Keeping it Separate: Why Your LLC Needs a Business Bank Account

So you’ve formed an LLC to shield your personal assets from business liability. Smart move! But to truly reap the benefits of limited liability, you need to keep your business finances separate from your personal ones. That’s where a dedicated business bank account comes in.

Why a Separate Account Matters

Maintaining a separate account isn’t just good practice, it’s crucial for upholding your LLC’s liability protection. When your business finances are commingled with your personal funds, it becomes difficult (and expensive in a lawsuit) to prove what’s business and what’s personal. This can jeopardize the very shield your LLC provides.

Opening Your Business Account

Here’s what you’ll typically need to get started:

  • Formalized LLC: Ensure your LLC is legally established and, in most cases, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
  • Documentation: Gather documents like your LLC’s operating agreement, EIN (or SSN for single-member LLCs in some banks), and business formation paperwork

Choosing the Right Account

Most LLCs opt for a business checking account for everyday transactions. Consider these factors when making your choice:

  • Monthly fees: Look for accounts with low or no monthly maintenance fees, especially if your business has low transaction volume.
  • Transaction fees: Understand per-check, ATM, and other transaction charges.
  • Features: Consider features like online banking, mobile deposits, and integration with accounting software.
  • Minimum balance requirements: Some accounts have minimum balance requirements to avoid fees.
  • Multiple owners? If your LLC has multiple members, choose an account that allows joint ownership.

Beyond Checking

While a checking account is essential, your business needs may extend further. Explore options like:

  • Business savings account: Earn interest on idle funds.
  • Merchant services: Accept credit card payments from customers.
  • Line of credit: Access quick funding for short-term needs.

Maintaining Separate Accounts

Once your business account is open, stick to using it solely for business transactions. This includes depositing business income, paying bills, and managing payroll.

By establishing and using a dedicated business bank account, you’re not just simplifying your finances, you’re safeguarding the limited liability protection your LLC offers. So start separating your business and personal finances today!