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What Do I look For in a Business Checking Account?

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Question: What Do I look For in a Business Checking Account?
Starting a business includes the important task of setting up a business checking account. Here are some of the most important features to look for when you are considering which bank to choose.
Answer:

Is this the bank where you have your business loan?
If you have a loan at a bank, the bank will often give you free checking for your business account. It is also more convenient to have a business line of credit and checking at the same bank, for account transfer purposes. In fact, some banks require you to open a checking account with them as part of your business loan deal.

Does the bank have online banking capabilities?
Most banks have the capability to let you see and use your account online to pay bills and transfer money and see your account activity. This is an important service if you have a bookkeeping service or off-site accountant.

Does the bank have payroll services?
If you anticipate only a few employees, you may be able to use the bank's payroll services to pay your employees and to do direct deposit of paychecks. You should set up a separate payroll checking account, but using the bank's payroll service will make things easier.

Does the bank have credit/debit processing services?
This is the bank's ability to serve as a gateway, allowing you to do credit and debit card processing services for customer payments. Most banks these days have this service, but it's a good idea to find out how much the services cost, so you can decide if you want to look elsewhere for these service.

Some other services to look for

  • An interest-bearing account, even if the interest amount is small
  • No monthly service charges
  • Free online bill pay services
  • Free viewing and printing of cancelled checks and deposits
  • No charges for checks, withdrawals and deposits
  • ATM services without fees

If you have a choice, look for the bank with the most services.

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