I want to open a business bank account for my LLC to keep my finances separate. How, in general, should I go about shopping for a bank account? Relatedly, are there any particular banks that excel at banking for startups/entrepreneurs?
I could just walk down to my local megabank, but I don't particularly want to do that. Being a Washington State resident, I'm also considering BECU. I'm a US citizen, if that matters any.
The main things to consider are fees and locations.
The fees is the most important criteria. Larger national banks tend to have more and higher fees than smaller local banks. Make sure you choose a bank that isn't charging you a lot of fees for doing business with them.
How many and where their branches are located usually isn't as big of a concern. However, if you plan on traveling a lot for your business, you may want to weigh this into your decision as well. Will you be traveling a lot, and is having access to a physical branch necessary for you?
Personally, I prefer smaller local banks over the big national banks. The smaller banks tend to have lower fees, and tend to be more willing and able to work with you. In my opinion, smaller banks tend to be a better fit for small businesses and startups.
I can't think of any significant criteria other than fees. Shop around and see which bank charges the less for the services you need. Keep in mind that banks charge fees on business accounts based on volume of operations, and many times don't have waivers that they have for individual/personal accounts.
I am not sure how much help this is, but one factor to consider is the ease at which a creditor can reach your funds in case of a judgment against your company. Typically, creditors look first for funds at national banks. Regional and local banks might not get their first attention.
Also, regional and local banks in my experience have been more cautious when responding to writs seeking thier cleints' funds. By contrast, a certain national bank consistently has been the fastest to release those funds, I have found.
Finally, you might find some benefit in the personal relationship you are able to cultivate with a banker at a regional or local bank.
I hope this helps--good luck!