Business Bank Accounts and LLC...two part question!

10 replies
First I'm wondering if there are any free or otherwise fairly cheap ways of getting a business bank account. I'm with Suntrust and the last time I checked they want a minimum of 500 dollars to start and a minimum balance, etc. Any ways around this or anyone know of any banks that are small business friendly without having to jump through hoops or get a business license number, etc?

And any online services that can help me create an llc inexpensively? I think some local attorneys do it fairly cheap but didn't know if there was anything easy that I might have overlooked. I'm inexperienced in these matters and figured with all the expertise and experience around here maybe someone would have something to chime in? Thanks for any responses!
#accounts #bank #business #llctwo #part #question
  • Profile picture of the author jlt
    Hi, first I am not at all that experienced with this either but I do know a few things. I see you are in South Carolina which is the same state I am in.

    First, as far as the business bank account, I believe smaller community banks often offer better deals with business bank accounts. The best thing to do would be to shop around (first check out some local banks websites to see what they offer).

    As far as starting an LLC, much of the work can be done yourself and you do not need to hire an attorney for this. You can get a CPA if you like, but if you are wanting to go the inexpensive route you can just do it yourself.

    Starting a Small Business in SC

    Before getting started you may want to get a P.O Box from your local post office. Why? Well, I just like listing this when I must list an address for my business since I run things from my home office.

    You can check for post office boxes here below.

    You will need to complete the articles of organization and send these to the Secretary of State in South Carolina along with a $110.00 fee. The pdf is at the below link.

    You can get a Federal Tax ID from the below website.

    Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online

    You will also need to look into whether you need to obtain a local business license. These are usually fairly inexpensive I believe, but you can contact your local office to find out the price and necessary paperwork.

    As I said, I am not an expert with this by any means. I am actually in the process of forming an LLC but have a friend who is a lawyer helping me on the side. However, it can easily be done by yourself. She is mainly just looking over my shoulder to make sure everything looks in order.

    Hope this helps some.
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  • Profile picture of the author NYC SEO
    Check out harvardbusiness on Google they are fast and good and get you an account as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author EricBaglio
    I was also interested in starting an LLC. Thanks for the great info. This is a good start.

    "TAKE ACTION" is the first thing everyone tells you and then they leave it at that. I'll add a second part: TRACK EVERYTHING" - It's the only way to ensure your ACTION leads to results.

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  • Profile picture of the author OMGMarketingGroup
    Yea I'm planning on getting a PO as I have a few businesses I'll plan on running through my "marketing company" llc. Thanks for all the info!
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    • Profile picture of the author businessmatt
      Originally Posted by OMGMarketingGroup View Post

      Yea I'm planning on getting a PO as I have a few businesses I'll plan on running through my "marketing company" llc. Thanks for all the info!
      I recently incorporated a business and opened a business bank account, so I'm sure I can help you a bit.

      To incorporate, although it isn't necessary, I would highly recommend getting an accountant to help you through it. The main reason is, they will make sure you get it set up exactly how you want it. I registered my corp myself and I made one mistake that I now have to go back and fix. Not a big deal, but it's going to cost me another $50-$100.

      Once you are incorporated, you can open a business bank account in the corporation's name. I don't know what options they have where you live, but I know when I was looking into it I saw that ING has a no fee business chequing account in some states. Unfortunately for me it is not available in Canada, so I went with one of the major Canadian banks and they have a $10/month account. That's about the best I could find.

      One other thing to point out, the rules may be different where you live, but where I live you cannot have a PO box as the address of a corporation. I am sure you could still buy a PO box and have mail sent there, but that can't be the corporation's address.

      Good luck!

      When life gives you lemons, at least you don't get scurvy.

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  • Profile picture of the author marketingva
    LegalZoom also does incorporations and LLC's!


    Magic Wand Author Services helps writers polish their manuscripts and connect to readers.

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    • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
      Let me let you guys in on a really big secret!

      You can get corporate, LLC, trust, or other entity banking at a CREDIT UNION!

      Not all credit unions do it, but some of them only do sole proprietorships of their members. Some will do partnerships as long as all the members of the partnership are members of the credit union.

      Here is one that will do corporate and LLC:

      Digital Federal Credit Union.

      They require that all the owners be eligible to join.

      Not eligible? No big deal! You can join a non-profit entity they sponsor, and that will MAKE you eligible.

      Why should you jump through these hoops?

      1. Opening balance for any member, including corporate or LLC, is $5.00. Yes, FIVE dollars!

      2. Once you have the share (savings) account open, you are free to also open a share draft (checking) account. Minimum to open? I don't remember what it is now, but it used to be zero dollars, just request it and put money in later as needed as long as you had that five dollars in the share account.

      3. No monthly fees in many cases!

      4. In the event there happens to be monthly fees, they are WAY CHEAPER than almost any bank on the planet!

      5. They issue debit cards with a logo, either MasterCard or Visa, if you need one and are eligible.

      6. They have internet banking, so you can keep up to date and view your account daily or even hourly if necessary.

      Where are they located? In Massachusetts. But that doesn't matter, as you can open the account by mail by going to their website, printing the forms, sending in what they need, and then they send you back your checks and other things.

      OK. By now you are probably saying, "But I don't live in Massachusetts and I don't plan to go there anytime soon."

      That's OK. They are a member of what's called "shared branching".

      Shared Branching is a system where, whenever one credit union is a member, they process transactions for all the other shared branching member credit unions. In other words, your credit union can be in Massachusetts, and you can be in Washington, DC, standing in the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, and still get your DCU transactions done at the counter. Or you can be in Houston, Texas, standing at the counter of United Energy Credit Union and STILL get your Digital Federal Credit Union transactions done. The only downside to this is, sometimes the shared branching computer goes down. But I think it goes down about once or twice every 2 or 3 months or so! Just come back later, or go to a different credit union at a later time.

      Beats the pants off of Chase and Wells Fargo and all the others with their $12 to $15 per month fees!

      Oh, by the way, did I mention that some of their accounts pay interest???

      If you have incorporated, they will need to see a copy of your Articles Of Incorporation that the state you filed in issued you when you filed. If you filed an LLC, then they'll need that paperwork. Plus they will need the account opening forms filled out.

      In order to do business with them you will need an Employer ID number issued to your entity. Not a problem to get one, you can get one for free @ if you do not already have one. The EIN is the corporate version of a Social Security Number, and although it says "employer" on the form, it's another form of tax ID number and it's the number most businesses use in place of SSN if they are dealing with a business instead of a natural breathing living person.

      Go to their website and have a look around. The forms to fill out and send in for opening an account are right there, available for download in PDF format.

      By the way, DCU is OK with using a PRIVATE mailbox for your corporate or LLC address. I don't know if they are OK with post office box or not, as I didn't ask them. PRIVATE mailbox = UPS Store, Postnet, or other business along the same lines that receives mail for you (among other services).

      In the many years I have been a member, I have never--not even once--set foot inside Digital Federal Credit Union. I came close one time when I was visiting Colorado Springs some years ago, but it wasn't necessary, and they have since closed that branch.

      This credit union offers credit cards, car loans, home loans, computer loans, and just about every other product or service a bank offers. But they are a lot more reasonable in a lot of ways than most banks. And although they offer the credit cards to businesses, they have more stringent rules than most places. Back when banks were issuing business credit cards to any corporate officer who could fog a mirror, they actually wanted to see 2 years of tax returns for the business. But then again, some of those same banks that were throwing out credit cards to every business out there are no longer standing, have gone under during the past few years. And DCU is still standing.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Well you can get a business license and open up a business account in many banks.

    However, I suggest you talk to a lawyer or accountant before rushing to get an LLC. You need to find out which would be best for you. Usually an LLC will cost more to set up than an S-Corp.
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    • Profile picture of the author OMGMarketingGroup
      Thanks for the great posts so far!

      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Well you can get a business license and open up a business account in many banks.

      However, I suggest you talk to a lawyer or accountant before rushing to get an LLC. You need to find out which would be best for you. Usually an LLC will cost more to set up than an S-Corp.
      I know I need limited liability. Guess I'll have to read up a bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author MattSanti
    Go to a credit union that is business friendly. I opened an account with my local credit union, got approved for a $5000 Line of Credit in the business name, not my name (although I personally had to guarantee the funds would be paid even if the business failed) and opened up an account for a whopping $5.

    There are no monthly minimums I have to keep up in the account. Stay away from big banks. They'll just gouge you ala Bank of America Style.
    Clickbank InfoProduct website for sale: Online Memory Improvement Video Course. PM me with questions.
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