Question: What do you look for in a bank before setting up a business account? Name one service that's most important to you.
Question by: Christopher
Ask Your Trusted Advisors
"Your business attorney or CPA should have a bank recommendation that is a great fit for your business. Invest the time to find the bank that provides the services that are most important to your business; that has a business banker who is knowledgeable, cares about your business, and is responsive to your requests; and that provides great service at reasonable, market rates."
"I'm constantly on the go, so I don't have time to be concerned with everyday minutiae. If the bank is looking out for me and protecting my interests while simultaneously giving me the ability to automate as many simple transactions as possible, it makes me more confident and efficient to focus on the activities most important to my business."
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Accessible Bank Representatives
"It was important to our business for our bank to know us. Developing a face-to-face relationship with your bank can make a difference when it comes to a breezier process for lending and credit and faster problem-solving if any problems arise. Look for bank representatives who have experience and interest catering to your business' needs."
Rainy Day Reaction?
"If I'm going to take my accounts to a bank I'll move everything to include all personal money. In return I want them to give me a "rainy day" credit line. The better the rates, the more likely they are to get my accounts."
Amazing Online Banking
"I look for a business bank that has incredible online banking. I spend tons of time on the road, transferring money and doing accounting, and I need to have reliable, top-notch online access. No or low fees for having the bank account are just an added bonus. I once switched from one bank to the other because their online banking was so much better."
It's All about the Money
"Every major bank is going to provide you with a suite of business tools like checks, bill pay, data export, Quickbooks compatibility, payroll and others. The only way to differentiate between them will be the fees. Consider the number of transactions, checks and transfers you are going to have. Run those scenarios by each band and evaluate the fees you will incur. "
"Having a relationship with your neighborhood banker is extremely important. I can't stand sitting on hold or going through automated systems, but luckily for us, we've formed a great relationship with our local Chase business banker. Not many people can say they text message their banker when they have a problem with their account, but if you take the time to build that relationship, you can too."
Easy Access, No Matter When or Where
"If something happens, like a fraud alert when I'm traveling or actual fraudulent activity in the middle of the weekend, I need to know that I can get it resolved immediately. I can't wait until Monday or whenever I get home—I at least need a customer service number where I can get some help. The days of 9-to-5 banking are over—at least for me."
"When you run a business, cash flow can sometimes fluctuate wildly, and thus keeping a consistent balance in your bank may be tough. Free checking is really important to me because I don't have to worry about incurring fees if my balance goes below some arbitrary threshold. "
"Since I travel full time, being able to get to my money when I need it is important to me, and avoiding fees while doing so is a close second. That in mind, I look for accounts that allow me to use any ATM in the world, and that pays the applicable fees for me. The best one I've found so far is Charles Schwab's High Yield Investor Checking account, but there are a few others doing the same."
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.