Note: We are not legal experts or tax preparation professionals, so always consult an accountant, tax prep professional, or attorney if you have concerns. This information is aimed at copywriters in the United States. Copywriters in other locations may find this information useful for determining what questions they need to ask and answer based on their country, region, or city.
When it comes to business bank accounts, the first step is knowing what you need to do based on your business structure.
If you’re an LLC or corporation, you need a business bank account in your business’s name. Since most copywriters operate as sole proprietors, we’re going to focus on that.
As a sole proprietor using your legal name, you do not legally need a separate business account. You do need to keep your personal and business expenses separate.
But, that doesn’t mean you need to open an account in your business’s name. You can simply open another account in your name and direct all client payments to that account, as well as use a debit card tied to that account for all business purchases.
You should still put a monthly reminder on your calendar to go through your personal bank accounts to make sure there are no business-related purchases. If there are, note them so come tax time you will be able to add them as deductions as appropriate.
The key when it comes to banking is to have all your personal banking in one place, and all your business banking in another place.
If you’re operating under a DBA, you’ll want a business account that allows you to cash checks clients make out to your business name. Your bank may allow you to add a DBA to a personal account versus a business account.
To open a business bank account (rather than a personal bank account you use for business), you’ll need your EIN and you may also need additional documents depending on your business structure and your bank’s requirements. Ask your bank what information and documentation you’ll need.
Regardless of which route you choose to go, business or personal, look for no-fee options. Depending on the bank, there may be perks with business accounts that we don’t need as copywriters, like a line of credit.
If you like the bank you use for personal banking, that’s the best place to start.
At the very least, you need a separate account to set money aside for tax payments. The last thing you want is to face paying taxes on all the income you made in a year all at once, and not having the money set aside to cover it.
If you’re accepting payments via PayPal, you’ll want one account for your personal transactions and one for your professional transactions.
For more tips, listen to the Build Your Business Copywriting podcast, episode 11. We talked with a bookkeeping pro, who shared her top tips for keeping your finances straight when running your own freelance copywriting business.
Your Turn! Have you opened a business bank account? Why or why not?