What Do You Need to Open a Bank Account? Answered

Short Answer: To open a bank account, you’ll typically need a Social Security number, a physical U.S. address, and a minimum deposit. Requirements vary by bank and account type; checking, business, and savings accounts all have different requirements. For detailed information on what you need to open a bank account at some of the most popular banks, see below.

In This Article

What Do You Need to Open a Checking Account?

At each of the following banks, the online application to open a checking account is said to take between five and 10 minutes. After which time, you can use the account right away. Keep in mind that in order to open an account online, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number or tax ID and your address. None of the banks we contacted would open an account without this information.

If you would prefer to open an account in person, you should contact your local bank branch and set up an appointment. You’ll still need to bring the forms of ID listed here, as well as any other necessary information.

Looking for banks that will let you open a checking account with no minimum deposit? See our related article for details.

Ally Bank

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit required, but you’ll need to deposit at least $0.01 within 30 days or your account will be closed.
  • What you need to apply: A U.S. residential street address, legal name, and birth date
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must provide the same information specified above.
  • Open an Ally checking account online; Ally does not have any physical locations where you can open an account in person

Bank of America

  • Minimum deposit: $25 to $100, depending on the type of checking account. Deposits can be funded with a debit card or by adding the account and routing number of another bank account in your name; other payment methods may be available when you apply in person.
  • What you need to apply: Physical U.S. address, phone number, and email address
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number
  • Minimum age: 18 to open an account online; 16 to open an account in person
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicants must apply together either online, over the phone, or in person.
  • Open a Bank of America checking account online; find a Bank of America branch near you

BB&T

  • Minimum deposit: Depends on the type of checking account; minimum deposits are typically $50. Deposits can be funded with a debit card, check, or account number of another bank account in your name; other payment methods may be available when you apply in person.
  • What you need to apply: Phone number, email address, and physical U.S. address; you must reside in one of the states where BB&T has a physical location.
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number and a valid government-issued ID
  • Minimum age: Varies by state
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must provide his/her Social Security number and driver’s license number.
  • Open a BB&T checking account online; find a BB&T branch near you

Capital One

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit required, but the account must be funded with at least $1 within 60 days or it will be closed.
  • What you need to apply: Physical U.S. address or valid military address (APO or FPO) and email address
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must provide the same information specified above.
  • Open a Capital One checking account online; find a Capital One branch near you

Charles Schwab

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit required
  • What you need to apply: Physical U.S. address and current bank account information, including the account routing number if you want to make a deposit
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number, driver’s license, or passport
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must provide his/her Social Security number and driver’s license.
  • Open a Charles Schwab checking account online; find a Charles Schwab branch near you

JPMorgan Chase

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit required, but if there is no account activity for more than 45 days, it will be deactivated.
  • What you need to apply: Two forms of ID
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number, driver’s license, and/or state ID
  • Minimum age: 13 if linked to a parent or guardian’s account; 17 if a college student with proof of student status; 18 for all other checking accounts
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must verify joint status at a physical branch; he/she must also present two forms of ID.
  • Open a Chase checking account online; find a Chase branch near you

Wells Fargo

  • Minimum deposit: $25. Deposits can be funded with a debit card, check, or account number of another bank account in your name; other payment methods may be available when you apply in person.
  • What you need to apply: Two forms of ID
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number and driver’s license or state ID
  • Minimum age: 13 for a teen checking account with a parent or guardian as the co-applicant; 18 for all other checking accounts
  • Joint account requirements: Teen checking account applicants and their parent or guardian must visit a local branch; other joint applicants will need to provide the same information specified above.
  • Open a Wells Fargo checking account online; find a Wells Fargo branch near you

What Do You Need to Open a Business Bank Account?

Opening a business bank account is much more complicated than opening a personal bank account — and it can take some time to get things set up. Be sure to pay attention to each bank’s business banking requirements and, if you have any questions, contact the bank and ask to speak with a business banking associate.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank does not offer a business checking account (as previously reported). For details, see our article.

Bank of America

  • Minimum deposit: $100 or more, depending on the type of business account
  • What you need to apply: After filling out an application, you’ll need to email or fax the following documents to Bank of America: business documentation (filing documents, article of incorporation, article of organization, etc.), business tax ID, name and address of business, state(s) in which the business was formed and currently operates, date the business was established, and address and date of birth of business owner(s).
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number of the business owner/applicant and the business tax ID
  • Minimum age: None specified
  • Joint account requirements: During the application process, you’ll need to add any joint applicant’s information. A signature card will be mailed to the joint applicant and he/she must fill it out and return it along with the above-listed business documents.
  • Apply for a Bank of America business account online

BB&T

  • Minimum deposit: $50 to $100
  • What you need to apply: Business owner/applicant’s date of birth, personal address, and percentage of the business owned; also, the business tax ID, business incorporation details and issue date, business address, current bank account information, and stock exchange/ticker symbol if the business is publically traded
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number and valid government-issued ID of the business owner/applicant and the business tax ID
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicants must supply all of the information specified above and must also be legally authorized to conduct transactions on behalf of the business.
  • Apply for a BB&T business account online

Capital One

Capital One is not currently accepting new business account applicants, as of the time of this writing.

Charles Schwab

To open a Schwab One Organization brokerage account for business checking purposes, it’s recommended that you visit a Charles Schwab location. This type of account can’t be opened online, and all applications must be mailed in, faxed, or brought to your nearest branch.

  • Minimum deposit: $250,000 in total assets
  • What you need to apply: The application and required documents to open an account are extensive. You’ll need to provide: the business name, business tax ID, information about the business’ professional activity, business investment profile, liquid net worth, investment objective, source of funds, purpose of opening an account, personal address, business title (chief executive officer, chief financial officer, president, etc.) business address, and signature verification.
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number of the person applying and the business tax ID
  • Minimum age: None specified
  • Joint account requirements: All of the above information must be submitted for authorized individuals, control persons, and those who own more than 10% of the company.
  • Download an application online; find a Charles Schwab location near you

For more details on business banking options at Charles Schwab, see our dedicated article.

JPMorgan Chase

  • Minimum deposit: None
  • What you need to apply: Depends on the type of business you have (sole proprietorships, LLC, corporation, etc.), but, generally, you’ll need to provide the business owner/applicant’s personal address, date of birth, Social Security number or business tax ID, country of citizenship, and, when applicable, business information like the article of organization or certificate of formation.
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number and driver’s license or state ID of the business owner/applicant
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: All of the above information must be submitted for each authorized user and those who own at least 10% of the business.
  • Apply for a Chase business account online

Wells Fargo

  • Minimum deposit: $25
  • What you need to apply: Depends on the type of business you have; for a list of the documents you’ll need to apply, visit Wells Fargo’s Required Documents page. You’ll also need your U.S. state of territory business registration information.
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number and valid driver’s license or state ID of the business owner/applicant and the business tax ID
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: All of the above information must be submitted for every individual who directly or indirectly owns 25% or more of the business.
  • Apply for a Wells Fargo business account online

What Do You Need to Open a Savings Account?

At most of the following banks, you can open a savings account and a checking account at the same time — or you can choose to open just a savings account. Online applications to open a savings account are said to take between five and 10 minutes. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number or tax ID and a physical address. None of the banks we contacted would open an account without this information.

If would you prefer to open an account in person, you should contact the bank branch and set up an appointment. You’ll still need to bring the forms of ID listed here, as well as any other necessary information.

Ally Bank

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit is required, but you’ll need to deposit at least $0.01 within 30 days or your account will be closed.
  • What you need to apply: A U.S. residential street address, legal name, and birth date
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicants must provide the same information specified above.
  • Open an Ally savings account online; Ally does not have any physical locations where you can open an account in person

Bank of America

  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • What you need to apply: Physical U.S. address, phone number, and email address
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number
  • Minimum age: 18 to open an account online; 16 to open an account in person
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicants must apply together either online, over the phone, or in person.
  • Open a Bank of America savings account onlinefind a Bank of America branch near you

BB&T

  • Minimum deposit: $0 to $10,000. Deposits can be funded with a debit card, check, or account number of another bank account in your name; other payment methods may be available when you apply in person.
  • What you need to apply: Phone number, email address, and physical U.S. address; you must reside in one of the states where BB&T has a physical location.
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number and a valid government-issued ID
  • Minimum age: Varies by state
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must provide his/her Social Security number and driver’s license number.
  • Open a BB&T savings account online; find a BB&T branch near you

Capital One

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit required, but the account must be funded with at least $1 within 60 days or it will be closed.
  • What you need to apply: Physical U.S. address or valid military address (APO or FPO) and email address
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicants must provide the same information specified above.
  • Open a Capital One savings account online; find a Capital One branch near you

Charles Schwab

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit required
  • What you need to apply: Physical U.S. address and current bank account information, including the account routing number if you want to make a deposit
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number, driver’s license, or passport
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must provide his/her Social Security number and driver’s license.
  • Open a Charles Schwab savings account online; find a Charles Schwab branch near you

JPMorgan Chase

  • Minimum deposit: No minimum deposit required, but if there is no account activity for more than 45 days, it will be deactivated.
  • What you need to apply: Two forms of ID
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number, driver’s license, and/or state ID
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must verify joint status at a physical branch; he/she must also present two forms of ID.
  • Open a Chase savings account online; find a Chase branch near you

Wells Fargo

  • Minimum deposit: $25.  Deposits can be funded with a debit card, check, or account number of another bank account in your name; other payment methods may be available when you apply in person.
  • What you need to apply: Two forms of ID
  • Forms of identification: Social Security number and driver’s license or state ID
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Joint account requirements: Joint applicant must provide the same information specified above.
  • Open a Wells Fargo savings account online; find a Wells Fargo branch near you

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