Opening a bank account for a committee can be easy, if you do a little homework in advance. You will need to prove to the bank that your organization and your committee are legitimate, and that the names on the account were authorized by the organization. The key to avoiding frustration---and multiple trips to the bank---is to find out exactly what you need and put it in order ahead of time. The hour or two you spend preparing will be well worth the effort expended.
Get Things in Order
To open a bank account for a committee, you will need to provide the bank with the organization's tax identification number, along with paperwork documenting the organization. If your organization has bylaws or articles of incorporation, that is a good place to start. For the tax ID number, you may need to present an IRS form showing the number. You'll also want a copy of the minutes from your organization's meeting that established the committee, naming the members and stating who the authorized signers on the account will be.
Once you have gathered the above information, or at least set the wheels in motion to get it together, call or visit the bank where you plan to open the account. Tell them what documentation you have on hand, ask what the minimum balance must be, and ask if you need anything more. Also ask if you can pick up signature cards for each authorized signer, or if they need to appear in person. Rules vary from bank to bank, so you can save time (and cut down on your trips to the bank) by checking with them first.
If the bank will allow committee members to sign the signature cards without going to the bank, bring those cards to your next committee meeting. Have the authorized signers sign them, then put them with the rest of your documentation.
Take the signature cards, organization minutes authorizing the committee, tax identification number and bylaws (and any other required documentation) to the bank. Don't forget the initial deposit! With these items in hand, you are now ready to open a bank account for your committee.
- Nonprofit Kit for Dummies; Stan Hutton, Frances Phillips; 2009.
Cari Haus has authored or co-authored a score of books on topics ranging from business and health to parenting, faith, and life. After earning a B.B.A. from Andrews University in 1982, Haus became a C.P.A. in 1985. Lately she has been writing business articles for the newsletter Real Estate Advisor.