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 KrissJanuary 15, 2021
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Whether you plan to open a business bank 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.

Here’s a breakdown of the requirements to open a business bank account and what you can expect during the process.

Gather your information and documents

You can open a business bank account online or in person at a branch location, depending on the bank. You’ll likely provide the same information for both, but, brick-and-mortar banks may require additional details or documentation.

Requirements also may vary based on your entity type and the state where you formed your business.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to open your business bank account:

Personal details: Your name, birthdate, mailing address, contact information, Social Security number and ownership percentage in your business. For some online-based business bank accounts, you may need to use an email address or phone number to create your account before you can complete an application.

Personal identification: 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: Your business name, DBA or trade name (if applicable), employer identification number (EIN), business address, entity type and industry/type of business.

If your business is a sole proprietorship or single-member LLC, you may not be required to provide an EIN, as long as you provide your Social Security number.

Business documentation: What you’ll need to provide ultimately depends on your entity type and the state where your business was established. Here are the documents you might be asked for based on your business entity:

  • Sole proprietorships: EIN, 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.

Opening deposit: Can range from $5 to $1,000. Some banks have started to waive minimum opening deposits, but many still require it.

Choose a business bank account

Before you can open a business bank account, you’ll want to compare options to find an account that best suits your financial needs. 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, compared

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.

While exploring business bank account options, you also will want to think about:

  • 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.

Here are some business bank accounts that can help you get started:

Highlights

  • No minimum opening deposit or monthly fees.

  • Earn 1% APY on account balance of up to $100,000.

  • Unlimited transactions.

  • Ability to deposit cash through Green Dot network.

How to Open

Online

Highlights

  • $5 minimum opening deposit.

  • No monthly or incidental fees.

  • Unlimited transactions.

  • Up to $12 in monthly refunds for ATM fees charged by other banks.

How to Open

Online

Highlights

  • No minimum opening deposit.

  • Unlimited electronic deposits.

  • Opportunity to earn $300 sign-up bonus.

  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and 4,700 branches across the U.S.

How to Open

Online or at a Chase branch

Highlights

  • Unlimited transactions.

  • Earn 0.10% APY on balances of $5,000 and higher.

  • Fee-free ATM access.

  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements for fees charged by other banks.

How to Open

Online

» Looking for more options? Check out our roundup of the best free business checking accounts.

Open a business bank account

You’ll likely be able to open your business bank account in just minutes, especially if you’re signing up online and have gathered your documentation ahead of time.

After you’ve submitted your application, banks generally need from one to seven business days to review it. Once you’re approved, you can finish setting up your business bank account by transferring funds, adding users, signing up for online and mobile banking and more.

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