Have you ever seen someone lose everything they own when their business is in trouble? It is very easy to do this when you conduct an LLC in Michigan. You see, when you start a business, you create an entity with a life of its own. Not only can it enter contracts, but it can also transact. As far as the law goes, this is a being on its own that has minimal ties to you. Therefore, if the business incurs debts or gets into financial trouble, these company’s liabilities and debts fall on it. The court is free to sell its assets to get the money to pay off people to whom the business owes money. That should be the natural order of things if you follow the right procedures as you start an LLC in Michigan.
However, sometimes, people make the mistake of mixing business and personal finances by operating one account. It makes it harder for anyone to understand what they can take and what they should leave behind. Thus, if you get into legal trouble, the court is at liberty to take everything and can leave you financially devastated. Going down this rabbit hole is easy, and many people have borne the brunt of this oversight by not having a bank account for a Michigan LLC. To help you get your ducks in a row, we will cover how you can avoid this mistake and open a business checking account in this article.
What is a Business Bank Account?
Your safety as a business owner lies in having a clear divide between what you do personally and what your company does. If this line is not clear and seems blurry, you create a gray area that other people can exploit as a loophole and leave you in financial distress. Before even starting your operations, you must decide how you will handle your LLC business funds going forward. It not only means who will handle them but also where you will keep them. You cannot have them mixed with what you have set aside for personal use. Instead, you must create a separate account for your business which you can use for daily or frequent transactions as well as for saving. If ever you are in legal woes, the court will know what it can touch and what it cannot. Otherwise, it will be hard to justify why you should keep what you already have prior to starting the business.
What are the Benefits of Opening a Separate Bank Account?
Filling in more paperwork may not only feel time-consuming but you may also think of it as an unnecessary expenditure. Should you bother doing it? Yes, and here are some compelling reasons to get you excited about opening a business checking account:
- A clear separation: Once you can prove that your assets are not tied with the company, it becomes harder for people to access what you have earned. Otherwise, when you mix these monies, you weaken your personal liability protection. If you end up in legal trouble, creditors and other parties can have an easier time coming after your belongings and can leave you in financial distress.
- Professionalism: When people realize that you have a clear divide and you get a business bank account, they feel more confident about working with you. This look is especially important when forming an organization where you want to attract investors, creditors, and partners who can help you expand your operations. They can take one look at your books and feel that they can resonate with the way you do business. Otherwise, they will shy away from working with you and prefer to work with other businesses instead where they can feel safer about their money.
- Access to more money: Did you know that a clear divide makes it easier to access higher loan limits? Without it, it might be hard to justify some loan applications. But with a thriving business, you can always get a higher limit to help you expand your operations, sometimes even without collateral.
- Easier math: If you are not busy trying to understand what belongs where, you have an easier time doing the math for bookkeeping and tax purposes. Plus, if you hire someone to deal with the books, you will not end up paying them an arm and a leg. Everything will be clear when you open an online checking account, which will make even tax accounting easy.
How should you choose a bank?
Like you would when making any vital decision, you must do some research on the best options available to you. Look into:
- The ease of finding bank branches and access to ATMs. This point is especially useful if you like one-on-one interactions and require talking to the customer service often. Also, look at the distance you need to travel to get physical access and consider its convenience or lack thereof.
- Whether you can get online access options
- How much you will pay for each transaction when depositing customer payments and if there are options to reduce the costs. Also, look at the overall charges and ATM fees.
- If you have an existing banking relationship with the institution. If you do, you will have an easier time accessing offers.
- How other customers feel about the customer care and if you are comfortable with that level of service.
How to Open a Business Bank Account in Michigan?
All institutions have different requirements for opening a bank account and once you have narrowed your choices to a few, you can contact each bank’s local branch and understand what they require. Ideally, you will need to provide:
- A copy of your registration paperwork (LLC formation documents)
- Your business tax ID
- IDs of the signatories who should be present during the opening
- An operating agreement or resolution to open a bank account for your Michigan LLC with authorization from members of your business
Best Business Checking Accounts for Michigan LLCs
Your Michigan LLC business needs will ultimately determine the best choice for you. You can start by considering some of the best banks for small business in Michigan which include:
With a large network of branches and ATMs, this bank offers its customers premium service, low monthly account fees, and generous sign-up bonuses for opening a new small business checking account. Additionally, it offers a bevy of services, enabling it to be the go-to, regardless of whether you want a checking, saving, or credit account. Plus, for small businesses that require credit to scale, this is a good option. It progressively increases loan amounts, enabling you to target an even bigger audience.
Anyone looking for a partner that can help them effectively manage their business from one point can consider this option. Business owners often tout it as the best small business banking in Michigan. It features a variety of account options and allows clients to make as many electronic deposits as they wish. Also, clients can reduce their operating fees by maintaining the required minimum daily balance. It helps that it has Chase branches all across the state of Michigan.
This bank, which started as a teachers’ credit union, has since evolved to be one of the best banks in the state. It does not require a minimum balance to maintain and does not charge check fees. Moreover, it allows clients to effect wire transfers at no cost which is a huge advantage to business owners. The fact that it also offers bookkeeping features and financial tools makes it a very good option.
Starting an LLC is one of the best decisions you can make in business. The other great decision you can make is safeguarding your corporate veil by separating your finances and opening an online business checking account for an LLC.