How to Choose a Bank For Small Business

Partnering with a capable, experienced financial institution offers major benefits to your small business. The right bank can provide a secure bank account to deposit cash revenue, as well as business lending and credit solutions that support your long-term growth.

But a beneficial business banking partnership is about more than financial products and services. Advice and strategic support is also key.

What accounts do small businesses need from their bank?

A business bank account is the foundation of a banking relationship. A checking account offers a secure place to deposit electronic payments, along with cash and checks.

Similarly, business checking provides a dependable method for making purchases and payments, whether through cash withdrawals, a debit card or ACH transfers. It can also make managing your company’s money easier by providing a detailed list of transactions, your current balance and other important information.

As you search for a business checking account, keep these key features in mind. They can make the difference between a useful but limited tool and a truly valuable resource:

  • Online banking: Digital access to your account information helps you manage cash flow and complete key functions like fund transfers and bill payments. You can address your banking needs whenever it’s convenient in your busy schedule. Online banking means more visibility into your finances.
  • Business debit card: Card payments are secure, reliable and generally quick to process. Instead of having to withdraw cash whenever you make a purchase, you or one of your employees can simply use the debit card provided by your bank.
  • Transaction volume limits: As a business owner, you may have thousands of combined debits, credits and deposits a month, or only have a few dozen. A dependable banking partner will offer options that align with your company’s operations, such as accounts with no monthly fee tied to transaction limits.

There isn’t a definitive list of the best types of business checking accounts — the differences between individual small companies vary far too much to make that type of determination. Your best bet is to carefully consider your own needs and see how they align with the accounts offered by a bank.

You can take a similar approach to selecting a business savings account. Although a savings account primarily provides a safe place for long-term depositing of revenue, different features and costs can easily make one option far more beneficial to your business than another.

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3 crucial considerations when choosing a business bank partner

1. A robust small business loan and credit strategy

A small business loan or line of credit can help your company seize opportunities to expand operations, develop new lines of business and much more. A truly excellent business bank partner will offer loan and credit options in line with your business’s plans for the future.

2. A suite of relevant and useful business services

Every small enterprise must have an effective cash management plan, and the right business banking partner can help address that responsibility. Look for a financial institution that can support your operations beyond the most basic aspects of a business checking account or loan. Valuable services include online banking, analyzed checking accounts and merchant services like payment processing.

3. A commitment to the local community

A bank with deep roots in the region it serves has a strong understanding of the local community — and a vested interest in the success of the businesses within it. While a larger bank doesn’t categorically provide lesser service or fewer options, a big bank will often struggle to understand the details of owning and operating a small company in all of the areas in which they operate.

A community bank, meanwhile, is dedicated to providing relevant services, products and support. And it has the focus, collective knowledge and experience to capably do so. The Adirondack Trust Company is deeply involved in the local community. Our establishment of the Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund and the presence of a variety of our employees on local boards and commissions are just two examples.

Taking the next step: Selecting a small business banking partner

After you consider the banking options available to your small business and make a final choice, you can start building a partnership with your financial institution.

That often, although not always, begins with opening a business bank account. To set up business checking, you should express initial interest to your financial institution of choice. From there, you will share pertinent information, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Your employer identification number (EIN), or a social security number if you operate as a sole proprietor.
  • Any ownership or operating agreements.
  • Business formation documents, such as articles of incorporation or articles of limited partnership.
  • Your business license.

While you must share information to open an account — or apply for a loan or line of credit — you likely won’t need to make a large deposit. Many business checking and savings account options from dependable partners don’t require a monthly minimum balance.

Adirondack Trust Company: Your local bank for small business

While no two small businesses are alike, an established community bank like The Adirondack Trust Company offers broad-based advantages for building a rewarding banking relationship, including:

  • Local knowledge and experience.
  • A deep understanding of the regional economy, and a commitment to supporting it.
  • Relevant financial offerings tailored to the common needs of smaller enterprises.
  • Staff who care about and invest their own time and effort into a beneficial and long-lasting partnership with your business.

If you operate your business in Saratoga or Warren County, you can find a reliable partner for business banking in The Adirondack Trust Company.