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Financial Services Learning Centre

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Business Bank Account Requirements

What You Need to Open a Business Bank Account

What you need to open a business bank account will vary depending on your type of business entity, the state you live in, and where your business was established. Some banks also ask for more documentation than others.

Here’s what you need to open a business bank account:

Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
To prove your business’s identity, you’ll need to provide your EIN, as well as the documents that the IRS sent you when issuing your EIN. Sole proprietors may be able to use their social security number in lieu of an EIN.

Personal Identification
Most banks will also ask you for one or two forms of personal identification to prove that you are connected with the business. To open a business bank account, you must be an officer or owner of the company. Valid forms of personal identification include a driver’s license, state-issued identification, or passport.

Business License
Issued by your state or local government, a business license shows you are authorized to operate by that jurisdiction. The processes for getting a business license differs by city and state, so it’s best to see what your area requires.

Certificate of Assumed Name
Many businesses operate under a trade name that is different from their legal name. For example, ABC Bakery, LLC, might operate as “ABC’s.” If this is true in your case, you’ll need to file a fictitious business name, also known as a doing business as name (DBA), with your state’s secretary of state. The bank will ask for a copy of your DBA filing documents as proof of your business’s trade name.

Partnership Agreement
Businesses with multiple owners will need to supply a partnership agreement, bylaws (for corporations) or operating agreement (for LLCs).

Organizing Documents
The requirements for organizing documents vary a bit by state, but at their core, they spell out a few crucial components of your company: business name, address, owners, registered agent (the person who handles a company’s paperwork), management structure (who will be in charge of running the company), and the activities it will engage in.

The main organizational document for a corporation is called the articles of incorporation. For an LLC, it’s called the articles of organization. You should store these founding documents in a safe place and be ready to show them to a bank.

Monthly Credit Card Revenue
Businesses applying for merchant services accounts will need to supply estimates of their monthly credit card volume or the processing history and average volume of monthly credit card revenue of their current merchant account.

Some merchant account providers ask for additional documentation as well, such as financial statements and bank account statements.


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