It isn't going to be easy to find, but you need a bank that is going to partner with you to grow your business. This goes well beyond the standard services banks provide. I think the two things you'll most need help with are helping manage cash flow (flexibility in releasing funds from receivables checks, lines of credit, etc.) and helping fund growth (lending, etc.). You can absolutely rule out the big banks - they couldn't care less about your business. Your best bet is to focus on smaller regional / local players, preferably with a strong business banking focus; your best results will come through developing a strong relationship with your banker (expect to invest that time, and show a track record of results, as you would have to do with any business partner). I have no idea where you are, and so don't know who your local players are, but I hope the points above are useful as you reach out to bankers.
It's important to interview your bank just as you would the attorney or CPA that you choose. What's the bank's focus, is it multi-million dollar businesses? How much are they doing in small business loans? Are they interested in businesses within your industry? In my first business, I would interview the branch manager and loan officer before I signed up with a bank and in that business I had the type relationship with my branch manager where I could walk in and asks him to cash a check without a moment's notice and he would do it. My branch manager also introduced me to customers to buy my product. How large are you planning to grow? Can the bank handle payroll issues and other operations issues that are critical as you scale.
A community bank or credit union that is actively engaged in the small business community. I gravitate to the people who attend the networking events and belong to the organizations to which I belong. (There's that relationship business first, again!) When I'm confident about the people, I then explore the institution and the one that most fulfills my criteria for both gets my business.
The big banks are all of the same mind today, Lend only to the cream of the crop and they better be squeaky clean. Local and regional banks are more open, but it relies on: The amount, type of business, how long you have been in business, your financials docs, business plan and other variables.The best thing to do is sit with 3 or 4 banks in your area. Speak with the business specialist, and ask direct questions, give honest answers.
It depends on where you are located and the type of business you are running. If you are looking for venture funding, a big name bank is better. If you are bootstrapping or have a smaller business, I have found that a local bank can provide much better customer service and you can get personalized attention when you need it. For the larger banks, Silicon Valley Bank is probably best known for its work in the tech startup space.
A small community bank where you work with the top people at the bank. As you grow, it is wise to have a second bank to make sure that you are getting competitive rates.
Please know that a banker will give you his umbrella on a sunny day and take it away when it rains!
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing what type of banking/relationship you're looking for. Do want a bank for:
2. A checking account?
3. Managing credit card purchases?
4. To be able to use for a reference?
Having started and grown a small business, over ten years from 0 to almost 5 Mil in sales and 96 employees I'd have to say, notwithstanding the current economy, you would be best served by any bank that is willing to WORK with you.
I'd have to agree with Dennis and Kevin. A small community bank, like the one I use here in Portland called Riverview Community Bank, is one good choice.
Another is to use a local credit union. Depending on your state (NJ?), they may be authorized to do business banking in your community.
Credit Unions have always been more small business friendly in my experience. I highly recommend the CU I bank with STCU. https://stcu.org/
Thank you for all your comments - they are a big help. Local bank or Credit Union - I have some investigating to do!!!! Thanks again.
I have to agree with Alan. If you're looking for funding, the banks shouldn't be your first option. If it's for other things like banking and credit transactions, a local bank would be best. Good luck!
if you are a venture business or think you will be then square1bank
I have similar question. I am a virtual seller from India. I would like to retail my product through amazon and other eCommerce sites directly from India w/o setting up a shop in the US.
(1) Is there any bank which can offer (a) online banking facility (b) can open an account without US mailing address (c) No minimum balance required / monthly charges.
(2) Do I need to get any Government (Local / State / Federal) authorization to sale in the US through Amazon.com or other websites?
U.S.Bank no doubt - great services, facilities and not too many conditions. Give it a shot!