If you don’t have a separate bank account for your small business, you need one. Unfortunately, there is a significant portion of small business owners who haven’t taken this step yet. A Nav study found that 70% of business owners without a business bank account were turned down for a loan within the last two years. As well, 50% of those without a business bank account said they wanted to open an account, but hadn’t had the time to do so.
With how busy life is for small business owners, it makes total sense that some wouldn’t have time, but this is certainly something to make time for. The fastest way to open a business bank account is to be prepared, so you’re not scrambling to make up for lost time. With that, here are the most important steps to opening an account, to save you time and possibly help save your business.
Choose Your Bank
Your first inclination when looking to open an account is to go to the bank you already have accounts with. This isn’t uncommon, 47% of respondents in the Nav survey did just the same thing. If your bank offers the accounts that you need, this could be just fine, but it’s certainly worth your time to research different banks and what they can offer you.
Keep in mind how important a physical branch may be to you; if your business deals with cash on a consistent basis, this will be a must. In some cases, it may not matter much, and you’ll have more liberty in your search.
What You’ll Need
Being unprepared in terms of documentation can slow down any process, no matter the means you use. Opening a business bank account is obviously different from a personal account, so what do you need?
You’ll always need either your social security card or tax ID, as well as your EIN (unless you’re a sole proprietorship). From that point, the required documentation varies depending on the type of legal entity. Generally, you’ll need proof of the legality of your business, as well as a list showing yourself as an owner or authorized person.
Be sure to check with the bank ahead of time to know exactly what documents you’ll need to bring for your business bank account.
Try to Open One Online
While most anything can be done online these days, some banks are still hesitant to let anyone open a business bank account online. With that being said, there are certainly some institutions that are set up and willing to allow you to open an account online. As long as you have the right documentation on hand, it can be a relatively quick process.
Unfortunately, the current number of accounts available to open online is very low, and, unless you’re a sole proprietor, you won’t be able to open a checking account online.
Set an Appointment
Many banks will allow you to call ahead or schedule your appointment online to set up your account. This is immensely helpful for you, as it allows you to set apart the time and get it done. Be sure to go online to schedule your appointment, so you can focus on other things, knowing that it will be taken care of at the scheduled time.
Again, if you don’t have a business bank account, get one as soon as possible. Doing so can help streamline your business’s financial situation and help you focus on growing your business and having more success.
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