The Best Bank for Small Business in Canada: Business Bank Accounts, business

The Best Bank for Small Business in Canada: Business Bank Accounts

Business bank accounts

In Canada there didn t use to be much point in looking for the best bank for small business when you were looking for a business bank account; for years, the only difference between business bank accounts and personal ones has been that business bank accounts cost a lot more in fees.

But the Cyclopean eyes of Canada s big banks have finally alighted on small business banking and, having decided that small business owners are a worthy market, the banks are actually competing with one another to create business bank accounts that small business owners will find attractive – and that means creating small business accounts with lower bank fees.

Here are the best business bank accounts for Canadian small businesses based on their monthly costs so you can compare and decide which is the best bank for small business.

Business Bank Accounts for Low-Volume Businesses

If you don t have many transactions each month and don t need to write or deposit cheques much, you may be able to use the only free business bank account around, RBC s Small Business eAccount, which has no monthly fee, unlimited electronic account transactions each month and no minimum balance required.

However, standard fees apply to all non-electronic transactions, such as a $2.00 charge for every paper debit or cheque, a $3.50 charge for every paper credit or deposit and a $5.00 fee for every $1,000 cash deposited in-branch. So unless your clients are all paying directly through credit, debit or wire transfer, you may be better off springing for a business bank account that does have a monthly fee.

For instance, RBC also offers a Business Essentials $6 Small Business Account. The $6.00 fee does not apply if your transaction fees are more than $6.00 and the transaction fees decrease by the number of transactions; for example, if you make 1-10 paper based transactions, the transaction fee is $1.25 each but if you make 11-30, the fee decreases to $1.20 each.

You can also cut down on transaction fees by banking electronically; 1-10 electronic transactions are only $0.75 each.

The business bank account with the lowest monthly fee currently is the TD Basic Business Plan. Its $5.00 monthly fee includes five free transactions and five free deposit items each month. After that, each transaction is $1.25 and each deposit item is $0.22 and the first five of each type of transaction are free. Cash deposits are $2.50 per $1,000.

Six dollars seems to be the popular fee for low-volume business accounts. It s the monthly charge for Scotiabank s Right Size Account for business (with transaction fees of $1.20 through $0.85 each depending on how many transactions you make each month), BMO s Business Start bank account which allows you seven free transactions a month and CIBC s Basic Business Operating Account which does not allow you any free transactions each month and charges $1.25 for each full-service transaction you make and $1.00 for each self-service transaction.

Scotiabank also offers a Basic Business Account U.S. account which has a minimum account maintenance fee of $9.95 a month. In addition, you re charged for all your transactions on a pay-per-use basis.

Each cheque, for instance, costs $1.20, while each item deposited to your account costs $1.00. The interesting thing about this account is that you earn one free transaction by keeping a $1,100 minimum monthly credit balance, and you will pay no monthly account maintenance fee if your minimum monthly credit balance is $6,000 or over.

And If You re Not a Low-Volume Business?

You re going to pay more. Sometimes a lot more. Each bank offers a slate of business account offerings and their charges for what you get are comparable. There are no banking bargains.

Most Canadian banks offer a business account at the $20 monthly fee level which might work for you if you run a small retail business.

The Royal Bank s RBC Business Essentials Fixed-Fee Account is pretty typical of accounts offered. For a monthly business bank account fee of $20.00 you get:

Learn how to start your own business or side hustle, and discover strategies to attract customers and pump up your profits.

  • Up to 20 debits/cheques each month
  • Up to 15 credits/deposits each month
  • Up to 20 items deposited each month
  • Up to $2,500 cash deposited each month.

(They also offer three other Fixed Fee Plans at monthly rates of $35.00, $50.00 and $75.00, each with increasing numbers of transactions per month.)

The best of these accounts is the TD s Every Day Business Account. For $19.00, it gives you 50 deposit items and up to $5,000 in cash deposits, more than any other of the big banks.

From there, all the banks offer accounts with increasing monthly fees based on the number of monthly transactions.

The CIBC offers an Unlimited Business Operating Account which, as the name suggests, gives you unlimited transactions with a cash, coin and cheque deposit package for a $50.00 monthly fee. Looking at how few monthly transactions are included in most of the more inexpensive business bank accounts and how quickly additional transaction fees stack up, this may well be the most inexpensive option if your business has many monthly transactions.

Small Business Banking Packages

Another thing that complicates the issue of which is the best bank for small business is that some banks offer small business banking packages that bundle banking services.

Scotiabank s combo small business banking packages are of particular interest; they offer several business bank accounts that combine a personal and business bank account with other banking services, such as their ScotiaOne Account Plan. Besides the personal chequing and business bank account, the plan includes a business Visa card, a ScotiaCard and electronic banking for business.

Fees start at $49.95 per month.

The Best Way to Get a Free Business Bank Account

. is to maintain a monthly balance. But the required monthly balance to waive the account maintenance fee is often quite high.

As of time of writing, the account with the lowest required minimum monthly balance is the aforementioned TD Every Day Business Account. You won t have to pay the $19.00 fee on their Every Day A bank account if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $20,000.

See What Business Bank Accounts Your Credit Union Offers First

There are also a great many Credit Unions operating in different regions in Canada. and you ll want to check with your local Credit Union to see what kinds of business bank accounts it offers. Historically, Credit Unions have had a strong interest in small business banking and your local Credit Union probably offers business banking accounts and services that are very competitive.

The Credit Union I use offers a $6.00 pay-as-you-go Business Chequing Account, a $10.25 Business Package that comes with 15 full-service transactions and four other business account packages with fees ranging from $19.95 through $99.95. Besides the range of packages, I also really like the fact that their transaction fees are lower than the banks in many cases. Check and see; this may be true of the Credit Union in your area too.

Small Business Banking Isn t All About the Fees

The most important feature of small business banking is the relationship you have with your bank or credit union manager, not the cost of your small business bank account, as sooner or later almost all small businesses need a business loan and/or a line of credit.

That being said, however, there s no point in spending money every month on small business banking services you’re not using or conversely, paying relatively high small business bank account fees and not getting the small business banking services you need.

Checking your business bank account and comparing it with the information on business bank accounts above could help you find a small business bank account that s a better fit for your small business and save you money.





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Best bank for small business

Archived September 2016

Best bank for small business

Keeping small business bills down is easier than you think, using the same techniques you use for slashing household costs.

This small business MoneySaving guide gives you the best business bank accounts and savings, utilities, phones, broadband, insurance and more.

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What do I need to do when I set up a business?

It’s a common question – who do you need to tell/register with to set up a business? This Gov.UK page has the basics of setting up the things you need, but, it won’t surprise you to hear that one of the first people you should tell is the taxman.

HMRC has set up an online ‘e-learning course’ to help you with questions you might have about tax and national insurance, or how to start and keep the correct business records. It’s useful if you’re just setting up and helps you start with good business habits. Or see its list of business tax webinars, videos and other resources to help once you’re up and running.

Best business bank accounts

Once you’re registered, you’ll need to find a business bank account. Unlike personal bank accounts, which are usually fees-free if you’re in-credit, the opposite’s true for their business brothers. Charges of Ј25 per transaction are possible on top of monthly account fees, and this can be a nightmare. There are four steps towards beating these.

Step 1: Use a personal account if you can

If you are a sole trader (not a limited company), then you may be able to use your normal bank account for your business, with all the better terms that involves (though check your terms & conditions – some banks won’t allow this).

However, using a separate, dedicated account could make your record-keeping a lot easier. It could also be a huge help if HMRC selects your tax return for an in-depth inquiry. For all the best buys, see the Top Bank Accounts guide.

If you make a large number of transactions, deal with big sums, or need to regularly bank cash, then your bank may suggest getting a business account. If that’s likely, start with the right one straight away.

Best bank for small business

  • Step 2: Lowest charge business bank accounts

    Three accounts stand out, based on charges:

    The Santander* Start Up Business Account offers unlimited free day-to-day transactions for a year – or 18 months if you’re already a Santander customer. It also pays 0.25% in-credit interest. After the end of the free period, you can choose from four different fees between Ј7.50 and Ј40/mth depending on monthly cash deposit withdrawal limits (you can choose from Ј1,000 to Ј10,000).

    NatWest’s Start-ups package has18 months of free unlimited transaction banking. After that, you revert to their standard tariff, at which point you pay per transaction. You can open the account if you started trading within the last 12 months, and the company’s turnover is less than Ј1 million. Apply online, or call 0345 413 5020.

    TSB also offers 18 months free banking if you’re a start up. The free banking includes paying in & taking out cash, paying in or issuing cheques, plus paying standing orders & direct debits. Services like CHAPS transfers will be charged for.

    These are effectively just like consumer bank accounts and have limited features. So if you need complex facilities, such as an account that automatically works with accounting software or need business assistance, you can get these from banks, but at a price.

    Business banking best buy comparison sites:

    Even if you can’t find one with the services you like at a low charge, don’t give up with business bank accounts. It’s often possible to negotiate with your bank to waive the charges, so long as you stay within set transaction constraints, for example, a maximum of 10 requests to process business cheques each month.

    Step 3: Minimise the charges you pay

    Whatever the account, make your first job listing the fees that apply to it. Ensure you (and any staff) are aware of them.

    Think about how you operate to minimise charges. Make sure you’re paid by BACS rather than cheque, stick to online banking, cut down on the cash you pay into the account, use automated transactions where possible and avoid using unauthorised overdrafts.

    Make sure you check the charges in your statement, it may also help you spot problems. For example, if you accept a cheque that’s been returned unpaid by the debtor’s bank, your bank will charge you an administration cost, and you won’t get the money due. So then you can chase the payment up, and ask them to pay the incurred charges too.

    Step 4: Sweep cash into savings

    If you’re in the fortunate position to build cash up in your account, be sure to have a business savings account linked to it. Then you can sweep the money into it to maximise interest (see below).

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    Conditions, fees and charges apply. These may change or we may introduce new ones in the future. Full details are available on request. Lending criteria apply to approval of credit products. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors before acting on it. Read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Terms and Conditions or Product Disclosure Statement, before deciding. Unless otherwise specified, the products and services described on this website are available only in Australia from Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.





    The Best Bank for Small Business in Canada: Business Bank Accounts, best

    The Best Bank for Small Business in Canada: Business Bank Accounts

    Best bank for small business

    In Canada there didn t use to be much point in looking for the best bank for small business when you were looking for a business bank account; for years, the only difference between business bank accounts and personal ones has been that business bank accounts cost a lot more in fees.

    But the Cyclopean eyes of Canada s big banks have finally alighted on small business banking and, having decided that small business owners are a worthy market, the banks are actually competing with one another to create business bank accounts that small business owners will find attractive – and that means creating small business accounts with lower bank fees.

    Here are the best business bank accounts for Canadian small businesses based on their monthly costs so you can compare and decide which is the best bank for small business.

    Business Bank Accounts for Low-Volume Businesses

    If you don t have many transactions each month and don t need to write or deposit cheques much, you may be able to use the only free business bank account around, RBC s Small Business eAccount, which has no monthly fee, unlimited electronic account transactions each month and no minimum balance required.

    However, standard fees apply to all non-electronic transactions, such as a $2.00 charge for every paper debit or cheque, a $3.50 charge for every paper credit or deposit and a $5.00 fee for every $1,000 cash deposited in-branch. So unless your clients are all paying directly through credit, debit or wire transfer, you may be better off springing for a business bank account that does have a monthly fee.

    For instance, RBC also offers a Business Essentials $6 Small Business Account. The $6.00 fee does not apply if your transaction fees are more than $6.00 and the transaction fees decrease by the number of transactions; for example, if you make 1-10 paper based transactions, the transaction fee is $1.25 each but if you make 11-30, the fee decreases to $1.20 each.

    You can also cut down on transaction fees by banking electronically; 1-10 electronic transactions are only $0.75 each.

    The business bank account with the lowest monthly fee currently is the TD Basic Business Plan. Its $5.00 monthly fee includes five free transactions and five free deposit items each month. After that, each transaction is $1.25 and each deposit item is $0.22 and the first five of each type of transaction are free. Cash deposits are $2.50 per $1,000.

    Six dollars seems to be the popular fee for low-volume business accounts. It s the monthly charge for Scotiabank s Right Size Account for business (with transaction fees of $1.20 through $0.85 each depending on how many transactions you make each month), BMO s Business Start bank account which allows you seven free transactions a month and CIBC s Basic Business Operating Account which does not allow you any free transactions each month and charges $1.25 for each full-service transaction you make and $1.00 for each self-service transaction.

    Scotiabank also offers a Basic Business Account U.S. account which has a minimum account maintenance fee of $9.95 a month. In addition, you re charged for all your transactions on a pay-per-use basis.

    Each cheque, for instance, costs $1.20, while each item deposited to your account costs $1.00. The interesting thing about this account is that you earn one free transaction by keeping a $1,100 minimum monthly credit balance, and you will pay no monthly account maintenance fee if your minimum monthly credit balance is $6,000 or over.

    And If You re Not a Low-Volume Business?

    You re going to pay more. Sometimes a lot more. Each bank offers a slate of business account offerings and their charges for what you get are comparable. There are no banking bargains.

    Most Canadian banks offer a business account at the $20 monthly fee level which might work for you if you run a small retail business.

    The Royal Bank s RBC Business Essentials Fixed-Fee Account is pretty typical of accounts offered. For a monthly business bank account fee of $20.00 you get:

    Learn how to start your own business or side hustle, and discover strategies to attract customers and pump up your profits.

    • Up to 20 debits/cheques each month
    • Up to 15 credits/deposits each month
    • Up to 20 items deposited each month
    • Up to $2,500 cash deposited each month.

    (They also offer three other Fixed Fee Plans at monthly rates of $35.00, $50.00 and $75.00, each with increasing numbers of transactions per month.)

    The best of these accounts is the TD s Every Day Business Account. For $19.00, it gives you 50 deposit items and up to $5,000 in cash deposits, more than any other of the big banks.

    From there, all the banks offer accounts with increasing monthly fees based on the number of monthly transactions.

    The CIBC offers an Unlimited Business Operating Account which, as the name suggests, gives you unlimited transactions with a cash, coin and cheque deposit package for a $50.00 monthly fee. Looking at how few monthly transactions are included in most of the more inexpensive business bank accounts and how quickly additional transaction fees stack up, this may well be the most inexpensive option if your business has many monthly transactions.

    Small Business Banking Packages

    Another thing that complicates the issue of which is the best bank for small business is that some banks offer small business banking packages that bundle banking services.

    Scotiabank s combo small business banking packages are of particular interest; they offer several business bank accounts that combine a personal and business bank account with other banking services, such as their ScotiaOne Account Plan. Besides the personal chequing and business bank account, the plan includes a business Visa card, a ScotiaCard and electronic banking for business.

    Fees start at $49.95 per month.

    The Best Way to Get a Free Business Bank Account

    . is to maintain a monthly balance. But the required monthly balance to waive the account maintenance fee is often quite high.

    As of time of writing, the account with the lowest required minimum monthly balance is the aforementioned TD Every Day Business Account. You won t have to pay the $19.00 fee on their Every Day A bank account if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $20,000.

    See What Business Bank Accounts Your Credit Union Offers First

    There are also a great many Credit Unions operating in different regions in Canada. and you ll want to check with your local Credit Union to see what kinds of business bank accounts it offers. Historically, Credit Unions have had a strong interest in small business banking and your local Credit Union probably offers business banking accounts and services that are very competitive.

    The Credit Union I use offers a $6.00 pay-as-you-go Business Chequing Account, a $10.25 Business Package that comes with 15 full-service transactions and four other business account packages with fees ranging from $19.95 through $99.95. Besides the range of packages, I also really like the fact that their transaction fees are lower than the banks in many cases. Check and see; this may be true of the Credit Union in your area too.

    Small Business Banking Isn t All About the Fees

    The most important feature of small business banking is the relationship you have with your bank or credit union manager, not the cost of your small business bank account, as sooner or later almost all small businesses need a business loan and/or a line of credit.

    That being said, however, there s no point in spending money every month on small business banking services you’re not using or conversely, paying relatively high small business bank account fees and not getting the small business banking services you need.

    Checking your business bank account and comparing it with the information on business bank accounts above could help you find a small business bank account that s a better fit for your small business and save you money.





    The Best Banks for Small Business Loans, best bank for small business.#Best

    The Best Banks for Small Business Loans

    Best bank for small business

    A small business loan can make all the difference in whether or not your business succeeds.

    Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    Related Articles

    • 1 The Average Interest Rate for Small Business Loans
    • 2 How to Apply for Government Small Business Loans
    • 3 How to Get a Business Loan From Banks
    • 4 What Is Needed for a Small Business Loan?

    Successfully obtaining a small business loan can make all the difference in whether or not your business succeeds. Some banks are a lot friendlier toward small businesses than others, making it easier to apply for and obtain a small business loan. Although finding such a bank is no guarantee that your loan application will get approved, knowing which banks are more amenable to small businesses is half the battle.

    Banking Grades

    Banking Grades is a new tool from Multifunding, a Philadelphia-based small business financial consultant. By analyzing data from quarterly FDIC call reports, Banking Grades assigns a letter grade from A to F to a bank based on its small business lending performance. To get an A, a bank must apply at least 25 percent of its total domestic deposits to small business financing. Banks that receive a grade of F use less than 3 percent toward this goal. Entrepreneurs seeking small business loans can use this tool to search for small-business-friendly banks in their area, or to check the grade on a specific bank.

    Big Banks

    Big banks are banks with deposits of more than $10 billion. These include some of the more widely known banks nationwide. Big banks tend to score lower overall in Banking Grades reports. According to Multifunding CEO Ami Kassar, as quoted in the Huffington Post, big banks are too bureaucratic and spread out to handle small business loans well. However, several big banks did score a B or higher.

    Top Five Big Banks

    As of May 2012, the top-scoring big banks for small business loans included Zions First National Bank, headquartered in Salt Lake City; First-Citizens Bank Trust Company in Raleigh, NC; Synovus Bank in Columbus, GA; Chase Bank Usa in Newark, DE; and Bancorpsouth Bank in Tupelo, MS. With the exception of Zions First National Bank, which received an A, all of these banks received a B from Banking Grades.

    Small Banks

    Small banks, or community banks, typically serve a region, state or smaller community rather than offering nationwide service, and have less than $1 billion in assets. Smaller banks tend to score better overall in Banking Grades reports, with many small banks receiving an A grade. Community banks typically loan out about 66 percent of their assets in small business loans, a much higher percentage than big banks.

    Top Five Small Banks

    As of May 2012, the top scoring small banks, all of which received an A from Banking Grades, include Farmers State Bank in Hosmer, SD; Community Bank in Nevada, IA; Farmers And Merchants Bank in Milligan, NB; First Resource Bank in Savage, MN; and Wright Express Financial Services Corporation in Midvale, UT.

    SBA Loans

    The Small Business Administration sets guidelines for loans intended for small business owners who don’t have access to other forms of financing. These loans include the 7(a), for businesses with region or industry-specific needs, and the 504, which is intended for expansion and modernization of a business. Although the SBA does not itself give out loans, it has lending partners, typically community banks.

    Top Five Banks for SBA Loans

    As of May 2012, according to research done by the financial advice website Nerd Wallet, the top five community banks for obtaining SBA loans include BankFive, headquartered in Fall River, MA; Community West Bank in Goleta, CA; Kitsap Bank in Port Orchard, WA; TwoRiver Community Bank in Middletown, NJ; and Cornerstone Community Bank in Grafton, WI.





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    Our working capital needs calculator will help you determine how much of a small business loan or line of credit you should apply for to cover working capital needs for the next year. Simply enter your desired annual growth rate, current assets, and current liabilities, and your target current ratio to find out what you need.

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    Every business is different. We d like to partner with you to understand your needs so we can help customize a business lending solution for you now, while also proactively helping you plan for the future. Simply answer a few questions, and we ll contact you to discuss your best financing options.





    The Best Banks for Small Business Loans, best bank for small business.#Best

    The Best Banks for Small Business Loans

    Best bank for small business

    A small business loan can make all the difference in whether or not your business succeeds.

    Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    Related Articles

    • 1 The Average Interest Rate for Small Business Loans
    • 2 How to Apply for Government Small Business Loans
    • 3 How to Get a Business Loan From Banks
    • 4 What Is Needed for a Small Business Loan?

    Successfully obtaining a small business loan can make all the difference in whether or not your business succeeds. Some banks are a lot friendlier toward small businesses than others, making it easier to apply for and obtain a small business loan. Although finding such a bank is no guarantee that your loan application will get approved, knowing which banks are more amenable to small businesses is half the battle.

    Banking Grades

    Banking Grades is a new tool from Multifunding, a Philadelphia-based small business financial consultant. By analyzing data from quarterly FDIC call reports, Banking Grades assigns a letter grade from A to F to a bank based on its small business lending performance. To get an A, a bank must apply at least 25 percent of its total domestic deposits to small business financing. Banks that receive a grade of F use less than 3 percent toward this goal. Entrepreneurs seeking small business loans can use this tool to search for small-business-friendly banks in their area, or to check the grade on a specific bank.

    Big Banks

    Big banks are banks with deposits of more than $10 billion. These include some of the more widely known banks nationwide. Big banks tend to score lower overall in Banking Grades reports. According to Multifunding CEO Ami Kassar, as quoted in the Huffington Post, big banks are too bureaucratic and spread out to handle small business loans well. However, several big banks did score a B or higher.

    Top Five Big Banks

    As of May 2012, the top-scoring big banks for small business loans included Zions First National Bank, headquartered in Salt Lake City; First-Citizens Bank Trust Company in Raleigh, NC; Synovus Bank in Columbus, GA; Chase Bank Usa in Newark, DE; and Bancorpsouth Bank in Tupelo, MS. With the exception of Zions First National Bank, which received an A, all of these banks received a B from Banking Grades.

    Small Banks

    Small banks, or community banks, typically serve a region, state or smaller community rather than offering nationwide service, and have less than $1 billion in assets. Smaller banks tend to score better overall in Banking Grades reports, with many small banks receiving an A grade. Community banks typically loan out about 66 percent of their assets in small business loans, a much higher percentage than big banks.

    Top Five Small Banks

    As of May 2012, the top scoring small banks, all of which received an A from Banking Grades, include Farmers State Bank in Hosmer, SD; Community Bank in Nevada, IA; Farmers And Merchants Bank in Milligan, NB; First Resource Bank in Savage, MN; and Wright Express Financial Services Corporation in Midvale, UT.

    SBA Loans

    The Small Business Administration sets guidelines for loans intended for small business owners who don’t have access to other forms of financing. These loans include the 7(a), for businesses with region or industry-specific needs, and the 504, which is intended for expansion and modernization of a business. Although the SBA does not itself give out loans, it has lending partners, typically community banks.

    Top Five Banks for SBA Loans

    As of May 2012, according to research done by the financial advice website Nerd Wallet, the top five community banks for obtaining SBA loans include BankFive, headquartered in Fall River, MA; Community West Bank in Goleta, CA; Kitsap Bank in Port Orchard, WA; TwoRiver Community Bank in Middletown, NJ; and Cornerstone Community Bank in Grafton, WI.





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      Important message:

      On Friday 10th November changes will be made within Faster Payments Scheme Limited for some Banks, as a result there will be a scheduled scheme change window between 4:30 and 6:30 pm UK time. If you initiate a Bill Payment to an impacted UK Bank sort code during this time the payment will be rejected and you will be required to re-initiate the transaction after the scheme change window. We therefore recommend that you refrain from attempting to initiate any Bill Payments during this scheme change window.





    For many small businesses, the best bank isn’t a bank at all,

    For many small businesses, the best bank isn’t a bank at all

    June 3, 2013 9:52 AM EDT

    Stark honesty is seldom enjoyable but often necessary for self-improvement. Last month, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business delivered some straight talk to Canada s banking industry through a hard-hitting report titled Battle of the Banks.

    Based on a survey of nearly 13,000 small business owners across Canada, Battle of the Banks is jammed with a wealth of information including ratings of the banks, market share trends and financing data.

    Entrepreneurs were asked to rate their banks based on several factors: Financing (willingness to lend, lending terms, information requirements), fees, account manager issues (accessibility to, treatment and business understanding by account managers, and service (clarity of bank statements, access to branch, user friendliness of online banking).

    Among the five big banks, Scotiabank and the Bank of Montreal were tied with the highest overall scores. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was the worst big bank for small business, unchanged from 2010 when CFIB issued its last banking report.

    Not only did CIBC perform poorly among micro businesses (fewer than five employees) and small businesses (for the purposes of this report, five to 49 employees), but also for mid-sized firms (50 to 499 employees). Quite tellingly, CIBC s market share of the small and medium-sized business is now the lowest of the big banks at 9.9%. In contrast, it held the second-highest market share at 19.3% in 1989. This is a massive drop in fortunes for CIBC and one we believe is by design (a desire to move away from small business lending) rather than by accident or neglect.

    Battle of the Banks contains a few surprises: HSBC and Alberta s ATB Financial scored right at the bottom of the overall rankings, compared with very high assessments in the last report. We know HSBC has significantly pulled back its Canadian operations but are shocked by ATB s giant drop.

    But the big story in the report isn t a surprise: For many small businesses, the best bank isn t a bank at all it s a credit union. Once again, they outperformed the big banks in serving the needs of Canada s entrepreneurs. (Although strong in performance, it is important to keep in mind their relative presence, nation-wide; credit unions are prominent in Western and Atlantic Canada but not so much in the rest of the country.)

    In recent months, credit unions have received some decidedly mixed news. On the one hand, regulatory changes last summer will allow them to expand beyond provincial borders, and exist as national financial institutions. On the other, the federal government announced it will phase out a tax concession that smaller credit unions have enjoyed since the 1970s.

    Our members tell us that a credit union lending manager is far more likely to take the time to understand their business and consider their track record, rather than just plugging the numbers into a Bay Street-determined formula. While credit unions have always served the smallest businesses well, this report shows they are able to serve the more complicated needs of medium-sized businesses better than the major banks, too.

    One of the most disturbing trends from Battle of the Banks is this: the smaller the business, the lower the overall bank score. Compared to larger businesses, smaller ones have a tougher time getting the financing they need from their bank. Smaller businesses especially those at the micro level are rejected for loans more frequently than larger companies, and they typically pay higher interest rates. Quite often, entrepreneurs are forced to dip into their personal savings or rely on credit card financing.

    Some bank CEOs may not like all of the information contained in Battle of the Banks, but I hope they read the report to get a better sense of how to serve the small business market and make some necessary changes to do a better job of serving the needs of our country s job creators.

    I strongly encourage small business owners to visit CFIB s website (www.cfib.ca) to learn how their bank performed. Information is power, and small businesses can use our research to shop around for the financial services options best suited to them.

    There s an unfulfilled need for financing among Canada s entrepreneurial class. Bank executives who read this report and improve their fees and services to better meet the needs of small business will profit handsomely. Those who don t will be missing out on a golden opportunity.





    The Best Bank for Small Business in Canada: Business Bank Accounts, best

    The Best Bank for Small Business in Canada: Business Bank Accounts

    Best bank for small business

    In Canada there didn t use to be much point in looking for the best bank for small business when you were looking for a business bank account; for years, the only difference between business bank accounts and personal ones has been that business bank accounts cost a lot more in fees.

    But the Cyclopean eyes of Canada s big banks have finally alighted on small business banking and, having decided that small business owners are a worthy market, the banks are actually competing with one another to create business bank accounts that small business owners will find attractive – and that means creating small business accounts with lower bank fees.

    Here are the best business bank accounts for Canadian small businesses based on their monthly costs so you can compare and decide which is the best bank for small business.

    Business Bank Accounts for Low-Volume Businesses

    If you don t have many transactions each month and don t need to write or deposit cheques much, you may be able to use the only free business bank account around, RBC s Small Business eAccount, which has no monthly fee, unlimited electronic account transactions each month and no minimum balance required.

    However, standard fees apply to all non-electronic transactions, such as a $2.00 charge for every paper debit or cheque, a $3.50 charge for every paper credit or deposit and a $5.00 fee for every $1,000 cash deposited in-branch. So unless your clients are all paying directly through credit, debit or wire transfer, you may be better off springing for a business bank account that does have a monthly fee.

    For instance, RBC also offers a Business Essentials $6 Small Business Account. The $6.00 fee does not apply if your transaction fees are more than $6.00 and the transaction fees decrease by the number of transactions; for example, if you make 1-10 paper based transactions, the transaction fee is $1.25 each but if you make 11-30, the fee decreases to $1.20 each.

    You can also cut down on transaction fees by banking electronically; 1-10 electronic transactions are only $0.75 each.

    The business bank account with the lowest monthly fee currently is the TD Basic Business Plan. Its $5.00 monthly fee includes five free transactions and five free deposit items each month. After that, each transaction is $1.25 and each deposit item is $0.22 and the first five of each type of transaction are free. Cash deposits are $2.50 per $1,000.

    Six dollars seems to be the popular fee for low-volume business accounts. It s the monthly charge for Scotiabank s Right Size Account for business (with transaction fees of $1.20 through $0.85 each depending on how many transactions you make each month), BMO s Business Start bank account which allows you seven free transactions a month and CIBC s Basic Business Operating Account which does not allow you any free transactions each month and charges $1.25 for each full-service transaction you make and $1.00 for each self-service transaction.

    Scotiabank also offers a Basic Business Account U.S. account which has a minimum account maintenance fee of $9.95 a month. In addition, you re charged for all your transactions on a pay-per-use basis.

    Each cheque, for instance, costs $1.20, while each item deposited to your account costs $1.00. The interesting thing about this account is that you earn one free transaction by keeping a $1,100 minimum monthly credit balance, and you will pay no monthly account maintenance fee if your minimum monthly credit balance is $6,000 or over.

    And If You re Not a Low-Volume Business?

    You re going to pay more. Sometimes a lot more. Each bank offers a slate of business account offerings and their charges for what you get are comparable. There are no banking bargains.

    Most Canadian banks offer a business account at the $20 monthly fee level which might work for you if you run a small retail business.

    The Royal Bank s RBC Business Essentials Fixed-Fee Account is pretty typical of accounts offered. For a monthly business bank account fee of $20.00 you get:

    Learn how to start your own business or side hustle, and discover strategies to attract customers and pump up your profits.

    • Up to 20 debits/cheques each month
    • Up to 15 credits/deposits each month
    • Up to 20 items deposited each month
    • Up to $2,500 cash deposited each month.

    (They also offer three other Fixed Fee Plans at monthly rates of $35.00, $50.00 and $75.00, each with increasing numbers of transactions per month.)

    The best of these accounts is the TD s Every Day Business Account. For $19.00, it gives you 50 deposit items and up to $5,000 in cash deposits, more than any other of the big banks.

    From there, all the banks offer accounts with increasing monthly fees based on the number of monthly transactions.

    The CIBC offers an Unlimited Business Operating Account which, as the name suggests, gives you unlimited transactions with a cash, coin and cheque deposit package for a $50.00 monthly fee. Looking at how few monthly transactions are included in most of the more inexpensive business bank accounts and how quickly additional transaction fees stack up, this may well be the most inexpensive option if your business has many monthly transactions.

    Small Business Banking Packages

    Another thing that complicates the issue of which is the best bank for small business is that some banks offer small business banking packages that bundle banking services.

    Scotiabank s combo small business banking packages are of particular interest; they offer several business bank accounts that combine a personal and business bank account with other banking services, such as their ScotiaOne Account Plan. Besides the personal chequing and business bank account, the plan includes a business Visa card, a ScotiaCard and electronic banking for business.

    Fees start at $49.95 per month.

    The Best Way to Get a Free Business Bank Account

    . is to maintain a monthly balance. But the required monthly balance to waive the account maintenance fee is often quite high.

    As of time of writing, the account with the lowest required minimum monthly balance is the aforementioned TD Every Day Business Account. You won t have to pay the $19.00 fee on their Every Day A bank account if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $20,000.

    See What Business Bank Accounts Your Credit Union Offers First

    There are also a great many Credit Unions operating in different regions in Canada. and you ll want to check with your local Credit Union to see what kinds of business bank accounts it offers. Historically, Credit Unions have had a strong interest in small business banking and your local Credit Union probably offers business banking accounts and services that are very competitive.

    The Credit Union I use offers a $6.00 pay-as-you-go Business Chequing Account, a $10.25 Business Package that comes with 15 full-service transactions and four other business account packages with fees ranging from $19.95 through $99.95. Besides the range of packages, I also really like the fact that their transaction fees are lower than the banks in many cases. Check and see; this may be true of the Credit Union in your area too.

    Small Business Banking Isn t All About the Fees

    The most important feature of small business banking is the relationship you have with your bank or credit union manager, not the cost of your small business bank account, as sooner or later almost all small businesses need a business loan and/or a line of credit.

    That being said, however, there s no point in spending money every month on small business banking services you’re not using or conversely, paying relatively high small business bank account fees and not getting the small business banking services you need.

    Checking your business bank account and comparing it with the information on business bank accounts above could help you find a small business bank account that s a better fit for your small business and save you money.





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