How to Open a Business Bank Account

Reginald Calaguas, Senior Preferred Banker, First Republic Bank
September 20, 2021

  • Choose the type of business bank account that best meets your needs and find the best provider who offers it.
  • Line up all the necessary documentation relative to your kind of business entity and the financial institution.
  • Establish your relationship with your banking partner and set up the account.

Opening a bank account should be one of the first financial activities for any new business owner— from small business owners to large-scale startup CEOs — and it is an essential step to position your business for success from the start.  

Having a business banking account enables you to track your company’s cash flow, ensures personal finances aren’t commingled with business finances, and helps you conveniently manage day-to-day transactions, earning interest on funds as your company grows. 

Opening a business bank account isn’t difficult, but the process is different from opening a personal bank account. To open your business bank account as quickly and smoothly as possible, read on.

Types of business bank accounts

First, you’ll need to decide what type of business bank account best fits your business needs.

The main banking options include:

Type of Account

Intended Usage


Business Checking Account

Everyday use: monthly transactions, ATM access with debit card, online access to manage deposit account, etc.

Monthly fees (e.g., maintenance fees) and balance requirements

Business Savings Account

Long-term savings

Minimum balance requirements

Business Money Market Account

Savings option with higher interest rates

May allow for limited check writing, or could be less flexible compared with savings accounts

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

Higher-interest savings option for excess capital

Limited access to funds with penalties incurred for early withdrawal in most cases

Business Trust Account

Temporary place to hold funds in trust for other entities (e.g., lawyers’ retainers)

Complex rules and financial penalties

As a note, online account access enables businesses to view and access checking, savings, and money market accounts (CDs may be viewed but as they are term accounts, movement of funds is not available).

Finding the right business banking partner

Next, select a business banking partner that best meets your banking needs. For instance, you may require the option to use mobile banking and bill pay via a website or mobile app. However, a completely online bank doesn’t offer cash deposits, so if that’s necessary for your business model, that would be something to consider. Whatever your needs are, assess them all: from banking with a dependable lender to the ability to accept credit card payments.

Just as important, opening a business bank account begins your relationship with a banking partner. As a trusted source of advice, the right business banking partner can answer your questions, extend the benefit of their expertise and help anticipate your business’s needs.

Determine what you need from your partner to support your business: a business loan, line of credit, business credit card or business debit card. Make sure to choose a reliable provider, member FDIC, that will offer you the resources you need when you need them.

First Republic Business Banking

With First Republic’s Business Banking, you’ll have a dedicated point of contact to answer your questions and ensure your basic needs are met — whether it’s to open your first Business Checking Account or Business Money Market Account, or determine if more complex or specialized services are needed. 

Your business banking needs are unique, and you should seek out a partner who can help mix and match the services and accounts to best support your business.

Requirements to open a business bank account

Next, opening a business bank account requires you to gather certain documents, regardless of the type of account you chose. However, depending on your type of business entity, you will need different documents.

What documents are required to open a business bank account?

Categorized by business entity, these are the typical documents you will likely need to open a business bank account. Federal law requires financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account; to comply with the law, a financial institution will ask for your personal identification in advance of opening an account. 

Business Entity

Documents Required

Sole Proprietorship

  • Personal identification (driver’s license, state-issued identification, etc.) for each authorized signer on the account
  • Employer identification number (EIN) or Social Security number
  • Business license (i.e., business name registration certificate)
  • Business legal name and doing business as (DBA) name


  • Personal identification (driver’s license, state-issued identification, etc.) for each authorized signer on the account
  • EIN
  • Business license (i.e., business name registration certificate)
  • Business legal name and DBA name
  • Partnership agreement
  • State certificate of partnership

Corporation, B-corporation and Non-profit

  • Personal identification (driver’s license, state-issued identification, etc.) for each authorized signer on the account
  • EIN
  • Business license (i.e., articles of incorporation)
  • Business legal name and DBA name
  • Corporate bylaws

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • Personal identification (driver’s license, state-issued identification, etc.) for each authorized signer on the account
  • EIN or Social Security number for single-member LLC
  • Business license (i.e., articles of organization)
  • Business legal name and DBA name
  • LLC operating agreement

Note: different banking partners may have different documentation requirements to open an account, so check with your prospective banking partner to understand their specific requirements. 

How to set up a business bank account

Once you’ve selected your ideal business account, evaluated banking partners and gathered the required documents, you’ are ready to set up your business bank account with these three simple steps: 

1. Contact the bank

Get in touch to express your interest in opening a business bank account.

Contact First Republic Bank

At First Republic, you have three options: 

2. Fill out the new account checklist

Complete the new account checklist by providing the information and documentation required by your banking partner. 

3. Deposit funds into your account

Some business bank accounts require a minimum opening balance, depending on the financial institution. Once funds are added, you can start using your business banking account.

Flexible Banking With First Republic

At First Republic, clients have the flexibility of making deposits online or in person; our corporate online banking services are designed so that you can securely access your accounts from your smartphone, tablet or desktop — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Business bank account FAQs

How much do you need to open a business bank account?

It depends on the financial institution and can range from a few dollars to $1,000. Small business owners may be happy to hear that some banks offer no minimum deposits or minimum balances whatsoever.

Do you need original documents to open a business bank account?

While some banks require original documents, others may accept certified copies of business documents instead. These copies, issued and certified by the state, are generally recognized as “true” copies of the original documents.  

Do you need an EIN to open a business bank account?

Except in some cases with single-member LLCs and sole proprietors, yes, you need an EIN to open a business bank account. Simply apply for an EIN from the IRS online before opening your business bank account.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, the relationship you have with your business banking partner is important. Go to your prospective banking partner prepared with all the documentation and information that you need as well as any questions you may have about how they can best serve you and your business.

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