How to Open a Business Bank Account

You'll need basic information about yourself and your business, as well as legal business documentation.
Randa KrissAug 26, 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.

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

What you need: business bank account requirements

You typically need to provide the following documents and details to open a business bank account, but exact requirements may vary based on the bank, your entity type and the state where you formed your business.

Personal details

  • Your name, birthdate and Social Security number.

  • Mailing address and contact information.

  • 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

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

  • 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

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

A handful of banks do not require an opening deposit, but many still require it. Minimum opening deposits can range from $5 to $1,000.

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.

How to 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).

nbkc Business Account
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

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

Chase Business Complete Banking℠
NerdWallet rating 

at Chase, Member FDIC

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

LendingClub Tailored Checking
NerdWallet rating 

at LendingClub Bank, Member FDIC

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

BlueVine Business Checking
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

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

Setting up your business bank account

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.

Once you get the green light, you can set up your business bank account by transferring funds, adding users and signing up for online and mobile banking.