Saturday, March 29, 2008

Patriot Act Causing Problems Opening a Business Bank Account?

Not a problem I was aware of until I read the Enjoy Every Sandwich blog's Proving We're Not Terrorists - Day 6. (I assume that is a Warren Zevon reference in the blog's name and if so, it is a great one especially if you read the rest of the blog.)

We only wanted to open a simple business checking account. Stop in at the bank, transfer some funds from one account to this new account. Sign a couple papers. There 'ya go.

There we went, right out the front door, told that we have to prove that we're really a business and not terrorists trying to launder money around the world.

"How do we prove we're really a business? Well the bank wasn't very good at understanding that part of it. This morning we're going to stop in again and we're bringing everything: state sales tax license; a letter from the borough and the local tax collector; business cards and stationary; an invitation to visit our Web site; driver's license; social security card; and my Goofy Goober Ice Cream Club membership card just to make sure."
That I never counsel clients to start a business except as a corporation or a limited liability company may explain why I have never heard of this problem. If anyone else has similar experiences, please use the comment function below to let us know about them.

As I wrote above, every business owner needs to protect themselves from liability. A husband and wife business needs protection even more than most.

Remember that if you are starting a business in Indiana, you should give me a call.