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How to open a business bank account

Requirements and documents you need to meet to open a business bank account.

Not only is a business bank account more professional, but it makes it easier to file your taxes, track your cash flow and get a line of credit. Follow these five steps to open a business bank account.

1. Decide what type of account you need

The first step is to figure out what type of business bank account you need. A business checking account is good for daily expenses. It may come with a debit card, checkwriting privileges, merchant services and other perks to help you manage your money.

A savings account for businesses is better for storing excess capital. You’ll earn a competitive interest rate, but you may pay penalty fees if you need to tap into funds more than six times a month.

2. Find a bank

Once you’ve narrowed down what type of account you need for your business, it’s time to find a business bank account. Bank accounts vary wildly by institution. Some banks charge hefty monthly fees that you can’t avoid and others don’t charge any fees. You may find accounts that let you get started with as little as $0 while others may require opening deposits of $1,000 or more.

Write down your priorities — whether that’s a bank with a large ATM network, one that accepts cash deposits or one with unlimited transactions — and shop around until you find an account that checks all your boxes.

Free Business Checking

★★★★★

No account opening or monthly maintenance fees. Deposit checks, pay bills & initiate transfers online.

  • No account opening or monthly maintenance fees
  • Deposit checks, pay bills & initiate transfers online
  • Real-time transaction history
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on Live Oak Bank's secure site

3. Gather your documentation

Once you’ve found a bank, it’s time to gather your documents. The exact documentation you need depends on your business structure. You’ll need your personal information, including your Social Security number and government-issued photo ID, along with your business formation documents.

What do I need to open a business bank account?

The business documents you’ll need depends on your entity type. Here’s what you’ll need to provide based on your company structure:

Business typeRequired documents
Sole proprietor
  • Social Security number or Employer Identification Number
  • Business license
General partnership
  • Employer Identification Number or Partnership TIN
  • Business license
  • Partnership Agreement
Limited liability corporation (LLC)
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Business license
  • Articles of Organization
Limited partnership (LP) or limited liability partnership (LLC)
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Business license
  • Articles of Organization
  • Partnership Agreement
For-profit corporation
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Business license
  • Articles of Incorporation
Nonprofit corporation
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Business license
  • 501(c) Letter
  • Articles of Incorporation

4. Apply for your account

The bank’s website should list your options for opening an account. The most popular ways are online, in person or by phone.

The quickest way to open a business bank account is online. But you may want to visit a local branch if you’d like extra guidance.

If you have a business in the telemarketing, precious metals, gambling or government industry, you may be required to open your account in person.

5. Set everything up

Once your account is officially open, it’s time to set everything up. You’ll want to:

  • Fund your account with an initial deposit.
  • Switch over any direct deposits or bill payments to your new account.
  • Connect your account to an accounting software to make bookkeeping a breeze.

Eligibility

Every bank is different, but generally you can open a business bank account if you’re:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or resident

7 requirements to open a business bank account

Opening a business bank account will require information about you and your company.

You’ll need to provide the following information for every individual listed on the account:

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Residential address
  4. Citizenship status
  5. Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number
  6. Government-issued photo ID
  7. Percent of company ownership

How much money do I need to open a business account?

This table shows how much money you need to open a business bank account at several major US banks.

BankMinimum deposit
Bank of America$100
Citi$1
JPMorgan Chase$0
TD Bank$25 to $200
Wells Fargo$25

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

It could take you less than 30 minutes to submit your application online if you have all your documents handy. The verification process could take a day or two and you’ll typically receive your debit card in the mail seven to 10 business days later.

If you open an account in person, it could take an hour or more to complete your application — and you may have to book an appointment in advance. But you could get your debit card on the spot.

Compare business bank accounts

Use the comparison table to compare business bank accounts by monthly fee, minimum deposit and ATM network.

Name Product Fee APY ATMs Minimum deposit to open
Live Oak Bank Small Business Checking Account
Live Oak Bank Small Business Checking Account
$0
N/A
Access over 55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Lili
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Lili
$4.99 for Lili Pro
1.00% only with Lili Pro
32,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$0
BlueVine Business Checking
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
BlueVine Business Checking
$0
1.50% on balances of $0 to $100,000 You need spend $500 a month or receive $2,500 a month in customer statements.
38,000+ MoneyPass® locations nationally
$0
First Internet Bank Small Business Checking
$0
0.50% on balances of $10,000+
0.00% on balances of $0 to $9,999
Up to $10 ATM fee reimbursements a month, plus free access to the ATM Plus Network
$0
Novo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Novo
$0
N/A
Novo doesn't charge ATM fees and will reimburse any non-network fees you incur
$50
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest compounding Offer
Axos Bank Business Savings
Finder Rating: 3.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Axos Bank Business Savings
0.20%
$5 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
Daily
A business savings account with a low minimum deposit.
Axos Bank Business Money Market
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Axos Bank Business Money Market
0.20%
$10 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
Daily
This money market savings account comes with the added benefit of check writing privileges.
NBKC Bank Business Money Market
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
NBKC Bank Business Money Market
0.05%
$0
$0
Daily
The NBKC Bank Business Money Market Account is a breath of fresh air with its simple fee structure and low opening deposit.
Goldwater Bank Savings Plus Business
Goldwater Bank Savings Plus Business
0.45%
$25,000
Daily
Goldwater Business Savings offers to segregate business funds on deposit for different purposes and provides a convenient way to manage money based on your specific business needs
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Compare up to 4 providers

Do I need a business bank account?

Anyone who owns a business should have a business bank account. Some business structures require you to have one. But if yours doesn’t, commingling your personal and business funds can create chaos.

The government could come after your personal assets if you’re sued or owe money to the IRS. And it creates a lot of headache come tax time because it’s harder to separate personal expenses from your business ones. Your accountant may also have a hard time figuring out which business tax deductions you qualify for.

Bottom line

Opening a business bank account may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy. Once you find your bank, check to see if you can apply online, in person or over the phone. Then, gather your documents and apply. As always, compare the best business bank accounts before making a decision.

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