My early stage startup has begun speaking with angel investors. We've recently received two SAFE term sheets, so I need to open a business account. Should I do this with a big bank like Chase, or is there something that's better for startups?
Many banks have high requirements for legal entities and very little assistance. My advice, you need to rely on Bank ratings and stability. I think the reviews on the Internet will also help, as well as the Bank service.
If you are in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley Bank is a powerhouse on many levels. They are more than a commercial bank. They can assist in other financings and are a favorite of the VC community.
1) Get a free account. If you need the bells and whistles you cam switch later -- and get the bells and whistles on better terms as you will be an established risk. Right now you are a deadbeat man walking;
2) Chase is a good bet for two reasons:
i) They have great business credit cards (i.e. 100k+ signup bonuses, worth roughly $1900). Capital One has good credit cards too. so does AMEX;
i i) They have lots of branches and ATMs. You won't use them much but you won't want have time to go far if you do.
I have also heard good things about SVB but it sounds like you would only benefit much from what they offer that others don't a little ways down the road.
I second Silicon Valley Bank. We are based in Dallas and have enjoyed using them. They specially work with tech startups and grow with your company as you successfully go through your seed and series stages. You don't have to be in Bay Area as everything now can be done through online banking. Another one is called Square 1 Bank.
Stay away from big name banks! They don't understand startups especially if your in the technology space. They only understand revenues, profits, your business credit worthiness, and collateral which you typically don't have any or a lot of in a startup company.