Opening a Business Bank Account: A Guide for Delaware Companies
As an entrepreneur, you might be wondering how to open a business bank account for a Delaware-based company. The rules vary among banks in the United States, so it’s essential to check with your specific bank. We’ve put together a guide to help you understand the basic rules that all banks follow. Keep in mind, some banks might ask for more details based on their own policies.
Do Delaware Companies Need a Delaware Bank Account?
Good news – if your business is incorporated in Delaware, you can open a bank account in any state! Most Delaware businesses are actually based out of different states and even different countries. Whether you’re in California or India, you can register a company in Delaware and have business operations anywhere.
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The Delaware Secretary of State asks Delaware corporations to submit an Annual Report, however, they do not ask for any banking details. Plus, the Delaware Code doesn’t require you to have a bank account in Delaware or any other state.
How To Open a Business Bank Account: 5 Steps
When you’re ready to open a business bank account in the United States, follow these steps:
Step 1.) Find your bank:
Each bank has its own set of requirements, so start by checking with the bank you’re interested in.
Step 2.) Prepare your information:
Banks need to know who their customers are. Be ready with:
- Your legal name or your business’s legal name
- Your address (residential or business), or if you don’t have an address, other options like an Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office box number, or the address of a close relative or contact person
- Identification number like an Employer Identification Number (EIN), Social Security Number or other government ID number
Step 3.) Gather additional documents:
For businesses, banks often ask for more information. Some additional documents that a bank could ask for to open an account for an LLC or corporation include:
- Certificate of Formation for an LLC
- Certificate of Incorporation for a corporation;
- an LLC Operating Agreement;
- Corporate minutes;
- Corporate bylaws; or,
- Corporate stock certificates.
Step 4.) Identify the beneficial owners:
Banks need to know who owns the business. This includes anyone who directly or indirectly owns 25% or more of the business and anyone with significant responsibility to control, manage, or direct the business.
Step 5.) Open your account:
The person opening the account will need to provide the bank with all this information. The owners of the business don’t need to be present when the account is opened.
Selecting the Right Bank for Your Business
When you’re ready to open a business bank account, it’s important to choose the right bank. Here are some factors to consider:
Some banks charge monthly fees, transaction fees, or minimum balance fees. Be sure to understand all potential charges before opening an account.
2.) Online and mobile banking:
In today’s digital world, having access to your account anytime, anywhere is crucial. Check whether the bank offers a robust online and mobile banking platform.
3.) Customer service:
Good customer service can be a lifesaver when you’re dealing with banking issues. Look for banks known for their exceptional customer service.
4.) Additional services:
Think about the future needs of your business. You might require a business credit card, merchant services, or a line of credit in the future. Find a bank that offers these additional services.
After Opening Your Business Bank Account
Once you’ve opened a business bank account, it’s important to only use it for business-related transactions. This helps protect your personal assets by keeping your personal and business accounts separate.
Keeping Your Business and Personal Finances Separate: Top Tips
One of the most important steps after opening your business bank account is maintaining a clear line between your personal and business finances. This is crucial for legal reasons and it also makes it easier to manage your money. Here are our top tips:
Tip #1.) Use your business account for business expenses only:
This means all your business-related expenses, including supplies, inventory, business trips, and anything else that’s directly related to your business.
Tip #2.) Pay yourself a salary:
Transfer money from your business account to your personal account as your salary. This keeps your personal and business finances separate and gives you a clear idea of your business’s profitability.
Tip #3.) Keep detailed records:
It’s a good idea to keep records of all your business transactions. This will make things easier when it comes time to file taxes or if you need to track specific expenses.
Tip #4.) Work with a professional:
Consider hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to help manage your business finances. They can provide valuable advice and help you avoid any potential financial pitfalls.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Managing a Business Bank Account
To help you manage your business bank account effectively, here are some common mistakes to avoid:
Business Banking Mistake #1.) Co-mingling Personal and Business Expenses:
Keep these separate. Mixing personal and business expenses can lead to accounting headaches and potential legal issues.
Business Banking Mistake #2.) Poor Record Keeping:
Be meticulous about recording all transactions. This practice will make it easier to track business growth, plan for taxes, and prepare for potential audits.
Business Banking Mistake #3.) Overlooking Bank Fees:
Banks often charge fees for services such as wire transfers, excessive transactions, or minimum balance requirements. Be aware of these to avoid unexpected charges.
Opening a bank account for your Delaware business doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these steps, keep your business and personal finances separate, and you’ll be well on your way to financial success.