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.
Dec 22, 2021

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If you run a small business, you need a business checking account to keep company finances separate from personal transactions.

Opening a business account is easy; you can typically apply in minutes as long as you have the right details and documents, especially if you open an account online.

Business bank account requirements will vary based on the bank, your entity type and the state where you formed your business. Here’s what you need to open a business bank account, plus our tips for how to find the best bank for your small business.

Personal identification

Banks require a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to open a business bank account (some may ask for two). You also need to give your personal mailing address and contact information, along with your date of birth and Social Security number.

Businesses with multiple owners typically need to include personal details and identification for every owner with 25% or more ownership in the business.

Employer Identification Number

If your business has an Employer Identification Number, you need to provide that along with any corresponding documents from the IRS. Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs may be able to use their Social Security number.

Business details

The business account application will ask for your business name and address, as well as your trade name or DBA name, if applicable. Beyond that, you’ll need to list your business entity type (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or corporation) and disclose the industry you’re in and type of business you operate.

Organizing documents, agreements

The documents you need to provide depend on how your business is set up. Here are common requirements for different entity types:

  • 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.

Opening deposit

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.

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.

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). Then, compare your business bank account options, taking the following factors into 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 
NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee


Monthly Fee


Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

Monthly Fee


Waived with $5,000 minimum balance







With $5,000 minimum balance





Requirements to qualify