Resource Center / Business Banking

What You Need to Open a Business Checking Account

Written by Live Oak Bank

what you need to open a business checking account

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Once you’ve recognized the benefits of opening a business checking account for your small business, you’ll need to know what’s required to open your account. It’s not a difficult process, but it is best to organize and gather all of your documents so that you can streamline the application process. This will save you time and hassle, allowing you to open your account as quickly as possible. Here, we’ll go over everything you need to open your small business checking account.

After you’ve done your research, reviewing various banks and their services, fees, minimum balances required, etc., hopefully you’ve found a good match for your business—a bank that specializes in small businesses, such as Live Oak Bank.

When you’ve settled on the right bank for you, there are several items you’ll need to gather in order to open the account. You can go into a branch to apply in person, or many banks offer the option to apply online.

As Live Oak is purely an online bank, there’s no need to travel to a branch to open your account. Simply gather your documents, and when you are ready, you can fill out your application online.


Personal information and identification

To open a Live Oak Bank business checking account, you’ll need to supply personal information as well as identification. You’ll need to provide your birthdate, social security number, personal address, personal email, and phone number. As for identification, a government-issued ID with photo—a driver’s license or a passport will suffice.

This is required to confirm your identity—security to make sure someone is not impersonating you. If there are multiple business owners, each person will need to supply personal identification.


Business information and identification

You will also need to have all of your business details ready to provide, as well as business documentation. You will need documents that prove your business is legitimate and that indicate you have permission to open the business checking account in the business’s name.

For the required business information, you will need your Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you have one. If you are a sole proprietor, you will need your Social Security number or your EIN. You will also need your official business name or doing business as (DBA) name, or, if you are a sole proprietor, you can simply use your personal name. You will also need the names of the owner(s) of your small business, the type of business (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation), the business formation date, and your business address and phone number. If you are a non-profit, you can provide your articles of incorporation. For some account types, you may need to provide a NAICS code.

As for documentation, you will need formation documents for your business, ownership agreements, and a business license if you have one. It’s a good idea to have any tax documents available as well.

The documents also vary by type of business. For a sole proprietorship, you will need your business name certificate and business license, if you have registered for those. For a partnership, you will need your partnership agreement, business name certificate, and business license. For an LLC, you will need your articles of organization, LLC operating agreement, and business license. For a corporation, you will need your articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws, and business license.


Initial deposit

You will also need to have the amount of money available that is required for the minimum balance of the business checking account you want to open.

At Live Oak Bank, there is not a required minimum balance, but ideally, you will want to maintain a balance to avoid fees. For example, fees for Live Oak Bank’s Business Essential account are waivable with an average daily balance of $1,000. Fees for Live Oak Bank’s Business Plus account are waived with an average daily balance of $25,000.

You should have your banking details, including a routing number and your account number of your current account, to perform an electronic transfer. Live Oak Bank uses instant account verification (IAV), so you’ll need your login credentials for that institution.

In summation, here’s a simplified checklist of requirements for opening a small business checking account:

  • Personal information: birthdate, social security number, personal address, personal email, phone number
  • Personal identification: government-issued photo ID
  • Business information: EIN number, official business name, names of owner(s), type of business, business formation date, business address, phone number, NAICS code
  • Business identification (depending on business type):
    • Sole proprietorship: business name certificate (if registered), business license
    • Partnership: partnership agreement, business name registration certificate, business license
    • LLC: articles of organization, LLC operating agreement, business license
    • Corporation: articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws, business license
    • Non-profit: articles of incorporation
  • Initial Deposit: amount to deposit, banking details for wireless transfer

Once you have gathered this information, you can open a small business checking account at Live Oak Bank.

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