Published April 14, 2008

Best Bank for Business: Small Business Bank Account

When you are running a small business, it is essential that you have the backing of a supportive and efficient bank. Having a good, reliable financial partner can help your small business grow and expand, and also help you out in times of financial need.

Here are some important factors to keep in mind when selecting a bank for your small business account.

Your Bank Should Be Flexible and Reasonable

Your bank should have reasonable fees for its services and should not charge you for every small service that it provides. They should not charge you for checkbooks and should not insist that a minimum balance be maintained, especially if you have several other accounts (e.g., personal banking, mortgage and auto loan) with them.

Your bank should also be responsive to your needs and should alter its product features to adjust to your type of business if necessary. If your bank isn't flexible enough, then continue your search until you find the ideal bank to fulfill your needs.

Your Bank Should Be Able To Provide You with a Short-Term Loan

Your business might suddenly require funds for a short period of time, and your bank should be able to provide it to you on short notice - and with reasonable interest rates and minimum collateral.

The bank that you do business with should also be able to offer you overdraft protection, so that you will pay interest only on the overdrawn amount. If your banking record is good, then they should also be able to offer you unsecured loans at reasonable interest rates.

Your Bank Should Provide ATM Services

Your bank should provide you with debit/credit cards. This will enable you to save a lot of time that you would otherwise spend going to the branch in person. They should also be able to offer you foreign-exchange services at a reasonable rate if you are dealing with overseas customers.

Your bank should also have ATM centers near your residence, business, and wherever your travels take you. This will enable you to quickly obtain money when you need it.

Your Bank Should Have an Efficient and Courteous Staff

Your bank's staff should quickly attend to your needs, whether you are depositing and clearing checks or obtaining bank statements. They should be pleasant to you and your employees. Bank employees should be willing to help you with paperwork, opening new accounts or understanding your statements.

The hours the bank is open should also be convenient for your business.

Do Your Part

As a small business owner, you also need to do your part to ensure a good working relationship with your bank. Don't overdraw your account. Make sure you make any loan and credit card payments on time. If the bank asks you for documentation or other information, provide it promptly.

Find out if your bank offers the above services and conduct an investigation before deciding on the right bank for your small business. Your bank should understand that they can get many new customers through your references if they help you with your business.