Can I Open a Business Bank Account Without My Partner? What You Need to Know About Joint Business Bank Accounts

8

Min Read

David Maina

Starting a business with a partner can be a rewarding experience. Not only do you have someone to help you manage the business, but you also have someone to share the burden (and profits) with.

However, before you can start reaping the benefits of having a partner, you need to establish some ground rules – and one of the most important is how you will handle your finances.

One option is to open a joint bank account. This can be a great way to streamline your finances and keep track of expenses, but it’s not without its risks.

In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about opening a joint bank account with your business partner.

Note: If you want to open a business bank account without your partner, try Bonsai Cash. Our online bank has no hidden fees or monthly minimum balance requirements. You'll also be able to create 'envelopes' or as many sub-accounts as you want. Try a new bank account today.

What is a Joint Bank Account? 

A joint bank account is a financial account that is owned by two or more people. Any of the account holders can deposit or withdraw money from the account, and all of the account holders are responsible for any debts incurred on the account.

Joint bank accounts are most commonly used by spouses or domestic partners, but they can also be used by business partners, family members, or friends.

That said, there are a few things to keep in mind before you open a joint bank account with someone. First, you need to trust the other person (or people) enough to give them access to your finances. Second, you need to be comfortable with sharing financial responsibility for the account.

And finally, you need to make sure that everyone understands the rules of the account – specifically, what happens if one person wants to withdraw money or close the account.

Can I open a business bank account without my partner?

In most cases, you can open a business bank account without your partner. But this depends on your operating agreement and the laws in your state. 

This also means that your partner can withdraw or deposit money without your knowledge or consent. So, it's important to have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities before you open an account.

Benefits of opening a joint business bank account

There are a number of advantages to opening a joint bank account for your business. Apart from helping you keep your business and personal finances separate, a joint business bank account can also help you with:

Consolidating your business funds in a single account

If you have a business partner, chances are you’re going to have multiple streams of income and expenses. A joint bank account allows you to consolidate all of these into a single place, making it much easier to track your financial progress and make strategic decisions about where to allocate your resources. For instance, if you have a shared business credit card, you can easily track expenses and keep an eye on your budget.

Each partners has equal rights to the business account

When you open a joint bank account, each partner will have an equal say in how the account is managed. This can be helpful if you need to make major financial decisions together, such as taking out a loan, investing in new equipment, or other business transactions.

Having equal access to a business account can also be helpful if one partner needs to cover an unexpected expense or if you need to transfer money quickly between partners.

You get extra deposit insurance

In the U.S., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides deposit insurance for most checking and savings accounts, protecting up to $250,000 per personal account. However, if you have a joint account with two people who are each insured for up to $250,000, your account will actually be insured for up to $500,000.

This can be a great way to safeguard your finances in the event that something goes wrong and your bank closes.

You’ll have a clear idea of what is happening with your finances:

If you and your business partner each have a separate bank account for the business, it can be difficult to track what is happening with your business finances. This becomes an even bigger headache if one person is handling all of the finances. By having a joint account, you can each see what is happening with the money and where it is going. This level of transparency is crucial for any business partnership.

You’ll have someone to help you with financial decision-making

When you’re running a business, there are going to be a lot of financial decisions that need to be made. Having a partner who is equally invested in the success of the business can be a huge help when it comes to making these decisions. You’ll have someone to bounce ideas off of and who can offer a different perspective on things.

Note: Reap all the benefits of a business bank account by trying Bonsai Cash. Our account does not require an application, has no hidden fees or monthly minimums and is free to set up with a Bonsai account. Open an account today.

Drawbacks of opening a joint business bank account

Of course, there are also some potential downsides to opening a joint bank account with your business partner. Let’s take a look at those now. 

Account mismanagement can be costly

If one partner mismanages the account or runs up a large debt, the other partners will be held responsible. This can put a strain on your relationship and may even lead to legal action.

It’s important that you trust your business partner implicitly. This is not a decision to be made lightly. If you have any doubts about your partner’s ability to manage money responsibly, it might be best to keep your finances separate and opening a separate business bank account.

There is minimal asset protection

If one of your partners runs up a large debt, the creditors may come after your joint account, leaving you in a difficult financial position. This is because all partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts of the business.

It’s important to note that this is not always the case, and it depends on the laws in your state. However, it is something to be aware of if you are considering opening a joint bank account with your business partner.

Dividing assets can be difficult when your business dissolves

If you have a joint account and the business is dissolved, you will need to figure out how to divide the assets. This can be a challenge if there are multiple partners involved.

It’s important to talk to your lawyer about this before you open a joint bank account so that you understand all of the potential risks and challenges.

Higher chances of error

If you have more than one person managing the account, there is a higher chance of errors being made. This can lead to bounced checks, late fees, and other issues.

It’s important to have systems and procedures in place to minimize the chances of errors being made. You should also have a plan for how to deal with them if they do occur. For example, you might want to have one person responsible for paying the bills each month. Or, you might want to set up alerts so that you are notified if there is unusual activity in the account.

As you can see, there are both pros and cons to opening a joint bank account with your business partner. You’ll need to weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision. If you do decide to open a joint account, be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your business.

Do I need a business license to open a joint business bank account?

In some cases, you don't need a business license to open a business bank account. But you will need to provide some documentation, such as your business formation documents, to the bank.

Do I need my partner's Social Security number to open a business bank account?

Yes, you will need your partner’s Social Security number to open a business bank account. This is because the IRS requires banks to collect this information for tax purposes.

How many partners can be on a joint business bank account?

The number of partners that can be on a joint business bank account varies from bank to bank. Typically, banks will allow up to four signers on a business checking or savings account.

Best online business bank account for virtual partners: Bonsai Cash 

Opening a bank account with most legacy banks can be a lengthy and tedious process. Not only do you have to deal with a lot of paperwork, but you also have to make visits to a physical branch. This can be a problem if you have business partners who live in different parts of the country or even in different parts of the world.

Bonsai Cash is an online bank that allows you to set up a business bank account and as many business sub-accounts without much hassle. In just a few minutes, you can set up an account that allows you to spend, save, and manage your business funds effortlessly.

Bonsai Cash is a great option for businesses with virtual partners because it offers:

Sign up for an account today.

David Maina
David is an experienced B2B financial copywriter, specializing in content related to accounting, financial planning, and small businesses. Over the years, he has helped fintech brands win more traffic and skyrocket conversions with engaging, long-form content. A nerdy interest in numbers, and passion for creative writing drives him to create financial content that's truly unique. You can reach him at financeandinsurancewriter.com

Join 500,000+ freelancers using Bonsai's free contracts & invoices.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Discover the integrated all-in-one software suite Bonsai.

Open a business account with no hidden fees or monthly minimums here.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.