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6 Best Banks for Canadian Small Businesses

Written by on September 21, 2016

Many institutions claim they have the best banks for Canadian small businesses and entrepreneurs. However, there are so many different options that choosing the best banks with great options for small businesses is a difficult task.

This is especially true because if you end up choosing the wrong bank for your Canadian small business, you could end up paying a lot in fees and charges.

Today we’ll look at some of the best banks for Canadian small businesses, what they have on offer, and any advantages and disadvantages.

Business Accounts

Unfortunately, HSBC no longer sells its popular Business Direct Account, although it still maintains it for those customers lucky enough to have grabbed it up.

That account offered unlimited free internet banking, free transfers, bill payments and others. It also offered 20 free checks deposited and writing 20 checks free per month.

BMO’s Business Builder 1

The Bank of Montreal's Business Builder 1 has many great features

One of the best now is Bank of Montreal’s Business Builder 1. It’s great for moderate business account users, and those users who favor online banking.

Account Feature Cost
Monthly fee $20
Minimum Balance $0
Monthly transactions 35
Item Deposits 25
Cash Deposits $2,500

RBC’s Business Essentials® Fixed Fee Plan 1

The Royal Bank of Canada's Business Essential series of bank accounts have many great options

The Royal Bank of Canada offers this plan for those customers with predictable monthly transactions, without spending too much money. It’s great for starting small businesses, but can be limiting if you do more business.

Account Feature Cost
Monthly fee $20
Minimum Balance $0
Monthly transactions 35
Item Deposits 20
Cash Deposits $2,500

 

Pay-As-You-Go Accounts

For those businesses that don’t do a lot of transactions per month, or not enough to maintain a good minimum balance, the pay-per-use or pay-as-you-go option is great. It presents one option for the best banks for Canadian small businesses.

RBC Small Business eAccount

The Royal Bank of Canada's Small Business eAccount has many great pay-as-you-go options

This is great for those small business owners still using their personal bank accounts for business matters. As we’ve said before, it’s crucial for you to separate your business and personal finances, and getting separate bank accounts is one of our great tips. Read more here.

Account Feature Cost/Limits
Monthly fee $0
Minimum balance required $0
Electronic debits or credits Unlimited
Paper debits or checks $1.50
Paper credits or deposits $3.50
Cash Deposits $5 for each $1,000

Scotiabank’s Basic Business Account 

Scotia also has great offerings with its Basic Business Account

Like other bank accounts listed, this is also advisable if you’re switching between US and Canadian currencies. You can choose your US dollar account and avoid currency fluctuations altogether.

Account Feature Cost/Limits
Monthly fee $9.95 for balances below $6,000
Minimum balance required $0
Electronic debits or credits $0.20
Paper debits or checks $1.20
Paper credits or deposits $1.00
Cash Deposits $2.5 for each $1,000

 

Best Business Savings Accounts

When you’ve got some money coming in, it’s important to put that money somewhere. One of the most advisable is to put it into a savings account, where your money can grow healthily while you are continuing to make money.

Although interest rates since the Great Recession haven’t been stellar, they are still commendable. Canadian banks still have great savings options for small businesses.

Tangerine Business Savings Account

Tangerine's modern yet simple focus is great for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a great business savings account

In August 2012, ING Direct Canada was sold to Scotiabank, and in 2014 officially changed its name to the modern though light Tangerine. The name change was meant to highlight its new focus on “simplicity” and “innovation.” It is now one of the best banks for Canadian small businesses.

Account Feature Cost
Monthly fee $0
Minimum balance required $0
Debit transactions free
Interest rate 0.50%

Scotia Power Savings Account

Though not technically a business savings account, Scotia's Power Savings is a great savings option

A more traditional route, and although not technically a business savings account, this Scotiabank account still offers great features.

Account Feature Cost
Monthly fee $0
Minimum balance required $0
Debit transactions Unlimited to other Scotiabank accounts; $5.00 each for other transactions
Interest rate 0.30% for a balance of $5,000 or more; 0.00% for under $5,000

 

So what are the best banks for Canadian small businesses?

Although the answer may seem as a cop-out, the best bank is a relative choice for small businesses depending on their situations. Your business size, your monthly transactions, and the amount of surplus money will all determine which bank account you should choose.

Nonetheless, there are all great accounts for your consideration. If you chose one or two out of these 6 best banks for Canadian small businesses, it would be hard to go wrong.

The best thing to do is to research further on the banks’ websites listed above, or to talk to a bank representative either by phone or an in-person consultation.

Did we miss any other great banks for Canadian small businesses? Which ones are your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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