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What Information Does a Bank Need to Open a Bank Account?

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In the United States, all banks are required to “Known Your Customer” (called “KYC” in the banking industry) by the feds. You can learn more about this concept.

Every bank has it’s own policies in an attempt to meet these federal requirements, but in general a bank will need at least the following to open a bank account in the United States:

  • Stamped Articles (i.e. Certificate of Formation + Articles of Incorporation (for Corporations) or Articles of Organization (for LLC’s))
  • Formation Documents (i.e. Operating Agreement (for LLC) or Bylaws + Stock Certificates (for Corporations))
  • Federal Employee Identification Number (or FEIN)
  • Show up personally at a branch to actually open up your first account

Do you have to open up a bank account in the state where you form the LLC? No.

What do you need to obtain a FEIN for the LLC? The IRS requires a “Responsible Party,” who owns or controls the LLC. This Responsible Party must possess and disclose either a SSN, ITIN or FEIN.

The bank wants my personal information. Won’t this destroy any anonymity? No. The bank account should be OWNED by the LLC, and you will just be a SIGNER. All of this is supposed to be held confidentially by the bank.

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