Apply for a checking account as soon as possible after you set up your business. It's much easier to keep track of business expenses this way and will be a huge help come tax time. Plus, many accounts have services that can help you with payroll and invoicing.
Be aware that not all business checking accounts are created equal, so you will have to do some research. Here is what you should look for:
1. A bank checking account with minimal fees and preferably interest on your balance;
2. An account that offers convenient services, like online check order and remote account management;
3. An institution that lets you speak to a checking account representative during hours that are conducive to your business.
Find institutions that offer business checkingNot all financial institutions offer business checking accounts. For example, many credit unions have charters that prohibit them from doing so. However, there are plenty of institutions out there that cater to business owners.
Open your business checking accountOnce you decide on a financial institution to use for your checking account, apply in person if at all possible. That way you can ask a representative any questions you have on rules, regulations, rates and fees, and you'll have a contact person for your checking account banking. If you don't need that personal touch, see if the bank offers open checking account online capabilities.
University of Illinois Extension's article on opening an account for a good idea of what you need to bring with you when you fill out your checking account application.
Begin making checking transactionsThere are two ways you can make purchases through your checking account, either with paper checks or with a check card or debit card. Remember, all of these purchases will be tied to your business, so instruct employees not to use the account for personal reasons.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website to read how long you need to hang on to these records in case you get audited.
- Never put your Employer Identification Number on your checks. If an identity thief has this number and your checking account number, he or she can often get access to your accounts.