose the Right Business Checking Account

By doing a little homework on the front end, you’ll help ensure you choose the account that’s right for your business’s size and needs.

Banks often offer a variety of different business checking accounts. But how do you choose the right one for your business? These tips will help you choose the best business checking account for your current needs, but that can evolve with your business.

Assess your needs.

The right business account depends on your business's needs. Think about such factors as your average monthly balance and volume of transactions. Then, think about the way you like to manage your business banking and what features are most important to you, advises Nancy Jennings, vice president, small business deposit product management, Regions Bank. "For example, do you want to be able to pay your bills online or make deposits remotely? Do you want credit cards for all of your employees? It is helpful to determine this before you even head to the bank so you can have an informed discussion about your needs," she says.

If you're keeping a high cash balance, pay special attention to interest rates, advises Tiffany Wright, author, business blogger and founder of The Resourceful CEO, a business consulting firm. If you process a lot of credit card transactions, look for "a checking account that recognizes that credit card transaction as cash as soon as possible— perhaps one that has great technology infrastructure and strong merchant processor relationships," says Wright.

Ask about fees.

Be sure to understand all of the costs associated with maintaining your account, as well as potential fees. Could you be penalized for not maintaining a certain balance? Are there transaction limits or cash processing fees? Talk about the fine print. If you have a clear understanding of your banking requirements, it will be easier to assess what features you need and how to minimize fees.

Jennings notes that there are checking account options that include a variety of ways to offset the monthly fee, (i.e., maintaining a minimum balance, maintaining related balances in other deposits or loan accounts, and hitting certain usage goals, such as monthly spend on a credit or debit card). Many accounts also come with other services at no cost or at a discount, (i.e., online banking with bill pay, discount on checks, etc.) "It always comes back to how the business owner wants to do his or her banking and finding an account that offers those services. Then, you need to understand what you are getting, what you are paying for, and any requirements associated with your account," she says.

Think about your long-term needs.

You don't have a crystal ball, but you do have a plan for growth. Consider how your business will change as you hit new milestones. Many banks offer a suite of accounts with options for start-ups, as well as for businesses with more complex cash management needs. Ideally, you want to have a relationship with your banker so that when your business needs change, you can discuss how your checking account can evolve, too.  "The aim is to do some research on the front end, to develop a relationship with your banker, and to choose a bank that offers that breadth of services so that you'll have what you need as your business grows," Jennings emphasizes.

Jennings also suggests routinely evaluating your banking choices. "Once a year or so, review your account with your banker to make sure that it is still the best product for where you are in that point in time," she says.


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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.