What Is an Account Holder?

by Jennifer VanBaren ; Updated September 26, 2017
Business meeting

An account holder is a term used for someone designated for performing transactions on an account. This term is generally used in banking, but also applies to utility bills, credit cards and other types of accounts.


Man in living room with laptop and credit card smiling

An account holder is someone authorized to make transactions on an account. To be an account holder, the person’s name must be registered and on file with the company the person does business with. The account holder is authorized to make changes to the account, make deposits and pay bills.


Woman looking at bills and receipts on floor

A primary account holder is the person who is listed first on the account. This person is the main user of the account and is responsible for the account. The primary account holder can add secondary account holders who also are authorized to perform transactions. This person is responsible for the account if the primary account holder defaults on it. Authorized users are also a type of account holder. These users are able to make transactions, but hold no responsibility for the account.

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businessman  working with documents sign up contract

When a person does business with a company, the company may have the person sign an account holder agreement. This agreement states the obligations of both parties as well as the terms and conditions of the arrangement.

About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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