In contrast to residential or independent financial services, commercial financial services focus on serving those who are in private companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations. There are many different types of commercial financial services available, and if you're a new business owner you may feel overwhelmed by all of the options.
The easiest place to start with your decision is finding a place that will handle your business bank account. In order to get your business account with your business name, you'll first need to register a business license and then get a fictitious business name statement if you are doing business in a name other than your own. Once you are armed with this paperwork, you can start to shop for a bank to use.
Your choice of bank will largely depend on what type of business you are running. If you need to ability to accept credit cards, you'll need to find a bank that offers merchant services. If you'll only be accepting cash, this won't be as important.
In addition to a bank account, some small businesses may require commercial financial lending services. If you need to borrow money in order to fund your business, this applies to you. You can get a loan to grow your business from several different sources. All of these loans will require you to develop a lengthy business plan so you can show the investors exactly what you intend to do with the money and how you intend to ensure the growth of the business.
The first source for commercial financial lending services is through your bank or another banking institution. Bank direct loans offer competitive rates and it can be helpful to have your finances and your loan all in one place.
Another source for commercial loans is through a government guaranteed loan. These loans are available through the Small Business Administration. Although the SBA itself does not fund the loan, they provide counseling and coaching to help you perfect your loan presentation. Once you create the presentation, the SBA will recommend you to a lending institution. Their recommendation can make a huge difference in whether or not you get the loan.
A third lending option is through private investors. These are often called angel investors and they can lend you large amounts of money in order to help start your business. These individuals or small groups are looking to help entrepreneurs make their start. Many of them have already had business success and are looking to "spread the wealth." You can find private investment groups online or by talking with the Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Administration in your area.
Whether you borrow money or not, you'll need a small business accountant to help you manage your finances. Unless you're a financial professional yourself, it's a good idea to use this type of commercial financial service. An accountant can help show you how to better manage your money and get your business into the black as soon as possible.