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What Is Needed to Open a Business Bank Account in California

The Golden state continues to be a popular place to live and work. California boasts 4.2 million small businesses, which make up 99.8% of all businesses in the state. If you've started your own business or are thinking about it, know that it's important to keep your own business funds separate from your personal finances helps you stay organized and focus on your business priorities, and as an added bonus helps to protect your personal assets too. So, what exactly do you need to know? Read on!

Businesswoman typing order while on phone with a client.

How Do Requirements Vary by Business Type

Your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, etc.) makes a big difference when it comes to the different requirements your business is subject to and what documents are needed for different tasks, including opening a business account.

Sole proprietorships use either the owner's Social Security number (SSN) or an employer identification number (EIN) and have less distinction between personal and business funds and assets than other business types. You also will have an operating agreement or corporate bylaws if your business is set up as an LLC or corporation. There are many tax and legal implications to consider when choosing a business structure, so carefully consider how your business' operations (and yourself as the owner) might be impacted by state and federal laws. Find more information on business structure and other things to consider from the IRS.

Reach out to your bank to learn about specific requirements for opening a business bank account once you've decided the type and size of your business. Requirements can vary based on your business structure, what type of account you want to open, and what bank you choose.

What Do You Need to Open a Business Bank Account

Opening a business checking account allows you to deposit funds, process payroll, pay for expenses by check, and much more. Typically, opening a business checking account requires:

  • Your EIN or SSN
  • The legal name of your business
  • Your business' DBA (doing business as) name, if it's different from the legal name
  • Two sets of documentation:
    • Legal formation verification including:
      • A copy of your business license or business license number
      • Print out from the Secretary of State verifying active status of your business
    • Formation documents such as:
      • Articles of Incorporation
      • Operating Agreement
      • Articles of Organization
      • Meeting Minutes

What Documents Are Required to Open a Business Savings Account

A business savings account helps separate your daily operating expenses from funds you'd like to use in the future. Depending on the bank you choose, you may also be able to earn interest, which can be invested back into your business. The requirements for opening a business savings account are the same as the requirements for a business checking account (listed above). Check with your bank to learn more.

Consider WaFd Bank for Your Business Banking

Small businesses are generally defined as companies with fewer than 500 employees. There are now 7.1 million small business employees powering California companies. WaFd Bank is here to help business continue to grow and boost the local economy, such as creating jobs. WaFd Bank is a regional bank providing business banking solutions so you can easily manage finances and focus on growing your business. A variety of services and tools we offer can help you get your business off the ground (or to the next level) including:

At WaFd Bank, we want to make things as simple as possible so you can focus on building a successful business. Find your local WaFd Bank branch to learn more or open a business bank account online today!


Find your local WaFd Bank Branch


Find your local WaFd Bank Branch

We're nearby, and we'll sit down with you and answer any questions you may have.