The Amateur Athletic Union has made obtaining a team bank account part of its requirements for Level 3 clubs. This level of membership allows your AAU team to qualify for tax-exempt status federally, have tax-exempt donations and qualify for a sales tax exemption. To open a business account for your team, you'll need to gather some documentation and look for banks offering bank accounts for nonprofit clubs and organizations. You can then check with the bank to learn about whether it requires you to apply in person or allows you to apply online.
Having an AAU team bank account makes it easier to track money spent and received for tax-reporting purposes and will help provide documentation that is useful for the annual filing of federal and state tax forms for the team.
Starting a bank account for a softball team or other type of AAU team also comes in handy for when the club's manager, coach or treasurer needs to collect funds from team members for tournaments, uniforms, memberships or special events. It also helps with reimbursing expenses and collecting donations from the community.
Before you begin exploring banks and account options, you'll want to get some basic documentation ready. This usually includes the following:
- Tax ID number for your youth sports team: Your team should have requested an employer identification number through the IRS as part of becoming a Level 3 AAU club. If you applied online, your EIN appeared on the electronic notice at the end of the process; otherwise, you should have received a letter in the mail with the EIN. If you can't find your EIN, the IRS has a hotline you can call to locate it: 1-800-829-4933 (available Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
- Meeting minutes: Some banks will ask to see a meeting minutes document for your team that lists those who will use the team's account, your AAU team's name and other notes recorded as proof of the meeting that took place.
- IDs for organization members: Any organization member who will access or use the account will need to present both a Social Security number and a photo ID, like a passport or drivers' license.
- Team's articles of organization: Get a signed copy of the articles of organization you filled out to register your team with the AAU and to get nonprofit status.
Whether you need a softball, basketball or travel baseball team bank account, you can often call your local bank to ask about its options for unincorporated organizations. Some of these bank accounts have titles referring to clubs, organizations or businesses, while others have general titles but accept either individuals or organizations as applicants. For example, TCF Bank has the Community Group Checking account, while Wells Fargo offers the Simple Business Checking account.
When comparing accounts, look at any fees and minimum deposit requirements. Pay attention to any charges related to transactions, deposits and account maintenance as well as any ways the bank allows you to avoid those costs. If you have limited funds, look for accounts that have small initial deposit requirements, like $25 or nothing at all.
After gathering your documentation and finding a suitable account, contact your chosen bank to begin the team account application process. Some banks allow you to do the application online and then submit your documentation through the mail or at a local branch. Others will require you to apply for your club account in person and have other organization members come in for verification.
In either case, you can expect to fill out an application with information about your AAU team and the account members; this will include the team's name, EIN and contact details for account members. Be prepared to provide identification for each account member and present the meeting minutes and articles of organization through the method the bank requests. You'll also arrange for any initial deposit required and sign any additional documents requested.
Once your club account is open, you should receive some documentation in the mail and gain access to online banking. You can get checks, request a team debit card and begin using the business account for everyday transactions.