One of the first things entrepreneurs do after creating their company is setting up a bank account. It’s a business after all! You will need a company bank account to pay people, collect payments and more.
If you cannot visit the United States, we recommend that you look at TransferWise Borderless Accounts to see if they will work for you: https://transferwise.com/us/borderless
Borderless Accounts are the same as any other US bank account and you can link them to Stripe!
If you are located in the United States, here is a simple guide to opening a bank account in the United States.
We (Stellar Formation) will send you an email within 7-10 days of your company creation with us with all the documents you need to open a bank account. At this point, you can show up at a US bank branch to set up your bank account. Here are the documents and the people you need to bring at the branch.
Required presence: all members / managers of your company. Bring:
Required presence: an authorizing representative. Bring:
Here are the details:
Select a bank
Most banks offer corporate banking - you can select the bank of your choice. That said, we have had experience working with many banks in the US and can help guide you. Just chat with us (button on the bottom right of this site) and we will help. We have a special partnership with Chase Bank and can connect you with a banker who will speed up and process and make things easy for you.
Show up at a local bank branch
You will have to be physically present at your bank’s local branch to open a bank account (you can find addresses on the bank’s website).
Who needs to be present when opening the account ? If you have chosen to set up an LLC, then you should make sure that all the Managers of your LLC are present to open the bank account. The banks require this.
Who are the Managers? You chose them. But if you have forgotten who, you can find their names on the second to last page of your Operating Agreement.
If you have formed a corporation, then any officer of the corporation (CEO, President, Secretary) can open the bank account on behalf of the corporation.
Also, make sure you bring anyone you would like to add as an authorized signer on your account. Great. Now.
Which documents do you need to provide to the bank?
1. Identification (ID)
Make sure you bring TWO (2) pieces of personal identification. Most banks will require two forms of ID, one of which must be a government issued ID.
You know them all : State Issued Driver’s License, State Issued ID card, Passport, etc.
You’re a non U.S citizen ? No worries, you might have one these IDs : Permanent Resident Alien Card aka. Green Card ( if you’re a permanent resident), Passport or Matricula Consular Card (if you’re a non U.S. Citizens who are not Permanent Resident Alien Cardholders)
Just in case, we recommend bringing “secondary IDs” as well : Credit Card or Debit Card with embossed name, Employer ID, Utility Bill, etc.
Smile! Now you have been identified. Ok, here comes the “not so fun” part..
2. Your Tax Identification Number (TIN) letter
At Stellar Formation, we take care of this for you. It is part of the package we send you (except if you’re a single member LLC in which case an EIN is not necessary, but hey, that’s even easier!) Still want to know more? Read: when do I need an EIN ?
We apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) on behalf of your company when we form it. We will have sent you the number in an email along with the following letter:
Remember: Single member LLCs do not need EIN numbers. If you have more questions about your TIN, write us!
So, if you have an EIN, bring it along. If you don’t, it’s fine! You can use your social security number (SSN) or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), especially if you’re a non U.S. citizen.
At this stage there are only a few things left, and now that we have talked IDs and taxes, we’ll talk business.
3. Business documentation
One of the last thing to do is to provide business documentation (which is only one document), also included in the package we send you at Stellar Formation.
Wherever you formed your company and whether it is an LLC or a Corporation, you will receive an official document filed with the state agency that is known as Certificate of Formation (LLC) or Certificate of Incorporation (Corporation)
At Stellar Formation, we offer to incorporate in NY and in Delaware. Here is a preview of these documents.
4. Nice to haves
Some banks may also require a website validation - they will ask the URL of your company website to verify your company is active. That’s easy, as long as your website is live.
If your business is organized in another state, but operates in the state where the account is being opened, documentation from both states is required.
This means :
If you choose Stellar Formation, we will take care of the certificates for you (LLC or incorporations).
5. If you are “Doing business as”
If you’re “doing business as” (meaning you’re using another name for your company), you might need to bring an assumed name certificate (also referred as Trade Name Certificate, Fictitious Business Name Statement, or DBA). But note that this is not required in the following states : AK, AL, HI, KS, MD, ME, MS, NM, SC, TN, WI, and WY.
You have everything ? Then relax, YOU’RE DONE!