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How to choose a bank for your business

One of the most important decisions that any business owner will make is deciding where he or she will bank for their business. Choosing the right bank for your business can have a direct effect on the overall strength of your business finances. Do not be lulled into using your personal accounts for your business needs. Business finances experts caution that this is never a good idea. Having a banking relationship for your business is crucial to helping it establish credit and it gives your business creditability. Here is what you need to know about how to choose a bank for your business-

- Shop around-The first tip that you should keep in mind is to take your time choosing a bank. You should look at several different banks before you make a decision. Today, each bank can offer many different features to help with your business banking. Never assume that all banks are alike. You will want to do your homework and really compare the services and the fees that each bank offers.
- Check out referrals-As you shop around it can also be helpful to ask for referrals. If you begin to hear one bank recommended time and time again that can be a good sign. Friends, business associates, and other business owners can all be helpful sources of referrals and information. Your local Business Alliance can also be a great place for referrals.This can help to narrow down the choices when there are so many banks that are available to use.
- Look at the condition of the bank-At one time it seemed almost inconceivable to think of a bank failing. Today bank failure is much more common. Business owners should take a close look at the finances and the standing of any bank that they are considering using. If you find that a particular bank does not have a strong customer base or is even having financial struggles that is a red flag that you should move on and consider banking somewhere else.
- Choose a bank with a business division-The bottom line is that business and personal banking are very different processes. Even if a bank has a great standing, strong customer base, and is doing well financially business owners should only consider banks that are experienced with business banking. Most banks have a business division that is led by an experienced business banking manager who is familiar with the needs and challenges of businesses. This is the type of bank that you want to work with.
- Conduct a banking interview-Once you have narrowed down your list of possible banks to do business with you will need to arrange an interview. Remember that you will not only be working with the bank but the people who run it. It is crucial to have an open and honest relationship with your banker. You want to find bank personnel who will be invested in you and the success of your business. The bottom line is that if you don't feel comfortable with the people that you will be working with you should move on and choose another bank for your business to work with.
- Select an honest and ethical bank-Finally, you should make sure that any bank that you work with is honest and ethical. You can check public records to make sure that the bank has dealt fairly with other businesses. They should be upfront about any fees that you will be charged and there should be no surprises. You want to feel comfortable in your banking relationship and use your banker as a resource to make your business a long term success.

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