When opening a bank account for your business, there are a few items you’ll need to gather to verify your business information and streamline your application process. Not all bank account applications will ask for the same documents, but there are common items that many applications require. Follow along here as we walk you through what is needed to open a business bank account.
Benefits of opening a business account
First things first, it’s important to understand why having a business bank account is valuable. Besides simply making it easier to separate your personal and business finances without having to comb through bank statements, here are a few other things to consider:
Your business has grown
If your business has grown, a separate account will make tracking finances easier, especially if you’re handling multiple transactions a day.
You’re tracking payroll
If you’ve been able to hire employees, it’s ideal to pay them using a business account that allows you to set up automatic and recurring transactions.
Your taxes need extra attention
If you find yourself tracking expenses so you can write them off on your taxes, a separate account allows you to avoid confusion when determining what qualifies.
If any of these apply to you, then it may be time to open a business bank account.
Everything you need to apply
Below, we’ve listed the documents and information you’ll need in order to verify your business when applying for a business bank account. These details are required, in addition to providing information about yourself, such as your SSN and full legal name, which are used to verify your identity.
To help you navigate the process of opening a business bank account as smoothly as possible, we’ve broken down the list of requirements into several categories: things you’ll always need, things you’ll often need (depending on your business entity), and things you might need in unique situations.
What you’ll always need
No matter what kind of business you run, how big your business is, or how your business is set up, these are a few documents that you’ll always need when opening a business checking account.
EIN, Tax ID, and/or SSN
Your EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is issued by the IRS when you file for a tax ID for your business. For sole proprietors and single-member LLCs, it’s possible that you don’t have an EIN, in which case your SSN can be used as your tax ID when opening a bank account. Keep in mind that if your business has multiple owners, you’ll need the SSN for each business owner when opening your account.
You’ll always be required to verify your personal identity. Be prepared to do this using a driver’s license or other state-issued ID.
Business Validation Document
Your business validation document refers to the official business registration issued by the state where your business is located. This document establishes your business as one recognized by the state. Depending on the industry you’re in, as well as your business location, you may also be required to obtain a business license, which may need to be submitted along with your business registration when opening an account.
What you’ll definitely need, based on your business entity
Some requirements differ based on the type of business you own. If you are a sole proprietor, you may not need any additional information beyond what’s listed above. If you own a business registered as a different entity, though, here are a few additional documents you may need to apply.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
As an LLC, you’ll need to have your business validation document, which—depending on the state you’re in—may be referred to as your articles of organization, certificate of formation, certificate of organization, or public records filing. You may also need your operating agreement, which details who owns the company.
Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
If your business is a partnership, you’ll need to provide the partnership agreement that lists the partners of the business, as well as the organizing document filed in the state where you operate.
If you are a corporation, you may need to show your articles of incorporation as well as your corporate bylaws. Your articles of incorporation document the creation of your business, while the corporate bylaws are written by the board of directors and detail how the management structure will function.
What you’ll occasionally need
Based on a few additional details about your business, there are a couple things you’ll sometimes need:
Certificate of Assumed Name, or “DBA”
If you own your business but sometimes operate under a different trade name, you’ll need to register it using a Certificate of Assumed Name, often called a “Doing Business As” name. This is common for Sole Proprietorships.
If your business has more than one owner, you’ll need to submit ownership agreements, which you may have already done, depending on your business type. In addition to these agreements, make sure you’re ready to provide the following information for each additional owner: 1) first and last name, 2) date of birth, 3) SSN, 4) mailing address, and 5) percentage of ownership. In unique cases, you may also need to provide a copy of each partner’s driver’s license to verify all of the aforementioned information.
In some cases, banks or banking providers require an initial deposit to open an account. Depending on who you choose to bank with, you’ll want to make sure you have the funds ready to meet those requirements.
Did you know?
With Bluevine Business Checking there is no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement to open an account.
Benefits of banking online: Choosing an account that’s right for you
There are a lot of choices out there, but for small businesses, an online account is an excellent option. It allows you to keep track of everything from your phone or computer, which is ideal when your business keeps you busy during regular operating hours. However, some online accounts charge maintenance fees or require minimum balances.
That’s where we come in. We built our Bluevine checking account with small businesses in mind. When you bank with us, you get no hidden, monthly, or overdraft fees. Plus, we reward your business with a leading 2.0% interest rate on balances up to and including $100,000. And you can do everything online, from depositing checks and booking transfers to resolving issues and paying bills. Our goal is also to provide the most effective banking solution possible while delivering the easiest process to our users, which is why we’ve streamlined our application process to make it as simple as possible for you as a business owner.
To learn more about the specific requirements for opening a Bluevine Business Checking account, visit our Help Center.