Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Which is Best Business Checking Bank Account ? (Atleast in SanFrancisco)

The classic answer. It depends.

What does it depend on ?

  • - Fee Structure : Monthly fees
  • - Transactions Limit
  • - physical locations 
  • - New potential customer support or service
  • - the time and paper work it takes to open an account 
  • - Interest rates etc

You can't manage what you don't measure. Cash flow and keeping track of Cash flow is an important part of managing and measuring progress of our financial growth a.k.a money. Similar to doing personal finances - setting up your business accounts is the first immediate step for any business after incorporation.

It can be a daunting task and I would like to share my experiences in the hope to save some of your pain in trying to identify the bank accounts  

Assumptions being made : You live in and around SF Bay Area.

I have two companies. My product company Lyfe, Inc (Delaware Incorporated) and professional services company WebileApps LLC (California Incorporated) 

Depending on where you are incorporated and how you are incorporated (C Corp or LLC or LLC elected as C Corp) the paper work and procedure changes. I heard Deleware and Montana don't have or allow online verification of incorporation which makes it a pain - meaning it will be a manual process and you should be leaped to print or scan the paper work to be sent to the banks for verification, which means it will take couple of days to a week instead of few hours to a day to open the business checking account.

For our product company we went with SVB as they have a good reputation and I had a good experience directly working with the VP of early stage startups. If you need an intro let me know and I can connect you with him. 

For the services company I went with Chase and I got everything done in less than 2 hours. Firstly there is a physical branch just couple of blocks from where I live, so I walked in, sat with the manager in the branch, provided him the documentation and got everything done in less than 2 hours. I also got the monthly fees waived for the first 6 months. 
  • SVB
  • Chase

The other popular options and I did reach out to most in the list below but relatively had a sub par customer service experience with them or didn't like their fee structure.
  • Square 1 Financial
  • First Republic
  • Comerica
  • Bridge Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bank Of America
  • City National

Feel free to share your experiences.

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