DBA Names And Checking Accounts

I paid a small fee to obtain a DBA (fictitious) business name over a year ago, but I’ve been too lazy to open a business checking account.

I work as a freelance web-designer on occasion and would now like to setup a business checking account where customers can write checks payable to my fictitious business name instead of to me personally.

I thought the process would be simple, but some banks are so stringent with rules, fees, etc. Many banks here in GA charge between $10-$35 in monthly fees if you don’t maintain an average daily balance of $1500 - $2500! (geez!) and some are even asking for a business license!

I don’t do a ton of business, but I guess I’ll have to pay the monthly fees if need be.

Should I be able to attach a DBA to a business checking account? I know a lot of this is specific to each state, but what other items do I need outside of the notarized copy of the DBA certificate?


A copy of your DBA cert should be enough and is usually a requirement (I’m surprised every bank didn’t ask you for one). I deal with this on a daily basis through my day job and have a business checking account myself. The banks do get you for extra fees which sucks but it comes with owning a business. Some banks are pretty lienient with minimum acc’t balances so shop around for one with the smallest one. If you’re a small prop, you may even be able to avoid a true business account and add your DBA to a personal checking account. Check out if you can do that and save yourself some money.

Try Compass Bank if you have one. It’s free (yes - even business checking) both of my accounts are at Compass.

Thanks for the information stymiee and bvarvel. No Compass Banks here, but I’ll look around for the lowest monthly fees. I’m starting to get deeper into my web-design work and I need this DBA attached to an checking account. Now all I need to do is dig out that notarized DBA cert.

I also checked into personal accounts where I could attach a DBA name and no luck so far. Most of the banks are saying that the account must be business.

Thanks again for the info.

Hey - I know it sucks having to pay fees and all, but I consider it a very inexpensive cost of doing business.

I pay $9 for my business account at Wachovia (I think there are plenty of those in your neck of the woods) and it works out great since my personal checking account is there too and I’m often depositing funds from the business to my personal acct.

I don’t know what other rules you’re running into, but I’ve opened a few business accounts in my time and unless you’re running a retail store or restaurant or some other business that typically needs other licenses, I wouldn’t think you’d have too much trouble. You’ve got your DBA which is in most cases required to open a business checking account, but you might want to check with your county clerks office and see if they require you to have anything else.

Good luck to you!


Bank fees are a part of life for a small business (until you grow bigger).

You can use your own checking account but it’s better no to co-mingle personal and business funds.

Perhaps you can open a mutual fund money market account in the business name instead? They usually don’t have fees.

like ravedesigns said, check with wacovia…they have the lowest fees i believe and i also dont think they require a minimum balance…you can get details of business checking accounts at there website, www.wacovia.com as well as search for a bank in your area.

Try your local Credit Union.

Thanks for the additional information.

There are a number of Wachovia branches around here and they do offer the more painless solution. $11/month won’t be too bad and I can totally eliminate it once I’m able to maintain a specific balance.

good to hear and good luck to you.


I’m in Georgia (US) and had to provide a copy of my business license when starting a bank account. If you have a DBA they’ll want that as well. It’s also a good idea to get a federal taxpayer ID number from the IRS… it’s free anyway.

I bank with SunTrust and pay about $11/month for maintenance fees. I’ve found a few really small banks that offer basic business accounts for free but I like the features I get with a bigger bank.

I get online banking, billpay, etc. and have no minimums. With online banking I can even look at scanned images of checks and deposit slips. I just click a “Download” button and all the transactions download into Quickbooks and reconcile automatically with my register.

Can’t get any easier than that! :slight_smile: Well worth $11/mo. IMHO.

Try Washington Mutual…