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How to Choose the Right Bank for Your Business

Posted on: September 10, 2021

A Checklist from Your Michigan Bank

blog-7136-1More than 120,000 new businesses opened in Michigan this year. If you’re one of the many entrepreneurs who launched your start-up with personal funds, it’s time to look for a bank to support your future growth and expansion.

Keeping business funds in a business account is important to prevent intermingling with personal funds and helps you in several ways:

  • You simplify business transaction tracking.
  • At tax time, filing a return for your business is more straightforward.
  • You'll have a transparent transaction trail for your accountant to use for audits.
  • You have visibility into your business cash flow.
  • You’ll build trust and credibility with customers and suppliers when they are making or accepting payments from your business bank accounts.

As a business owner, you have many options when choosing a bank in Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Grand Rapids. Some banks in Michigan have services and cost structures to support local businesses; others are adept at helping business owners with funding or other financial challenges.

Here’s a short checklist to use during your evaluation process.

  1. Does the bank’s local office have lending authority? Having the funds available to fuel your business plans is essential for every company. Local loan approval and underwriting can often deliver cash more quickly than national financial institutions.
  2. What types of business lending does the bank support? Ask about term loans, lines of credit, equipment loans, and commercial real estate loans.
  3. Does the bank have expertise with loans funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)? SBA loans may offer flexible terms to companies with limited credit history, collateral, or cash flow.
  4. What’s the bank’s lending limit for your company? Understanding the bank’s financial guardrails will help you during strategic planning.
  5. Are corporate credit cards available? While it's tempting to use your personal credit card for business purchases, maintaining separate accounts is a best practice for businesses that protects your personal credit rating.
  6. What type of business support services does the bank offer? Depending on your industry or business model, you may need help with payroll, automated clearing (ACH) for transactions, or cash logistics. Talk with the bank representative about your company to confirm you’ll have the services you need for daily operations.
  7. What are the fees associated with the accounts and services you’ll need for your business? Some banks in Michigan will bundle fees, making it worth your time to comparison shop.
  8. Does the bank have a team that understands your business, industry, and the local economy? Think of your business banking relationship as a partnership. A local Michigan bank that views your growing company as an essential element of the community and will support your financial health can help you reach your business goals.

blog-7136-2If you’re wondering where to begin with business banking, small businesses often need many of the following services:

  • Business checking account
  • Business savings account
  • Corporate credit card
  • Online banking
  • Lending Services
    • Business lines of credit
    • Term loans
    • Commercial real estate loans
    • Equipment loans or leasing
    • SBA loans
  • Cash management
  • Wire transfers
  • Merchant services
  • Employee programs
    • Payroll
    • Retirement accounts
    • Insurance

You’ve invested hours, energy, and money into your company; spending time finding the right banking partner will deliver a strong ROI. To find out how Level One Bank can help your business succeed, visit one of our local branch offices or contact our team.

“Banking has to work when and where you need it. The best advice and the best service in financial services happens in real time…”

-Brett King, futurist

Posted in: Your Business, Your Bank

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