In recent months I’ve been on a mission to make my business legit. In my last post I talked about becoming an LLC and operating as a single-member business owner.
Today, I’m excited to talk about out opening my first official business checking account!
In the past I’ve had personal bank accounts with a DBA (Doing Business As) where I deposited freelance income and was using my personal Social Security number. But I’ve never had a “business” checking, until now!
If you’re ready to open a business bank account online, here’s what it costs and all of the documents you need as an LLC.
1. Choose the right business bank
Over the past six years of being self-employed, I STILL haven’t come across a really good small business bank for self-employed biz owners. I’ve tested out Capital One’s Spark Business, only to encounter terrible customer service.
I’ve looked into Discover but they only have personal banking options (for now!). Some other small startups like Simple or Seed have been promising too, but most of them are still in the beginning phases and working out kinks.
As a long-time Chase customer I decided to make things easy and open a Chase Business Total Checking Account. The only catch is that I have to keep a minimum of $1,500 in the account at all times or I’ll have to pay a $12 monthly fee.
For now, I’m okay with that.
2. Collect your LLC documents
In order to open a business bank account you’ll need to be an LLC (or other business entity) and operate under an EIN. This is why it’s important to make opening a business bank account your second step in the process of making your business legit.
These are the documents you’ll need when opening a business bank account.
- Articles of Organization (or Incorporation)
- Employer ID Number (from the IRS)
- Proof of physical address (such as a bank statement, or utility statement)
- Driver’s license or state-issued ID
- Social Security number
- Marriage certificate (if changing your name)
I suggest putting them into a folder so you can securely take them with you when opening your bank account.
Thanks to technology, you can open a business bank account online that’s secure and quick. However, in some cases, you’ll have to complete this process in person, so as to prove your identity.
The great thing though is that you can start the process online and finish it in person to help save time.
3. Show proof of ID
In addition to printing out your business/LLC documents, you’ll need to show proof of your identity using a driver’s license or state-issued ID, as well as your personal Social Security card.
So be sure to bring these along to the bank.
In the event you need to change your name (due to getting married or divorced) you’ll also be required to show your marriage certificate. You can do this all at once and have the new business checking account opened and operational today!
The cost to open a business bank account
Most bank accounts don’t require a large deposit to open an account, and in this case I only needed $25 deposit to open my Total Checking Account with Chase.
Since I’ve already been a Chase customer for many years, they were offering a $300 opening bonus for new business checking accounts.
So that was a nice incentive!
Before opening a new business bank account, make sure you do a quick Google search to find a bank deposit bonus!
One of the main expenses to be on the lookout for with business checking accounts is a monthly service fee. For my new account the fee is $12-15 per month, unless you maintain $1,500 minimum daily balance then the fee is waived.
Look for small business banking features
Once cool bonus feature is that Chase business checking accounts actually come with the online Business Access Manager.
This allows you to have one login for all your personal and business accounts, (checking and savings) within Chase. Plus, you can share login access with an accountant or bookkeeper, giving you total control of your business finances.
Another thing I like is that Chase is a very large bank so it syncs with all of my financial apps and bookkeeping programs.
All-in-all, I’m really happy with my business bank account! As with filing to become an LLC, the process of opening a business checking account was pretty easy and I completed it within about 30 minutes.