Skip to content

When it comes to finding the best banks for entrepreneurs, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The decision depends on your financial needs and goals, as well as your money habits. Whether you’re opening a bank account for your personal use, your business finances, or both, you’ll have to consider several factors. These include the kinds of accounts and services the bank offers, its fee policies, the strength of its digital banking offerings, and its customer service quality. Let’s explore these factors in more detail so you know what to look for when choosing a bank.

1. Understand Your Financial Needs

The first step to finding the right bank for you is to assess both your current and potential future financial needs. What will you use the bank for, and is it possible your needs will change over the next few years? Consider what products or services will be useful to you. For example, will you need both a checking and savings account? Are you looking for credit card options, or will you use the bank for a new loan? For entrepreneurs, in particular, having access to business banking solutions — such as business checking accounts, business loans, and merchant services — is crucial.

Once you’ve determined what your financial requirements and goals are, you can begin your search for a bank, making sure to consider only those that offer the products and services you need.

2. Research Banking Products and Services

When you begin to compare financial institutions, consider the range of products and services each one offers. If you want to build your savings, look for an institution with a high-yield savings account, money market account, or certificates of deposit. If you plan to take out a personal or business loan, seek out banks with favorable terms. Consider using the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Lender Match tool to be matched with potential lenders that suit your business needs. Whatever your specific requirements, choose a bank that will be able to meet your growing personal and business finance needs.

Keep in mind that the best fit for you may not be a bank at all, but a credit union or non-bank financial technology company. Additionally, you may decide that banking with more than one institution (for example, choosing a savings account at one bank and taking out a business loan from another) is the most advantageous choice for you.

3. Read the Fine Print About Bank Fees

Common fees for personal accounts include monthly maintenance, ATM, and overdraft fees — but not all financial institutions impose these or other fees. If you plan on making frequent ATM withdrawals or think you might overdraft your funds from time to time, fees could add up and affect your finances. In this case, you should consider seeking out banks with low or no fees.

Entrepreneurs should also consider business banking fees such as transaction fees and wire transfer fees. When choosing a bank, look for fee structures that align with your usage patterns, and don’t hesitate to negotiate if needed. By doing your research on other institutions’ fees and fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between your business and the bank, you may be able to decrease your fees.

4. Find a Tech-Savvy Bank

Robust online banking platforms are essential for managing personal and business finances efficiently. The ability to seamlessly make payments, deposit checks, monitor transactions, and manage your finances using a bank’s website or app is invaluable. Look for a bank with user-friendly interfaces and innovative digital banking solutions that provide convenience and flexibility.

5. Evaluate Customer Service and Support

Accessible and helpful customer service is crucial when choosing a bank. For entrepreneurs, especially, having access to personal banking advisors who understand your unique financial needs and business goals can make a significant difference. Look for a bank that prioritizes customer service excellence and offers personalized support to help you navigate complex financial decisions and achieve your entrepreneurial aspirations.

Keep in mind that not all financial institutions have branches or offer in-person assistance, so if face-to-face customer service is important to you, make sure to choose a bank with brick-and-mortar locations in your area.

6. Assess Security and Fraud Protection

Bank security measures and fraud protection services are crucial for safeguarding both personal and business accounts. Evaluate a bank’s security measures by researching or asking about their encryption protocols, use of multi-factor authentication, and real-time fraud monitoring systems. Choose a bank with a proven track record of prioritizing customer security to mitigate risks and protect your financial assets.

7. Find a Network

Banking with an institution that offers networking and educational opportunities can provide valuable support for entrepreneurs. Look for banks that will help nurture your growth by providing financial resources and organizing educational workshops and networking events. Building relationships with like-minded individuals and accessing mentorship and support networks can enhance your entrepreneurial journey and open doors to new opportunities.

8. Confirm Reputation and Reliability

Lastly, consider the bank’s reputation and reliability. At the very least, the bank you choose should be FDIC-insured, meaning your assets will be protected by the federal government if the bank fails. If you choose a credit union, this insurance will come from the NCUA.

In addition to federal insurance, choose a bank with a solid reputation demonstrated through positive customer reviews and testimonials. You can also seek out an institution with a history of supporting women entrepreneurs. By choosing a bank that aligns with your values and demonstrates a commitment to your success, you can forge a strong financial partnership that empowers you to achieve your personal and entrepreneurial goals.

Choosing the right bank is a critical decision that requires careful consideration of your financial needs, preferences, and long-term goals. By evaluating factors such as bank fees, digital banking capabilities, customer service quality, and reliability, you can find a financial partner that not only meets your current needs but also supports your future growth and success as an entrepreneur.

What is the most important consideration for you when choosing a financial institution? Share with us in the comments below!