A few weeks ago, I had some free time on a Saturday and decided to take care of a chore I’ve been procrastinating for several months. I’m slowly in the process of formalizing the blogging that I do as an official business. Every few months or so, I take another step that brings me closer to being where I want to be with the organization of my blogging-related activities.
So far, I have an employer tax ID number and I have incorporated in the state of New Jersey, but as of a few weeks ago, I did not have a business bank account.
As I’ve been a long-time customer of Wachovia due to a series of mergers and acquisitions, I started my research with the brick-and-mortar establishment with which I was the most familiar. My biggest concerns in a business checking account are simply low balance requirements and no fees. I’d like to be able to keep most of my business funds in a high-yield savings account.
Wachovia has an account that meets my criteria, so I spent some time talking with one of their customer relations managers. It took around 15 minutes to open the account, during which time she asked about the nature of my business and my financial transactions to ensure that I am not a terrorist and that the account type I chose was appropriate.
It’s a very simple checking account. I received free sets of checks, though they are the same size as personal checks. The account typically has a minimum balance and average balance requirement of several thousand dollars, but these are waived for the life of the account.
Strangely, there is a deposit limit of $5,000. I find this strange as the bank should want to encourage more deposits. This is acceptable for now; most of my deposits will go to a savings account while the checking account will carry only what is necessary for sending payments.
While discussing the account options and trying to avoid a very annoying fly in the office, the financial services associate copied my business declaration, I filled out the application forms, and my account was opened immediately. I scheduled an electronic deposit for the following Monday.
The entire process took place smoothly and quickly. Now I am another step closer to making my side business more “official.” I might as well continue down this path; this side business is earning me more than my day job. (And I’m knocking on wood that will continue.)
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published September 6, 2007.