Starting a small business in Minnesota? Congratulations! You’re joining a thriving community of entrepreneurs across the state. But before you can open your proverbial doors and start marketing your products or services, you’ll need to choose a banking partner. 

We’ve created this guide to help you narrow down the search for the best banks in Minnesota. We’ll delve into some of the most reputable and accessible local and state banks and credit unions: their features, fees, and what makes them stand out. This guide is meant to be a shortlist of options that takes the anxiety out of the all-important task of choosing a small business banking partner. 

The 5 Best Minnesota Small Business Banks

Minnesota may be the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the number of banking options for small business owners isn’t far behind. From local community banks to regional powerhouses, credit unions to specialty banking partners, choosing between them can be downright daunting! Start with these five options, widely recognized as some of the top banks in Minnesota.

1. NorthOne (Digital Bank)

NorthOne offers an innovative approach to small business banking with the benefits of a local bank and the features of a tech company. Launched in 2017, NorthOne provides a streamlined digital platform designed to simplify financial management for small business owners in ways only a digital-first bank can. 

They integrate seamlessly with popular accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero, allowing for effortless expense tracking, automatic bill pay, and real-time cash flow insights. Plus, it’s easy to open an account in minutes entirely online, with no minimum balance requirements and a transparent fee structure. NorthOne also offers business term loans and business lines of credit, as well as the ability to receive payments in seconds and have immediate access to those funds through Real Time Payments.

While NorthOne lacks physical branches, customers can deposit and withdraw cash at over 90,000 GreenDot locations nationwide including any CVS or Walmart. Their user-friendly interface and excellent mobile app also make managing your business finances a breeze. It’s the best bank in Minnesota for entrepreneurs who want simplicity, efficiency, and transparency from their banking partner. 

2. Bell Bank (Local Bank)

Founded in 1961, Bell Bank is a local Minnesota success story that today boasts over 30 branches throughout the state. They cater specifically to small businesses, offering a personalized approach alongside a suite of financial products and services.

Bell Bank goes beyond basic checking and savings accounts, offering a dedicated business banker who understands your specific needs and goals, providing expert financial guidance tailored to your business. They also have flexible loan options to secure funding for growth initiatives, with a variety of choices including SBA loans, equipment financing, and lines of credit. 

While Bell Bank does have monthly maintenance fees on some accounts, it’s easy to meet minimum balance requirements. They also boast a user-friendly online banking platform and a well-regarded mobile app for on-the-go banking convenience. If you prioritize personalized service and a local connection, Bell Bank could be the perfect fit for your Minnesota small business.

3. Highland Bank (Local Bank)

Founded in 1928, Highland Bank is a Minnesota institution with a strong commitment to supporting local businesses. They operate over 15 branches concentrated in the Twin Cities metro area, offering a perfect blend of community focus and modern banking solutions.

Highland Bank understands the unique needs of small businesses. They offer a variety of business checking and savings accounts with competitive interest rates and features like free business debit cards and online bill pay. They also excel in providing personalized service with dedicated business banking representatives who can tailor financial solutions to your specific goals. Loan options include traditional business loans, lines of credit, and SBA loans to fuel your growth.

Beyond the basics, Highland Bank offers additional resources that benefit small businesses. This can include financial workshops, business networking events, and even merchant services to streamline your payment processing. If you prioritize both local connection and access to a range of support services, Highland Bank could be the best bank in Minnesota for you.

4. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union (Local Credit Union)

Looking for a financial partner with a focus on member service and competitive rates? Look no further than Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, a Minnesota-based credit union with a strong track record of supporting small businesses. As a member-owned cooperative, Affinity Plus prioritizes putting your needs first, offering a unique advantage over traditional banks.

Affinity Plus provides a variety of business banking solutions designed for small businesses of all sizes. This includes checking accounts with features like free debit cards and mobile check deposit, as well as interest-bearing savings accounts to help you grow your business reserves. Beyond traditional banking services, they provide educational workshops and resources to help you navigate financial decisions, and their member-owned structure often translates to lower fees and higher interest rates compared to traditional banks. 

While membership requires meeting eligibility requirements, the potential benefits can be significant. For a Minnesota small business seeking a personalized, member-focused approach to banking, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a compelling choice.

5. U.S Bank (National Bank)

While its presence spans across the country, U.S. Bank is headquartered in Minneapolis, making it a household name for Minnesota business owners. Their extensive branch network across the state provides convenient access to banking services, while their digital offerings ensure on-the-go management.

U.S. Bank offers a comprehensive suite of small business banking solutions. This includes various checking and savings accounts tailored to specific business needs, with features like free business debit cards and online bill pay. Additionally, they provide a robust selection of loan options, from traditional business loans and lines of credit to SBA loans for expansion or equipment purchases.

The drawback for small business owners is that U.S. Bank accounts come with maintenance fees. That said, they’re known for a very user-friendly mobile app, making it easy to manage your finances from anywhere. If you’re looking for a large, established bank with extensive resources and a statewide presence, U.S. Bank is among the best banks in Minnesota. 

Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Banks in Minnesota

Choosing the right bank for your small business is a crucial decision. To help you navigate the options, we evaluated Minnesota banks and credit unions based on a comprehensive methodology that considers factors vital to small business owners:

  • Features: We looked for banks offering a variety of features specifically tailored to small businesses. This includes free business checking accounts, online bill pay, mobile banking, remote deposit capture, and merchant services.
  • Fees: We evaluated account maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, transaction fees, and loan interest rates. Transparency in fee structures was also a plus.
  • Ease of Use: We assessed the user-friendliness of each bank’s online banking platform and mobile app. A seamless digital experience is crucial for managing your finances on the go.
  • Customer Service: We considered the availability and quality of customer service, including dedicated business banking representatives and access to support channels.
  • Local Presence: While we included a digital-first option based on convenience, we also highlighted local and state banks with branches in Minnesota. This can be important for those who value face-to-face interaction or easy access to a physical location.
  • Reputation: We factored in the overall reputation of each bank, considering customer reviews and industry recognition.

By considering this combination of factors, we aimed to create a well-rounded overview of the best banks for small businesses in Minnesota. It’s important to remember that your specific needs will influence which bank is the best fit. Consider your business size, banking habits, and desired level of service when making your final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions About MN Banks

Still not sure which of the top banks in Minnesota is right for you? Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) to shed even more light on the process of picking the right financial partner for your small business. 

Q: What do I need to open a business bank account in Minnesota?

To open a business bank account in Minnesota, you’ll typically need some basic documentation. This includes a valid government-issued ID, your Social Security number (or Employer Identification Number for businesses), proof of your business address, and a document verifying your business formation (articles of incorporation, etc.). Requirements may vary slightly by bank, so it’s always best to check their website or contact them directly for specifics.

Q: How do I open a small business bank account in Minnesota?

The process for opening a small business bank account in Minnesota is generally straightforward. Most banks allow you to apply online or in person at a branch. Be prepared to provide the documentation mentioned above and discuss your business needs with a banker. Once approved, you can typically fund your new account and start using it right away.

Q: What should I consider when choosing a bank for my Minnesota small business?

The best bank for your Minnesota small business depends on your specific needs. Consider factors like the features offered (account types, loans, cash management), fees (monthly maintenance, transaction fees), ease of use (online banking, mobile app), local presence (branches near you), and customer reviews. 

Q: Are there any advantages to using a small business credit union in Minnesota?

Credit unions can be a great option for small businesses. As member-owned cooperatives, they often prioritize service and offer competitive rates on loans and accounts. Additionally, credit unions may have lower fees compared to traditional banks. However, membership typically requires meeting eligibility requirements, and their branch networks may be smaller than national banks.