Company News

July 11, 2022

How to choose the best business bank account for your startup

[object Object] How to choose the best business bank account for your startup

How does Mercury compare to traditional commercial banks and other digital neobanks?

table comparing Mercury with other neobanks

* Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust®; Members FDIC.


Whether your company is bootstrapped or venture-backed, you deserve a business bank that fits your financial needs and grows alongside you. But with so many different solutions on the market — from traditional commercial banks like SVB, to neobanks like Brex and BlueVine — it can be difficult to know what to look for.

We’ve done our research, and we truly believe that Mercury offers the best business banking. Admittedly, we’re a little biased. That said, we’ve noticed that choosing a great business bank account comes down to a few universal principles.

When it comes to choosing the best option for your startup, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does it offer a simple and intuitive online experience? How much time will I have to spend on banking?
  2. Will it work for my business long-term — both when I incorporate and as I scale?
  3. Is it easy to customize my business bank account and integrate it with other financial tools?
  4. Does my business bank account come with reliable customer support and client services?
  5. Does it come with additional resources to help my company grow?

1. Does it offer a simple and intuitive online experience? How much time will I have to spend on banking?

To make running your business as seamless as possible, pick a neobank: since their service platforms are digitally native, they tend to provide a modern online experience that is more on par with what you’re used to in other software. You wouldn’t settle for a second-rate experience from other products you use, so why should you settle when it comes to your business banking?

At the bare minimum, your business banking dashboard should be accessible online and available on iOS or Android so that you can bank whenever you want. The rest of your experience — regardless of platform — should be underscored by simplicity and quality. Here’s what you should expect from your bank:

  1. Easy and painless signup, even if you and your co-founders aren’t in the same room.
  2. Quick and straightforward methods to send money.
  3. An intuitive way to search for transactions.
  4. Account permissions that make it effortless to give the right level of account access to the right people.
  5. The ability to scale your account as your team grows by assigning virtual cards in seconds.


2. Will it work for my business long-term — both when I incorporate and as I scale?

Chances are that if you’re in the market for your first business bank account, you’re also within the first six months of incorporating your company. A business bank account is the most basic utility for building a startup, but choosing one can be challenging. To set your business up for success, you’ll want to avoid the hassle of having to switch banks by finding a solution that is both designed to support your needs at the very beginning of your journey, and committed to sticking by your side as you grow — your CFO will thank you.

As an early-stage founder, you should look for an account that is virtually free to use. Ideally, fees are minimal. If there are fees, however, these fees should be transparent. Being able to send and receive money efficiently — whether that is through ACH transfers or wires — is another necessity. You should also consider exploring banking solutions that offer a free business savings account so that you can get a headstart on planning for your startup’s next milestones.

Look for core banking features that align with your growth. For instance, as you scale, you’ll want a business bank that allows you to issue virtual cards for your growing team. You should also look out for solutions that help you earn interest on your extra cash — such as through a Treasury account — rather than let your cash sit idly. Additionally, you may want help from advisors or other educational resources on what financing options make the most sense for your business and industry (e.g., venture debt with competitive terms if your company is venture-backed, or revenue-based financing if you run an ecommerce business).


3. Is it easy to customize my business bank account and integrate it with other financial tools?

Building a company has many moving parts. When considering a business bank account, choose one that gives you the latitude to customize your account experience for your needs and that has the tech to support third-party integrations with other tools that you use.

It’s not enough for your account to have a slick UI — you should also be able to customize it. Here are a few custom capabilities you might want out of your account:

  • The ability to open multiple checking accounts and designate them for operations/payroll, AP, AR, and more.
  • Auto-transfer rules with advanced sweep conditions that can help you stay on budget.
  • Read/write API access that allows you to automate payments or reconcile transactions, transforming your cross-functional workflows and saving you precious time.
  • Tiered user permissions for admins, bookkeepers, and ‘card only users’, as well as deeper controls like multi-admin approval so that your company can set daily transaction limits

Bookkeeping, HR, and payroll systems can come with significant switching costs, so having the ability to mix and match integrations from various providers — like Quickbooks Online to automatically sync transaction data, or Gusto to manage employee benefits — can alleviate a huge burden. These integrations can also enable you to streamline your processes in one place, helping you build the “Swiss Army knife” of tech bundles for your business.


4. Does my business bank account come with reliable customer support and client services?

As a startup founder, you want to look for a customer support model that caters to businesses of all sizes, not just the ones with the heftiest deposits. A business banking solution’s first layer of access should be a user-friendly online experience where you can easily do things yourself. But when you inevitably have questions or run into challenges, you need support from a human being, no matter the size of your company. If a bank structures its customer support by tier, users can most likely expect more efficient, specialized assistance.

Rather than serving as gatekeepers for certain manual actions like sending international wires, your bank’s client services should be equipped to help you make higher-level financial decisions. In any business, there comes a time when you need to think about your financing options — and those options can be confusing. For these additional support needs, try looking for a business bank that will make dedicated relationship managers available to you who understand what it’s like to build a business and who can advise and educate on the capital solutions that make the most sense for the stage of your business.


5. Does it come with additional resources to help my company grow?

As a founder, building your business is the top priority — you don’t have time to research every little detail. Consider looking for a business bank that will go the extra mile to offer you a community of resources, unique insight, and deals that can help you accelerate your business, right from the start.

As you build your company, surrounding yourself with a supportive startup community can be critical to strengthening your network — especially as you gear up for your next fundraise. Whatever business banking solution you go with, make sure you are joining a customer base of other founders. You might even find a solution that has created dedicated fundraising programs where you can make direct connections with investors.

Most traditional commercial banks are not built to serve startups and small businesses. As a result, they do not offer many startup and small business-geared perks — and if they do, customers may need to qualify or receive special permissions. Try to find a neobank that offers customer perks and discounts through its strategic partnerships. It might even advertise perks from fellow customers, which could be an opportunity for you to promote your own business.


Choosing a business bank account for your startup is one of the most important financial decisions you can make as a founder. To see what it’s like to use Mercury, give our free demo a spin.

* Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust®; Members FDIC.