In attempting to open a new company bank account, many new business owners will contact our office during their visit the bank’s branch office. Usually they are in a panic. Most often, it’s because they have walked into the bank empty handed expecting the bank to provide them with everything they need. When the bank requires certain documents, and you don’t have them, people get frustrated, and you are wasting your time and the banker’s time. Remember, the bank can refuse to open an account for you.
Harvard Business Services, Inc. is happy to rescue you in this type of situation by scanning and emailing or faxing any applicable documents that are available to us as your Delaware Registered Agent, but in order to save you time, money and frustration, we’d like to bring to your attention the following steps that will set you up to be prepared and look smart.
Selecting the right bank for you and actually opening an account is not a service Harvard Business Services, Inc. provides our clients. But we can help you to be prepared for the process so that you don’t waste time.
So, to get started, the best way to find the bank that suits your business needs would be to ask a fellow business owner, search on line or visit a local bank to inquire about their small business banking products.
Most banks offer online applications with detailed descriptions of what they have to offer for business accounts. It is in your best interest to carefully research your choices so you can identify the right account for your business needs. A comparison of the options may be available to help you make sense of the differences. Once you find the best account type, find out what is needed to apply. All banks are different, but they should provide you with a list of documents and information needed.
YOUR GOAL: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE DOCUMENTS NEEDED BEFORE YOU VISIT THE BRANCH.
Typically, if your company is a corporation, the bank will want to see your Certificate of Incorporation, a copy of your initial “minutes”, a “Board Resolution” authorizing the opening of a bank account, and the names, addresses and social security numbers of all the Directors and Stockholders. If your company is a Limited Liability Company, the bank will usually require a copy of your Certificate of Formation, a list of “Members” -- including their addresses and social security numbers, and a signed copy of the “LLC Company Agreement” as well as a “Resolution of the Members” approving the opening of a bank account.
In both cases, you will need an “EIN” issued by the IRS. This is often called a “Tax I.D. Number” or an “Employer’s Identification Number”. This is obtained by filing an SS-4 form with the IRS or using Harvard’s IRS service and saving you the hassle. The bank will definitely require this so don’t go to the bank without it.
Before going to the bank, make a copy of all the documents, and clip them together with a paper clip (Don’t staple them). This “package” can be presented to the bank so they will not have to take the time to copy your original set. Your banker will definitely be impressed that you are equipped with all the necessary paperwork as well as copies for the bank. It’s always an advantage to get off on the right foot with your banker, right from the beginning.
Feel free to give us a call to clear up any questions you may have as you prepare. We are always here to assist!