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Chapter
1

Do I need a business bank account?

Freelancers, it’s time to toss the imposter syndrome and see yourself as you really are: a business owner. 

And business owners use business bank accounts—but according to American Banker’s Future of Small Business Banking report, a full 30% of all small business owners are only somewhat satisfied with their primary banking institution. ‍

So how do you, as a freelancer, avoid this fate and find a bank account that checks all the boxes? 

The answer: By approaching your search for a business bank account methodically and going through the process step by step.‍

In this playbook, you’ll get an actionable checklist, feature rating template, bank evaluation rubric, and more—all of which you can view in the workbook. Feel free to start small by making a copy of the workbook so you can put pen to paper when the time comes.

Heads up: Deciding on a bank and setting it up can take time, but depending on your decision-making process and the bank you choose, you can get it done quickly in a pinch. Some banks approve your application in as little as a day. Others take 3–5+ business days to get going. Digital banks are usually faster.

Before we dive in, remember why you are getting into this: ‍

💡 You’ve reached an exciting milestone in your business. Congrats! The fact that you need a business bank account shows you’re growing.

💡 Despite the fact that you and your business are entwined, you want to separate business and personal finances. As the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) concisely states: “this makes it easier to keep records”.

💡 You want to start planning for the future, so you’re after a bank account that’s right for present you and future you. (Yes, you can change your accounts as you evolve, but thinking it through now will create less work for future you)‍

The process of choosing the right account has a few key steps, each of which we’ll dive into more as we make our way through the playbook:

  • Clarify your needs. What do you need from a bank account? We’ll figure that out together.

  • Efficiently evaluate options based on your needs. We’ll break this into smaller, bite-sized steps so you can pick the right account without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Quickly set up your account. When you make it to this step, you’ve already done the heavy lifting. Congrats!

  • Make the account work for you. Leverage its perks at every bend.

Off to the races!

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