I'm based in NYC for reference. Thanks.
We've now got Brex (YC W17) credit cards, which is a great service - eg, after you use your card you get a text, take a photo of the receipt (or email it in) and it adds it to the expense - something so simple yet is incredible vs trying to use Xero / QB / Expensify. My one bother with them is they aren't able to help those that haven't raised >$500k in capital / have a large bank account - the only thing they use to approve the account is your checking bank account (shock - trying to link Bridge Bank results in an error!) that they then comb for income/expense history. They offer some good startup-focused rewards, like 2X points on recurring software 
We are working on a bunch of product features that are startup specific (APIs, integrations etc) as well as a normal checking account + debit card.
Still early but we are in alpha with a few customers, send me an email immad AT Mercury DOT co and I can share more details and give you early access if possible.
The most important thing at this stage (and the next stages as well) is to not waste time on things that are irrelevant, so don't make banking more complex than it needs to be. as you grow, your CFO or maybe even COO might have their own processes and preferences, so just keep it as simple as possible till then.
If you are really at the stage that you need a more robust system, brex and stripe are pitching themselves as tech startup friendly for credit card issuance and control, but truly any major bank will do. I've worked closely with Bank of America and Wells Fargo before and my local regional credit union with great success. I was not impressed with US Bank, Keybank, or Chase Bank. I've been really happy with my local credit union though. they have everything and I can speak to high enough ranking people to make sure things keep running smooth. And of course they love nice piles of cash sitting in the accounts.
Great advice all around. Much appreciated.
first, i am not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice, just stories from experience.
Maintaining proper corporate formalities and handling finances is a big part of actually _operating_ a business. The main idea is that if you want to operate as a business, what you are actually doing is operating a separate legal entity to separate the legal and financial risk from you personally as the owner. This often includes setting up a proper corporate entity such as an LLC or inc, and maintaining the proper financial records, among other things. At later stages, this means working with your board and corporate counsel to maintain minutes and have regular board meetings too.
As a founder, if you are pre-revenue but are starting to get customers/users who want to pay, its a good time to speak with an attorney to talk about getting some kind of liability protection setup (in today's environment, that also means ToS and Privacy Policies too). But if you are before that, it might still be early.
The good news is that most lawyers do a quick consult for free, and its a GREAT time to start to develop your skills in working with counsel.
Otherwise the cards / accounts from most major banks (Bank of America, Chase, etc.) do fine as well.
Maybe if you are in fact VC funded, or have millions in revenue, it would be a fine experience. All in all, the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
Anyway, we wound up going with Wells Fargo. There's nothing startup specific about their offerings, but that's fine. For us, all we really need is a checking account for Stripe to push payments into, with a debit card for paying bills. You can get that from Wells Fargo for $10/month fee, which is waived if you have a daily average balance of something like $500.00 (or something in that range).
It's both good and bad, in my opinion. Canada's much stricter regulation of the banking industry meant that in the 2008-2009 financial crisis, when small to medium sized US banks (all the way up to Washington Mutual sized, which was huge) were failing and being absorbed into other banks, FDIC insurance paid out, etc, there were no significant bank failures in Canada.
Also - we moved to Plooto for paying contractors - they email folks as the money moves between stages. It's cut down on the background admin side of 'when will this land'.
Annoyingly, ADP actually does provide pricing that's as low as any payroll startup in Canada (wagepoint, collage, etc), they're just not transparent about their pricing. You can get really good pricing, but you have to negotiate it with them. But after dealing with several buggy startup payroll providers, ADP's service is absolutely flawless, handles every edge case without issue. For my second company, I went straight to ADP.
I'd love it if Gusto would come to Canada (actually have a friend who's an early employee), but it's unfortunately not a priority for them.
I don't see any reason to not head over to Chase and open a business account there- They offer both Business Checking and Business Credit lines.
I abandoned Chase because I got tired of the absurd fees, and the know-nothing perfectly-coiffed straight-out-of-college twits they have working there.
Azlo has zero fees and they're very responsive. Have been mostly happy.
One downside is that you can't hand-write a paper check. You have to use the online bill pay system to mail a check. That hasn't been a major problem. I went a year without touching my Chase checks.
The other problem is that they are a day or two slow when receiving funds via check or ACH. Their hold times are longer. That's a bigger problem. They say they're working on it.
1. ability to structure the credit line in that's amenable to VC investments
2. low or no minimum account balance
3. Stripe Integration, Apple Pay Integration etc.
4. Xero integration
5. Minimal process corporate card issuance
To frame this another way, what are the pain points startups have when banking?
I used Silicon Valley Bank because I had heard this. What that really means is they are geared towards startups with millions in funding from top tier VCs trusted by the bank. Although in my experience, Silicon Valley Bank has great customer service for the stuff they could help me with.
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Might be great if you use AWS a lot.
ater I got credit card from the same credit union with a bit more paperwork, but it was really straightforward.
So tl;dr; - check local credit unions and capital one business spark credit cards.