How to open a business bank account online

If you’re ready to open a business bank account online, you might be wondering how and/or where to do it. Do a quick search and you’ll find a number of options for online small business bank accounts. It’s great to have choices, but which one is right for you?. 

Here at BlueVine, we think that opening a business bank account online in 2020 should be easy—and this post will help you get started.

Can I open a business bank account online?

First things first: can you open a business bank account online? The short answer is yes. 

To help you get started, we put together the following guide, which covers:

  • Why it’s hard to open a business bank account online
  • How to set up a business bank account online (and what you’ll need)
  • How long it takes to open a business bank account
  • The differences between an online only bank and opening a bank account online
  • What to look for in an online business bank account 

Why is it hard to open a business bank account online?

In a nutshell, banks are working with old, latent systems that aren’t set up to support things like streamlined application processes and automated compliance checks. Everything is manual because their legacy systems simply aren’t up to date—plus, they were built for in-person interactions at a bank branch. (This is also why it’s traditionally very difficult for small businesses to get financing from banks.)

On the other hand, opening a personal bank account is easier because financial institutions only have to validate one entity: the individual. The process gets more complicated when there’s a business to verify, which is why many business owners opt to use personal checking for business (even though business checking accounts are the better, safer option for businesses). You’d think this trend would speed progress on online business banking, but it’s actually set it further behind at some financial institutions.

The good news is, online-only business banks are becoming increasingly popular—and their processes are simple.

How do you set up a business bank account online?

You might be asking yourself, “Can I set up a business bank account online?”

Traditionally, opening a business bank account would require you to go to a local bank branch, fill out an application in person, and provide a lot of paperwork to prove your business’s legitimacy — in addition to your ties to the business, and those of anyone else you want to have signing power on the account. Fortunately, there are easier options that don’t require you to go to a branch or even talk to someone. 

The process varies depending on the financial institution and its individual policies as well as your business entity type (LLC, sole proprietor, etc.). At a minimum, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • ID. Proof of your identity via a Driver’s License and/or Social Security Number
  • Business Info. Basic information about your business (like address, EIN, and articles of incorporation)

If you go through a large legacy financial institution, you might need to also provide business licenses, DBA paperwork, partnership agreements, and/or other documentation related to your business entity type. And you would likely have to bring everything to a local branch to open in person.

Other, quick online business bank accounts—like BlueVine Business Checking—are designed with speed and convenience in mind. So you, a time-strapped business owner, only have to do a little preparation and then spend a couple of minutes setting up your online account.

How long does it take to open up a business bank account online?

Opening a business checking account online is much faster than going through a branch. Not only do you save time by not physically going anywhere, you also have a more streamlined application process with little to no paperwork. . 

Exactly how long it takes depends on the financial institution. At BlueVine, it takes only 60 seconds of your time to open a business checking account. It might take a few days to start transacting, but you won’t have to spend any more than that 60 seconds to actually open it.

To open a BlueVine Business Checking account, you must be a small business owner, at least 18 years old, and have a verifiable U.S. address. 

Differences between an online only bank and opening a bank account online

Did you know that opening an account online is not the same as using an online-only bank? 

For starters, online-only banks for small businesses do not have a system of branches to maintain (or pay for). Some, like BlueVine, have a system of ATMs, but the overhead costs are much lower than physical bank branches. This is why most of them offer higher APY and low to no fees. They are also built with speed and convenience in mind, so their processes are simpler, typically requiring zero paperwork. With online only banks for small businesses, you can be up and running with a new business checking account in a matter of minutes.

What should a small business look for in a bank account online?

Not all online business checking accounts are created equal. At the end of the day, you want to find an option that’s designed with your unique needs in mind so that you not only get your business banking in order but you also reap the most benefits. With that, here are some factors to consider in a bank account online:

  • Fees. Are there monthly service fees, ATM fees, non-sufficient funds fees? What about hidden fees? Most traditional banks charge fees, while many online only banks do not charge fees.
  • Restrictions & Requirements. Look out for any limits on the number of transactions you can make in a given time period as well as balance requirements.
  • Convenience. Can you easily pay vendors and bills, manage ACH or wire payments, or access banking on your mobile device?
  • Interest. The national average APY is 0.1%. This represents just a $10 return on $10,000 balance. At BlueVine, with 1.00% interest, the return be $100.50.
  • Support. You’re bound to have questions along the way, so what kind of support do you get? Is there a dedicated person for your account or an answering service?

At BlueVine, we understand small businesses and we are dedicated to helping you get the best possible financial support. In fact, we created our Business Checking account to meet your specific checking needs. There are no hidden or monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, unlimited transactions, easy bill pay, 1.00% interest on balances over $1,000, and live support to help you along the way. 
But that’s not all. Learn more and open a BlueVine Business Checking account today.

Disclaimer

The information, opinions, and advice in this blog post are provided for educational purposes only, and do not necessarily state or reflect those of BlueVine and/or its partners, including The Bancorp Bank and Celtic Bank. Neither BlueVine nor its partners are responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s). For information about BlueVine products and services, please visit the BlueVine FAQ page.