What You Need to Open a Business Bank Account

You'll need basic information about yourself and your business, as well as legal business documentation.
Randa KrissSep 21, 2021

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Whether you plan to open a business checking account in person or online, you’ll need to provide basic details about yourself, your business and any additional business owners. You’ll also need a government-issued ID and legal business documentation.

You can typically apply for a business bank account in minutes, especially if you open an account online and have all the required documentation, but it can take up to seven business days for your application to be approved.

Learn what you need to open a business bank account and how to find the best option for your small business.

Business bank account requirements

Exact requirements to open a business bank account will vary based on the bank, your entity type and the state where you formed your business.

Some banks require an opening deposit, which can range from $5 to $1,000, for example, while others allow you to open an account with $0.

You also need to provide details about yourself and your business, along with a government-issued photo ID and certain business documentation when you open your business bank account. Necessary information will likely include:

Personal details

  • Your name, birthdate and Social Security number.

  • Mailing address and contact information.

  • Ownership percentage in your business.

  • A government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.

If your business has multiple owners, you typically need to include personal details and identification for every owner with 25% or more ownership in the business.

Business details and documentation

  • Business name and DBA or trade name (if applicable).

  • Business address.

  • Employer identification number, or EIN. (Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs may be able to use their Social Security number).

  • Entity type and industry/type of business.

You may also be asked for the following documentation, depending on your business entity type:

  • Sole proprietorships: Business name registration certificate, business license.

  • Partnerships: Partnership agreement, business name registration certificate, business license, state certificate of partnership.

  • LLCs: Articles of organization, LLC operating agreement, business license.

  • Corporations: Articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws, business license.

Banks may have slightly different verification requirements. Review all instructions carefully when it comes to submitting your business documentation.

Choosing a business bank account

Consider what type of business bank account you need, whether you’re interested in an online-only account and how you want to open your account (online vs. in person).

Types of business bank accounts

Business checking accounts

Business savings accounts

Merchant accounts*

Best for: Everyday use

Best for: Long-term savings

Best for: Accepting debit and credit card payments

What to keep in mind:

  • Included monthly transactions.

  • ATM access.

  • Account and incidental fees.

What to keep in mind: 

  • APY.

  • Account fees.

  • Minimum balance required to earn interest.

What to keep in mind: 

  • Bundled merchant services.

  • Low transaction fees.

  • Additional fees.

*Merchant accounts are specialized business bank accounts used for accepting debit or credit card payments. You need to open a business checking account before you can get a merchant account.

Compare business bank accounts

Consider the following factors when shopping for a business bank account:

  • Monthly fees.

  • Minimum balance requirements.

  • Included fee-free transactions.

  • ATM access (withdrawals and deposits).

  • Wiring, transfer and payment capabilities.

  • Incidental fees (stop payment, nonsufficient funds, overdrafts).

  • Online and mobile banking.

  • Additional features, such as bill pay, invoicing or integrations with other business tools.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our picks for best business checking accounts (see the full list).

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
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Monthly Fee

$0

Monthly Fee

$15.00

Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

Monthly Fee

$10.00

Waived with $5,000 minimum balance

APY

N/A

APY

N/A

APY

0.10%

With $5,000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$300

Requirements to qualify

Bonus

N/A