Business Bank Account

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What’s the Best Business Bank Account for an LLC?

LLC University® bank recommendations

Our bank recommendations are split into two categories: traditional banks (with physical branches) and online banks.

Best traditional LLC bank accounts (physical branches)

If you travel a lot, having branches in nearly every state is super helpful. Check out:

  • Wells Fargo has the largest number of branches and they cover most of the US. We have accounts with Wells Fargo. Here’s a map of Wells Fargo locations.
  • Bank of America has branches in nearly every state, except for a few. Here’s a map of Bank of America locations. Note: In our experience, Bank of America doesn’t have the best customer service and it can be difficult to get phone support without waiting a long time.
  • US Bank doesn’t have as many locations as Wells Fargo and Bank of America (specifically not on the east coast), but they are located in many other states. Here’s a map of US Bank locations.

If you live on the east coast:

  • TD Bank has great hours and great customer support. We have accounts with TD Bank. Here’s a map of TD Bank locations.

Other banking options:

Business banking in a smaller town

If you live in a smaller town, or don’t have access to the branches above, you can open a business bank account with your local bank. You can google “small business checking + {name of your town}” or review this map for options in your area.

Tip: Whichever bank you choose, they should have great customer service and be willing to answer all your questions. They should help educate you on their various products, like business loans, checking, savings, and investments. Finding a bank with great hours and a few branch locations is also a plus.

Best online LLC bank accounts

Mercury

Mercury is one of the most progressive online banks and is our #1 pick.

Our favorite things about Mercury:

  • No monthly fees
  • Virtual debit cards
  • Helpful support
  • Beautiful and intuitive design
  • Helpful mobile app
  • Great for non-US residents (no SSN or ITIN required)
  • Spending analytics
  • Checks
  • Domestic and international wires (incoming and outgoing)
  • Free ACH transfers
  • And more

We have a Mercury business account and we find it easy to use.

Note: Mercury doesn’t allow cash deposits, so if you need to deposit cash, you’ll also want to open a traditional bank account. Also, Mercury doesn’t offer phone support, so if you prefer to deal with customer support by phone, a traditional bank may be a better fit. Mercury does have email support though.

Azlo

Azlo is an online business bank account that also has no monthly fees. You will need a Social Security Number though, so this won’t work for non-US residents. Azlo has good customer service and they are our #2 pick.

Note: Azlo doesn’t allow cash deposit, doesn’t offer checks, and doesn’t have outgoing wires at this time. They do have phone support though, as well as email support.

How to open an LLC bank account

One of the first things to do after forming your LLC (and getting your LLC EIN Number) is to open an LLC business bank account.

Not only does opening an LLC business bank account make life easier, it also helps you maintain personal liability protection (which is the main reason people form LLCs).

Think of your LLC as being another person: it makes its own money, has its own bank account, and has its own expenses.

If you don’t create a separate bank account for your LLC (and you mixed your LLC funds with your personal funds), you would be “commingling” your assets and a court could “pierce your corporate veil”, which would then make you personally liable for the LLC’s debts and legal obligations.

Note: This doesn’t mean you can’t move money between your personal account and your business account; you certainly can. You just want to avoid paying business expenses with a personal card and avoid paying personal expenses with a business card.

Other reasons to have an LLC bank account are:

  • easier financial record-keeping
  • easier to calculate and pay taxes
  • audit prevention
  • easy to track/deduct business expenses
  • professionalism and credibility (using business checks instead of personal checks)

In order to keep your personal liability protection:

  • don’t pay personal expenses out of your business account
  • don’t pay business expenses out of your personal account

What documents are needed to open an LLC bank account?

You’ll need the following items to open your LLC’s business bank account:

1. Articles of Organization (or equivalent)

This will be your LLC’s approved Articles of Organization, which might be called something different in your state (Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization).

2. EIN Confirmation Letter or EIN Verification Letter

Make sure you’ve received your EIN Number from the IRS before heading to the bank. You’ll need to show them a copy of your EIN in order to open your account. If you need assistance getting your EIN, please see getting an EIN for my LLC.

The two letters from the IRS that are acceptable by banks are:

  • EIN Confirmation Letter (575 CP)
  • EIN Verification Letter (147C)

Can’t find your EIN letter? You can call the IRS and get a 147C EIN Confirmation Letter. You’ll need a fax, since that’s the only way the IRS can send you 147C. But they’ll fax it to you right while you’re on the phone. Make sure to call as early as possible (7am ideally) for the shortest hold times. If you don’t have a fax, any digital fax service (ex: HelloFax) will work fine.

3. Your Identification

You’ll need to bring in two forms of ID. One of these needs to be government-issued (such as a driver’s license). The 2nd ID could be any of the following: credit/debit card, passport, voter’s registration, or utility bill.

4. Operating Agreement and Additional Forms

Most banks don’t need a copy of your Operating Agreement or your Welcome/Approval Letter (if you received one), but some banks may require it. We recommend bringing all additional LLC documentation just to be safe.

5. Declaration of Beneficial Ownership

A Declaration of Beneficial Ownership form will be provided by the bank. It’s simply a document that discloses who the LLC owners are.

How can non-US residents and non-US citizens open an LLC bank account?

Non-US residents with an LLC can either:

  1. Visit the US to open a bank account (but that can be difficult).
  2. Open an online bank account with Mercury (no SSN or ITIN required and no US address required)

If you visit the US in person, you’ll need to open an LLC bank account in the state where you formed your LLC. We recommend calling the bank ahead of time and making sure they are comfortable opening a bank account for a non-US resident/non-US citizen.

To avoid traveling, Mercury is a great option. No Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required and you don’t need a US address. You can use your local address in your country or your Registered Agent address in the US.

For more details please see how non-US residents can open an LLC bank account in the USA.

All LLC Members Need to be Present

Most banks require all LLC members to be present when opening a bank account.

We recommend calling the bank ahead of time to double-check.

Don’t be confused if they ask for your DBA

A lot of people who work at banks are clueless when it comes to LLCs. Hopefully you don’t get one of these reps, but if you do, they may ask for your DBA (aka Fictitious Name) documentation.

You don’t need a DBA for your LLC, since your LLC operates under its own name. But often the reps get confused and think that the LLC needs one.

We can assure you, it does not, and the account will just go in the name of the LLC.

Having said that, if your LLC needs to operate under a name different than the one you registered with the state (and you have a DBA), make sure to bring its approval.

Call the bank ahead of time

Call the bank ahead of time and ask to speak with the person who handles business accounts.

Check on the following:

  • What are the required documents?
  • What are the minimum monthly balance requirements?
  • What are the monthly fees, if any?
  • How much is needed for the initial deposit?
  • Do all LLC members need to be present?
  • What’s the best time of day for the quickest service?
  • What else do I need to bring that I forgot to ask?

Be Careful of…

Monthly Fees and Required Minimum Balances

A lot of banks charge monthly fees and require you to maintain a minimum monthly balance.

But many other banks don’t charge monthly fees, so we recommend calling a few and checking before going into the local branch.

Promotions

Be careful of promotions and incentives for opening an account. Although they may sound good, most are just temporary and usually lead to ongoing monthly fees.

Different Packages

Banks may have different packages/tiers of business accounts (like economy, gold, and deluxe, for example). Usually, the fancier sounding packages have crap you don’t need and higher fees.

We recommend going with the basic package and save yourself the money (and the hype). You can always upgrade later.

Debit Cards

You’ll also receive a business debit card after opening your account. Some banks will issue them right on the spot, others will mail them in a few days.

Having a debit card helps you keep track of business expenses with a dedicated card.

Most debit cards also have technology built in to prevent any fraudulent purchases.

Credit Cards

Besides a debit card, you can also get credit cards for your LLC to use for rewards, such as cash back or travel.

To see the top cards, check out business credit cards.

Tips when Ordering Checks

After your account is opened, you’ll be able to order business checks. Below are some helpful tips.

Don’t start your checks at #001

Most checks start at number 001. This could give your business an “amateur” feel. Just ask the bank to start your checks at #1000 or #5000 or whatever you please.

Don’t get super-sized checks

Most banks will try to sell you “special” checks that boost your ego. They are big business checks that come in a large, bulky binder. Unless you need to run checks through a printer (which is what they were originally designed for), you can save yourself some money by just ordering regular size checks.

Single Member LLCs: EIN vs. SSN?

Most banks will let Single-Member LLCs open a bank account with their SSN, and some might even suggest it. We recommend using your EIN instead of your SSN for privacy and easier record keeping.

If you formed your LLC by following our LLC filing instructions, you should have obtained an EIN from the IRS.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

39 Comments

  1. Karie December 15, 2018

    I operate X healthcare services, LLC and recently registered another company as M,DBA operating under the LLC. My question is do I have to indicate on the new business card for M, DBA that X, LLC is the parent company.

    Thanks

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz December 18, 2018

      Hi Karie, I’d be careful with how that’s phrased (“registered another company”). You didn’t register another company. You registered a Fictitious Name/DBA, which is a “nickname” of X Healthcare Services, LLC. There is not a clear black and white answer to this. Some will say it’s not important, others will say it’s imperative. It might be a good idea to have a conversation with an attorney to dive into the details. Hope that helps.

      reply
  2. M. Caldwell December 29, 2018

    I started a single member llc selling apparel. I have my company registered with the state and an EIN. I opened a separate personal checking account for my business operations. I have not started selling goods yet but I made my initial investment into the account and have been purchasing supplies for my business with that account. Am I required to open a business account even though I keep my personal account and the account I use for business separate?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 6, 2019

      Hi M., running LLC activities through a personal bank account is not recommended. You’ll want to set up a separate business bank account in the LLC’s name. Hope that helps.

      reply
  3. Margo December 31, 2018

    Hi Matt!

    I started an LLC in Michigan for my rental property in Michigan. I am trying to open a business bank account for my LLC here in Colorado, where we live, and a couple of banks (ENT Credit union, Chase, Farmers State Bank) told me, that in order to do that, I need to register my LLC as a foreign entity with CO Secretary of State. Is this correct? I am new to this and am trying to understand all the laws. Is opening a bank account in CO for a rental property out of state doing business in CO?
    Is opening an online bank account a good idea?

    Thanks in advance!
    This site is very informative!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 6, 2019

      Hi Margo, this is usually the case. We recommend calling a bank in Michigan that also has branch locations near you. Speak to the branch manager and see if they’ll do a “cross-branch opening”. The branch manager in MI may coordinate with the branch manager in CO to open a Michigan bank account for your MI LLC while you’re in the CO branch office. Another idea is to fly up to MI and open the bank account. As per section 7-90-801 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, maintaining a bank account is not considered doing business. Hope that helps :)

      reply
  4. Dave Russell January 22, 2019

    Hi Matt – I’ve gone through all the steps listed to form my Phoenix, AZ based LLC. On the checking accounts and credit cards – I opened a separate bank account and credit card while my LLC application was in progress, so they are in my name. From the start, they have only been used for business related transactions. Do I need to apply for a new checking and CC under the business name, or am I ok keeping these as long as I am disciplined about using them solely for business? Thanks for all the info on this site – great stuff!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 22, 2019

      Hi Dave, these accounts are not owned by the LLC. They are just personal accounts. That could work if you were a Sole Proprietorship, but an LLC is a separate and distinct entity from yourself. It’s best practice to treat it that way. So yes, you’ll want a business checking account, business debit card, and business credit card in the name of your LLC. Hope that helps :)

      reply
  5. Sarah W. February 4, 2019

    Hi Matt,

    I opened a business bank account for my single-member LLC (providing the business EIN and my SSN) and received an account opening bonus. That income is taxable, but the 1099-INT is issued under the company’s EIN. How should I report this income given that my business is a disregarded entity? Is it business income, and if so, where would I report it on Schedule C? Or is it personal interest income even though the 1099 was issued to the business under its EIN?

    I’m finding conflicting advice in the TurboTax forums and haven’t been able to locate a definitive answer on the IRS website, so I’d certainly appreciate any insight you can offer.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz February 12, 2019

      Hey Sarah, we’re not able to address tax questions like this. However, if the income was paid to your LLC, its business income. A Single-Member LLC taxed as a Sole Proprietorship reports taxes on your personal return, usually on a Schedule C. If it’s helpful, please see how is an LLC taxed. Thanks.

      reply
  6. Angel March 3, 2019

    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for your great information.

    I have questions about EIN. I’m going to start an LLC, but choose to be taxed as Sole proprietor. According to my understanding, in this case I don’t need to get EIN, instead the owner can use his/her SSN for tax purpose. Is this correct ? And if I do so, is my limited liability still be protected? (I’ll use separate business bank account).

    Thank you !

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz March 3, 2019

      Hi Angel, whether you choose to use your SSN or EIN for tax reporting purposes won’t effect your LLC’s liability protection. And yes, you are correct; as a Single-Member LLC taxed in its default status (LLC taxed as Sole Proprietorship), you don’t have to get an EIN and can just use your SSN instead for IRS reporting purposes (unless you answer “yes” to these IRS questions: do I need an EIN). But we always ask… why not just get the EIN? It can be done online in 5 minutes. We usually find it better to just get an EIN. The first road bump people usually hit is the LLC bank account. While the SSN can technically be used, most banks don’t know this. Many will insist on the EIN. And for many people who will have clients paying their LLC, those clients will send you a W-9 to complete for the LLC (same thing for receiving income from certain online companies… you’ll need to complete a W-9)… so for security/identify theft reasons, you can use the EIN instead of listing your SSN. There are likely some other annoyances/disadvantages of using your SSN instead of the EIN, but those are two big ones we see. I guess let’s back up a bit… why wouldn’t you want to get an EIN for your LLC? Is there a specific reason?

      reply
  7. Lavan June 24, 2019

    Hi Matt, I have my personal savings acct with my credit union. Is it okay to create a business checking / savings account for my LLC? Does it create any challenge. Also do you recommend separating the unified login for the personal and business LLC? Thank you.

    Btw, your website and content is awesome

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 24, 2019

      Hey Lavan, thank you! The unified login is okay to keep in place. As long as the separate account is opened in the name of the LLC, then it’s setup correctly. So yes, you can open a separate LLC checking account at your existing credit union. And the unified login is okay as well. Hope that helps.

      reply
  8. Lavan June 24, 2019

    Hi Matt, Thank you for getting back on bank. I did use the link to go to northwestregistered agent to register my LLC. It will be great if you can negotiate a better price for the Deluxe and Premium. Thank you again.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 25, 2019

      You’re welcome Lavan. We’ll be speaking with them in the coming weeks. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree. I think the current packages could use some adjustments. Thanks!

      reply
      • Lavan June 25, 2019

        Thank you. BTW, their service is awesome. I took the middle one (3 day service) and registered on sunday with them (late evening). MOnday evening, LLC and EIN are available. Essentially they did a 1 day turnaround for a 3 day turnaround. Please pass on my appreciation to them.

        Also, if they have a referral scheme, then folks will be interested to refer more / word of mouth.

        Your articles have been enlightening. I understood your articles, but again re-reading will reinforce all the learnings. Thank you so much for the indepth education and your awesome speedy response. You should pat on your back.. Kudos..

        reply
        • Matt Horwitz June 27, 2019

          Hi Lavan, it’s great to hear you’re having a good experience with them! And yes, that’s fast! You’re right, reading LLC content a few times really helps things “click” since it’s a lot of information to digest. Thank you for your kind words :)

          reply
  9. Lavan June 25, 2019

    Matt, Lets say I live in OR and my business is conducted in OR and my LLC is registered in OR. Does my bank (business checking account) need to be in OR? Or can they be located anywhere in the US? For example, they are a credit union located in East Coast. Is there a way I can bank with them and based on your comments should I ask them about “cross branch opening”?

    What happens when I move my business out of OR? Do I change the bank which is local to the new state?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 27, 2019

      Hi Lavan, the answer is typically yes: most banks will only open an LLC bank account if the LLC was formed (or registered as a foreign LLC) in the state where that branch office is located. This has especially been the case after federal regulations came out in 2018 regarding LLC beneficial ownership (see Beneficial Ownership rule for LLC bank accounts for more details). Having said all that, each bank/credit union is different, so you may be able to open a bank account at your credit union’s east coast location. We recommend calling and asking to speak to the branch manager. Hope that helps!

      reply
  10. Lavan June 29, 2019

    Matt, US Bank has a Silver Checking which has $0 Monthly Maintenance Fee. Not sure if this was in your initial criteria to evaluate and were there any reasons why it was dropped?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz July 5, 2019

      Hi Lavan, we didn’t intentionally exclude it the first time around. There’s just so many banks in the US that we just listed a few. However, we updated the page and added US Bank. Thank you.

      reply
      • Lavan July 6, 2019

        Matt, no worries. I wanted to tell people that US Bank Silver Checking is awesome with $0 monthly fee, so features can be helpful to your readers.

        Also people should check their local credit union. Especially on east coast there is DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union) which has a lot of facilities and doesn’t charge monthly fees. Not all credit unions are equal though, so it is better to look around a few local credit unions. Credit unions are member owned, so they are typically less commercial and more favorable to the members/customers.

        reply
        • Matt Horwitz July 7, 2019

          Hi Lavan, thanks for sharing your resources and information!

          reply
  11. Chris January 7, 2020

    Hey Guys,

    Great thread! Thanks Matt!
    Has anyone opened successfully a mercury account with anonymous LLC (formed in New Mexico)? Does the anonymity get in the way?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 7, 2020

      Hi Chris, you’re very welcome. We’ve opened a number of accounts with Mercury during testing. You shouldn’t have any issues with your name not being on the New Mexico LLC Articles of Organization (or any state where Members/owners aren’t required to be listed).

      reply
      • Chris January 11, 2020

        Thanks, Matt!

        reply
  12. TROY W HUDSON January 15, 2020

    Hi Matt,
    I just set up my first LLC after being a sole proprietor for 8 years.

    My next step is to set up the biz account with my credit union but I’m confused since you said we should keep our business funds separate from our personal accounts. ALL my income is coming from that LLC business so when I need to pay my personal expenses like rent/utilities/gas/internet and everything else do I write myself a check from the LLC account or just transfer between the accounts?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 15, 2020

      Hi Troy, yes, exactly. You can take “draws” from the LLC. So you can write yourself a check or process a transfer. You pay yourself a draw from the LLC and then once the money is in your account, you do as you wish. You just want to avoid paying personal expenses directly from the business account. Hope that helps.

      reply
  13. Ricardo Lau Cooper January 19, 2020

    Hi Matt,

    Last year, I formed a LLC to start selling on Amazon. I would like to open a business bank account online with a traditional bank. I am a foreigner, living outside of the US.
    However, I have a SSN since I went to college in Iowa.
    Is there a bank that can provide me the option to open the account online?
    The only requirement I don’t have is the US citizenship or US residency.
    Thanks so much,

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 20, 2020

      Hi Ricardo, you will need to call the banks and ask as we don’t have this information readily available. Some banks just require an SSN to be used, but other banks require an SSN be used and that you be either a US citizen or a permanent US resident. If that doesn’t work, we do have other recommendations on this page: non-US resident LLC bank account. Hope that helps.

      reply
  14. Amjad February 14, 2020

    Hello,

    Kindly share the requirements for opening a Business account LLC account in USA, which bank has lesser charges and offer Credit cards.

    Amjad

    reply
  15. Ginny February 14, 2020

    Hello!

    Matt is a wealth of information and I’m so grateful for his help starting my LLC 3 1/2 years ago. My first post was about this very issue.

    I started with a small community bank that said it was great for small business. What has been great are the free checking and deposits, but it took 5 weeks to open my account before I could use it, and even my business savings account took 3 weeks after 2 years of my checking account running perfectly! They turned out to be naive about business, and said I was the first person in 25 years to ask about opening a SEP IRA!

    Now my customers want to use cash apps and electronic payments so just this week, I opened a B of A business checking account. Yes, many fees which doesn’t make me happy, but up-to-date services and my account will be up and running and able to accept electronic payments in about a week! This makes my customers so happy. I was able to open the account online and send in the docs (ss#, drivers license, operating agreement, state sales tax certificate, and articles of organization, via email. This saved me a lot of time and having my account activated and bank debit card on its way, I’m excited!

    Thanks Matt!!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz February 23, 2020

      Hey Ginny! It’s great to hear from you! Wow… crazy your first bank was so shocked about the SEP IRA LOL!! Glad to hear you have a more modern bank for your LLC now :) I hope everything is well!

      reply
  16. Matt February 15, 2020

    Hi Matt,

    You have a great name! ;) Anyway, I have a few questions for you.

    (1) I understand personal and business funds must be kept separate for an LLC. However, how do I give the company it’s initial deposit when I open the business bank account. Can I use money from my personal account to seed the initial deposit of the company? If I’m understanding everything correctly, I would list that initial money that comes from my personal account in the operating agreement as my contribution. Is that correct? Do I need a capital contribution form in addition to the operating agreement for that initial deposit?

    (2) This is related to the first question. I’m planing to use Northwest to help me open the company. The money I pay them to help form the LLC and the money used to pay the state filing fees for LLC formation can’t come from a business account because the business won’t exist yet. Can I use my personal account to pay for those, and how do I document that? Does it just go into the operating agreement contribution line?

    (3) My LLC will work with in-state and out-of-state customers. We will provide software programming for customers and then deliver that software to them. Occasionally, on-site visits at the customer’s location may be required. To work with these out-of-state customers, do I have to form an LLC in their state? In other words, if I had a customer from all 50 states, would I need to reform my LLC in every state somehow?

    Thanks for the help! The information on your website has been amazing!

    -Matt

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz February 23, 2020

      Hey Matt! Thanks :)

      1. The initial capital contribution can be given from yourself to your LLC when you open your LLC bank account by simply writing a personal check made out to your LLC and depositing that into the newly opened LLC bank account. And yes, that initial deposit can be used as your initial capital contribution to your LLC. You don’t need an additional capital contribution form if you list it in your LLC Operating Agreement.

      2. Yes, you can pay for that personally and then when you do your bookkeeping/taxes (we recommend working with a professional), you can have your LLC reimburse you for those expenses. You’ll document that in the books and your LLC can reimburse you at any time. The expense will become a deductible expense for your LLC.

      3. Where an LLC should be formed (or registered as a foreign LLC) has to do with where it is “transacting business”. If you running the business and fulfilling most of the services from home, then that’s the state where your LLC is transacting business. You wouldn’t need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC unless in started transacting business on a regular basis in other states. Just having a customer here and there in another state is, most of the time, is not considered transacting business.

      Hope that helps! Thanks so much!

      reply
  17. Oscar Cunha February 18, 2020

    is the mercury bank the only one that allows opening a commercial account for non-residents?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz February 18, 2020

      Hi Oscar, as discussed in our non-US resident LLC bank account article, you can visit the US to open a bank account for your LLC. However, at this time, Mercury is the only bank we know of where non-US residents can open an LLC bank account online. There is also TransferWise, however, TransferWise is technically not a bank. Many non-US residents open an account with both Mercury and TransferWise to see which one (or if both) fits their needs. Hope that helps.

      reply

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