Can I Open a Business Bank Account Without an EIN?

Opening a bank account without an EIN is possible for some entrepreneurs, but there are benefits to having a business tax ID.
Rosalie Murphy
By Rosalie Murphy 
Updated
Edited by Ryan Lane

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Sole proprietors and some single-member LLCs can open a business checking account without an employer identification number (EIN) at many financial institutions. Instead, you’ll have to provide your Social Security number to verify your identity.

Even if you don’t need an EIN for a business checking account, it’s a good idea to apply for one. These unique business tax ID numbers issued by the IRS are fast and free to get, and you’ll need an EIN if you ever hire employees or contractors, for instance.

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Business bank accounts you can open without an EIN

The following financial companies let sole proprietors apply for business bank accounts with a Social Security number instead of an EIN. Some single-member LLCs may be able to apply without an EIN, too.

If you feel comfortable with digital banking, consider an online business checking account. These accounts usually have no minimum opening deposit, unlimited transactions and few fees, though you may run into low cash deposit limits. Accounts available without an EIN include:

  • Bluevine, which pays 2.00% APY on all balances.

  • Found, which integrates with many gig work apps.

  • LendingClub, which pays 1% cash back on debit card purchases.

  • Lili, which lets you receive some ACH payments up to two days early. 

  • Novo, which comes with built-in invoicing.

Brick-and-mortar banks are more likely to limit the number of transactions you can make each month and charge monthly fees. But if you like being able to walk into a branch location, consider these options:

  • Bank of America, which allows unlimited electronic transactions.

  • BMO Harris, which lets customers use an extra 40,000 Allpoint ATMs for free.

  • Chase, which currently offers a $400 sign-up bonus.

  • Huntington, which offers a 24-hour grace period when you overdraft.

  • TD Bank, which provides 24/7 customer service over the phone.

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Do you need an EIN to open a business bank account?

Banks won’t always require an EIN to open a business account. But you might have to get one based on your business structure: The federal government requires an EIN if you plan on doing business as a partnership, multimember LLC or corporation.

An EIN isn’t always mandatory for sole proprietors or single-member LLCs — unless you have employees or one is legally required for tax purposes. Consult your accountant or a tax professional if you’re unsure what’s necessary for your business.

Banks must verify customer information before allowing them to open an account. Requiring an EIN to prove your business’s identity and the nature of your business is one way to do this. However, you also won’t be able to open a business account with just an EIN; some personal information and additional documentation will be required.

Benefits of opening a business bank account with an EIN

Even if an EIN isn’t required for your business, there are many benefits to getting one before you open a business bank account.

  • It’s easy to do. Applying for an EIN is free, and you can get one immediately online through the IRS website. You can also get an EIN via fax or mail. International applicants have to apply by phone. 

  • It'll help separate your personal finances and business finances. Not only is this step important for record-keeping and tax time, but it can also help protect your personal assets if your business runs into legal trouble. Plus, having your business name and branding on your account (rather than your personal information) makes you appear more professional to potential clients or investors.

  • You'll have access to a wider selection of accounts. Whether you prefer a credit union, national bank or online-only banking experience, having an EIN generally means you’ll have one fewer hurdle to jump to qualify for the account you want. For instance, if you’re a single-member LLC, you may not be legally required to have an EIN. But getting one before you open a business bank account for your LLC will ensure you have as many options as possible.

  • It sets you up for future growth. Having a bank account tied to your business lays the foundation for other actions that can help you build business credit — for instance, applying for a small-business loan, then spending responsibly and repaying debt on time.

Best Banks for Small Business
ProductMonthly feeAPYMin. opening depositLearn more
Axos Bank® Basic Business Checking

Basic Business Checking

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5.0
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at Axos Bank®

$0 N/A$0
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at Axos Bank®

Grasshopper Business Checking Account

Grasshopper Business Checking Account

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4.5
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at Grasshopper Bank

$0 2.25% 

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$100
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at Grasshopper Bank

Chase Business Complete Banking℠

Chase Business Complete Banking℠

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4.5
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at Chase

$15.00 

Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

N/A$0
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at Chase