How to choose the right bank for a business Published April 27, 2016 | By Achim Neumann, President When a business finally gets off the ground, the time will come when a separate account should be opened for it, creating an essential division between personal and corporate income. What different banks offer businesses can vary greatly from institution to institution. Doing homework beforehand can save a great deal of money, time, and countless headaches. Below, we will cover several areas that the entrepreneur needs to think about when the time comes to open a business bank account. Determine business banking needs Don’t go with the first financial institution that comes to mind. Every bank has its advantages and disadvantages given the structure of a business, its cash flow, and the needs of a given business and its employees. Some banks charge more than others for the privilege of having a checking account, while others don’t charge anything for a given balance. Some offer in-house financial investment services, while others specialize in helping small businesses grow from the ground up. Take time to examine all options on the table so that the best possible decision can be made. What features make the most sense While some businesses go with community based banks due to lower setup costs, these institutions often lack essential offerings such as online banking. This feature is essential to companies looking to bootstrap, as being able to access services without setting foot in a physical bank branch saves valuable time, allowing the entrepreneur to spend more of it on higher value tasks. Additionally, be sure to negotiate additional features that the bank offers, but may not be necessarily offered up front. There are many competitors in this space; given the choice between turning away a potential client and extending extras to a persistent entrepreneur, bankers will often opt for the latter. Ensure a prospective bank’s size is sufficient Sometimes, going with a bigger bank is the best move for a business. Larger financial institutions have enhanced abilities to extend loans of a size that a growing company might need, and they also are part of ATM networks that will prevent traveling executives from running into problems overseas. On the latter count though, there are smaller banks that are part of international ATM networks, so be sure to do research before signing on the dotted line. Periodically reevaluate the company’s banking requirements While a certain bank might fit a business at this present moment, as the years go by, growth and changing needs might change that equation. When doing an annual review for the business, evaluate whether your current financial institution is supplying satisfactory services, and whether other banks might be able to accommodate it better.