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Choosing a corporate bank account is an important financial decision for any business — large or small. Bank accounts for businesses are typically savings accounts used for revenues and checking accounts used for operating expenses, accounts payable and payroll. Before you begin looking for a corporate bank account, determine what you will need — savings, checking or both. When researching banks for your business account, consider the requirements for applying for an account, interest rates, and additional fees. Also, the bank’s size, reputation and support for your type of business can be important considerations when selecting the appropriate bank account. For startup and growing businesses, special programs with incentives for opening accounts can be a very attractive option that some banks may offer.
One the most important considerations when choosing a corporate bank account may be the requirements for obtaining the account. Requirements typically vary depending upon your locale, but generally include documents for proof of business, proof of identity, an official company seal and corporate resolutions. Sometimes banks also require a registered government business number; in the US, this is called an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Proof of business for most corporations is the Article of Incorporation, or Article of Organization if your business is a partnership or proprietorship. Corporate resolutions typically are required to provide the bank with a set list of employees who will deal with the bank account on a regular basis. Also, keep in mind that some banks might require your company have an excellent, established credit history, which may be difficult for a startup or newer business.
Other important points to consider are interest rates and account fees. Interest rates vary in different locales and with different banks but are generally available over the phone or on a bank's website. Some accounts also come with additional fees, such as those for transactions, overdraft and transferring funds. For small businesses, an accumulation of too many fees might become counterproductive and increase overhead expenses.
The size of the bank may be important because it can affect the level of customer support and extra services offered by the bank. Smaller banks typically have basic services for their customers and often are not able to provide the support for a startup or growing company. Conversely, larger banks with good, solid reputations in the industry generally have more range and flexibility in their financial products and services. Oftentimes, large banks have extra services such as credit lines and online banking available to customers with a corporate bank account. These services can normally be customized for the specific needs of your business and usually can be adapted over time as the needs of the business change.
Also, consider banks that have special programs for certain types of businesses such as startups or small businesses. To motivate customers to signup for or upgrade accounts, banks might give incentives such as higher interest rates for savings accounts or additional fee waivers. These types of deals are typically made available during special promotional times, so you might want to take advantage of such a deal if you come across one. When doing so, however, keep in mind that normal rates and fees will typically apply when the promotion expires.
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