After setting up your limited liability company (LLC) in North Carolina, you have successfully created a business entity that separates you legally from being held personally liable for the company’s debts and liabilities. Since your business is now considered legally separate from you, you will need to keep your personal and business finances separate. Keeping your business profits with your finances may threaten the LLC protections you earned from establishing one.
In North Carolina, as in many other states, you must legally keep your LLC bank account separate from your own. Aside from the legal requirements, there are also many other benefits to having a different account for your business. The list of these advantages is included below:
- Since you’ve kept the business net profits separate, you can more easily calculate your taxes when it comes time to file. You can spend less time figuring out what in the account are your business or personal expenses. This means more time accrued towards growing your business.
- This can increase your credibility to different vendors if you provide them with a check with your business name.
- You can begin developing a relationship with the bank your business account is with. This can help improve your reputation with the said bank, which can be advantageous when you need to apply for a loan.
Note that we are referring specifically to checking accounts when we talk about business accounts. This is because business accounts are often used for vendor transactions and to accept payments rather than to save money for emergencies.
What do I need to be eligible for an LLC bank account?
An obvious requirement for an LLC bank account is establishing an LLC. In North Carolina, the cost to submit the articles of organization, a foundational document required when establishing an LLC, costs $125. The online filing form can be found here. The process of applying for an LLC varies from state to state.
North Carolina has several additional requirements on top of submitting the articles of the organization. These requirements include forming an operating agreement, filing for a certificate of publication, and potentially filing for licenses or permits depending on where your business is located and what type of business you run.
The decision to form an LLC is important. We advise speaking to a legal or financial advisor for advice on how to apply in North Carolina and whether this business structure is right for your company.
In addition to creating your LLC in North Carolina, you will also need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the IRS. The application for an EIN can be found here. It is completely free to apply for one.
What do I need to create an LLC bank account?
As mentioned above, when you establish your LLC, you will need to submit the article of organization. You will need to have this document handy when applying for a bank account. This document contains your LLC name, purpose, management structure, and more.
You will also need to have your employer identification number, operating agreement, social security numbers, and addresses of all owners applying for the business account. The bank you are applying with may also have additional requirements. It’s important to check with your bank their specific requirements to save time and prevent going back and forth as you gather all the required documentation.
How do I decide on the bank?
There are many options for what bank to open your business account with as most banks offer this option to consumers. It is important to determine what your financial business needs are so that you can organize and compare the different banking options available to you.
Some considerations you may want to consider include:
1. Do you need to visit the bank branch often?
Some businesses may require you to physically visit your bank more often. For instance, businesses that collect large amounts of cash. If this is the case for you, you may want to find a bank that is located closer to you for convenience.
2. What is your budget?
This is important because banks have different fee structures. Some banks also provide their customers with fee waivers under certain circumstances, including if you have met a minimum balance requirement. You should shop around and see what fees the banks you are interested in have and what ways you may be able to avoid them to prevent unnecessary costs to your business. Fees for upholding a business bank account can include:
- Maintenance fees
- Overdraft fees
- Non-bank ATM fees
- Transaction fees
- Check printing fees
3. What benefits are appealing to you?
Banks can offer some fantastic rewards to their business customers. In particular, those with larger balances in their business accounts can find some great rewards programs offered at various banks. Some banks even offer great discounts on loans if you have an account with them.
So there is no one size fits all when opening an LLC bank account.
You will need to figure out which one best fits your needs, but these are some points to remember when shopping in North Carolina.
How do I apply?
Only one business member needs to apply for the LLC account, although your bank will likely still request the information of all LLC owners regardless. There are certain requirements the applicant needs to meet to be eligible to apply that is dependent on the bank you are applying with. An example requirement includes having 25% ownership in the company.
Once you’ve picked your bank and gathered the necessary documentation to create a business bank account, the step of filling out an application is relatively easy. However, unlike with personal bank accounts, you often need to go in person to create a business account. Many banks do not offer online applications for business accounts.
What do I need to do next after opening the account?
Once you have opened your business account, the final step is to provide your account with funds. As with your personal accounts, you can do so by depositing cash, a check, transferring funds, or utilizing another deposit method.x
After you create your account, you also need to determine who is authorized to sign checks. If you are a multiple-membered LLC, you will need to decide whether you want every owner to be able to sign or only a select number of individuals.
Opening a business account only requires slightly more steps than when opening your personal account. However, it provides many benefits and can simplify your record-keeping process. If you have any additional questions, check with your financial advisor for more information.