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NC Outer Banks Vacation Rentals: Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Trip
The North Carolina Outer Banks is a popular vacation destination, known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. If you’re planning to visit the area, one of the most important aspects of your trip will be finding the perfect vacation rental. Here are some tips to help you plan a stress-free trip.
Determine Your Needs and Budget
Before you start looking for vacation rentals, it’s important to determine your needs and budget. How many people will be in your party? Do you need easy beach access or a pool? Are you looking for a luxury rental or something more affordable? Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you’ll have an easier time finding the right rental.
Research Your Options
There are many vacation rental options available in the Outer Banks, so it’s important to do your research. Look at different websites that offer rentals in the area and read reviews from previous renters. This can give you an idea of what to expect from each rental and help you narrow down your options.
The best vacation rentals tend to book up quickly, especially during peak season. To ensure that you get the rental that meets all of your needs, it’s best to book early. This also gives you more time to plan other aspects of your trip without worrying about accommodations.
Plan Ahead for Amenities
When booking your vacation rental, make sure to ask about amenities such as linens, towels, and kitchen supplies. Some rentals may provide these items while others may require you to bring them yourself or rent them separately. Knowing this information ahead of time can save stress and hassle during your trip.
In conclusion, planning a stress-free trip to NC Outer Banks requires careful consideration when choosing vacation rentals that meet all of your needs within budget constraints; researching options offered by various websites; booking early before peak season crowds fill up the best rentals; and planning ahead for amenities that may or may not be included with your rental. Follow these tips to ensure a memorable and enjoyable vacation in this beautiful destination.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Business Bank Account Checklist: Documents You’ll Need
Table of contents.
Business bank accounts help you professionally manage your business finances and separate those funds from your personal finances. Opening a business bank account requires more effort than opening a personal account. There are documents to gather, names to be determined and licenses to get in order. Learn why you should have a business bank account and what you need to do to open one.
Benefits of a business bank account
Establishing a separate business bank account is an essential step in running your small business. While you may only have one personal bank account, your business likely needs multiple accounts.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, most business bank accounts offer benefits and perks that personal bank accounts do not. Here are four reasons why you need a business bank account.
1. Limited liability protection
Business banking helps limit your personal liability by keeping business funds separate from your personal funds.
“No matter what type of business you own, you should always separate your personal and business finances,” said Chas Rampenthal, general counsel at LegalZoom. “The first and most important step toward successfully separating your finances is to have separate bank accounts.”
2. Purchase protection for customers
Many banks offer merchant accounts as a business banking option, which provides purchase protection for your customers and also protects their personal information. You can also look for this feature in the best credit card processing services, as it can significantly boost customer satisfaction and reinforce trust in your brand.
A business bank account allows checks to be made to the business – which is more professional than asking customers to make checks to your name. Your customers can also pay with credit cards, and employees can handle banking tasks on behalf of the business.
4. Credit options
Some banks provide an option for a line of credit that you can use in an emergency. Many also offer business credit cards that you can use to start building a credit history for your fledgling business.
A business bank account keeps your business finances separate from your personal funds. A business bank account benefits are that it helps limit your personal liability and customers can pay your company directly. Further, the bank may also provide you with a line of credit and a business credit card that you can use to build a credit history.
4 types of business bank accounts to consider
As with personal banking, there are several types of business bank accounts. Depending on your needs, you’ll likely need to open more than one account.
Here are the four common types of business bank accounts:
- Checking account: A business checking account is a great choice for managing payroll, expenses and other basic financial tasks that keep your business running.
- Savings account: In addition to a checking account, you’ll likely need a business savings account to hold your earnings.
- Merchant account: If you plan to accept credit and debit card payments , check with your bank to see if you can set up a merchant account. “Depending on whom you bank with, some banks offer merchant services as well,” said Julia Spahiu, founder and CFO of Edi and Sienna Group . “I suggest to all my clients [that they] shop around before settling for one particular account, and renegotiate your rate at least once a year.”
- Credit card account: You can use a business credit card for emergencies or miscellaneous items for your business. The chief benefit of a credit card for the owners of startups or if one has bad credit is that it can help build or improve your business credit score.
The four main types of business bank accounts are checking, savings, merchant and credit card accounts.
Things to consider when choosing a bank for your business account
Business owners have many banking options, and every bank offers something a little different. Take your time perusing the various options until you find the right bank for your business.
“Always shop around,” said Mike Swigunski, founder and CEO of Global Career. “Banks are as keen to gain new customers as they are to retain current ones, so use this to your advantage to get better deals.”
Here’s what to consider (and ask about) as you evaluate different banks:
Every bank has different fee structures and features. Business accounts typically have higher fees and minimum balance requirements than personal accounts.
Tracy Odell, vice president of content at FinanceBuzz , recommends asking whether the bank offers any bonuses.
“Sometimes banks offer bonuses for opening a business account with them,” she said. “For example, a bank might offer $300 if you open an account and maintain a certain minimum balance. These offers can be a great way to earn a little extra revenue, but remember that these bonuses are taxable. Don’t be surprised if you get a 1099 for the bonus next tax season.”
Account maintenance requirements
Business bank accounts often have requirements you must meet; if you don’t, you can be charged fees. For instance, it’s common for banks to require you to maintain a certain balance – but this minimum amount varies from bank to bank – and it may be a daily or monthly minimum. If you have multiple accounts, the bank may count all of your accounts toward a combined minimum amount, or they may look at each account separately.
In lieu of maintaining a certain minimum balance, some banks, with their business checking accounts, won’t charge you the fee if you spend a certain minimum on a debit or credit card tied to your account, or if you use one of the bank’s other services.
Carefully consider which account features are must-haves when you’re comparing banks. For instance, do you need a business bank account that includes detailed analytics? Do you want a mobile app that allows you to deposit checks digitally? Do you need a business debit card? Would it be useful to receive alerts when your balance is nearing your minimum?
When looking for a bank for your business account, take your time researching the different requirements, features, fees and sign-up bonuses.
How to open a business bank account by company type
According to Grant Aldrich, founder and CEO of OnlineDegree.com, opening a business bank account follows the same process regardless of your business type, except for sole proprietorships, as opening a personal savings or checking account.
“If you’re a sole proprietor, you need to bring your Social Security card instead of your EIN,” Aldrich said.
Sole proprietors still need to bring their business license, DBA certificate and personal identification documents.
What documentation do you need to open a business bank account?
Before you open a business bank account, you should have the following documentation prepared:
Articles of incorporation
Business licenses, doing business as (dba) certificate, employer identification number (ein), identification documents.
“There are various factors business owners should consider when opening a business bank account,” said Rampenthal. “It’s essential to prepare all necessary documents from the get-go in order to facilitate a painless process.”
Here’s more information about each of the documents you’ll need to open a business bank account.
Your articles of incorporation show the bank how your business is structured, and you use these legal documents to register your business with the state and other entities.
“If you form a business as an LLC, limited partnership, corporation or other separate legal entity, to open a bank account, you will need the articles of incorporation that you filed with the state if you are the sole owner,” said Tiffany Wright, president of The Resourceful CEO, a financing advisory firm for small and midsize businesses, and project director at Cogent Analytics .
Rampenthal said that banks will likely ask for your current business license to prove you are legally permitted to conduct business in your region.
“This also ensures that your business is accountable for all actions, including taxes and finances,” he said. “Check with your state, county and local governments to determine if you need any licenses to operate your business.”
A DBA, often referred to as a “fictitious name,” allows you to conduct business “like marketing or advertising, or accept money, under a name that differs from the existing name of your business,” said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.
Sweeney added that most banks require a certified copy of a DBA to open a business bank account, since entrepreneurs aren’t allowed to use their personal bank account under their business name.
“Filing for a DBA allows entities to do business under another name without having to form a new organization,” Sweeney said. “For example, imagine an entrepreneur named Tom Johnson. Tom is a sole proprietor who runs his own business and wants to open up a sandwich shop called Subs ‘n Chips. Tom wants this business to operate under the Subs ‘n Chips name and not under his own name, Tom Johnson. As such, he would need to register for a DBA so he could do business under this name, including accepting and signing checks made out to and on behalf of Subs ‘n Chips.”
If you’re a sole proprietor, you will need an EIN, your Social Security number, and a driver’s license or passport, according to Levi King, co-founder and CEO of credit solutions and monitoring firm Nav.
EINs are also used to prevent identity theft, fraud and money laundering. King added that while some banks allow a sole proprietorship to open accounts without an EIN, creating one is still beneficial.
Rampenthal said that the EIN is essential for managing taxes and paying employees.
“Sole proprietors may use their Social Security number for business tax purposes in lieu of an EIN,” he added. “You can obtain an EIN for your business by filing with the IRS.”
Finally, you’ll need to provide documents proving your identity.
Forms of proof “can include a government-issued picture ID, such as a driver’s license or passport,” Rampenthal said. “This is used in order to corroborate [that] the business owner is indeed the person who owns and/or runs the corresponding business.”
To open a business bank account, you’ll need to present documents proving your identity and your business’s legitimacy.
When should you open a business bank account?
The best time to open a business bank account is before you accept the first payment for your company’s goods or services. Typically, a business bank account is opened during the incorporation process. A bank account cannot be opened until the business has a license to operate and an identifying tax number (which will be an employer identification number or a Social Security number for a sole proprietorship).
What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?
Banks and credit unions primarily offer the same services to customers and members. Both are designed to provide money management (such as checking and savings accounts), loan services, and other financial services.
The differences stem from the organization, classification and regulation surrounding each type of financial institution. Banks are for-profit businesses that can be singly or publicly owned. Credit unions are, by definition, nonprofit institutions. Union members collectively own them, so no credit union can ever be a sole proprietorship.
The difference in classification has led to differences in regulations for the two types of institutions. Many of the rules that were instituted after the 2008 financial crisis were not applied to credit unions. Services at banks and credit unions might have different fees or interest rates attached to their services, and approval processes will vary. Credit unions, for example, may have requirements pertaining to who can be credit union members. For example, many credit unions limit membership to residents of the county where the credit union is located.
Is it better to apply in person or online?
Rampenthal said that some banks do not offer the option of opening a business account online, either to reduce the risk of identity theft or due to the nature of certain businesses.
Banks that do offer the option of applying for a business bank account online may take more time to review your documents and set up the account than they would if you applied in person.
If the bank you choose offers both application options, you’ll need to decide which option (and trade-off) is preferable: the convenience of applying online but waiting longer for your account to be set up or applying in person and having your account set up the same day.
Matt D’Angelo and Simone Johnson contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
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What Do You Need to Open a Business Bank Account?
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Checklist: What you need to open a business bank account
Requirements to open a business bank account, personal information.
- Government-issued photo identification. Typically a driver’s license or passport. Some banks may ask for two types of ID.
- Home address. You need to have a U.S. mailing address to apply for most business accounts. Banks typically require a physical address rather than a P.O. Box.
- Personal email and cell phone number. Financial institutions use this information for two-factor authentication. A handful of online business checking accounts are mobile only and require a cell phone number to apply for an account.
- Date of birth and Social Security number. Banks use this information to verify your identity, which they are required by law to do.
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- Employer identification number . You may also need to provide corresponding documents from the IRS. Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs that don’t have an EIN may be able to use their Social Security number.
- Business name and trade name or “ doing business as ” name, if you have one. No official business name? You can use your own name.
- Business address and phone number. You can use your home address if you don’t have an office or a storefront.
- Business entity type. Sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or LLC.
- Date your business was formed. If your business is registered with the state, use that date. If not, use the date the company was founded.
- Industry and type of business you operate. Certain types of business — such as gambling, cannabis and adult entertainment companies — cannot open a business account with most banks.
- 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.
Why open a business bank account?
- Streamline bookkeeping: Running all of your company’s income and expenses through a dedicated business account makes it easier for you to track outstanding invoices, generate financial statements and apply for business loans and grants .
- Simplify tax preparation: Using a business bank account also makes it easier to file your taxes. You won’t need to untangle business and personal expenses — that’s already done for you. And many business checking accounts integrate with popular business accounting software , making it easy to categorize expenses and identify deductions. Some business checking accounts for freelancers also have built-in tax planning tools to help you estimate and file your self-employed taxes.
- Protect personal assets: Your business’s legal structure — if you’re an LLC, partnership or corporation — can shield your personal assets in a lawsuit. But mixing business and personal assets can jeopardize that protection. Using a business bank account for company transactions helps preserve the legal distinction between you and your business.
What to look for when opening a business bank account
Minimal fees, no restrictive limits, useful, attainable perks.
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How to Open a Business Bank Account
7 min. read
Updated October 25, 2023
One of the key items on your new business’s startup checklist is opening a business bank account. Wherever you decide to open an account, you’ll likely use that bank or credit union for years to come. It’s not just a place to hold your money; it’s a partner that you’ll want to develop a relationship with as your company grows, especially if you seek a loan or line of credit.
We’ve created this guide to help walk you through the process of setting up a business bank account. We’ll help you find a bank that’s right for you , help you weigh banking features, and go over the setup process.
- 3 reasons you need a business bank account
If you’re just starting out, you might wonder why you need a business bank account. Why not just use your personal accounts? Any serious entrepreneur will tell you that a business account is vital to your success.
Why? Here are a few reasons.
1. To track your expenses
If you keep your personal and business accounts together, you’ll have to sift through each transaction to see how much money came in and went out.
It’s a tedious task that eats away at time that’s better spent improving your business. It’s a smart idea to start a business credit card for the same reason. It’s really hard to monitor your company’s cash flow if it’s mixed together with your personal money.
2. To alleviate tax headaches
When tax time rolls around , you want to have all of your numbers in one place. It’s infinitely easier to turn over bank statements to an accountant that are solely based on your business.
From those statements, a skilled accountant can look for tax deductions and incentives. Even if you decide to do your own taxes, an account dedicated to your business will be a lifesaver.
3. To start a relationship with a bank
At some point, you might need a loan for your business . Hopefully, in a few years, you’ll look to expand.
If you already have a relationship with a bank, you’re one step closer to getting funding. This connection, combined with a solid business plan , will help you secure the funds you need to grow.
- Considerations to help you pick the right bank
You have a variety of options to choose from. Should you go with a big corporate bank, a regional bank, or a credit union? It’s a tough decision. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
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Here are a few points to consider.
Every bank has fees, some more than others. Be sure to ask about fees and their structure.
In some cases, you’re charged for not keeping a minimum balance in your account. ATM fees can add up. Some banks even charge a “maintenance fee” just to keep the account open.
Typically, big banks can offer lower fees because they have a higher volume of clients. Ask how common it is for fees to increase too, or if any of the rates are promotional and expire quickly.
Inquire about lending ability. Can the banker you work with authorize a small business loan , or does it have to go through sixteen layers of corporate executives first? It’s something you’ll want to know upfront.
Typically, regional banks and credit unions have more flexibility here.
Most entrepreneurs want online features. Most banks offer them.
From online bill pay to the ability to transfer money from your business account to your personal account, ask about specific features that you need and compare prices with other banks.
In some cases, working with your local branch provides personal satisfaction, but according to a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey , big banks outrank their smaller counterparts in this area. It’s something you’ll have to weigh for yourself.
There are a growing number of online banks, and some entrepreneurs find their features appealing. Online banks tend to offer optimized digital features, like banking apps and user-friendly dashboards.
Of course, there’s no face-to-face connection, which depending on your business could be a pro or con. It can also be challenging to deposit cash , if your business has a brick and mortar location.
Finding the right bank is probably the most time-consuming part of the process. It will take some time to investigate what each bank has to offer and how it works within your business.
- What you should bring when opening an account
When you’re ready to open a business bank account, you’ll need to gather some paperwork to take with you. Here’s a quick list of what you should bring.
Employer identification number
Before setting up an account, you’ll need an employer identification number, or EIN . The government uses this number to keep track of your business and its tax requirements.
You can apply online to get this number through the IRS website . After filling out some forms online, you’ll get the number immediately.
Make sure you have your driver’s license with you. The bank will need a proper form of identification to prove you are who you say you are. If you have an official business partner, they will need to bring their ID also.
Certification of business identity
No matter what kind of business you establish, you’ll have to file paperwork with the state. The bank needs this information on your business structure too.
If you set up an LLC , you’ll need articles of organization. If you set up a proprietorship, you’ll need your DBA (doing business as ) papers. If you set up a corporation, you’ll need to bring your articles of incorporation. If you have a business partner, bring your partnership agreement .
Business license (only required for certain businesses)
In some states, specific businesses need a business license to operate. When you establish your business with the state, you’ll be notified if you need a license. If it’s required by the state, the bank will need to see it to make sure your business is legitimate.
Every bank is different, but there’s always an application to fill out. It’s a good idea to pick up the application and fill it out at home. That way, you’ll be ready to go as soon as you sit down with a banker.
- What to expect when you open an account
You’ll sit down with a banker and talk about your business needs. The banker will go over different account options with you and review your paperwork. If you haven’t filled out an application ahead of time, you’ll do that too.
You’ll fill out a signature card so the bank can check your signature against various transactions. If you have a business partner, he or she will need to sign a card as well to have access to the account.
The bank will check your personal credit score . The bank wants to know who they’re dealing with, so expect them to take a look at your financial history. If you plan to ask for a line of credit or a loan, some of that decision will be based on your credit score.
The whole process will likely take an hour or so, maybe longer if you plan to discuss additional products like savings accounts, business credit cards , or lines of credit.
You’ll be issued a temporary checkbook, and most banks issue a temporary ATM or debit card. Your official checkbook and debit card are mailed to you several days later.
- Maintaining your bank account
At least once a year, it’s a good idea to review your banking choice. Review the fees and make sure you’re not being charged for anything new. If you see anything out of the ordinary, call your bank to discuss the problem.
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Lisa Furgison is a multimedia journalist with a passion for writing. She holds a graduate degree in mass communications and spent eight years as a television reporter before moving into the freelance world, where she focuses mainly on content creation and social media strategies. Furgison has crisscrossed the U.S. as a reporter, but now calls Key West, Florida home. When she's not conducting interviews or typing away on her laptop, she loves to travel.
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Looking to open a business checking account? Here’s 7 things you may need first
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If you’re starting a business, you’re going to need more than business cards for prospective customers to take you seriously. That’s where a business checking account comes in. Opening a business checking account is an essential step on your path to success. It will help you manage your cash flow and build a valuable relationship with a bank that may eventually help your business access credit for growth.
“Setting up a business checking account ultimately helps clearly separate your business and personal funds, provides more protection to your personal assets and makes it easier to keep track of your business expenses throughout the year for tax purposes,” says Tony Pica, senior vice president at Capital One.
What do I need to open a business checking account?
Opening a business checking account isn’t as simple as opening a personal checking account. You’ll need to have proper documentation, which will vary based on the type of your business.
“The documentation required to open a business account may depend on the structure of your business,” Pica says. “For example, a sole proprietor needs their federal tax ID number (TIN) letter and business license or fictitious name certificate, while an LLC or corporation also needs beneficial owner information and certificate of good standing.”
Your documentation requirements may vary based on where your business is located, too.
“Every state has its own set of rules for each structure [of a business], so talk with your trusted advisors, such as a business lawyer or accountant, to ensure you’ve compiled all of the necessary personal and company information,” Pica says. “This is a key step to make the process go as smoothly as possible.”
Here’s a rundown of the most common materials needed to open a business checking account:
- Two forms of identification
- Your tax ID number (TIN)
- Business documentation (Certificate of Good Standing)
- Assumed name certificate
- Beneficial owner information
- A solid understanding of your business plan
1. Two forms of identification
You’ll want to bring a government-issued ID – your state driver’s license or your passport will do – plus another piece of ID such as a credit card bill or a utility bill with your name listed on it.
2. Your tax ID number
Your business isn’t official until it’s registered to pay its fair share to the government. Make sure you have applied for your federal tax ID number, which is also known as your employee ID number (EIN), with the IRS.
3. Business identification documents
In addition to dealing with the federal government, you’ll need to get in touch with officials in the state where your business is headquartered to verify the legal existence of your business. That will likely entail registering your business with state and local governments to acquire a business registration certificate and applicable licenses.
If your business is a corporation or an LLC, you’ll likely need a Certificate of Good Standing. This shows that you’ve paid all the necessary fees and checked all the boxes, and it is typically secured through a Secretary of State’s office or a state’s Division of Corporations. The bank may also ask for meeting minutes, by-laws or other articles of incorporation.
4. Assumed name certificate
This item typically applies to sole proprietors and limited partnerships. Let’s say your name is Tim Ryan, but you are planning to operate as “Tim Ryan Painting.” That’s your assumed name, which might also be referred to as DBA (doing business as), a fictitious name or a trade name certificate. This typically applies to sole proprietors. You will likely be able to obtain this through your county clerk’s office.
5. Beneficial owner information
Banks are required to know who has an ownership stake of 25 percent or more in your company, which is the magic number that makes you a “beneficial owner.” If you own the business with someone else, you’ll need to determine how much equity each of you has in the company. Your bank will likely have you complete a simple form.
Like personal checking accounts, many business checking accounts require a minimum deposit to open. That amount will vary by bank. At Wells Fargo , for example, you only need $25 to open a business account, while U.S. Bank requires a minimum deposit of $100.
7. A solid understanding of your business plan
Be prepared to share a detailed overview of the nature of your business, expectations of your annual sales, where your suppliers and vendors are located and other information to establish your business’s credibility.
Choosing the best business checking account for your needs
Business checking accounts share one key thing in common with personal checking accounts: There are a lot of options. To find the best business checking account , think about what kinds of services you need. Will you want to send branded invoices? Do you plan to give other leaders of the company the ability to sign checks? Are you hoping to connect your account with software like Quickbooks or NetSuite? Will you need to visit a physical branch to make deposits, or could your business function easily without in-person interaction with a teller?
There are a number of business checking accounts for new businesses that offer low or no fees for owners in the early stages. Those accounts just include the basics: a place to park your money, a debit card and not much else. To take advantage of an account with expanded features while avoiding fees, though, you may need an accurate forecast of how much money you’ll be earning and spending on a regular basis.
For example, consider Bank of America’s two business checking options: Fundamentals vs. Relationship. To avoid the $16 monthly fee on the Fundamentals account, you need to spend $250 each month on a business debit or credit card and maintain a monthly balance of $5,000. The Relationship account offers bigger benefits such as no-fee stop payments, no-fee incoming wire transfers and the ability to customize access for employees, but it comes with a higher $29.95 monthly fee. Avoiding that extra cost carries a much taller order than the Fundamentals threshold: a monthly balance of $15,000.
Some other big banks such as Capital One have a similar model: lower-priced business checking accounts in exchange for fewer features.
“Before you open a business checking account, do your research,” Pica says. “Shop around and see what kind of offerings are available in the market for small businesses. Consider fees, interest, transaction limits, cash deposit limits, account maintenance requirements and access to digital business banking tools.”
— Bankrate’s René Bennett contributed to an update of this story.
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What Do You Need to Open a Business Bank Account?
Discover what documents you need in order to open a new business bank account. Presented by Chase for Business .
As a small business owner, it's important to keep your business and personal banking separate so you can monitor the profitability of your business and avoid mixing transactions. With a business bank account , you can help protect yourself and your business. Before opening one, be sure you understand what you need in order to start making deposits and getting the most from your account.
In this article, you’ll learn what you need in order to open a business bank account and why having one is crucial for your business.
How do you open a business bank account?
Opening a business checking or savings account can be simple and straightforward when you know what information you need to get started.
1. EIN number
The first thing you’ll need is an employer identification number — also called an EIN, FEIN or tax identification number. The IRS issues and manages your EIN. If you haven't filed for a tax ID number, you may still be able to open a business bank account with your personal Social Security number.
Depending on your type of business, you may not need to apply for an EIN. A sole proprietorship with no employees typically doesn’t require one. A business formed as a limited liability company (LLC) may need an EIN, depending on whether it has employees. If you’re still unsure whether your business needs an EIN, refer to this checklist from IRS.gov and seek professional advice.
2. Personal and business identification
Opening a business bank account requires proof of identification for both you and your business. Examples include your state-issued driver’s license or passport, your business license or your partnership agreements.
Your business also may need to provide additional materials.
- Sole proprietor: You will need to present your Social Security number. If your business has a DBA (doing business as) or assumed names, you will need to provide a certificate that shows the other name or names.
- LLC: You may need to present the EIN and business registration. If you are the sole owner, your name should be listed as such.
- Limited liability partnership: You will need to provide an agreement that shows the names of all the partners as well as the name of the business.
Have your business’s paperwork ready when you go to open a bank account . If you have filed documents or licenses on the state level, you might need to bring them as well. When speaking with a business banker, make sure to ask which documents the financial institution requires to open a business checking account.
3. Initial deposit
Once you’ve established your personal and business identities, you may need to make an initial deposit to open your account. Initial deposits and minimum balances vary by bank and account type.
Select a business bank account with an initial deposit amount and minimum daily balance that are manageable for your business. Work with your local business banker to identify the amount of your initial deposit. Also, ask about any limited-time offers or deals; many banks waive initial deposits or contribute a monetary offer to qualifying new accounts.
The benefits of business bank accounts
Opening a business banking account for your company has many benefits, both personally and professionally.
- Keeps finances separate: One advantage of opening a business bank account is separating your business and personal finances. Doing so can be important for taxes and it can help keep you from confusing business with personal expenses.
- Helps maintain liability protection: If you operate an LLC or corporation, it’s important to have a business bank account. Having one can help you maintain the liability protection, potentially securing you from payouts in any situation where you may be found liable. Business owners should speak with an attorney to understand what protection is available (if any) and what steps to take.
- Helps streamline the tax process: Having a business bank account with all of your inflows and outflows can help when you’re filing taxes. All of your business expenses will be in one place and you can use the account to pay all clients, customers and vendors. Business owners should speak with a tax professional for more information.
- Establishes business credit: A business also needs to establish credit and setting up a bank account is one way to do this. If you plan to take out a loan or work with a supplier, having a business credit history can help. To establish a credit history and get access to capital, you may also consider applying for a business credit card.
The process of opening a bank account
Once you have all the documents you need, opening a business bank account can be straightforward.
When you’re ready to open your business bank account, you can open an account online or stop at a branch near you . It might be helpful to meet with a business banker to determine what kind of account you need: business checking , savings or a merchant service account .
For Informational/Educational Purposes Only: The views expressed in this article may differ from other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Views and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone, and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions, and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender, ©2023 JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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The Guide to Successfully Applying for a Business Bank Account
- Starting business |
- Running business |
Starting a business is an exciting endeavour, but before you can officially launch, you’ll need to set up a business bank account. This crucial step not only keeps your personal and business finances separate but also lays the foundation for financial stability and growth. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of successfully applying for a business bank account.
Research and Choose the Right Bank
Not all banks are equal, especially when it comes to business accounts. Take the time to research different banks, their offerings, fees, and services tailored for businesses. Consider factors like location, online banking capabilities, and special features like business loans or credit lines. Estonian E-residency team has done an excellent job on their website by compiling a comprehensive table of all available banking and fintech solutions. We highly recommend taking a look.
Gather Essential Documentation
Banks have specific requirements for opening a business account. E-Residency does not confer the entitlement to establish a personal bank account in Estonia. Typically, banks require a substantial connection to Estonia and may be hesitant to facilitate an account for non-residents. It is imperative to showcase your affiliation with Estonia. Given that the E-Residency program primarily aims to facilitate business banking options, we strongly recommend reaching out to the bank directly prior to making any arrangements to travel to Estonia. Typically, you’ll need:
- The application must be submitted in person by a company board member with the authority to act as a representative. If you have any queries, feel free to reach out to the 1Office legal advisor for guidance.
- Proof of Business Entity: This could be your Articles of Incorporation, Partnership Agreement, or a Doing Business As (DBA) certificate, depending on your business structure. 1Office is available to assist you with the necessary documentation. Contact us for a free consultation to initiate your business.
- Personal Identification documents
- Business License or Permits: Depending on your industry, you may need specific licenses or permits to operate legally.
- Business Plan: Some banks may request a brief business plan outlining your goals, target market, and financial projections.
- Initial Deposit: Some banks require an initial deposit to open the account.
Prepare for a Background Check
Banks perform a background check (KYC) on the business and its owners. This could include a credit check, especially for sole proprietors or small businesses without an established credit history.
Review and Understand Fees
Carefully review the fee structure associated with the business account. This may include monthly maintenance fees, transaction fees, and charges for additional services. Choose a bank with transparent and reasonable fee policies.
Establish Good Banking Practices
Maintain accurate records, reconcile your accounts regularly, and monitor your cash flow. Maintaining transparent accounting is crucial when dealing with banks. Our team of professional accountants is here to assist you in ensuring accurate financial records. This will not only help with day-to-day operations but also come in handy when it’s time to apply for loans or credit.
If you are connected to a country on the FATF list of high risk and other monitored jurisdictions, you will most likely have difficulty accessing any kind of business banking service even with a company registered in Estonia.
By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to successfully applying for a business bank account. Remember, choosing the right bank and establishing good financial practices will set the stage for a successful and thriving business. Good luck!
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11 tips on how to start a business
What you really need to know when getting your business off the ground
Read our 11-point guide on how to set up a business to help you get up and running.
Helping you start your own business
Whether you’ve been wanting to start your own business for years, or had a sudden bright idea, read our start-up checklist of the most important things to think about when setting up a business.
A gap in the market
A new business doesn’t always need a new idea and successful ones can grow from existing ventures. Watch our short film about one small business that came about in exactly that way – Urban Trenches London – and learn the practical steps they took to get a fully up-and-running business.
Your business start-up checklist
1. what’s the big idea.
Just having a brilliant idea isn’t enough to start a business – your idea also needs to be viable.
In other words, your business should deliver a product or service the market wants – and that customers are prepared to pay for. Simply ploughing ahead and hoping for the best without knowing what you’re getting into is a sure-fire way to lose money, so some basic research is crucial.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re filling a genuine need with something new, or aiming to compete against existing businesses with something better or cheaper – understanding your market and the potential barriers you’ll face can help you avoid the common pitfalls that can cause a business to fail.
- Is your idea unique? Read our guide on protecting intellectual property
2. Planning for success
A business plan is just what it sounds like – a document that describes your business and how you’re going to get it off the ground.
The plan sets out your idea, lists the challenges your business may face, states your goals and explains how you’re going to measure your progress.
While writing a business plan isn’t essential to start a business, putting your thoughts on paper is a great way to make an idea feel more concrete. It also gives you a chance to pause and really think about what you want to achieve and how, before you’re fully occupied with getting your business off the ground.
If you need funding to help start your business, however, then a well-thought-out business plan is a must. Banks and potential investors aren’t likely to be interested without one.
Once written, a business plan isn’t set in stone. Circumstances can change as your business develops, and your business plan should always reflect reality as closely as possible.
- Read our guide to writing a successful business plan
- Our business plan template [PDF, 6.2MB] shows what a business plan should include
3. What kind of business are you?
How you set up your business depends on the legal structure you choose. Each has its pros and cons, particularly when it comes to the admin required for paying tax, salaries and so on.
- Companies House has lots of useful information about each
- Smallbusiness.co.uk explains why choosing the right business structure is important, as well as other useful tips on how to start a small business
4. Do you need a business bank account?
Whether you’re a sole trader, partnership or limited company, opening a business bank account to receive payments from customers and make payments to your suppliers is a sensible option.
Keeping money for the business separate to money in a personal account makes keeping track of what belongs to who much, much easier. Mix ups with personal and business money can have serious financial and legal repercussions, so it’s not worth taking any chances.
A business account can also make it easier to secure finance, because most lenders won’t consider you without one.
Opening a business bank account can take a few days, so waiting until you need to make or receive a payment could create problems. Opening an account early also helps build a credit history for your business, which could help make it easier to get a business loan later on.
Finally, don’t leave opening a business bank account until you need one to receive or make a payment. Take the time to find an account that best suits your needs and remember that there’s more to look for than basic payment features.
- Read more about the importance of having a business bank account
- Open a start-up business account with us, and you’ll get help and support for your new business, as well as easy everyday banking
5. Do you need cash to start – or to carry on?
All businesses need money to get off the ground – for buying equipment, hiring staff and renting premises. Many businesses also need short-term help with cashflow until sales pick up, or to see them through difficult times. And if you’re quitting your job to start your business, you’ll need money to live off until things get going.
If your business does need funding, a sound business plan is critical to secure it, but your chances will also increase if you make an effective pitch. Lenders want more than just a filled-in application form. They need evidence that you have the knowledge and ability to make your business a success.
If cashflow is a serious concern, then the most important thing to remember is to get help sooner rather than later. There are practical steps you can take to ease cashflow problems that don’t involve additional finance, and any good business bank will be able to support you long before a loan becomes necessary.
- Read our guide on finance options to grow your business
- Here are our tips for making a successful funding pitch
- Start Up Loans can tell you if your business qualifies for its government-backed financial assistance
- We have lots of guidance about staying on top of cashflow
6. Taking care of tax
Every business needs to pay tax, but how much depends largely on the business structure. If you have a good head for figures and a sole trader or partnership, then tax admin can be relatively straightforward. Just don’t forget that it takes time, and you may not have much of that in the early days.
There’s no legal requirement to use an accountant or tax adviser for any kind of business, but it can make life much easier – particularly when it comes to the hefty additional admin requirements for a limited company.
- GOV.UK has lots of advice about tax
- Don’t forget VAT – it’s compulsory once a business exceeds a certain turnover
7. Starting with marketing
There’s no snappy summary for how best to market your business – much depends on your product, your market, its customers and even your location.
Your business plan should be the foundation of your marketing strategy, but a few basic considerations apply to all businesses.
- What makes your business unique? This goes beyond your business name and logo, and it’s not just about what you’re selling – it’s as much about how you sell it and how you interact with your customers
- Speaking of customers – who are they? The smaller your business, the narrower your niche is likely to be, but identifying your target market is crucial for businesses of all sizes. Knowing who you want to sell to will help you tailor your marketing to get the attention of the right people
- How will your customers find you? Effective marketing will attract customers, but what about those who hear about you through other ways? Even the smallest sole trader will benefit from a website with contact details. You can create one yourself for very little, or pay a professional to build something more complex. Social media also offers an easy way to let people know about your business
- Don’t confuse marketing with advertising – marketing is the ‘what’, while advertising is a ‘how’ (there are many other ways to promote a business, too). And remember, you won’t make any sales until your customers know your business exists – and without sales, there’s no business
- Brush up on the digital skills you can use to make your business a success
- Read the SmallBusiness.co.uk guide to small business marketing
8. Where will you work?
Not every new business needs a dedicated workplace – some of the biggest have started in a spare room or at a kitchen table. But if you do need more space as your business grows, you’ll need to think about moving into your own premises.
Your location and how you sell are key considerations here. An artisan chocolate maker may not be best suited to an industrial estate off the motorway, for example, while a business that needs a warehouse for selling online doesn’t need to be on the high street.
If desks, phones and computers are all you need, though, don’t rush to start renting your own office. Other less expensive options may suit you better.
- Co-working spaces can be a cost-effective way to get your own office space and are a good option for start-ups
- Shared business spaces, such as Barclays Eagle Labs , can be a great way to connect and collaborate with other business owners
- Startuploans.co.uk has advice on choosing office space
- Read up about the responsibilities you’ll have with your own business premises
9. Taking care of talent
Finding the right talent is vital to help fulfil your business ambitions, but you’ll have some specific responsibilities if you hire staff and become an employer.
As well as paying wages, you also need to collect and pay income tax and National Insurance, and you might need to set up a company pension scheme. This is where an accountant becomes invaluable, as they can steer you through the complex requirements – but there’s also a host of guidance online.
- Read how four successful entrepreneurs approached hiring staff to grow their business
- GOV.UK has comprehensive advice on getting your business ready to employ staff and how to protect against discrimination
10. Cutting through red tape
There’s no shortage of bureaucracy when you’re running a business, and getting to grips with the various financial and legal requirements can be a job in itself.
Your requirements will depend on the nature of your business, but you’ll typically need to consider such things as data protection, insurance and liability, protecting intellectual property, health and safety, licenses and permits.
If you open a business bank account, your bank may be able to advise on at least some of these areas, as will an accountant, but you can also get a basic grounding with these excellent online resources.
- The GOV.UK set up a business page is useful if you’re starting your first business
- Smallbusiness.co.uk provides an essential guide to the insurance you might need – compulsory insurance, liability insurance, property protection and so on
- The Health and Safety Executive has information on how to protect your staff
- The British Library has guidance on how you can protect your intellectual property using trademarks, patents and copyright
11. Doing business abroad
Some businesses plan for international expansion, while others seize a sudden opportunity abroad. Wherever you’re planning to do business, you don’t have to be well-established before thinking about trading abroad.
- Read how you can plan for export success early on
- When you bank with us, you can talk to our international business managers – no matter how long you’ve been in business
Unless you’re a serial entrepreneur, running your own business will almost certainly be a learning experience – so treat it like one.
You’ll certainly need to know about more than just your core product, so that could mean you need to brush up on your writing or presentation skills, or just watch a few videos about managing your website.
Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to ask for help and take every opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of others – and learn from their mistakes. Whether it’s family and friends, or other business owners (networking is another skill worth sharpening), you may be pleasantly surprised by their willingness to lend a hand.
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