Banking and checking account tips for writers

March 6th, 2019 → 10:00 am @



A writing business needs its own checking account! Here are some answers to tricky banking questions:

Do I need a separate checking account for my business?

Yes; Do not mix business and personal expenses. Don’t “muddy the waters.” If you are audited and have co-mingled your business with your personal expenses, the IRS will start looking into your personal expenses as well as your business. So it’s best to keep them separate.

How can I open a business checking account?

First, get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. Go to and search for EIN. Your can apply online and it’s free. Then open a business checking account at your local bank using the EIN instead of your social security number. Most writers use their name as the business name to avoid having to file for a Doing Business As name registration.

I don’t have any income from writing yet. How can I open a separate checking account for the writing business?

Open your business checking account by transferring in money from your personal checking account and call it a loan. I recommend a round dollar amount such as $100 or $500, so it is easy to recognize on your bank statement and to remember. When your business is profitable, repay yourself from the business account. The loan and the repayment are not taxable exchanges.

 Should I have two separate checking accounts for two separate businesses?

If the businesses are very different (i.e. no shared customers or expenses), then have two separate accounts.

For more tips on money, taxes and the business of writing, order my book Business Tips and Taxes for Writers  today.


Carol Topp, CPA is the author of Business Tips and Taxes for Writers.

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3 Comments → “Banking and checking account tips for writers”

  1. Susan Evans

    12 years ago

    This was very helpful; thank you. I didn’t know that I could get an employer identification number. I haven’t opened a business account because after 2 years, I’m still not in the black, and I need any money that comes in to pay bills. But next year should be different because now that my book is printed and my DVD’s and CD’s are produced, my expenses should be much lower next year.

  2. […] “Banking Mistakes Writers Make“-Did you know that when you publish a book, you should open up a separate checking account that is only used for your book expenses? Do you know what legal actions you will need to take before you open up that business account? How will you get the money to open the account? Once you read this post you will know. […]

  3. Elisabeth Southgate

    5 years ago

    I like how you said that if you have two very different business you should set up to separate accounts. My husband and I are looking into setting up an account for our little side business. It is nice to know that if we branch off into different areas, we will need to open up another account.