The Offense

You Can Bank On It

It would be great if you could just get in the game and start playing right away, but Uncle Sam and the state want to make sure you put your money in its proper place.

Before you open a business bank account, you will need to complete your Washington State Business Application and register your business with the IRS first. The bank will verify that you are a valid Washington State business using the state’s business database. You will also need your Tax Identification Number, which is either your Social Security Number or your Employer Identification Number provided through your IRS registration.

Other information may be required if the documentation is insufficient. This can include:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Partnership Agreements, etc.

All signers on an account may also be required to provide:

  • Proof of Citizenship
  • Name
  • Residential Street Address
  • Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Current government-issued photo identification and a second piece of identification such as a social security card, credit card, insurance card, voter registration card, etc.
  • Home Phone
  • Occupation

If you don’t have an existing relationship with a bank, do your homework and compare bank business packages before you open a business bank account. The monthly fees can really add up over time, especially when you’re counting every penny. Be sure to ask about a company credit card, which will help you establish credit for your new endeavor. Just watch out for the interest rates that can eat into your profits if you carry a balance now and then.

You may also want to link your personal accounts and business accounts together at the same bank so you can move money around more easily, especially when you’re just starting out.