Banks want your business—badly—so don’t give it away for free.
Mark Not Done
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When the time comes to choose a bank, it's important to consider your financial goals, objectives, and basic needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you need a checking account or line of credit? Or are you also looking for a strategic partner?
How much cash flow will be moving in and out?
Are you actually a business yet?
Do you have the minimum deposit amount?
Do you need to pay employees?
Why do you need capital?
Does your accounting software integrate with the bank?
While you need to find the bank that is right for you and your business, we have a few suggestions below.
When to choose a bank
We've identified a few appropriate signals that you need to pick a bank for your business:
You're depositing money your business made.
You have payroll for employees.
Pro tip: Choosing a banking team that can be there for you when you have liquidity or credit needs can be a make or break relationship as you scale.
Pro-Tip: Banking teams have lots of partnerships and incentives. It's a good place to start with setting up a banking relationship to leverage and get access to a lot of discounts on everything from bookkeeping to incorporation. Both FRB and SVB have start-up banking programs.
First Republic Bank has been leading a charge into banking for venture funds and their portfolio investments. Super high touch customer service. Beyond banking, they provide a variety of added-value services like throwing events for founders, helping with introductions, and even publishing your thought leadership articles on their blog. Additionally, they are helpful with expertise on private placements of block trades and 409(a) valuations. If you happen to have a direct connection with someone at SignalFire reach out for a warm introduction to a rockstar team.
Silicon Valley Bank
If you've raised your first million and want dedicated service to help you grow then this is your bank. They have an entrepreneurial ethos and want to help you grow out of the garage and into a multi-billion dollar company. It still operates like a traditional bank and has similar support systems for entrepreneurs that First Republic Bank offers to their customers.
Mercury is a startup-focused challenger bank that launched in mid-2019. They provide an FDIC-insured checking account, debit card, savings account (earning 1-2%) with an application that is finished on average in under 10 minutes and approved usually within a few hours. They also help with cashflow analytics, programmatic payments, instant runway estimates, and more. Currently, there is a Standard account that has no minimum requirements and savings that earns 0.75% and a Tea Room account that earns 1.45% savings and gives you access to partner rewards.