When you start a business, every dollar counts. Maybe you’ve already dipped into your personal funds, asked friends and family for investments, sold your car, pawned your wedding ring and cashed in your plasma. You’ve done it all, and you’re up and running. If you’ve put your heart and soul – and your Honda Civic – into your business, why would you let the bank take your money for checking account fees?
Banks often charge fees for things the average consumer would overlook. But, you’re not the average consumer. You’re a business owner and you’re the master of your domain. Sometimes asking the bank to waive the fee or for info on how to avoid the fees will work on its own, but it’s also important to find the best account for your business. You can check out some of the best banking and financing options and check your business credit score for free at Nav. Here are four checking account fees to watch out for and suggestions on how to avoid them.
1. Minimum Account Balance Fees
Many banks require a minimum balance for a checking or savings account. If you dip below that balance, you’ll face a fee. These could be as high as $15 per month or even more for high-yield accounts. In the grand scheme of things it may not seem like much, but money is money. Check with your bank to see if there are any free options available. If not, it’s good to ensure you never go below the minimum required balance. Check with your bank to see what kind of account structure may work best for your business.
Having emergency cash on hand can be your key to managing cash flow.
2. Monthly service fee
Some banks will charge a service fee each month simply to have the account open. Some specialty business accounts can even have fees around $100 a month. If that’s your situation, it may be worth your while to discuss with your bank (and their competitors) what free options may be available.
Similar to minimum account balance fees, some banks will waive service fees if you maintain a minimum balance. Also, it never hurts to ask the bank to waive the fees, particularly if you’ve done business with them for a long time and/or have multiple accounts. They may just surprise you.
3. Excess Transaction Fee
If you make a high number of transactions each month, you may want to take a closer look at your checking account. Many banks have a 200-transaction limit per month, some set a dollar amount limit, and every transaction beyond that limit could cost you. In some cases, the bank could be charging you up to 75 cents per transaction, which certainly adds up.
The best way to avoid these fees is to shop around for an account that meets your specific needs. Take inventory of your transaction history and see if a business credit card would be a better option for routine business purchases.
4. Multiple Card Fees
It’s not uncommon for business owners to issue multiple cards to their employees so they can make purchases for the business. If you’re one of those business owners, you might be facing a fee from your bank. Like with the monthly service fee, there are definitely banks that offer checking accounts that don’t include this fee.
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