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As a small business owner busy running just about everything, you’re not alone if you feel insanely frustrated by the prospect of having to haul yourself all the way to a bank branch to open a business bank account. That’s why it’s certainly worth looking into how to open a business bank account online from the comfort of your own office or home.
Because, hey, why not? If you can figure out how to open a business bank account online, you can save yourself time, money, and agony. And that sounds pretty great!
Surprisingly, though, opening a business bank account online isn’t 100% straightforward. Odd, especially in 2018 when it’s easy to feel almost entitled to be able to perform essential financial duties completely online. Any business owner can easily apply for a business credit card and even a business loan online—so why is figuring out how to open a business bank account online so much different?
We’ll explain. Read through this guide to learning how to open a business bank account online, and afterward, you won’t have any trouble at all.
We said it before, but we’ll say it again: As you navigate the process of how to open a business bank account online, be ready to find out that it won’t necessarily be easy. (Weird, but true!)
Even now, many banks tend to be hesitant to allow anyone off the street to open a business bank account online. And that’s simply because that kind of openness would allow identity thieves to open bank accounts virtually. As a result, the process of getting a business bank account remains crystallized in amber. In most cases, you’ll have to visit a bank branch with hard copy identification along with various other documents in order to open a business bank account. (More on that in a sec!)
That said, some major players have realized how far behind business bank accounts have fallen in their processes—and that insanely busy small business owners ain’t got time for that. The good news for you is that a few big banks have digitized the steps for how to open a business bank account.
The top-level on how to open a business bank account online? Find the right forward-thinking bank. Otherwise, you’ll have to visit a branch in order to complete the process.
→TL;DR: Business bank accounts are one of the few banking processes that aren’t yet super modern. A few major banks offer the opportunity the open a business bank account online. To work with a small, local bank or a credit union, show up in person.
Your first step in getting that a business bank account open online is taking a moment to figure out what kind of business bank account you need. You have two choices—a business checking account or a business savings account.
Why Get a Business Checking Account
Why Get a Business Savings Account
The goals that you want to meet by opening a business bank account online should align with the three bullets in one of these columns. If you feel a bit all over the place, take a good look at those goals again and figure out what, exactly, you’re looking to do with this cash. (And just maybe you need to open both accounts.)
If you’re still confused, talk to your business accountant, who’ll be more than happy to help advise you—and will be thrilled that you’re separating your business and personal finances.
→TL;DR: Know if you want a business checking account (best for working capital) or a business savings account (best to stow away cash and earn interest) before opening a business bank account online.
Once you know the kind of account you want to open, the next step for how to open a business bank account online is to find the banks that offer what you need.
This is twofold: First, you have to find banks that offer the option to open a business bank account online. And then, within those options, you’ll have to find the type of bank account—whether it be checking or savings—that your business needs. (Here’s what we meant when we said it’s not quite so straightforward.)
We’ll be 100% straight with you—there aren’t a ton of banks that’ll let you open a business bank account online. But your time is limited, so here are your two best business bank account options—one checking and one savings—that certain small business will be able to open online.
→TL;DR: We wish we had better news, but there aren’t a lot of options out there. But sole proprietorships have one checking option, and there’s a savings option for several types of businesses, too.
After you take care of steps one and two, you’ll be relieved to find out that the next step of how to open a business bank account online is actually smooth sailing. (Finally, we know.)
All you’ll need is to fill out a bit of information, confirm your identity, and make an initial deposit. We’ll use the two options above—BBVA for business checking and Capital One for business checking—to show you how do it.
→TL;DR: This part’s easy. Fill out your info and meet the minimum initial deposit that the bank requires.
You already like the sound of this, don’t you? Can’t blame you on that one. If you’ve gone through the hard work of figuring out how to open a business bank account online, it’s time to figure out what perks your specific account will offer.
If you’re not sure that either of these business bank accounts are quite right for you yet, now’s the time to review the benefits that each could offer your business after you open one of them online.
And remember, you can only apply for this business bank account online if you’re set up as a sole proprietorship.
If this sounds good to you, remember that this can work for lots of different type of structures—but it’s a savings account, not a checking account. So take that into… account! (Sorry. Had to.)
A contingency plan is in order.
Although both of these options do make it easy to open a business bank account online, they might not meet your needs, and that’s okay. Unfortunately, beyond ClearConnect Checking and the Spark Business Savings, you won’t be able to open a business bank account online.
Your next course of action is to find the account that’s the next best fit for you, and what that option looks like will be will depend on your business’s needs and on your preferences.
Here’s a thought—or at least a place to start:
For many small business owners looking for business bank account options, Chase Bank has a lot of business checking account options that fit a whole range of needs.
With the three Chase Business Checking accounts—Total, Performance, and Platinum—you won’t be able to open your business bank account through a fully online process. However, you will be able to take your first steps online in order to move toward opening your account. And, since Chase has many national branches, and you might even be doing your personal banking with Chase, anyway, heading to a Chase branch might not seem like such a hassle.
But there’s another great benefit: The first steps that you’ll be able to take online will allow you to land a sweet deal that Chase is currently offering. If you open a new Chase Business Checking account online through this link and check off a few basic boxes once you open your account, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
And that’s it. Basically, if your business has $1,000 to deposit and keep in your checking account for a couple of months, then Chase is offering your business $200 to choose them.
→TL;DR: Review the perks offered from the business bank accounts that you can open online. If they’re not a fit—particularly checking—look at Chase Business Checking. They’re currently offering a $200 bonus that only involves one trip to the bank, plus you can start the process online.
The bottom line on how to open a business bank account online:
So, look around at all of your options. If you decide that you’re willing to make that trip to the bank, you’ll open up all of your business bank account options—and choose the very best account for your business.