how to open a joint business bank account

Business banking in a smaller town. If you live in a smaller town, or don't have access to the branches above, you can open a business bank. Businesses that are just starting out probably only need the four accounts listed above, but. Need a business transaction bank account, or a foreign currency bank account, or an agribusiness bank account? Choose from our business banking range.
how to open a joint business bank account

: How to open a joint business bank account

Amazon affiliate button
How to open a joint business bank account
Mutual of omaha insurance provider login

Set up a Business Bank Account in 6 Steps: A Small Business Guide

7 Min. Read

Having a business bank account is a more professional way to run your small business. It also makes it much easier to track your income and expenses, according to Inc.

This is hugely important at tax time since many expenses can be written off (deducted from taxes owed). Using a personal bank account for business makes it much harder to pick out potential deductions.

A business bank account also lets an owner plan their budget, deposit payments, receive payments, manage payroll and generate financial reports for potential lenders or investors.

In this article, we’ll cover:

NOTE: FreshBooks Support team members are not certified income tax or accounting professionals and cannot provide advice in these areas, outside of supporting questions about FreshBooks. If you need income tax advice please contact an accountant in your area.

1. Check What Accounts You Need

You may need different business bank accounts for income, payroll and taxes, according to Inc. It depends on the complexity of your business’ affairs. Ask your accountant for recommendations.

The following business accounts are most common:

  • Checking account
  • Savings account
  • Credit card account
  • Merchant services account (see step six)

Businesses that are just starting out probably only need the four accounts listed above, but especially the business checking account.

2. Select a Bank

Don’t automatically open a business account where you do your personal banking. A credit union may not even offer business banking options.

Choose the bank that how to open a joint business bank account best service your small how to open a joint business bank account. Some banks specialize in specific types how to open a joint business bank account businesses or industries. Their specialized expertise and custom offerings will better suit your needs, especially when it comes to lines of credit or business credit cards.

That said, it’s okay to use your personal bank as a comparison point. Still, there may be better options out there, especially if they offer benefits like lower business banking fees or specialize in your industry.

Another note: your business bank should meet all your needs and be able to grow with you in the future. Compare your options carefully.

The following factors are important when choosing a bank, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA):

  • Monthly fees waived if a minimum balance is maintained
  • Interest rates for checking and savings accounts
  • Interest rates for business lines of credit
  • Transaction fees
  • Early termination fees (fees to end bank contract)
  • Introductory offers (such as a bonus)

WalletHub recommends Axos Bank Business Interest Checking as the best business bank account overall and BBVA Compass ClearConnect Business Checking for having the lowest fees.

3. Register Your Business Name

Before you talk to your potential new bank, set up your company name--that is, unless you want to operate under your personal name. This is a natural step in setting up your business.

  • For example, a copywriter can set up a company name like “Sarah Smith Copywriting.”

Check your business name isn’t taken by using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark database. Also, search for the name online to make sure your online presence won’t be overwhelmed by similar names.

Now that you’ve chosen a business name, visit your county clerk or state office and pay the required fee to register your business name. It should cost less than $100. This U.S. Small Business Administration guide will tell you where to register.

You can also go the extra step and apply for trademark protection. This costs less than $300.

4. Collect the Necessary Paperwork

You’ll need to gather some information before approaching your chosen bank and opening an account.

You will need, at minimum:

  • A tax ID number (get one via the IRS for free)
  • Social security number (if you’re a sole proprietor)
  • Proof of incorporation (for business structures like LLCs)
  • A business license or business name filing paperwork

Contact your chosen bank to see what paperwork you’ll need to provide to open your account.

5. Contact the Bank

You can usually open your business bank account online. But some companies will have to do so in person at a bank branch. These include companies in the telemarketing, gambling and money service industries. One of the benefits of going in person is that you’ll be able to get your business debit card immediately.

6. Set up a Merchant Services Account

Now that you have a business bank account, go a step further and make sure your company can accept payments. To do this, you need to open a merchant services account that lets you accept payments. For example, a credit card merchant account will let you accept credit card payments.

Check the following criteria when deciding on an account, according to the SBA:

  • Minimum monthly fees
  • Transaction fees
  • Discount rates: percentage charged per transaction processed
  • Address verification service (AVS) fees: help verify a credit card to prevent fraud
  • Low ACH daily batch fees: fees to settle credit card transactions daily

Alternative payment processing services are also popular and connect to your business bank account. If you accept payments online, you can consider online payment systems like PayPal or Shopify. In-person payments can be processed via point-of-sale systems like Square.

People also ask:

What Do You Need to Open a Business Bank Account?

Each bank requires different information to open a business bank account.

At minimum, you’ll probably need:

  • A tax ID number: the IRS will supply you with one
  • Social security number: for sole proprietors or partnerships
  • Proof of incorporation: for corporations like LLCs
  • A business license or business name filing paperwork

Can You Use a Personal Bank Account for a Small Business?

You can use a personal bank account for a small business, but you probably shouldn’t according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Here’s why:

Higher Accounting Fees

While personal bank accounts cost less, this type of account for business will ultimately cost you more in accounting fees because accountant will need to spend more time separating out your business expenses and income from your personal expenses and income.

Harder to Get a Business Loan

Even if you open a separate personal bank account for your business, you’ll have a harder time getting a loan. Lenders don’t usually offer loans to businesses using personal bank accounts because small businesses using business bank accounts usually have more accurate records. And if your personal and business finances are mixed, banks won’t have a clear picture of cash flow nor be able to see an income statement.

On top of this, business bank accounts usually have the option to get a line of credit, which is important in an emergency, according to the SBA.

Taxes Are Trickier

Tax time will probably be a nightmare if you use a personal bank account. Combining your personal and business finance will make getting audited a real problem. Plus, it’s harder to prove that expenses purchased through a personal account were used for business purposes. This makes them more difficult to write off on your taxes.

Can’t Process Payments

Payments are simpler with a business bank account. If you’re making out personal checks, they’ll be processed slower. Plus, personal checking accounts won’t let you connect merchant accounts that can process credit card and debit payments.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Business Bank Account?

Rates and fees vary from bank to bank. Many bank don’t charge a monthly fee, but they will require you to deposit a minimum amount to open the account.

Minimum deposits can be as low as $25 for a bare-bones business bank account, though this comes with certain requirements like keeping a daily balance of $1500. Some banks even offer no minimum deposits and no minimum balance.

There are also costs associated with getting the required paperwork to open a business bank account:



Joint account

Shared bank account

A joint account is a bank account that has been opened by two or more individuals or entities. Joint accounts are commonly opened by close relatives (such as by a married couple) or by business partners, but it can be used in other circumstances, such as by a club committee.

Normally, any person can deposit funds into a joint account, but when opening an account the joint account holders may indicate to the financial institution whether a single account holder may make withdrawals or whether the consent of other account holders is required.

A joint account is not the same as adding an authorized signatory or additional cardholder to an account, a person who is authorized by the account holder to effect transactions on the account, an arrangement under which the primary account holder remains fully and solely liable for all transactions on the account.[1] Accounts by corporate entities are not, in themselves, joint accounts.

In some jurisdictions there is a significant legal distinction between joint account north america bodies of water map being described as “and” rather than as “or”. If joint account holders are described with an “and”, a survivor may have difficulty accessing funds in the joint account on the death of one account holder.[citation needed]

Opening an account[edit]

When opening a joint bank account, how to open a joint business bank account account holders need to decide who and how the account is to be operated, and instruct the financial institution accordingly. They would decide the signatories on the account. For example, withdrawals may require any account holder to sign a withdrawal or all parties to sign the withdrawal or “any two account holders” to sign, or a particular account holder with any other account holder, or some other instructions.

Many jurisdictions allow unincorporated businesses (such as partnerships) to open a joint bank account under its business name, as distinct from the account being described by the full or partial names of the joint account holders. Proof of registration of the business name may be required.

Normally, a credit card account cannot be opened jointly, and the same normally applies to loyalty programs. In the case of joint loan accounts, the account holders are jointly and severally liability for the outstanding debit balance of the account.

Operation of account[edit]

Normally, any person can deposit funds into a joint account, but withdrawals from the account must be effected ally financial dealer services phone number accordance with the instructions given when opening the account.

The joint account holders may authorise particular named individual/s to operate on the account, and instruct the financial institution accordingly. These individuals must be natural persons, and cannot be described by title (such as “treasurer” or “director”) and any change of signatories must be promptly advised to the financial institution.

Any joint account holder can normally instruct the financial institution to put a freeze on the account, though all account holders would normally be required to act jointly to unfreeze the account.

Rights of survivorship[edit]

One of the main issues relating to joint accounts are rights of survivorship, that is, if one of the joint account holders dies, whether the surviving account holder/s are entitled to the balance of the account.

Many husbands and wives open joint bank accounts as a cheap and chase fraud customer service phone number way to avoid probate, and parent-child joint bank account holders may do the same. In some jurisdictions, passing funds in such situations may still be subject to gift duties and/or inheritance taxes.

In the United States[edit]

In the United States, there are typically two types of joint accounts: survivorship accounts and convenience accounts. Any joint owner of the account may withdraw funds during the lifetime of both owners, and most states have statutes protecting the bank from claims brought by one joint owner against the bank if the other owner "wrongfully" withdraws funds from the joint account. The distinction between survivorship and convenience accounts matters at the death of one of the owners. If the joint account is a survivorship account, the ownership of the account goes to the surviving joint account holder. Joint survivorship accounts are often created in order to avoid probate. If two individuals open a joint account and one of them dies, the other person is entitled to the remaining balance and liable for the debt of that account.[2]

If the account is a convenience account, if the person who placed the funds originally in the account dies, the joint owner does not become the owner of the account. Instead, the account becomes a probate asset of the deceased person. If the joint holder dies, who was simply put on the account for "convenience" purposes, the original owner of the account continues to own the account, unaffected by the death of the convenience account holder.

How to tell whether the account is a survivorship account or a convenience account will depend on the how to open a joint business bank account account opening forms. The form will typically include a choice for designating the account as a joint account with right of survivorship ("JTWROS") or a joint account for convenience purposes.

A special type of joint account with right of survivorship, called a tenancy by the entireties account, is used for survivorship accounts between spouses. This special type of tenancy by the entireties account will typically offer the account holders protection from creditors under applicable state law.

Transaction accounts[edit]

Sometimes a temporary joint account is opened by two parties entering into a transaction where one party needs a security for the fulfillment of the transaction and the other party has to pay the sum (deposit), being the security for the other party. Any payment from the joint account, or return of the deposit from the joint account, will only be possible if both parties sign a joint written instruction to the bank. It is not possible that only one of the parties gives instruction for payments of the joint account.[citation needed]

Some banks are not interested in opening temporary joint accounts, as they are normally used for one transaction only, there are specialised parties or companies open such accounts as trustees. A temporary joint account is normally closed after the transaction for which it was opened has been concluded. Temporary joint accounts may be used in transactions in which large sums of money are involved as an alternative to a letter of credit or escrow account.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Ogilvie, M.H. how to open a joint business bank account 2012). "Bank and Customer: The Five Year Review, 2005-2010". Banking & Finance Review. 27 (3): 345–373.
  2. ^Kepner, Donald (1953). "The Joint and Survivorship Bank Account--A Concept without a Name". California Law Review. 41: 596.

Joint Bank Account Rules: How Do They Work?

Joint bank accounts can be a useful tool for sharing expenses or assisting someone in handling their finances. Joint accounts can help you budget and meet day-to-day expenses in situations that involve multiple people. However, they can also complicate your tax situation and generate liability concerns.

How to Open a Joint Bank Account

To open a joint account, you must complete an application with the personal details of all the account holders. In addition, some banks may request proof of address and identity in the form of utility bills, passports or driver’s licenses. Often, you may find that banks require the presence of all the people you plan to add as joint account holders.

There are several other reasons why opening a joint account is best done in person. Doing so allows you to work with a banker to address important details around account ownership and access that you may want to customize for your particular situation. While most joint account holders will be satisfied with standard industry practices, there's nothing wrong with covering all your bases when how to open a joint business bank account a financial arrangement in which other people can access your money.

Joint Bank Account Rules: Who Owns What?

All joint bank accounts have two or more owners. Each owner has the full right to withdraw, deposit, and otherwise manage the account's funds. While some banks may label one person as the primary account holder, that doesn't change the fact everyone owns thank you for the all birthday wishes. Once money is deposited, all of it belongs fully and equally to each account holder regardless of the source.

Once an account is established, any account holder can also close the account entirely. Given these rules, putting your money into a joint bank account obviously requires a great deal of trust in your fellow account holders. While no account holder can remove another account holder from a joint account without that person's consent, few banks will stop you from withdrawing or transferring the entire balance on your own.

The most common joint account holders include parents and their children, spouses, and other close family members. Joint accounts work best when the account holders maintain an honest, communicative how to open a joint business bank account about the money. Failing that, setting up automatic mobile notifications on the joint account's activity is another way to ensure that everyone stays informed.

What Happens if a Joint Bank Account Holder Dies?

Most of the time, joint bank accounts have what is called a right of survivorship. This means that upon the passing of one account holder, the account funds will go to the surviving account holders in equal portions. Most joint accounts have just two account holders, in which case the surviving account holder receives 100% of the funds in the account.

In the other scenario, a joint account might operate under another rule called "tenancy in common". When an account holder passes away in this case, their share of the joint account passes to their estate. For example, if there are two account holders and one dies, the survivor receives 50% of the balance—unless the account holders previously agreed to a different allotment. The remaining 50% is distributed according to the will of the deceased or state law if no will exists.

In any case, the surviving account holders should present a copy of the decedent's death certificate to their bank as soon as possible. This allows the bank to retitle the account in the survivors' names and avoids issues with accessing the account in the future.

Joint Account Beneficiaries

Another thing to consider in the case of the death of an account holder is the position of beneficiaries. A beneficiary gets the money in the account upon the passing of all account holders. Any living joint account holder can change the account's beneficiaries at any time. In a joint account organized under the right of survivorship, all of the funds will go to the surviving account holder.

Because the surviving account holder will then have unilateral authority to change the account's beneficiaries, it is critical that you choose a trustworthy joint account holder in a right of survivorship situation. By contrast, a joint account with tenancy in common allows you to pass your share of the funds directly to your beneficiaries in the event of your death. This prevents any potential changes to the allotment of funds after your passing.

Pros and Cons of a Joint Account

Essentially, joint bank accounts offer convenience and flexibility at the cost of exposing you to errors or misbehavior by your joint account how to open a joint business bank account. By concentrating earnings and expenses in a single place, you make it easier to understand and manage your household budget. However, joint accounts also contain multiple pitfalls you must be aware of.

  • Unifies household finances
  • Simplifies payment of shared bills
  • Makes it easy to share funds
  • Exposes all account holders to actions of one
  • May complicate tax filings and divorce proceedings
  • May impact benefits by inflating reportable assets

When you have a joint account with someone, their problems often become your problems. Bank fees like overdrafts are applied to a joint account balance regardless of who triggers them, and the creditors of another account holder can seize the balance by court order even if other account holders have no part in the debt. While some states may provide legal avenues for you to protect part of the balance from such action, that process is time consuming and potentially costly.

Joint Accounts Complicate Taxes, Divorce, and Benefits

Joint bank accounts may also complicate your tax situation. All owners of a joint account pay taxes on it. If the joint account earns interest, you may be held liable for the income produced on the account in proportion to your ownership share. Also any withdrawals exceeding $14,000 per year by a joint account holder (other than your spouse) may be treated as a gift by the IRS. This may subject you to gift tax.

If joint account holders are married, divorce can change how your joint account is handled. For instance, New York state law automatically dissolves a right of survivorship on a joint account between two divorced individuals. In other states, the account remains as is unless and until one or both account holders close the account or change the terms. This means a divorced couple could continue to have equal access to an account long after they intend to.

Finally, the funds in a joint account can potentially reduce your eligibility for benefits. This is because joint accounts can inflate individual assets beyond realistic measures. For example, if you hold a joint account together with your college-bound child, the funds in that account can count towards your child’s assets. These additional assets can reduce his/her eligibility for financial aid. The same can also be true of an elderly co-owner and their eligibility for Medicaid.


Updated October 20, 2020

Separate Bank Accounts

If you register your business under different legal names, it is best to also have a different bank account for each business name. This makes it easier to track income for each business.

Co-mingling accounts is not only risky because of the inability to properly track income, but it can also co-mingle the liability among each business. Because most business owners choose to open multiple DBAs to limit liability, this is defeating the entire purpose. Co-mingling funds can limit the ability to separate liabilities.

This does not apply to the act of separating different businesses under the same tax ID number. You do not need to have separate bank accounts unless you also have separate DBAs. Many banks do not even charge you to have separate bank accounts and doing so can make the accounting and tax process much easier.

Advantages of Separate Bank Accounts

In most cases, it makes sense for a business to open separate bank accounts with different DBAs. These are a few of the most common advantages:

  • Easier accounting process: You have two separate incomes and can plan accordingly.
  • Required: Many banks will require that separate businesses have different accounts.
  • More ability to evaluate the success of the business: When funds are separated, you can better identify profits, losses, and tax criteria.
  • Less liability: If you are sued or subpoenaed, it can be very tricky to manage with multiple DBA businesses on one bank account. Some states even have specific laws that require levies to use just the DBA bank name.

Umbrella Corporations

An umbrella company is a business that is created with the purpose of covering all the companies underneath it. If you have one umbrella corporation with many companies beneath it, it is possible to have one bank account that divides payment into the separate business groups.


A DBA is defined as a “doing business as” name. Registering a DBA means you are doing business in a name that is different from your own. Sole proprietorships and partnerships may choose to do business in their own name or in a DBA. A DBA is when the state allows you to operate under a different business name.

Before choosing a DBA name, it is important to check that it is available and that it does not violate anyone's patent or intellectual property rights. A DBA does not mean that a new business is formed. Instead, it just means that the same company is operating under the new name. Any business actions like selling stocks or selling the business cannot be conducted in the DBA name. These types of deals must include the legal name of the business.

Businesses Required to Have Separate Bank Accounts

Some businesses are required to have separate bank accounts. The following may require your business to have a separate account:

  • If your business is a separate legal entity
  • If you operate as an LLC or corporation

Businesses that are registered as a sole proprietorship or partnership are not required to have a DBA and thus, are also not required to have a separate bank account.

Having One Bank Account With Multiple DBAs

As long as it is not prohibited, you can legally have one bank account with multiple DBAs. Although it is generally not recommended, some business owners may find that it is the best decision for their setup. If you must have one bank account with multiple DBAs, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Place payment instructions and terms on the payment quote. Customers may be asked to recall their account number for better tracking purposes.
  • Create an organized sales ledger that carefully tracks the income of each DBA.
  • Keep detailed records in a cash book.

It is important to have a reliable bookkeeping process. If you are audited or sued, you will need to retrieve information in an organized way. Otherwise, it can get really messy, and you might be left paying more in taxes or liabilities than you would have with more than one bank account setup.

If you need help with multiple DBAs one bank account, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.



To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money-laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account, including business accounts. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. If you are opening an account on behalf of a business entity, documents relating to the business may also be requested.
Fill out the application below. Click here to fill out a personal account application.
You may also print out the PDF version of the business account application. Complete it at your convenience and fax it to us at (800) 735-4589 or mail it to us at:
California First National Bank
4 Executive Circle, Suite 120
Irvine, CA 92614

Business Account Application


how to open a joint business bank account

3 Replies to “How to open a joint business bank account”

  1. Can I get any INDIAN Mobile no I want to Know more information about PAYONEER how its works and other Plz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *