What do You Need to Open a Business Banking Account

Starting a business can be an exciting, yet overwhelming process.

One important step in the process is opening a business bank account. Having a separate account for your business finances allows you to keep track of your income and expenses, apply for business loans, and build business credit.

However, the process of opening a business bank account can be daunting, especially if you're not familiar with the documentation required.

This guide will provide a detailed overview of the documentation needed to open a business bank account and will help you to make the process as smooth as possible.

Choosing the Right Business Structure

The first step in opening a business bank account is to choose the right business structure. There are several types of business structures to choose from, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. Each structure has its own unique set of pros and cons, so it's important to understand the differences before making a decision.

Sole proprietorships are the simplest business structure, and are suitable for small businesses with one owner.

Partnerships are similar to sole proprietorships but with more than one owner.
LLCs offer more personal liability protection than sole proprietorships or partnerships but more paperwork and costs.

Corporations offer the most personal liability protection, but also come with the most paperwork and costs.

Personal Identification

Once you have chosen your business structure, you will need to provide personal identification for all business owners. The required documents may vary by bank, but typically include a government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport, and proof of address, such as a utility bill or lease agreement.

Business Registration Documents

The next step is to provide your bank with the appropriate business registration documents, which will vary depending on your business structure.

Sole proprietors and partnerships will need to provide the business registration, such as a DBA (Doing Business As) registration or fictitious name certificate.

LLCs and corporations will need to provide their articles of incorporation or organization.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique identifier assigned to businesses by the IRS. It is required for businesses that have employees or file taxes. Obtaining an EIN is easy and can be done online at the IRS website.

Operating Agreement or Bylaws

LLCs and corporations will also need to provide their operating agreement or bylaws to the bank.

An operating agreement is a document that outlines the management and ownership of an LLC.

Bylaws are a document outlining the rules and procedures for a corporation.

Business Licenses and Permits

Finally, you will need to provide proof that your business is in compliance with any applicable business licenses and permits. These may include state and local business licenses, zoning permits, and health department permits.


Opening a business bank account is an important step in the process of starting a business. By understanding the documentation required and having all of the necessary paperwork in order, you can make the process as smooth as possible.

This article was updated on January 11, 2023


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