Finding the right banking partner is crucial for entrepreneurs, as this relationship forms the backbone of how you process and manage your company’s finances. And if you call the Centennial State home, you probably want to learn more about the best banks for small business in Colorado.
The good news is that the best bank for small business needs in Colorado depends on what you’re looking for out of your banking relationship. The best banks for small business in Colorado each offer something unique and help them stand apart from their competitors. Whether that means getting a hassle-free SBA loan, finding a local business banking partner, or tapping into the resources of a national banking partner.
Here are a few of the best banks for small business in Colorado, defined by what gives each of them an edge against their competitors.
How to find the best banks for small business in Colorado
Before we dive straight into the banks for small business in Colorado, let’s first examine some of the key differentiators between business bank accounts. This can help you decide which is the best fit for your business, as you’ll be able to forecast your needs and desires from your account.
Know your needs
A local bakery that operates in all cash is vastly different than a small law practice that mostly accepts checks. Whereas the bakery needs the flexibility to make deposits and withdrawals frequently, a law practice might be better suited to open a business bank account that provides it with a path to grow into more feature-filled accounts as time goes on.
Before you consider the best banks for small business in Colorado (or any state, really), be sure you understand how your company’s financials work. If you don’t conduct a ton of transactions, you may not want to consider banks that give you this kind of flexibility at the expense of lower monthly balance minimums to waive fees. Alternatively, you might prioritize quick ATM access if you need to make cash deposits on the fly but would benefit from a bank’s online profile more greatly if ATM access isn’t as much of an issue for you.
Knowing how, when, and why you use your banking provider can help you whittle down choices, and give you a better chance of finding the right bank account.
Pick a bank that will grow with you
The best banks for small business offer tiered checking accounts. The entry-level tier is perfect for new businesses with less cash in hand and fewer banking needs. Mid- and high-level checking accounts offer an increasing array of features, free items, and other options that help you run your business’s financials more efficiently.
Make sure you pick a bank that has several account options if you anticipate your company will grow, or if its financials might outgrow the bread-and-butter options provided with most basic tier checking accounts. Switching banks once your business is humming can be a frustrating experience, so choose wisely at the onset and spare yourself the hassle of opting for a new bank later on when you’re busier.
Find a bank that rewards loyalty
Larger banks may reward their business checking customers for staying loyal to the firm. If you have a credit card or personal bank account with a bank, they may offer incentives like monthly fee waivers, additional items (like deposits and wire transfers), or make balance transfer a smooth and pain-free process.
If you haven’t already opened a business credit card, think about applying for one at the bank where you do your daily business checking. You may receive a few perks just for keeping your financials under one roof.
Determining the best banks for small business in Colorado
The truth is that most business checking accounts are more alike than they are dissimilar. Each offers a debit card, a set number of free withdrawals and deposits, and just about every one of them provides some level of online banking for their customers’ convenience.
Since most banks for small business in Colorado share similar features, the best way to rank each of them is by looking at one specific area in which they shine. That’s why we’ve paired one positive attribute with each of the banks below, helping you decide which one might be right for you based on your specific business needs.
For free checking: Bank of Colorado
The Bank of Colorado offers a one-two punch for small business owners. The bank’s Business Free Checking is free from fees and offers 500 free transactions per month, including debits, deposits, and checks. Plus, they’re only found within Colorado, making them an attractive option for small business owners in Colorado who would prefer to bank with a local company than a nationwide chain.
Bank of Colorado isn’t just one of the best banks for small businesses in Colorado because of its free checking and local presence. The bank also offers two other account tiers—Corporate Business Checking, which is designed as the Bank of Colorado’s middle option, offers credit on its account holders’ balances, which offsets service charges. This account’s $8 monthly fee and lack of a minimum balance requirement make it a great option for companies that need a little extra support. On the higher end of the spectrum, Bank of Colorado’s Commercial + Interest Checking helps you earn interest on your account balance and only costs $12 a month.
For branch access: U.S. Bank
Banking locally isn’t perfect for every business, of course. That’s where U.S. Bank can be a perfect fit as a small business bank in Colorado. U.S. Bank can be found in 40 states with 3,013 branches spread across them. There are at least 20 U.S. Bank ATMs in Colorado alone, which makes banking on the go an easy process.
U.S. Bank offers four business account levels—Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Premium. U.S. Bank Silver checking provides account holders with the everyday staples they need to run their business. You’ll get 150 free transactions per month, with additional charges costing $0.50 each. You’ll also get 25 free cash deposits and won’t have to pay a monthly fee to keep the account open. U.S. Bank Gold and Platinum options cost $20 and $25 each, but come with 300 and 500 free transactions per month, as well as 100 and 200 monthly free cash deposits, respectively. Premium accounts come with terms that are determined on a case-by-case basis since they’re designed for larger companies that need additional support.
For banking local: Community Banks of Colorado
Community Banks of Colorado offers local banking solutions for Colorado’s small business owners. The bank is part of a network of regional banks in other states, which means that it has a slightly different outlook than some of the larger, national banking providers. At the heart of Community Banks of Colorado’s mission is simplifying the banking process for its clients, which is an additional perk for small business owners who may not have the kind of time or resources to actively monitor their banking relationship.
Community Banks of Colorado offers five levels of checking support for small business owners. Its entry-level tier, Small Business Checking, only requires an initial $100 deposit to open an account. The $10 monthly service charge gets waived with a $1,000 minimum daily balance, an average daily balance of $2,000, or by spending $1,000 per month through debit card purchases. In return, you’ll get mobile deposit support, bill pay help, and 150 free transactions per month. Small Business Interest Checking, Business Checking, and Business Performance Checking come with different levels of free transactions, listed fees, and monthly cash deposit and withdrawal limits.
For account options: Colorado Business Bank
The Colorado Business Bank aims to give its clients the personalized attention that comes with banking locally, all while having the same product range of a larger banking institution. Their strategy helps back up this claim too: the Colorado Business Bank offers a ton of variety within each of its business banking options. Colorado Business Bank Basic Checking offers the run-of-the-mill features you’d expect from most entry-level bank accounts, while Business Banking Essential Checking and Business Complete Checking each provide tailored products to help medium- and large-scale companies reach their goals.
There are plenty of other options out there as well, specifically for non-profits and high-balance business accounts. If you want to sign up with a bank that can grow alongside your business, Colorado Business Bank might be the right option for you.
For growing companies: Chase
Chase is a great option for companies that plan to expand. This bank offers accounts with plenty of great features, and a local branch or ATM can be found almost anywhere across the United States. With Chase, you’ll be able to count on the support of a nationwide bank, as well as enjoy the flexibility of withdrawing or depositing money when you’re on the go.
Chase also offers three business checking accounts to fit your need depending on where your business is at the moment—as well as where it’ll go in the future. Chase Business Complete Banking is the bank’s entry-level checking product that provides access to free, unlimited non-wire electronic deposits which can be great for people who do most of their transactions electronically.
Chase Performance Business Checking takes the perks of the Business Complete Checking a step further, offering 50 fee-free transactions per month. Any additional transactions cost the same $.40 cents. You’ll also get unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wire transfers. You can also make $20,000 in cash deposits every month with no fee. Chase Platinum Business Checking is the top-tier option, providing 500 free transactions every month. You can deposit $25,000 in cash every month without a fee, and accept four incoming domestic wire transfers without encountering a fee.
Finding the best bank in Colorado for your small business
If you’re looking for the best banks for small business in Colorado, the good news is that you’re awash in a ton of great options. Most account offerings are similar in their own right, but each bank offers a competitive edge that sets it apart from its competitors. The best way to decide which Colorado bank is best for your small business comes down to what you and your business need the most—if that’s personalized attention, national scope, or a wide variety of options, there’s a bank out there to help you focus on what matters.
How to Get a Loan to Buy a Business
Not everyone wants to take on the challenge of building a business from the ground up. An attractive alternative can be to step into a business that’s already up and running by purchasing it from the current owner. Some advantages of buying a business may include easier financing, an established customer base and an existing cash flow.
Buying a business is different from buying a franchise. Franchises have a set business model that’s proven to work. However, when you buy an independently operated business, it’s important to show the lender that you, your previous business experience and the business you want to buy are a winning combination.
What lenders look at when you want to buy a business
Because lenders can view the performance record of an existing business, it’s typically easier to get a loan to purchase an existing business compared with startup funding. However, your personal credit history, experience and details about the acquisition business still matter.
Your personal credit and experience
Through credit reports and credit scores, lenders are able to assess how you’ve managed debt in the past and potentially gain insights into how you will handle it in the future. Your education and experience will also be evaluated.
Solid credit history: Lenders look to see if you have a history of paying your debts. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, repossessions, charge-offs and other situations where you haven’t paid off the full amount will be noted.
Business experience: Having worked in the same industry as the business you want to purchase is helpful. Related education can also be viewed as a positive.
Other businesses you’ve owned
Having a track record of operating other successful businesses can have a positive influence on lenders when it comes to buying a new operation.
Record of generating revenue: Business financial statements can help a lender document that your current or past businesses were well-managed and turned a profit.
Positive credit record: Lenders review business credit scores and reports to verify creditworthiness and to identify liens, foreclosures, bankruptcies and late payments associated with your other businesses.
The business you want to buy
Just because a business is operating doesn’t mean it’s a good investment. Lenders will ask for documentation, often provided by the current owner, to assess the health of the operation.
Value of the business: Like you, your lender will want to ensure that you’re buying a business that has value and that you’re paying a fair price.
Past-due debts: Lenders will be interested in the business’s past-due debts, which may include liens, various types of taxes, utility bills and collection accounts.
Most lenders will let you know what they want included in the loan application package, but there are some personal documents that are typically requested, as well as ones related to the business you want to purchase.
The following documents are used to evaluate your personal finances, business history and plans for operating the business after its purchase:
Personal tax returns.
Personal bank statements.
Financial statements for any of your other businesses.
Letter of intent.
Documents from the current business owner will also be evaluated. Some common ones requested by lenders include:
Business tax returns.
Profit and loss, or P&L, statements.
Business balance sheet.
Proposed bill of sale.
Asking price for inventory, machinery, equipment, furniture and other items included in the sale.
Where to get a loan to buy a business
Compared with finding a loan to start a business, getting funding to buy an existing business may be easier. Here are three popular funding options to check into for a business loan:
Banks generally offer the lowest interest rates and best terms for business loans. To qualify for this type of loan, you’ll typically need a strong credit history, plus the existing business will need to be in operation for a certain minimum of years and generate a minimum annual revenue amount set by the lender.
If borrowers don’t qualify for a traditional bank loan, then SBA loans, ones partially guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, may be the next option to explore. Because there is less risk to the lender, these loans can be easier to qualify for. Banks and credit unions frequently offer SBA loans in addition to traditional bank loans.
Online business loans
Another option to consider is online business loans. Online business loans may offer more flexibility when it comes to qualification, compared with bank and SBA loans. Minimum credit score requirements can be as low as 600, and in a few cases lower. Generally, interest rates are higher than what’s available with a traditional bank loan.
Accounts Receivable Financing: Best Options, How It Works
Accounts receivable financing, also known as invoice financing, allows businesses to borrow capital against the value of their accounts receivable — in other words, their unpaid invoices. A lender advances a portion of the business’s outstanding invoices, in the form of a loan or line of credit, and the invoices serve as collateral on the financing.
Accounts receivable, or AR, financing can be a good option if you need funding fast for situations such as covering cash flow gaps or paying for short-term expenses. Because AR financing is self-securing, it can also be a good choice if you can’t qualify for other small-business loans.
Here’s what you need to know about how accounts receivable financing works and some of the best options for small businesses.
How Much Do You Need?
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How does accounts receivable financing work?
With accounts receivable financing, a lender advances you a percentage of the value of your receivables, potentially as much as 90%. When a customer pays their invoice, you receive the remaining percentage, minus the lender’s fees.
Accounts receivable financing fees are typically charged as a flat percentage of the invoice value, and generally range from 1% to 5%. The amount you pay in fees is based on how long it takes your customer to pay their invoice.
Here’s a breakdown of how the process works:
You apply for and receive financing. Say you decide to finance a $50,000 invoice with 60-day repayment terms. You apply for accounts receivable financing and the lender approves you for an advance of 80% ($40,000).
You use the funds and the lender charges fees. After receiving the financing, you use it to pay for business expenses. During this time, the lender charges a 3% fee for each week it takes your customer to pay the invoice.
You collect payment from your customer. Your customer pays their invoice after three weeks. You owe the lender a $4,500 fee: 3% of the total invoice amount of $50,000 ($1,500) for each week.
You repay the lender. Now that your customer has paid you, you’ll keep $5,500 and repay the lender the original advance amount, plus fees, $44,500. You paid a total of $4,500 in fees, which calculates to an approximate annual percentage rate of 65.7%.
Because accounts receivable financing companies don’t charge traditional interest, it’s important to calculate your fees into an APR to understand the true cost of borrowing. APRs on accounts receivable financing can reach as high as 79%.
Accounts receivable financing vs. factoring
Accounts receivable financing is often confused with accounts receivable factoring, which is also referred to as invoice factoring. Although AR financing and factoring are similar, there are differences.
With invoice factoring, you sell your outstanding receivables to a factoring company at a discount. The factoring company pays you a percentage of the invoice’s value, then collects payment directly from your customer. When your customer pays, the factoring company gives you the rest of the money you’re owed, minus its fees.
With accounts receivable financing, on the other hand, your invoices serve as collateral on your financing. You retain control of your receivables at all times and collect repayment from your customers. After your customer has paid their invoice, you repay what you borrowed from the lender, plus the agreed-upon fees.
Invoice factoring can be a good financing option if you don’t mind giving up control of your invoices and you can trust a factoring company to professionally collect customer payments. If you’d rather maintain control of your invoices and work directly with your customers, AR financing is likely a better option.
Best accounts receivable financing options
Accounts receivable financing is usually offered by online lenders and fintech companies, many of which specialize in this type of business funding. Certain banks offer AR financing as well.
If you’re looking for a place to start your search, here are a few of the best accounts receivable financing companies to consider.
A division of the Southern Bank Company, altLINE is a lender that specializes in AR financing. AltLINE offers both accounts receivable financing and invoice factoring, working with small businesses in a variety of industries, including startups and those that can’t qualify for traditional loans.
AltLINE offers advances of up to 90% of the value of your invoices with fees starting at 0.50%. To get a free quote from altLINE, call a representative or fill out a brief application on the lender’s website. If you apply online, a representative will contact you within 24 hours.
AltLINE’s website also contains a range of articles for small-business owners, covering AR and invoice financing, payroll funding, cash flow management and more. AltLINE is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
1st Commercial Credit
1st Commercial Credit offers accounts receivable financing in addition to other forms of asset-based lending, such as invoice factoring, equipment financing and purchase order financing. The company works with small and medium-sized businesses, including startups and businesses with bad credit.
With 1st Commercial Credit, you can finance $10,000 to $10 million in receivables with fees ranging from 0.69% to 1.59%. You can start the application process by calling a sales representative or filling out a free quote form on the company’s website. After your application is approved, it typically takes three to five business days to set up your account, then you can receive funds within 24 hours.
1st Commercial Credit is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.
Porter Capital is an alternative lender specializing in invoice factoring and accounts receivable financing. The company also has a special division, Porter Freight Funding, which is dedicated to working with businesses in the transportation industry.
With Porter Capital, you can receive an advance of 70% to 90% of your receivables and work with an account manager to customize a financing agreement that’s unique to your business. Porter funds startups and established businesses, offering fees as low as 0.75% monthly.
You can provide basic information about your business to get a free quote and receive funding in as little as 24 hours. Although Porter Capital isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, it does have an A+ rating; the company also has 3.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
Although AR financing and factoring are distinct, many companies blur the lines between the two. As you compare options, make sure you understand the type of financing a lender offers.
If you decide that invoice factoring may be a fit for your business, you might consider companies like FundThrough, Triumph Business Capital or RTS Financial.
Find and compare small-business loans
If accounts receivable financing isn’t right for you, check out NerdWallet’s list of the best small-business loans for business owners.
Our recommendations are based on the market scope and track record of lenders, the needs of business owners, and an analysis of rates and other factors, so you can make the right financing decision.
SBA Loan Collateral vs. Guarantee: What’s the Difference?
Personal guarantees and collateral are both ways of promising a lender that you’ll make good on your debt. You may have to offer both to get an SBA loan.
Collateral ties a loan to a specific asset, like your business’s inventory or your home, which the lender can seize if your business can’t repay the loan. A personal guarantee promises the lender that you will repay the debt using your personal assets, but may not specify how.
In general, SBA lenders require anyone who owns 20% or more of a business to provide a personal guarantee. SBA loans larger than $25,000 usually require collateral, too.
Do SBA loans require a personal guarantee?
SBA loans usually require unlimited personal guarantees from anyone who owns more than 20% of a business. Lenders may ask for limited or unlimited personal guarantees from other business owners, too.
Unlimited personal guarantee: This is a promise that the guarantor (the business owner) will pay back the loan in full if the business is unable to. The lender doesn’t have to seize collateral or seek payment from any other source before going straight to the loan applicant for loan repayment.
Limited personal guarantee: If you own less than 20% of a business, you may have the option to sign a limited personal guarantee instead. The limited personal guarantee caps the amount you’ll have to pay the lender, either as a dollar limit or a percentage of the debt.
Limited personal guarantees can be secured by collateral, which means the lender will seize those assets when they recoup payment instead of asking you to pay back a certain dollar amount.
Who has to personally guarantee an SBA loan?
The SBA requires personal guarantees from:
Individuals who own more than 20% of a business.
Spouses who own 5% more of the business, if their combined ownership interest is 20% or more.
Trusts, if the trust owns 20% or more of the business.
Trustors, if a revocable trust owns 20% or more of the business.
SBA lenders may require additional personal guarantees.
Do SBA loans require collateral?
For SBA 7(a) loans of between $25,000 and $350,000, SBA lenders have to follow collateral policies that are similar to the procedures they’ve established for non-SBA loans. Banks and credit unions are usually the intermediary lenders for SBA 7(a) loans.
If you use an SBA loan to finance specific assets, like an equipment purchase, the lender will take a lien on those assets as collateral. The lender may also use your business’s other fixed assets as collateral, and you may have to offer personal assets, too.
For SBA 7(a) loans larger than $350,000, SBA lenders need collateral worth as much as the loan. The lender will start with your business assets. If they need more collateral, the SBA requires them to turn to the real estate you own personally, as long as you have at least 25% equity in the property.
Live Oak Bank is the largest SBA 7(a) lender in the U.S. by volume. Its loans may require collateral in the form of:
Commercial real estate.
What if I can’t provide collateral or a personal guarantee?
If you’re seeking any type of SBA loan, there’s a good chance you’ll have to provide both collateral and a personal guarantee. Even SBA microloans usually require collateral and a personal guarantee. Without them, you’ll have trouble getting an SBA loan.
Some online lenders offer unsecured business loans, which don’t require collateral. But you may still have to sign a personal guarantee.