A business checking account has specific advantages for people who plan to or already own a business. The business account allows you to collect money under the name of the business (rather than your own names), and also cash checks made out to the business. If you do not plan to incorporate, most banks require you to obtain a fictitious business name (or "DBA") in order to open a business checking account. When you sign up for your DBA checking account, come prepared with some important documents.
A legal photo ID may include a driver's license, state identification or federal passport. When presenting business-related documents to the bank in which you want to establish your account, you must prove that the name on all of the documentation belongs to you.
When opening a business checking account with a DBA, you must present your official DBA certificate. While the rules differ for corporations, you must verify your legal authority to disburse or collect funds under your business name if operating as a sole proprietorship, partnership or LLC. Your DBA certificate proves this authority.
If operating in a city or county that requires a general business license, you must bring the license with you when opening your business checking account. The license must include your name along with the name of the business. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need another specific type of business license, such as a resale permit, wholesale license or contractor's license. Bring any licenses or permits pertaining to your business.
Not all banks will specifically require you to provide proof of your Social Security number or federal tax ID (also known as an Employer Identification Number), but you must provide one or the other to open a business checking account. Bring your Social Security card of federal tax ID paperwork with you in the event that you must present legal proof of the number that you provide.
If opening an account on behalf of a limited liability company, you must present your articles of organization. If the name of all of the officers do not appear in the articles, you must also include a corporate resolution, a signed document listing the names of all of your officers. You can find sample corporate resolutions online.
If opening your account on behalf of a partnership, provide your partnership agreement, limited partnership agreement or limited liability partnership agreement. In some instances, your bank may not require this documentation as long as you have your DBA certificate.
If you plan to open a business checking account with a DBA, you most likely have not incorporated your businesses, as corporations do not require a DBA in order to transact business under the trade name. In some cases, however, you may want to establish one or more DBAs for a corporation, in order to divide the business into different areas (for instance, a music retail corporation may want to operate a vinyl website and a CD website under different names). If this is the case, make sure to have your articles of incorporation on hand when opening your business checking account.