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How to open a business bank account

Learn the steps and documentation needed to open a business bank account.

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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 six steps to open a business bank account.

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.

Find a bank

Once you’ve narrowed down what type of account you need for your business, it’s time to find a bank. 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.

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.

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.

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.

What do I need to open a business bank account?

Here’s a list of the eligibility requirements and documentation you need to open a business bank account:

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

Required Information

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:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Citizenship status
  • Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Percent of company ownership

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

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
Citigroup$0 to $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.
Publisher to add comparison table.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open ATMs
NorthOne Business Banking
$10 per month
$50
More than 300,000 ATMs across America.

A digital bank account featuring free cash deposits, on-demand customer support and streamlined bookkeeping integrations.
Novo
$0 per month
$50
Novo doesn't charge ATM fees and will reimburse any non-network fees you incur
A low-fee online checking account designed for small businesses and startups, but you won’t be able to deposit cash.
Axos Bank Basic Business Checking
$0 per month
$1,000
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No monthly maintenance fees, a low minimum deposit requirement and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Radius Bank Tailored Checking
$10 per month
$100
More than 20,000 ATMs + unlimited ATM surcharge rebates
with Tailored Checking get free ATMs worldwide and unlimited penalty-free transactions.
Axos Bank Business Interest Checking
$10 per month
$100
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
Earn up to 0.50% APY and pay no monthly maintenance fee with an average daily balance of at least $5,000.
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months
Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned More info
Live Oak Bank Business Savings account
Live Oak Bank Business Savings account
0.80%
$0
$0
Read review
View details
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily
NBKC Bank Business Money Market
NBKC Bank Business Money Market
0.80%
$0
$0
Read review
View details
The NBKC Bank Business Money Market Account is a breath of fresh air with its simple fee structure and low opening deposit.
First Internet Bank Regular Savings
First Internet Bank Regular Savings

0.70% on $0 to $10,000,000
0.40% on $10,000,000+
$2 per month
(can be waived)
$100
Read review
View details
First Internet Bank's Regular Savings account for businesses is online-only and available nationwide.
Axos Bank Business Savings
0.50%
$5 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
Read review
View details
A business savings account with a low minimum deposit.
Axos Bank Business Money Market
0.50%
$10 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
Read review
View details
This money market savings account comes with the added benefit of check writing privileges.
Goldwater Bank Savings Plus Business
Goldwater Bank Savings Plus Business
0.50%
per month
(can be waived)
$25,000
Read review
View details
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
TIAA Bank Business Money Market

0.45% on $1,000,000+
0.40% on $100,000 to $999,999.99
0.35% on $10,000 to $99,999.99
$14.95 per month
(can be waived)
$1,500
Read review
View details
This business money market account allows you to add several authorized users to your account.
Axos Bank Business Premium Savings
0.05%
$0
$25,000
Read review
View details
This digital savings account includes no monthly maintenance or average daily balance fee.
U.S. Bank Platinum Business Money Market
U.S. Bank Platinum Business Money Market

0.05% on $100,000+
0.10% on $24,999 to $99,999
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$100
Read review
View details
Earn higher rates of interest on higher balances, plus pay no monthly maintenance fee as long as you maintain a minimum balance of $10,000.
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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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