Launching your small business in North Carolina is an exciting step. But between securing funding, finding the perfect location, and building your customer base, there’s one crucial detail you don’t want to overlook: choosing the best bank for small business in North Carolina.

A supportive financial partner can provide the tools and resources you need to thrive. Whether you’re a startup freelancer or a well-established brick-and-mortar business, there’s a North Carolina bank or credit union perfectly suited to your needs. This guide explores some of the best banks for small business in NC, considering factors like account features, fees, and accessibility. 

5 Best North Carolina Small Business Banks

There are a multitude of banks to choose from in the Tar Heel State, including local, regional, and national options, as well as credit unions. To help you choose the ideal bank for your up-and-coming enterprise, we’ve narrowed it down to a list of the top five best banks for small business in NC:

1. North One (Digital Bank)

North One is a connected bank account which offers the advantages of a local bank with the features of a tech company. Launched in 2017, North One caters specifically to small businesses, offering a user-friendly mobile app and online platform to manage your finances. It’s designed to help entrepreneurs in NC get their venture up and running quickly, and to give them total transparency into their finances. 

North One boasts a free business checking account with unlimited transactions, mobile check deposit, and integrated bill pay. You’ll also have access to business term loans, business lines of credit, integrations with popular accounting software, simplifying expense tracking and bookkeeping. North One also makes it easy to deposit or withdraw cash at over 90,000 locations nationwide, including any CVS or Walmart location. North One customers can also receive payments instantly any day or time of the year through participation in the Real Time Payments network. 

Overall, North One is a solid option for those seeking a convenient and affordable digital banking solution for their North Carolina small business. It’s a digital-first experience that’s empowering for small business owners in a multitude of ways.

2. Piedmont Federal Savings Bank (Local Bank)

Established in 1901, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank takes pride in its deep roots in North Carolina, serving communities across the state. More than just a financial institution, Piedmont Federal is a strong advocate for small businesses, offering personalized service and a genuine commitment to helping local ventures succeed.

Piedmont Federal provides a variety of business checking accounts to suit the needs of small business owners, from basic options with low monthly fees to premium accounts with added features like interest-bearing balances and built-in rewards programs. They also offer competitive loan options to help finance equipment, inventory, or even your dream office space. Additionally, Piedmont Federal prioritizes building relationships with their business clients, offering financial workshops and mentorship programs to empower local entrepreneurs. 

For those seeking a bank that understands the North Carolina small business landscape and prioritizes community growth, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank is a strong contender.

3. Truist Financial (Regional Bank)

Truist Bank—formed in 2019 by the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks—is a regional banking giant with a significant presence in North Carolina. Boasting the most branches in the state, Truist offers a convenient network of physical locations for those who value face-to-face banking interactions.

Truist provides a variety of business checking accounts to suit different needs and budgets, along with a comprehensive loan portfolio for equipment, inventory, real estate, and business lines of credit. Their user-friendly mobile app and online banking platform offer features like mobile check deposit, online bill pay, and account management tools for convenient financial management.

While Truist might not specialize solely in small businesses, their extensive branch network, variety of account options, and loan offerings make them a strong contender for North Carolina businesses seeking a well-established regional banking partner.

4. Coastal Credit Union (State Credit Union)

Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, Coastal Credit Union is the state’s third-largest credit union, offering a compelling alternative to traditional banks. As a member-owned financial cooperative, Coastal Credit Union prioritizes returning profits to its members in the form of competitive rates, lower fees, and a strong focus on financial education.

This member-driven approach translates into benefits for small businesses. Coastal Credit Union boasts competitive rates on business checking accounts, potentially offering lower monthly maintenance fees compared to some for-profit banks. They also provide user-friendly online banking and mobile app features for convenient financial management, including mobile check deposit and online bill pay. 

To become a member, you’ll need to meet eligibility requirements. But if you qualify and value a focus on member service, competitive rates, and financial education, Coastal Credit Union is one of the best banks for small business in NC.

5. Mountain Credit Union (Local Credit Union)

Founded in 1950 by a group of local educators, Mountain Credit Union has grown into a prominent financial cooperative serving communities across western North Carolina. Unlike for-profit banks, Mountain Credit Union operates on a member-owned model, reinvesting profits back into member benefits and community initiatives.

Mountain Credit Union offers a compelling package for small businesses. Their business checking accounts boast competitive rates and minimal fees, with options to fit various transaction volumes. They also provide access to a variety of loan products, including SBA loans specifically designed to support small business growth. Beyond traditional banking services, Mountain Credit Union offers educational workshops on budgeting, cash flow management, and other topics crucial for small business success. 

If you’re a small business owner in western North Carolina who values a community-driven approach and a focus on financial education, Mountain Credit Union is an excellent choice.

Our Methodology for Vetting the Best Banks for Small Business in NC

Choosing the best bank for your North Carolina small business hinges on understanding your specific needs and aligning them with the strengths of different financial institutions. To help you navigate this process, we considered several key factors when selecting the best banks in the state:

  • Account Options and Features: We evaluated the variety of business checking and savings accounts offered by each bank or credit union. This includes features like free transactions, mobile deposit capabilities, interest-bearing balances, and integration with accounting software.
  • Fees: We analyzed the monthly maintenance fees, per-transaction charges, and other potential fees associated with each business account.
  • Ease of Use: In today’s digital age, a user-friendly online banking platform and mobile app are essential. We assessed the accessibility and functionality of each bank’s digital banking tools.
  • Branch Network Availability: For businesses seeking in-person service and access to physical branches, we considered the bank’s branch network across North Carolina.
  • Customer Service Reputation: We looked into the reputation of each bank or credit union regarding customer service, responsiveness, and overall client satisfaction.

By weighing these factors, we aimed to create a well-rounded overview of the best banks for small businesses in North Carolina. Remember, the “best” bank ultimately depends on your specific needs and priorities. Consider your transaction volume, the features most important to your business operations, and your preferred level of support when making your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions About NC Banking

Have questions about the process of opening a business bank account or making the choice between one bank vs. another? Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions:

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

Typically, you’ll need documents verifying your business formation (LLC, corporation, etc.), a tax ID number, and a government-issued photo ID. The specific requirements may vary slightly depending on the bank, so it’s always best to check their website or contact them directly.

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

The process can vary by bank, but you can usually open an account online, by phone, or in person. Gather the required documents beforehand to expedite the process. Many banks allow online applications, making it convenient to open an account from your own office.

Q: What if my business doesn’t have a lot of money to start?

Several options cater to small businesses starting out. Look for banks with low or no minimum balance requirements for business checking accounts. Digital-first banks like North One often have free accounts with minimal fees. Remember, factors like ease of use and features like mobile deposit can be valuable assets even for businesses on a tight budget.

Q: Should I choose a local bank or credit union, or a national bank?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Local banks and credit unions often offer personalized service and a strong understanding of the needs of businesses in your community. They may also be more flexible with loan options. National banks, on the other hand, often have a wider range of products and services and a larger branch network.