Choosing an online business checking account is an essential step in running a small business. As a small business owner, maintaining control of the company’s finances is key to owning a thriving and successful business. However, with the busy lives small business owners have, it is imperative to find a bank that they can have full access online and all the features needed for their small business checking accounts. Just like banking at a brick and mortar financial institution, there are several questions that need to be asked when comparing online business checking accounts. The three most popular online business checking accounts are offered through Bank of America, US Bank, and Wells Fargo. Asking the right questions will help ensure the right checking account is opened for the business owner’s needs.

Is there a monthly fee for a business account?

Some checking accounts for businesses do require the account holder to pay a monthly fee. This fee helps cover expenses of paying staff and maintaining the website where the account can be accessed through. Different types of accounts carry different amounts of fees and charges, and these should all be listed for the consumer before opening the account.

What are minimum balance requirements to keep the account open and to avoid monthly fees?

Some online banks require that businesses keep a certain balance in their checking account just to keep the account open. Find out what the minimum balance requirement is. Also, it might be possible to get the monthly fee waived if the account meets the minimum average daily balance requirements.

How many debit transactions are needed to avoid monthly service charges?

Some banks offer programs where business owners can have their monthly service charges waived if they use the debit card a certain number of times in a single month. This means there has to be a set number of transactions where the pin number is used to make purchases. ATM transaction and signature purchases may not qualify for this requirement.

Is online bill paying available with the account and are there any fees to use it?

Using online bill pay will help streamline monthly expenses associated with running a business. Some online banks offer specials for businesses wishing to use online bill payment, including the waiving of monthly service fees if signed up for this service. Get a list of the fees associated with using online bill pay.

Is there a limit to the number of checks that can be written?

Some banks limit the number of checks that can be written during a month. Make sure to ask if there is a limit on the amount of checks that can be written and if there is, ask what the fees for writing more than are allowed are.

Are there any payroll services available for account holders?

Some banks offer special services and/or programs that can help streamline the payroll process. Ask the bank if there are any special programs that can help with payroll and what the fees are associated with using the services.

Are there any local bank branches?

Though it is an online account, there may be a need to speak face-to-face with a banker. If this need arises, find out if there are any local branches to go to when needing assistance. If there are no local branches, ask about the customer service department and how easily a representative can be reached.

Are there any special accounts or programs if the business is non-profit?

Some non-profit business and organizations can benefit when it comes to opening a checking account. Some banks offer free checking accounts for non-profits and other special services to help these type of businesses successfully function financially.