How do I open a business bank account?

January 29, 2024 | 4 minute read

Christian Bohmfalk

Answered by
Christian Bohmfalk
Small Business Deposits Executive
Bank of America

If you’ve started a new business, one of the most important steps you can take to keep your personal and business finances separate is to open a business bank account.


As a new business owner, you may not know what to expect when you open a business bank account. You can usually apply for a business bank account fairly quickly by filling out the required forms and providing the documentation the bank requires. Knowing the information and documents required in advance can streamline the process of getting it set up.


To learn more about the steps to launch a new business, including how to form your business with an exclusive offer from Incfile, visit The Bank of America Start a Business Center.


What do I need to open a business bank account?

Business bank accounts can generally be opened fully digitally online or through a mobile device. Alternatively, business owners can visit a branch or call to start an account.


You may need some or all of the following, depending on how you have formed your business’s legal structure:


  • The address and phone number of your company
  • The name(s) of the people who will be listed as account owners
  • Personal identification such as your driver’s license
  • Documentation that proves the existence of the business. Documents that qualify include:


  • The bank’s minimum deposit amount. Unfunded accounts may be forced to close.


To address other questions you may have about opening a business bank account, see our Frequently Asked Questions.


Why open a business bank account?

It makes it easier to track your business’s inflows and outflows so you have a bottom-line accounting of revenue and expenses. It can be very challenging to do your taxes accurately at year-end if you have commingled your personal or family finances with those of your business.


Business bank accounts make it easier for you to give another person — like a business partner or bookkeeper — access to your transactions. And business bank accounts come with many tools not available on consumer accounts that make it easier for you to run your business.


Establishing a business bank account can also help you build your business’s credit profile.


What types of business bank accounts are there?

Three types of business accounts will help you operate your business.


  1. A business checking account allows you to accept deposits and make payments and serves as the core operating account for your business. A business checking account will also enable access to the many digital tools and capabilities your bank provides. Not all banks use the word “checking” to describe these business operating accounts.
  2. A merchant services account enables you to accept credit and debit card payments from your customers. It can be connected to your checking account.
  3. A business savings account or business CD account allows you to put money aside for taxes or big purchases. These accounts pay interest on the balance.


What is there to consider when picking a type of business bank account?

Here are some things to look at:


  • Fees and minimum balances. Ask how much you will pay. Remember banks might waive fees if you keep a minimum balance or use your business debit card a certain amount.
  • Cost of merchant services. This is the cost of accepting credit or debit cards, so estimate your monthly costs based on the size and frequency of your credit and debit card transactions with customers.
  • Digital tools. Look for an account that provides access to business-specific digital capabilities such as cash flow tools, integration with accounting platforms and payment and invoicing abilities.
  • Customer service. How easy is it to get help? Can you meet with someone in person if you need to?
  • Perks or rewards. Many accounts and affiliated credit cards have point programs or membership programs that will provide incremental benefits based on your relationship and account balances.
  • ATM access. Do you need to withdraw cash or to make deposits through an ATM?
  • Branch access. If you need to visit a branch and speak with a specialist, how easy and convenient will this be? Many owners find that it is worthwhile to stop in regularly and build a strong working relationship with their bankers, who can be a source of valuable insight as a business grows.

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