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How to set up a business bank account in 11 easy steps.

Determining Your Business Checking Needs

Establish how your business is owned. Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or nonprofit? You’ll find that certain accounts are more suitable to your needs depending on how your business is structured.

Figure out the number of deposits you normally make each week or month. A low-cost, basic plan may suit your needs if you make only a couple of deposits a week.

Look at your last statement and calculate how many checks you usually write each week or month. A basic plan typically has limited check-writing privileges.

Determine how much cash you deposit and withdraw each month.

Examine your last statement to see the minimum and average balances you usually maintain.

Decide if you want to do all of your transactions via ATM, the night depository or online. Do you prefer to do all of your banking in person? Banks usually charge higher fees for in-person banking.

Signing Up for the Account At Any Bank

Have the right documentation with you. All banks will require you to prove that you are a business. Eligibility requirements and the required documentation to open a business checking account vary by ownership type.

Provide a taxpayer ID number to open the account regardless of ownership structure.

Provide a certified copy of the fictitious name certificate if you are a sole proprietor and the account title is a business name other than yours. You must put your signature on file and you may authorize additional people to sign checks.

Provide a certified copy of the fictitious name certificate for any business whose account titles are different from the names of the owners. Place on file with the bank the signatures of those who will be granted access to the account. Each signer must provide two current pieces of identification that include the signer’s signature.

Submit, in addition to the above information, a copy of the IRS Ruling on Tax Exemption, a statement on corporation letterhead indicating the corporation’s tax-exempt status, and an employer identification number (EIN) for a nonprofit organization.

The video below goes into detail about setting up a business account:

The financial manager of a national bank gives married business owners banking advice.

by Sam Leccima and Shani Leccima