Establishing a Business Checking Account

by Cartess Ross

INSTEAD OF ME TRYING TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU, I FOUND THIS STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON EHOW.COM — IT DID SUCH A GOOD JOB EXPLAINING, I POSTED IT HERE:

  1. Gather all the business documents you have. Important items usually include articles of incorporation (if your business is incorporated) and your Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

  2. Visit the local bank or credit union of your choice, with documents in hand. Alternatively, you can also apply online at several major national banks (see Resources below), but likely you will be asked to fax or hand-deliver essential documents proving your business status. (I usually fax mine — Bank of America makes this process extremely easy).

  3. Tell a bank representative (if visiting a bank or credit union in person) that you wish to open a business checking account.

  4. Complete the application with a bank employee. You will be asked for information such as your name, business name, your home address, your business address (if different), home and business telephone numbers, EIN and Social Security Number (they’ll use your SSN for identification purposes — they won’t usually run this through check systems — so don’t worry if your credit is bad. The EIN number works like a social security number, but it’s for the business — which is the entity getting the checking account). If your business is incorporated, you will be asked to provide evidence you are an officer of the corporation, which is usually found in the articles of incorporation.

  5. Tell the bank representative the information for any additional signers you might want on your business checking account.

  6. Deposit cash, check or money order as your business checking account’s required opening deposit.

  7. Order any checks or debit cards while at the bank, unless you plan to print your own checks using programs such as QuickBooks.

  8. Start using your account regularly to pay bills and make deposits. You should receive your new checks and any debit card within 7 to 10 business days.

RESOURCES

Banks that I’ve found the easiest to setup business checking accounts online were Bank of America and Wells Fargo. I generally filled out the information online and they’ll provide you with a number to fax over your Articles of Incorporation (Corporation paper work) and my federal tax ID number.

After doing that, I generally go to the bank to show proof after the acct has been approved online (usually 1-3 days).

That's it ... They'll have you sign documents and will usually put your business debit cards in your hand before you leave.

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