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The Basics of Opening a Business Bank Account

Congratulations on making the leap to entrepreneurship and starting a business! It’s a leap that I can personally attest to and it’s something that Hampleman Law, LLC wants to help you succeed with. As a new business owner, you’re bound to have questions. While we don’t have answers for everything, we can help you prepare for organizing your business, opening a bank account, and ensuring that your business is ready to open a bank account.

First, almost every bank is going to want a copy of your business organization documents. For LLCs, this is likely going to be a Certificate (or Articles) of Formation. For corporations, this is going to be your Articles of Incorporation. In some states, these documents are easily accessible online, but Illinois is not one of those states. It is likely that you received a copy of your organizational document when filed online with the Secretary of State. If you mailed a copy, then the Secretary of State likely mailed you a file-stamped copy.

Almost every state has a statute regarding the management and upkeep of a business record book.

Next, you’re going to need a federal employer identification number, often referred to as an FEIN or EIN. Your EIN is easy to obtain at irs.gov during regular business hours. It is VERY important to ensure that when obtaining an EIN that you’re using the correct and authentic Internal Revenue Service website. An EIN requires sensitive, personal information of the Responsible Party obtaining the EIN. The IRS does not charge you for an EIN and there are no service fees associated with obtaining an EIN. It can be done online, and in most cases, instantly.

While most banks will only require the above two items, some banks will also require additional items such as a governing document (operating agreement for LLC and bylaws for corporations), initial meeting minutes, and a stock ledger/stock certificates. These are documents that even not required by a bank, Hampleman Law, LLC strongly recommends. Almost every state has a statute regarding the management and upkeep of a business record book. Every business should contain these items, but it’s very common for business owners to forget! Of course…you’re busy taking care of your business!

Because of this, it isn’t uncommon for business owners to retain an attorney’s office to recreate a corporate record book. While this often isn’t an issue so long as all responsible parties are willing to agree, it is highly recommended that businesses keep their minutes up-to-date with yearly meetings at least.

The team at Hampleman Law, LLC is experienced in not only creating the organizational documents that you’ll need for a bank account, but also the documents that all businesses should contain (even if there is only one owner). Our office offers this service at a flat fee so that there are no surprises with regards to how much you’ll pay for our services. Contact us today for an initial, no-cost consultation.


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