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Nerdwallet analyzed national, regional and online financial institutions to find the best banks for small businesses in North Carolina. We prioritized banks that offered free or low-fee business checking accounts alongside other business services, including business loans, high-yield savings accounts, merchant services and business credit cards.

Weigh the features most important to you when choosing a bank for your business, whether those be branch locations, cash deposits, customer support or account flexibility. While online banks score points for minimal fees and easy accessibility, live customer support can be lacking. Brick-and-mortar banks typically have more fees and restrictions but offer a wide range of business services — and likely have a branch in your area if you want to talk to a banker in person.

Here are our picks for the best overall banks available to small businesses in North Carolina, plus some local options worth considering. Note that most of the star ratings on this list are specific to the bank’s 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 business accounts in North Carolina

Best for: 24/7 customer support

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Online banks can often fall short on live customer support. Not Axos. This online-only bank offers live, 24/7 phone support for business customers. Other standout features include the ability to easily make cash deposits at compatible ATMs and automatic refunds of any ATM fees, including those charged by third-party operators.

Best for: High-yield business savings + SBA loans

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Live Oak is one of the most active SBA 7(a) lenders in North Carolina. The online bank also consistently offers some of the best interest rates on the market with its business savings products, including a top-notch high-yield business savings account that earns 4.00% APY and multiple business CD options that earn at least 5.00% APY as of this writing.

Best for: No-fee business banking checking

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NBKC’s free business checking is an attractive option for business owners in North Carolina who won’t mind a fully online banking experience. NBKC has only four branch locations, and they’re all in the Kansas City area. However, customers can access their account through NBKC’s mobile app and website, as well as 34,000+ MoneyPass ATMs (which include numerous locations at Han-Dee Hugo’s, Sheetz and 7-Eleven).

Best for: Non-bank option for small businesses

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Bluevine isn’t a bank, but rather a technology company that offers FDIC-insured business banking products via a partner financial institution. Bluevine’s online business checking account is backed by Coastal Community Bank and insured by the FDIC for up to $3 million via the IntraFi sweep network. The account has no monthly fees and an APY, too:

Earn 2.00% interest on account balances up to and including $250,000. Terms apply.

Beyond business checking, Bluevine also offers business lines of credit and (currently by invitation only) a newly launched business credit card.

Best for: All-in-one business bank

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Chase’s entry-level business bank account packs in a lot of useful business features, including unlimited electronic transactions and integrated payment processing via the Chase mobile app. While Chase is a huge national bank, it may not be the best option for in-person banking depending on where your business is in North Carolina. There are only about 30 branches in the state, primarily in larger cities like Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro.

Best for: Cash deposits + loyalty rewards

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Bank of America’s Business Advantage Fundamentals checking account includes up to $7,500 in cash deposits per month — that is substantially higher than other brick-and-mortar banks, which typically cap monthly cash deposits at anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. Bank of America also rewards customers who keep their business in-house, with perks like higher savings and cash-back rates on certain products via its Preferred Rewards for Business program.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Best for: Military member, veterans and their families

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Navy Federal Credit Union caters specifically to the military community. You can choose from multiple business checking and savings options, and can get access to a variety of business loans, if you qualify. Beyond that, Navy Federal’s business specialists can help you tap in to the network of resources available for veteran-owned businesses.

Best for: Branch access + business loans

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Wells Fargo has more than 200 branches across North Carolina and offers a wide range of banking services — including business checking, savings and financing options — for business owners who prefer to bank in person.

Best for: In-person banking in North Carolina

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Truist Bank has nearly 300 branch locations across North Carolina, making it a standout option for business owners who prefer to bank in person. While Truist’s free business checking account leaves a lot to be desired — the transaction limits are particularly stingy compared with competitors — the bank’s Dynamic Business Checking gives you more runway and it’s relatively easy to avoid the monthly fee.

Other North Carolina-based business banks to consider

First Citizens Bank: This bank’s free business checking account has no minimum balance requirement and includes up to 100 transactions and $5,000 in cash deposits per month.
North State Bank: With four business checking options, North State Bank offers something for nearly every business size. Accounts include QuickBooks integration and some also offer a healthy welcome bonus.
Self-Help Credit Union: This mission-driven credit union is dedicated to providing banking services and economic opportunity to underserved communities. While Self-Help doesn’t offer a business checking account, the credit union does offer many other business banking services, including business loans, money market accounts and certificates of deposits with very competitive terms.

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