Banking With Your Series LLC


We’ve seen a lot of challenges with banking, even in states where the Series LLC is legally recognized and has been in existence for years. Banks have very rigid rules about the documentation required to establish a bank account. The Series LLC, with its outside-the-box thinking and naming conventions doesn’t fit within those rules, especially when it comes to the Cells. The lack of filed Articles for the Cells is often a problem.

To get around this, you’ll want to do a few things. A good relationship with a business banker you deal with regularly is a good start. Business bankers are far more likely to be up on current business-related issues than personal bankers. Open the initial account under the Series LLC first, which does have a set of filed Articles. After that’s opened, then you can usually open the accounts for the Cells using a combination of the Series LLC’s incorporation number and the individual Cell’s Federal Tax Identification Number. Make sure you have copies of the Articles, Operating Agreements and Federal Tax ID number printouts with you when you go to open the account, so you can clearly show how the entities relate to each other.

If you find that your bank is stuck on the lack of Articles, or an incorporation number, a filed D/B/A/ application can be helpful. You will be assigned a number, and most banks are at least semi-familiar with setting up accounts using a D/B/A.

We’ve had good experiences with both large banks, like Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. We’ve had good experiences with smaller, local banks, although that can take more patience, while bank staff familiarize themselves with Series LLC law. If you are having trouble with your Series LLC’s bank account, we may be able to help. Drop us a line to customerservice@ustaxaid.com with a request for a banking referral.

Also, we’ve found from experience that you will need to keep your accounts together at the same bank. Opening the Series LLC’s account at one bank, and then attempting to open a subsidiary Cell account at another bank is often an exercise in frustration. Even with the paper trail, you may need patience.

There are many variables when you’re structuring a business. That’s why it’s hard to go through a quick-service website. Unless you talk to someone who’s got some knowledge and experience on both the tax and the legal side, it’s hard to know what you don’t know. And that can leave you vulnerable.

Got questions? Contact us! We’re here for you.

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