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Best Banks for Small Business in California of July 2024

By Kelsey Sheehy
Last updated on March 26, 2024
Edited byRyan Lane
Fact checked and reviewed

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The best banks for small businesses in California make it easier to run your business, with digital tools and integrations, accessible customer support and a low-fee or no-fee business checking account. Additional services, like business loans, credit cards and payment processing sweeten the pot, allowing your bank to meet your business’s changing needs.
NerdWallet evaluated dozens of national, regional and online financial institutions to find the best business banks in the state, along with several local banks and community credit unions worth considering. Think about what features are important to you and the type of banking experience you want — online, in person or a combination of the two — when evaluating your options.
Note: The star ratings on this list are specific to the bank's entry-level business checking account, not the overall institution. The exception is Live Oak Bank, which we've highlighted for its standout business savings account.

Best Banks for Small Business in California

Bank/institutionNerdWallet ratingMonthly feeAPYBonusLearn more

U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking

Learn more

at U.S. Bank, Member FDIC

4.0/5

Best for Customer support + SBA loans

$0

N/A$800

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at U.S. Bank, Member FDIC

Chase Business Complete Banking®

Learn more

at Chase, Member FDIC

4.5/5

Best for Branch access + business credit cards

$15.00

Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

N/A$300

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Chase, Member FDIC

Bank of America® Business Advantage Fundamentals™ Banking

Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC

4.5/5

Best for Cash deposits + loyalty perks

$16.00

N/A$200

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC

Axos Bank® Basic Business Checking

Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

5.0/5

Best for Online bank with easy cash deposits

$0

N/A$400

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Bluevine Business Checking

Learn more

at Bluevine, Deposits are FDIC Insured

4.7/5

Best for Non-bank option for small business

$0

2.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

N/A

Learn more

at Bluevine, Deposits are FDIC Insured

American Express® Business Checking

Learn more

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

5.0/5

Best for Online banking with 24/7 customer support

$0

1.30%

With $0 min. balance for APY

N/A

Learn more

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Live Oak Bank Business Savings

Learn more

at Live Oak Bank, Member FDIC

5.0/5

Best for High-yield business savings

$0

4.00%

With $0.01 min. balance for APY

N/A

Learn more

at Live Oak Bank, Member FDIC

Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking

4.2/5

Best for Military members, veterans and their families

$0

0.01%

With $0 min. balance for APY

N/A

Bank/institutionNerdWallet ratingMonthly feeAPYBonusLearn more

U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking

Learn more

at U.S. Bank, Member FDIC

4.0/5

Best for Customer support + SBA loans

$0

N/A$800

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at U.S. Bank, Member FDIC

Chase Business Complete Banking®

Learn more

at Chase, Member FDIC

4.5/5

Best for Branch access + business credit cards

$15.00

Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

N/A$300

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Chase, Member FDIC

Bank of America® Business Advantage Fundamentals™ Banking

Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC

4.5/5

Best for Cash deposits + loyalty perks

$16.00

N/A$200

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC

Axos Bank® Basic Business Checking

Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

5.0/5

Best for Online bank with easy cash deposits

$0

N/A$400

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Bluevine Business Checking

Learn more

at Bluevine, Deposits are FDIC Insured

4.7/5

Best for Non-bank option for small business

$0

2.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

N/A

Learn more

at Bluevine, Deposits are FDIC Insured

American Express® Business Checking

Learn more

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

5.0/5

Best for Online banking with 24/7 customer support

$0

1.30%

With $0 min. balance for APY

N/A

Learn more

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Live Oak Bank Business Savings

Learn more

at Live Oak Bank, Member FDIC

5.0/5

Best for High-yield business savings

$0

4.00%

With $0.01 min. balance for APY

N/A

Learn more

at Live Oak Bank, Member FDIC

Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking

4.2/5

Best for Military members, veterans and their families

$0

0.01%

With $0 min. balance for APY

N/A

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Our pick for

Customer support + SBA loans

U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking

Read Review
Learn more

at U.S. Bank, Member FDIC

APY
N/A
Monthly fee
$0
Min. opening deposit
$100
Free cash deposits
Yes

Up to $2,500 per month.

Overdraft fees
$36
Bonus
$800

Requirements to qualify

Our pick for

Branch access + business credit cards

Chase Business Complete Banking®

Read Review
Learn more

at Chase, Member FDIC

APY
N/A
Monthly fee
$15.00

Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

Min. opening deposit
$0
Free cash deposits
Yes

Up to $5,000 per month.

Overdraft fees
$34
Bonus
$300

Requirements to qualify

Our pick for

Cash deposits + loyalty perks

Bank of America® Business Advantage Fundamentals™ Banking

Read Review
Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC

APY
N/A
Monthly fee
$16.00
Min. opening deposit
$100
Free cash deposits
Yes

Up to $7,500 per statement cycle.

Overdraft fees
$10
Bonus
$200

Requirements to qualify

Our pick for

Online bank with easy cash deposits

Axos Bank® Basic Business Checking

Read Review
Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

APY
N/A
Monthly fee
$0
Min. opening deposit
$0
Free cash deposits
Yes

Unlimited

Overdraft fees
$25
Bonus
$400

Requirements to qualify

Our pick for

Non-bank option for small business

Bluevine Business Checking

Read Review
Learn more

at Bluevine, Deposits are FDIC Insured

APY
2.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Monthly fee
$0
Min. opening deposit
$0
Free cash deposits
No

Fees vary by location.

Overdraft fees
$0
Bonus
N/A

Our pick for

Online banking with 24/7 customer support

American Express® Business Checking

Read Review
Learn more

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

APY
1.30%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Monthly fee
$0
Min. opening deposit
$0
Free cash deposits
No

No cash deposits.

Overdraft fees
N/A
Bonus
N/A

Our pick for

High-yield business savings

Live Oak Bank Business Savings

Read Review
Learn more

at Live Oak Bank, Member FDIC

APY
4.00%

With $0.01 min. balance for APY

Monthly fee
$0
Min. opening deposit
$0
Free cash deposits
No

No cash deposits

Overdraft fees
N/A
Bonus
N/A

Our pick for

Military members, veterans and their families

Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking

APY
0.01%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Monthly fee
$0
Min. opening deposit
$255
Free cash deposits
Yes

Unlimited

Overdraft fees
$29
Bonus
N/A

Best banks for business in California

Axos

Our pick for: Online bank with easy cash deposits
NerdWallet star rating:
5
Online banks typically charge a fee for cash deposits, if they accept them at all. But Axos Bank lets you deposit cash at compatible AllPoint and MoneyPass ATMs for no additional fee. And if you’re charged a fee by a third-party ATM owner, Axos will automatically refund the fee (domestic ATMs only).

Live Oak

Our pick for: High-yield business savings
NerdWallet star rating:
5
One way to make your money work harder is to stash your savings in a high-yield account. And Live Oak’s free business savings account is one of the best on the market with a
4.00%
APY. Live Oak also has a 12-month business CD that earns
5.00%
APY, as of this writing. Beyond its high-yield options, this online bank also offers multiple business checking and lending products.

American Express

Our pick for: Online banking with 24/7 customer support
NerdWallet star rating:
5
American Express business checking account has no monthly fee and earns up to
1.30%
APY. American Express business banking customers also enjoy 24/7 access to live customer support.

Bluevine

Our pick for: Non-bank option for small businesses
NerdWallet star rating:
4.7
Bluevine partners with an FDIC-insured bank to offer business checking and lending products. The bank’s free business checking account earns
2.00%
APY (terms apply). Businesses with substantial cash flow, and those who send a lot of wires or same-day ACH transfers, can also consider Bluevine Premier, which has a hefty monthly fee but offers discounted payments and a much higher APY.

Chase

Our pick for: Branch access
NerdWallet star rating:
4.5
Chase has more than 900 branch locations across California, making it easier for business owners to get facetime with their business banker. And Chase backs up its physical presence with some top-notch digital tools. Chase’s mobile app has built-in payment processing via Chase QuickPay, a feature that’s included in Chase Business Complete Banking℠.

Bank of America

Our pick for: Cash deposits + loyalty rewards
NerdWallet star rating:
4.5
Businesses that make frequent cash deposits will appreciate Bank of America’s generous cash deposit allowance — $7,500 or $20,000 per month, depending on the account. And those who qualify for the bank’s loyalty program (Preferred Rewards for Business) earn a number of perks, including discounted rates on certain business loans, a higher APY on select business savings products and a better rewards rate on Bank of America business credit cards.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Our pick for: Military member, veterans and their families
NerdWallet star rating:
4.2
Navy Federal Credit Union specializes in veteran-owned businesses, as well as those run by military members and their families. You’ll find business checking, savings and lending services with competitive terms, along with insurance and payroll processing. All listed owners of the business must be Navy Federal members to qualify. Membership is available to military members (active duty, veteran and retired), Department of Defense employees and their families.

U.S. Bank

Our pick for: Customer support + SBA loans
NerdWallet star rating:
U.S. Bank checks a lot of boxes for business owners. Free business checking? Check. Generous welcome offer? Check. Top-rated customer support? Check. In fact, U.S. Bank ranked second in J.D. Power’s most recent Small Business Banking Satisfaction study. It is also one of the most active SBA 7(a) lenders in California.

Other California-based business banks to consider

Beneficial State Bank: This bank offers free business checking, along with business lending, savings and cash management tools. It’s also a certified B Corporation and community development financial institution (CDFI), so the bank actively works to protect the environment and support low-income communities.
California Bank & Trust: California Bank & Trust has more than 85 branch locations across the state and offers a suite of business banking services, including multiple business checking and savings options. The bank has business CD terms that earn more than 4.00% APY (as of this writing).
Self-Help Federal Credit Union: Self-Help Federal Credit Union has more than 20 branch locations scattered across the state, including offices in the Bay Area, Central Valley, Los Angeles and San Diego. This mission-driven credit union, which is dedicated to providing banking services and economic opportunity to underserved communities, offers business banking, lending and savings products.
Last updated on March 26, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet evaluates more than 30 business bank accounts from national, regional and online banks. Collectively, these accounts represent the largest banks by assets, internet search traffic and other factors, along with notable or emerging players in the industry.
We consider more than 20 data points for each account, scoring them on fees, perks and accessibility, among other factors. This information is gathered from each financial institution's website and company representatives. In addition, data is collected regularly and reviewed by our editorial team for consistency and accuracy.
Final star ratings are presented on a scale of one to five stars, where a one-star score represents "poor" and a five-star score represents "excellent." Learn more about how we rate business checking accounts.
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