The Documents You Need to Open a Business Bank Account

what documents do you need to open a business checking account

One of the most common follow up questions we get from owners of recently formed entities is, how do I open a bank account for my business? What do I need?

The Incorporators does not open bank accounts on behalf of other entities but we can provide you with several of the documents you'll need to open a local or online business bank account.

Of note, the state of Delaware does not require Delaware entities to have a bank account located in Delaware. We encourage you to open your business bank account at the bank you find most convenient.

Each bank may require different or additional documents but the most common documents required to open a business bank account are:

Document Proving the Existence of Your Company

This document has a variety of names, based on the state the entity was formed in. Banks may ask you for your Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, Articles of Formation, or your company formation documents.

In Delaware, this document is called the Articles of Incorporation (for a corporation) or Articles of Formation (for an LLC). 

When you form a corporation or LLC with The Incorporators, we send you this document with your package.

If you choose one of our E-Kits, you will have received this document via email. If you chose one of our basic, snap kit, or executive packages, you will have received this from us via UPS along with your corporate supplies (based on package). 

This document has a seal from the state of Delaware on it, confirming the existence of your company. 

Again, these terms are interchangeable. The bank may ask you for your Certificate of Organization and you'll present them with your Articles of Formation. The terms are referencing the same document. 

Business Tax Identification Number and/or your Social Security Number

You will most likely be asked for your businesses tax ID number, which is your EIN. Your EIN is your Employer Identification Number, which is given to you by the IRS. 

When you form an entity with The Incorporators, we include instructions for IRS form SS-4 on how to apply for an EIN. You can also apply for an EIN here.

Valid Identification

You will be required to provide personal identification, such as a state issued ID or passport.

Additional Requirements for Funding

If you are seeking funding such as a small business loan or business credit card, you will be asked for additional documents and details about your company.

These will vary by what type of funding you are seeking and your history with the bank. If you have a long history with the bank you are using, you may have an easier time acquiring funding or more flexibility regarding terms.

Still, you will be required to provide additional documentation. The most common document for banks to request is a certificate of good standing. 

Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing, also commonly referred to as a "Certificate of Existence" or a "Certificate of Status," is a document issued by the Secretary of State that confirms that your entity is authorized to do business and has completed the following:

  • Paid annual franchise taxes
  • Filed an annual report  (corporations only)

Essentially it means that your business is up-to-date with all state requirements. You can order a certificate of good standing for your business online in minutes and The Incorporators can generally get the document to you the same business day, if ordered during business hours.

If you need documents from the state of Delaware during the process of opening a bank account for your business, please contact us or call us at 800-223-3928. We're happy to help. 

DISCLAIMER: The Incorporators LTD. is a business formation service company only.
All content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, taxation or financial advice or services.