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What kind of bank account should a start-up open?

Vanessa Kruze, CPA, is a leading expert in startup taxes and tax compliance. Her team at Kruze Consulting has filed thousands of tax returns for companies that have raised billions in VC funding, and her work has been diligenced by leading VCs, attorneys, and M&A teams at the largest technology companies.
Vanessa Kruze, a highly-experienced CPA, brings valuable tax expertise to startups, drawing from her rich background at Deloitte Tax and as a financial controller for a $20 million startup. As the leader of Kruze Consulting, recognized multiple times in the Inc 5000 list, she specializes in navigating the complex tax landscape for startups. Her firm is known for delivering precise and strategic tax solutions, delivering tax credits utilizing advanced tools to ensure compliance and optimize tax benefits for startups throughout the United States.

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As a CPA who works exclusively with funded startups, I see our founders either loving or struggling with their bank. Since cash is the life blood of an early-stage company, the banking relationship actually matters. Some startup-focused banks are used to working with seed- or venture-funded companies and a significant portion of the startup market worked with these banks. However, in March 2023, the FDIC took over Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and placed it in receivership. As a result, many founders may prefer to establish accounts at large banks for both security and liquidity. These banks include:

Banks that are more focused on the startup market include

 For a fuller description of these banks, visit our best banks for startups article. We’ve also got some pretty solid opinions on how to make your company the most efficient, and how to make your startup’s accounting simple and clean (so you can focus on growing the company and not debits and credits!) We’ve actually broken down the top credit cards for funded companies here. Here is a checklist for moving banks. And below are some other systems that we strongly recommend.

  • Credit Card for Company Expenses = Brex or Ramp
  • Expense Software = Expensify * this is more of a conditional recommendation, because if you go with one of the more advanced credit cards you will no longer need an expense management software
  • Bill Payments (AP) = Bill.com
  • Payment Processor = Stripe

An interesting development that we are starting to see is the collision of corporate card vendors and banks. In fact, there are now a handful of players like Mercury, Rho, Brex and Ramp that are all starting to combine cards, expense management and cash management (aka something like a checking account). The appeal to these, other than the points and zero liability for the founder, is a better online UX for the founder to manage their company’s burn and cash. Smaller startup-focused banks may also provide better customer service, introductions to possible VC investors, and debt products. However, the traditional players like First Republic still has a strong lead when it comes to customer service, intro’s to possible VC investors, and debt products.  Please review your banking options carefully and choose providers that match your needs. 

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Important Tax Dates for Startups

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