What You Need to Open a Business Bank Account

When opening a business bank account, you should first review how your business is set up (partnership, corporation, nonprofit, sole proprietorship, etc.). Doing this will help you determine which kind of account services your company will require, and it will help you identify which documents to take with you when you go to the bank to open the account.

Federal ID Numbers

Before applying to the bank, you will need a federal ID number for tax purposes. Most businesses use an employer identification number (EIN), also known as a federal tax ID number. You can get this online at the IRS website. Fill out the online application, and your EIN is assigned and confirmed immediately. If you prefer not to use the website, the EIN application form can be obtained at any IRS field office.

A federal ID number will be necessary no matter how your business is structured, although a sole proprietorship or a solely owned limited liability company (LLC) can use either the business owner's Social Security number or an EIN.

Review and Project Banking Needs

Know how many deposits your business customarily makes each month, the average monthly bank balance, the minimum bank balance, and how many checks your business writes week to week. This information is important because many banks limit check writing privileges for business bank accounts or charge a much higher fee than you'd find with a personal checking account.

Other questions to ask yourself include these: Do you want to conduct most of your business banking online, in-person or with an ATM? Will you want to use a night depository? Most banks will offer a range of business banking account options and services.

Verification of Your Business

Partnerships can be verified with a copy of the partnership agreement; LLCs can be verified with a copy of the articles of organization; and corporations with a copy of the articles of incorporation.

Unless your business is registered in Louisiana or Texas, you'll also be required to provide a "Certificate of Authority" to your bank.

Final Paperwork

Once your application to open a business banking account has been approved, you will sign the bank's resolution and fill out the bank's signature card.

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