How to choose a business bank Choosing a good business bank is an important step in the life of a growing company. A bank that is well-matched to a client can provide the best loan options, payroll services, fees and accessibility. By contrast, a bank that is ill-suited to your company can cost you time, paperwork and a significant amount of money. Knowing your needs One of the most important things to consider when choosing a business bank is the type of loans they offer. Even if all you are currently looking for is a commercial checking account, you eventually may need a loan. The right type of bank will be able to get you that loan as quickly and conveniently as possible. Will you need a Small Business Administration loan, a personal loan or a commercial loan? If you’re best qualified for an SBA loan, make sure to select a bank that offers this because other kinds of loans may be more difficult to get. It can be costly and time-consuming to switch banks. Consider the costs of the services you require. Direct and indirect fees can add up quickly. The fee-based structure a bank offers is particularly important. Extra and unnecessary fees can be detrimental to a start-up business, as can such things as maintaining the minimum balance of an account. One of the most important things is to find a bank with which you’re comfortable in dealing. As your business grows and changes, you’ll likely look to your bank to provide you with ever greater services. A bank that is already familiar with your company and its needs can get you these services and make your job easier. Finding a good match Choose a bank that is hospitable to your type of business. For larger companies, this may not be quite as big an issue. Banks often will woo them for their business. Small businesses often have to look harder to find the right bank. Some banks do not look at small businesses as warmly as others. After all, the small size of your business means a relatively small amount of capital to the bank, and the failure rate is high among small businesses. Researching a bank One good resource for someone looking for a business bank would be the Small Business and International Development Center, usually housed at a local chamber of commerce. There, small businesses can sit down and go through the qualifying aspects and identify what the best possible loan would be for a particular client. Banks are like any other service provider. Shopping for a bank is similar to shopping for a car: Go out and see where you can get the best deal. Call around to see what each bank has to offer, and choose the one that offers you the most practical services at the most affordable costs.