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A virtual firm serving Colorado, Kansas, & Missouri.

Legal Guide

Three Documents You Need to Open a Business Bank Account

Freelancers and entrepreneurs should always create a business bank account when starting a new business in Boulder or Kansas City. And in most cases, you’ll need these three documents to set up your account (in addition to basic information about yourself, like your ID).


1. Business Formation Documents

To create an LLC (or Corporation, Nonprofit, or B-Corp), you must file formation documents with your state’s Secretary of State. While the title of the documents can change from state to state, the concept remains the same across the country. In Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas, you’ll file Articles of Organization to create an LLC or Articles of Incorporation to create a Corporation, Nonprofit, or B-Corp.

To open a startup or small business bank account, you’ll almost always need a copy of your formation document.


2. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is a unique number assigned to your business by the IRS. Although the word “Employer” is in the name, you’ll actually need this number even if you don’t plan to hire employees.

Multiple government offices and some third parties will require your EIN to help track your business within their systems. You’ll also need it for your tax filing obligations. And not surprisingly, your bank will require that you have an EIN (some banks will even require a physical copy of your EIN letter).

Obtaining an EIN is a fairly straight-forward process that can be done on the IRS website, but it is often best to have an accountant or small business attorney help you to make sure you don’t make mistakes when filling out the forms.

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3. Bylaws or Operating Agreement

Many banks will also require a copy of your small businesses’ governing documents. For example, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri LLCs must have Operating Agreements, while Corporations must have Bylaws. These documents are the documents that govern your businesses’ operations and usually cover topics like voting rights, economic rights, transfer restrictions, and more.

Additionally, the bank may ask you to provide written resolutions from your company’s owners (or directors) to show that you have the power to open the bank account on behalf of the startup or small business. This is especially true for businesses with more than one owner.

While you can create those documents on your own, you will almost always be best served using a startup or small business attorney to help you create them.

Bonus Tip: Do Your Research

We live in a digital era. But many banks still operate like they are stuck in the 1990s. Do you research and ask for recommendations. Some banks have great online business banking tools, others don’t. Some have great mobile apps, others don’t. And as always, every bank has their own minimum deposit requirements and fee structures.

(This article is general in nature and is not legal advice.)

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