(Page one of this article on the best business bank accounts for small business banking discusses no-fee and pay-as-you-go small business bank accounts for Canadian small businesses.)
Other Business Bank Accounts
HSBC offers a BusinessVantage Account, an interest-paying chequing banking account package in CAD or USD for $22.50 a month with a suite of small business banking services such as access to Relationship Managers for personalized service, including Trade and Cash Management advice, activity charges waived on up to 40 transactions, and volume-based discounts beyond the monthly transaction allocation.
The Bank of Montreal's Value Assist Plan is very similar to the BusinessVantage Account. It, too, is a chequing banking account package with fees starting at $22.00, although the monthly fee will be waived if you maintain the proper minimum monthly balance ($8,000 in the case of the $22.00 a month business bank account). The $22.00 a month account includes 20 transactions per month.
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 $35.00 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.
Savings Business Bank Accounts
ING's Business Investment Savings Account is hard to match if you're looking for a small business banking savings account. This business bank account has no monthly fees and no service charges with no minimum balance required, and as of time of writing, is offering a 1% interest rate.
Scotiabank's Scotia Power Savings Account also offers a 1% interest rate at time of writing. While it's not technically a business account, I don’t see why you couldn't use it as one. However, you do have to maintain a minimum monthly balance of $5,000 to get this interest rate.
Compare Business Bank Accounts:
The HSBC's Commercial Savings Account, at time of writing, offers 0.5% interest, and has no monthly fees but does demand a minimum monthly balance.
The Bank of Montreal's Business Premium Rate Savings Account offers 0.250% interest but does not demand a minimum monthly balance.
Small Business Banking Packages
Another thing that complicates the small business banking issue 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 $49.00 per month.
See What Business Bank Accounts Your Credit Union Offers
I've only compared Canadian banks in this article and not mentioned Credit Unions at all until now simply because there are so many Credit Unions operating in different regions in the country. But I urge you to check with your local Credit Union to see what kinds of business bank accounts they offer. Historically, Credit Unions have had a strong interest in small business banking and your local Credit Union probably offers banking accounts and services that are very competitive.
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. That being said, however, there's no point to 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.