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If you're going to start and build a business, you have to have a solid foundation. One of the crucial components you need is a banking partner.

I, unfortunately, learned this lesson the hard way.

Years ago, when I began freelancing, I knew I wanted a separate checking account for my work. I went ahead and opened an account with a bank in the area.

However, that bank was more interested in hitting me with fees and not providing any real value.

A few years ago I made a switch and I'm really happy with that decision. I feel like my money is working hard for me.

I want you to avoid that frustration, so here's a step by step guide on how to find and open a business checking account.

Banking as a Business

If you haven't already, a fantastic resource you need to review is Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur: Blueprint for Building a Solid, Profitable Business by small business finance coach Sylvia Moe Inks.

She specializes in assisting talented entrepreneurs who need to organize their finances so they can focus on their strengths while making sure their business is financially successful.

When I had her on the podcast, she offered some insights on how you can build a business.

Why You Need a Business Bank Account

In her book, Sylvia breaks shares some of the biggest mistakes busy entrepreneurs make.

One huge problem is not keeping your business and personal accounts separate.

Even if you're just starting off, having a checking and savings account for your business not only protects you but makes things so much easier come tax time.

You want to have dedicated accounts to keep your earnings, stash away your saving for future investments, and pay your expenses.

Finding the Best Bank for Your Business

What you're looking for will be based on the type of business you have (is it local or location independent? Service or product based?).

For myself, the crucial features I wanted were:

  • Easy to use mobile app
  • Nationwide ATM access
  • Low or no maintenance fees

Even though most of my payments are direct deposits, I do have some clients and companies that pay by check so having an easy way to deposit those checks at home as soon are receive them saves me time.

I do travel for work occasionally so having access to my money when I'm out of town is important. Nationwide ATM access also means I'm not being charged money out of network fees.

Finally, who wants to pay needless fees?  I don't. I had burned before with fees (and not seeing any value for them) with my old bank.

So when I was hunting for a replacement, this was huge on my list.

If you haven't already, go ahead and make your must have and nice to have features. It'll be a huge help when figuring out the best banking option for you.

Documents You Need to Open a Business Checking Account

Once you've found the right banking partner it's time to go ahead and open your account.

You can make the process go a lot smoother by preparing and organizing all of your needed documents.

Here are some that are typically requested:

  • Identifying documents
  • Business license
  • Your LLC's articles of organization (if applicable)
  • Tax Identification Number
  • DBA Name Registration (if applicable)

Having this on hand can save you a ton of time and allow you to get back to focusing on your business.

Thoughts on Small Business Banking

I'd love to hear from you. When did you open your business bank accounts? What were your must-have features?