You will need two kinds of business plans in order to start a bank. The first business plan is what you will use to attract your initial investors. The second business plan will be much more detailed and will be used in the application to your state or federal banking authorities. Since it is easy to find instructions on how to write a normal business plan, we will discuss some of the requirements for your application business plan.

Things You Will Need
  • Banking consultant

  • Experienced bank officer and managers

  • $5 million to $10 million in seed investment from your organizing group

  • Market study

  • Plans to raise $20 million to $40 million in a private placement

Planning a Bank

Step 1.

Form your organizing group from investors who, together, can invest from 10 percent to 25 percent of the total capital needed to start your bank. This amount varies according to the region, but $20 million is about the lowest capitalization feasible.

Step 2.

Accumulate detailed credit and criminal histories on each member of your organizing group and replace anyone who has a flawed report.

Step 3.

Describe and defend your target market and location plans with detailed demographic and location-feasibility studies.

Step 4.

Describe your business model in terms of how you will compare to your competition. You must show that you will be filling a need and that your planned products will be at least as safe and profitable as other banks in your region.

Step 5.

Write a detailed marketing plan that is in keeping with all banking regulations and estimate cost versus deposits and revenue derived.

Step 6.

Construct a detailed financial pro forma including detailed staffing costs, launch costs and the costs of a charter application and preparation. Estimate and defend revenues from deposits, loans and other services.


Work with experts right from the start. Unless you have experience starting banks you should work with a bank-formation consultant and an experienced bank manager. In your application, you will need to show that you have a highly experienced bank management team.


Compare your state banking charter with the application for a federal banking charter. In some cases there will be a difference, but usually the state charter is easier to obtain. It should take about two years for the entire application process with the charter application taking at least 180 days if there are no problems. That is why you should take great care to make your first submission as perfect as possible.