6 Simple Steps to Opening a Business Bank Account + Checklist
Starting your own business can be very rewarding, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Finding the right business bank account can make the difference between your company being able to pay its bills and staying afloat, or struggling just to make ends meet. These six steps to opening a business bank account will help you navigate the process and come out on top!
Step 1: Choose The Right Bank
Here are some important things to consider when looking for the best bank for your business:
- Choose an institution that offers deposit accounts, loans, and other services appropriate for your business needs;
- Be sure it is FDIC-insured; and
- Check out what the service charges are before you sign up. Some banks offer free checking while others charge monthly fees. If you choose a bank with fees, be sure they fit your budget and aren’t too high. Ask yourself if there are enough branches near where you live or work. Some banks have just one location while others have several in your area.
Step 2: Get an EIN Number
Most businesses need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which you can get from the IRS website. Fill out the W-8BEN form and get your company registered in the US by visiting IRS.gov and completing Form SS-4. Keep all of this information somewhere safe as you’ll need it every time you open a new account. If you’re starting with only $5,000 or less, many banks will let you set up a basic checking account without requiring that you have an EIN number. In addition to helping with opening bank accounts, here’s a checklist for opening any kind of business
Step 3: Decide on an Operating Structure
If you’ve got a small business with no outside investors, there are three basic options: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, and Corporation. Which one is best for you?
Step 4: Fill Out the Application
The bank will want the following information: name and address, legal name of business, primary phone number, all nine digits of your Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) if you have one, your driver’s license or another personal ID card, and any special designations (such as an account number) that apply to you. Your mailing address and email will also be helpful in case they need to reach you.
Step 5: Submit Required Documents
You will also need to complete and submit the forms. Below you’ll find a list of what documents your business will need in order for the bank to open an account: – Copies of the organization’s Articles of Incorporation or Organizing Documents – Certified copies (or originals) of any lease agreements – Articles of Organization and Certificate of Designation if applicable, plus annual reports filed with Secretary of State’s Office; or articles and bylaws plus annual meeting minutes filed with Secretary of State’s Office if the corporation is not a nonprofit.
Step 6: Complete the Account Opening Process
All you need for your successful account opening process is A US-based taxpayer ID (social security number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, etc.), your identity document or driver’s license, and an original copy of your company’s Articles of Incorporation. You will also be required to provide the bank with a physical address where they can send statements and other mailings.