So you’ve officially launched your business, you have a LLC or some other entity. Either way, you’re legit. What is next?
To further separate you and your business you will likely want to open a business banking account. To open a business account you’re going to need an Employer Identification Number. Also known as an EIN. (It’s okay if you are only employing yourself)
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An EIN is the business equivalent of a social security number. Before you get intimidated at the prospect of applying for and getting an EIN, know that it’s actually pretty simple and easy.
First, you’ll need to go to the IRS website to apply.
It takes about 15 minutes to complete the process and you will not be able to save information and go back. So make sure you have the time to do the entire application when you start.
You will need to know the name of your business and the type of entity. If you have already established your business this won’t be a problem.
If you need an EIN to file your organizing papers with the state, make sure the name you want to use is available in your state. You may want to consider reserving the name to ensure it doesn’t get taken. Especially, if it will be a while before you actually file your organizing paperwork.. That way the business name for your EIN and legal entity registered with the state will match.
Once you have all your information gathered, the website walks you through step by step of the application. At the end you will be given your EIN.
It will look something like this: 12-3456789
Depending on the bank you may be able to open a business checking account online but it’s easiest to be able to go to a branch to open up the account.
Determining what business checking account will be right for you is going to depend on where you’re at with your business and in what direction you’re headed. Just remember that if you outgrow this account you can always move on, very little in business is permanent.
When you go to the bank to open the account you will need your EIN and proof of the business. The bank can typically look up proof of your approved business entity on the Secretary of State website or you can print out the approved articles of organization (or articles of incorporation depending on your entity) and take them with you.
The bank will likely also ask for your personal social security number to ensure you are creditworthy, particularly if your business doesn’t have a credit history. In just 20-30 minutes you should be able to leave the bank with a business checking account.
In total, how long it takes you to go from regular person to business entity owner with a business checking account and EIN, will most likely depend on how long it takes your Secretary of State to approve your entity. It could be weeks or just a day. After that it will likely take less than a day to get your EIN and open a business banking account.
Personally, I was able to submit and get my LLC approved in less than a day (submitted on Thursday, approved on Friday). That afternoon, I got my EIN and business banking account. By the end of Friday I was a business ready to do business. Yup, it's possible to have launched your business in just a day.
Have you separated yourself from you business, financially? Let me know in the comments!
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Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.