Let’s start by asking: Why do I need a separate business bank account?
There are numerous reasons small businesses fail but inefficient cash flow management frequently ranks among the top. Separating business expenses from personal makes it easier to track and monitor expenses, which not only provides a better view of a business but allows forecasting of future needs - two for the price of one!
Plus, your accountant will rejoice at the ease of preparing your tax return and finding you additional tax savings from business expense deductions.
1- Online Banking Services
Tracking expenses by computer and mobile phone enables small businesses to stay in touch with their cash flow in real time. Another time saving feature online banking should provide includes automating payments to other vendors / services and bill pay. Also, make sure your account can be linked to your online accounting software to track deposits, enabling easy follow up with clients about pending payments. (Example: wave)
2- Mobile Check Deposit
More than money, time is the most important capital for a small business so do not waste time visiting a bank branch to deposit a check when you can do it from your studio on your phone. Make sure that your bank is able to deposit checks using a phone app easily and without additional fees.
3- Mobile Card Payment
Some (most?) clients prefer to pay using debit / credit cards and having a bank that can handle these transactions is key to a happy customer. Many banks offer their own mobile payment product (e.g., Spark Pay mobile reader by Capital One), while other banks can link to Square or other mobile payment services.
4- Fees ( and ways to waive them!)
Bottom line: don’t pay for services when you can get them for free! And definitely don’t pay for services unless you know you’re paying for them. Make sure that any fees are clearly stated. Banking maintenance fees can be a costly expense for all small business owner so you need to make sure have a clear idea which fees structure works best for your business. Some banks may offer to waive fees if a certain minimum amount is maintained. Consider your expected cash flow from your business in order to decide if that option makes sense for your business.
Additional fees that banks may charge for include :
Printing a new check book
Debit card issuance
Understand which services your small business needs before paying for them.
5- Customer Support and Bank Network
With our busy lives and reliance on the internet, we may be tempted to fill out forms online from our home / office. However, visiting a bank branch and setting up a meeting with a bank customer service agent to clearly understand the fee structure may save money in the long term. Understanding the fine print with help of a banker may save time and effort - and who wouldn’t want that?
In addition, bank with an established bank with a network of branches and ATMs to easily access services.