Business Bank Account Checklist: Everything You’ll Need to Get Started

Michele Eilertsen Last updated April 14, 2022

If you’re one of the 31.7 million small businesses operating in the United States, congrats! You’ve already taken the first step in making your dreams a reality. Now, you’re wondering how you can maximize your protection.

Opening a business bank account is one of the best ways you can ensure your assets remain safeguarded. Signing up for one is quick, easy, and can offer you a ton of advantages, including liability protection, the ability to build business credit, and simplified taxes and bookkeeping.

In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits of a business bank account, the types of business bank accounts available to you, and of course, what documentation you’ll need to get started. So, grab your pen and paper because you’ll want to take notes!

Benefits of a Business Bank Account

One of the biggest benefits of opening a business bank account is that you will no longer be at risk of your personal and business assets being commingled. This is useful when it comes to facing liability and filing your taxes.

Other notable advantages of a business bank account include:

Imagine sifting through all of your business and personal transactions each time you’re looking for a specific purchase or need to make a tax deduction. Talk about a major inconvenience! A business bank account can help you stay organized, cut costs, and save valuable time so you can focus on what matters most to your business.

Types of Business Bank Accounts

Now that you know the power of a business bank account and why every company should have one (if you skipped the first half of the article, here are the cliff notes: it protects your personal assets, helps you build credit, and simplifies bookkeeping), let’s talk about the types of business bank accounts available to you.

There are six different types of business bank accounts you can opt into: business checking, business savings, money market, certificate of deposit, a merchant account, and a trust account.

Out of those six, the three most popular are these:

Not all business bank accounts are created equal. While some charge lofty startup fees and require minimum monthly balances, others might cost you little to initiate and maintain. A quick Google search can provide you with comparisons of the best business bank accounts available at present time.

When trying to decide which bank account will work best for you, you may want to make a list of factors that play a role in your decision, like your budget, the size of your company, and what your goals are for your remote business (i.e. accepting credit card payments or operating as a cash/check only vendor).

Once you’ve chosen which type of business bank account you’d like to open, you can focus on the next step: acquiring the required documentation.

What You’ll Need to Open a Business Bank Account

Since many of the documents required to open a business bank account overlap with LLC formation requirements, you should have copies of most (if not all) of the documents you need already. However, required documentation will depend on the financial institution and type of bank account you choose.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to bring with you when you open a business bank account:

Some banks will allow you to open a business bank account online, while others require that you make an appointment with a bank representative and complete the process in person. If you choose the latter option, you’ll want to call the bank ahead of time to see if all LLC members need to be present, as well as verify what documents you’ll need to bring.

What You’ll Need to Open a Business Bank Account as a Non-Resident

If you’re not U.S. based, no worries! Non-residents can now open a business bank account for their U.S. incorporated company from anywhere in the world using Mercury, an online banking website designed for startups. To get started, you’ll need a federal Employee Identification Number (EIN), a picture of your government ID (i.e. a passport or driver’s license), and your company’s formation documents (either your Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation). There are no initiation fees, overdraft fees, or account minimums involved.

How to Obtain Proof of Address

In addition to a physical address, many financial institutions require proof of address to verify that you are working from a tangible location.

The following are considered acceptable forms of proof of address:

If you don’t have any of these, don’t worry! VPM’s TruLease plan offers an easy way for you to obtain proof of address to open your business bank account.

Here’s how it works: VPM partners with commercial office buildings to provide you with a real physical space. You’ll then sign a legal lease agreement that shows you have rights to the space. If needed, you can get a utility bill that also verifies your physical workspace.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have questions regarding business bank accounts, feel free to scroll through the FAQ below to see if you can find an answer.

What questions should I ask before opening a business bank account?

As with most things in life, you’ll want to do some research before getting started. Here are a few questions to consider when searching for a bank account that will fit your business’s needs:

Can I open a business bank account without proof of address?

It depends. Some banks require additional proof of address in order to open a business bank account, while some do not. If you need a physical address or utility bill, you can check out VPM’s TruLease plan.

Do I need an EIN for my business bank account?

Whether or not you need an EIN will depend on the individual bank and its policies. Many banks require an EIN when applying for a business bank account, but there are exceptions. Others may allow you to register with a Social Security Number (SSN) in lieu of an EIN.

Single-member LLCs and sole proprietorships are not required to have an EIN as they are taxed as individuals.

Get Started Today

Opening a business bank account is easy. Choose a bank, figure out which type of business bank account will work best for you, and gather any required documentation necessary to get started. With a business bank account, you’ll get to enjoy benefits like liability protection, organized financial records, and the ability to build credit for your business.

Still need proof of address? Don’t forget about TruLease – VPM’s ultimate solution to helping business owners verify their address!

Michele Eilertsen

Michele is an experienced writer of 5 years. Her expertise is in creating content that helps small businesses solve big problems.

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