As a small business owner, you are probably inundated with offers for credit cards, lines of credit and other banking services. You may not want any of those. What you must have is a business checking account like that at Tropical Financial.
Shopping around can be difficult. Make the wrong choice and you will end up with more or less than what you need and find yourself paying lots of fees.
So, let’s start with a basic question: Why do you need a business account? Even if you are a sole proprietor or a freelancer, separating your individual funds from your incorporated business can protect your personal assets from liability. You will also find it easier to access and organize your financial records at tax time.
Last, a checking account is a common requirement for other forms of banking such as loans and lines of credit. A 2018 survey of financial institutions by Nav, a financial tech company, found that 70% of small business owners without a checking account were turned down for a loan.
Before you start shopping, think about the features and services you need. Almost every institution offers online banking and a debit card. Do you also need a credit card? Convenient ATM locations?
As you compare institutions, ask these questions:
- What is the minimum deposit to open an account?
- What is minimum balance to avoid monthly or per-transaction charges? Some institutions will have a threshold. Others will average the daily balances monthly, allowing you to dip below that minimum figure without incurring charges.
- At institutions that charge fees, what are the amounts per transaction and per item?
- What are the fees for:
- Bounced checks?
- ATM transactions, including deposits?
- Withdrawals or transfers above a certain number per month?
- Online transactions?
While you may do all your personal banking online, you will want a branch near your office or home for your business account if you make cash deposits daily or several times a week, or if you need in-person services such as cashier’s checks. Use the institution’s branch locator service to find locations. Check the hours, too; you want an institution that’s open when it’s convenient for you
Once you have chosen an institution, collect documents needed to open an account. Call ahead for a list to save yourself two trips to the institution. They will likely include:
- Business name, address and employer identification number (EIN)
- Proof of mailing address such as a utility bill
- Proof of company ownership such as incorporation papers filed with the state of Florida and a Florida corporate ID number
- Proof of identity such as your Social Security number and copies of your passport or driver’s license
Tropical Financial makes it easy for company owners to open an account. Only $100 is needed to get started and an average monthly balance of $5,000 to avoid fees. To learn more and make an appointment one of our officers, visit our website.