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What Documents are Required For Opening A Current Account 

5 min read

documents for current accounts

Written By

Brandi Marcene

Opening a current bank account is important for almost everyone, whether you run a business or want to do individual monetary transactions. Whether you're handling personal finances or running a company, having a current account offers numerous benefits and opportunities. However, opening a bank account is a challenging process.

A bank is a licensed financial institution that accepts checking and savings deposits and provides loans and offers. They provide services like IRAs, CDs, currency exchange, and safe deposit boxes. One important service they provide is current account banking. But what exactly does a current account offer, and what documents are needed to open one? Let's find out more about it!

Documents Required For Opening A Current Account

To open a bank account, you need special personal documentation. The current account opening documents require you to verify your identity and ensure compliance with banking regulations. It's crucial to gather these documents before starting the account opening process to streamline the procedure.

Thebest time to open your first bank account is before the transactions begin. This is because, by the time cash starts to move, you will have an account to help them manage it. Here are the methods with the documents and things required to open a current account.

Identification

This means that the banking company would need your identity proof for identification purposes. Identity proof means you are a citizen of the state, and ID is required. This means that you're a resident and a person who lives in the country and wants to have a business account. If your ID card is not available, then bring out the government letter and tell them that your ID card has gone for renewal.

Not only that but when you open a bank account, you will need to provide your Social Security number (SSN) as part of the application process. If you go to a physical branch to open the account, it's a good idea to bring your physical Social Security card with you and your Provincial or territorial health card as well.

However, if you open a bank account online, you usually don't need a physical copy of your Social Security card, but make sure you have the SSN easily accessible. Remember that the specific requirements may differ depending on the bank that you are opening in and the type of account you are opening.

Nexus Card

Use of a Nexus card is possible as well, through the NEXUS program. The NEXUS program is available to individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and Canada. To be eligible, applicants must pass thorough background checks. This will include a detailed examination of their criminal records and immigration history and an interview with customs and immigration officers.

Drivers License

A driver's license serves as a convenient and widely accepted form of identification when opening a bank account. Its validity and authenticity provide assurance to the bank that you are who you claim to be. Additionally, a driver's license indicates that you have reached the age required to obtain one, which often aligns with the minimum age for opening a bank account.

In situations where you may not have other clear paper documents for identification, such as a passport or national identity card, a driver's license can be a reliable alternative. Banks recognize the government-issued nature of a driver's license, making it an acceptable form of identification for account opening purposes.

However, if you don't have a driver's license or other traditional forms of identification, there are alternative methods available to establish your identity.

Permanent Resident

A permanent Resident Card is an important document required for a current account. The card typically includes your home address, which is crucial for various banking activities such as sending cheques, correspondence, and important documents like PAN cards. Whether you're opening a current account for personal finances or for your business, having a valid address is essential. For business accounts, the address of the business premises is required for registration purposes. It's important to make sure that you have accurate addresses for both personal and business use, as this information is often used for registration certificates and other official documentation.

Also, make sure tofind your billing address, as it is one of the ways to verify that your residential address is correct or not. This is checked by using the exact address on your billing information, which is sent to you by your local government companies.

That means they will deliver the cheque and other things to your home or business using the billing P.O. Box address so that the classified and important information is not sent to the wrong addresses. A precaution that the banks usually take when delivering sensitive information, reducing the risk of miscommunication or unauthorized access.

Passport

This is for people who want to open a bank account using a passport, like a valid Canadian passport for Canadian financial institutions and banks, as it is also a government-authorized issued ID. This will also be helpful for the people who are not citizens of the country. Non-citizens in countries like the United States may also use passports for identification when opening bank accounts. Each bank or credit union may have specific requirements for non-citizens, such as Bank of America, which provides a clear list of acceptable IDs:

  • To serve as a primary ID, Bank of America accepts any of the following:

  • 1. Foreign passport, with or without a visa.

  • 2. U.S. non-immigrant visa and border crossing card.

  • 3. Consular ID from Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, or Colombia.

  • 4. Canadian citizenship certificate card.

As for a secondary ID, Bank of America requests one of the following:

  • 1. Foreign driver's license (or U.S. driver's license).

  • 2. Work ID card or badge issued in the U.S.

  • 3. Debit or major credit card with a Visa or Mastercard logo.

  • 4. Retail credit card from a well-known national company.

  • 5. Major retail credit cards from a nationally recognized company.

  • 6. U.S. State Department ID.

  • 7. Mexican voter registration card.

Military ID

This is for the veterans. If you have served in the Canadian forces, there is a possibility that you can open a bank account in your country using your military ID. This means that if you want to use something other than your Social Security Number, driver's license, passport, or so on. If you're a veteran and considering opening a bank account, it's worth exploring whether your military ID can be used for identification purposes and whether any special benefits or services are available to you as a result of your service.

For Partnership Firms

  • Registered Declaration of Partnership or Partnership Agreement (if not required by Provincial Law)

  • Trade name registration, if applicable

  • One original, valid, and current government-issued photo identification or two original, valid, and current documents from reliable sources for up to 3 Authorized Signatories.

  • Name, address, and occupation of individuals with a 25% or more interest in your business

  • If your business has been operating for more than 12 months, one of the following original documents is required, if applicable:

  • Latest Business Notice of Assessment

  • -Current Liquor License

  • -Health and Safety Certificates

  • Business License or Vendor's Permit

  • Current utility bill or invoice for your business

  • Another current and valid government-issued document.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)/ Corporation

There is another type of partnership in a partnership business: a limited liability partnership for the current account. But to open a current account, the LLP would require the following.

  • Documents needed for Articles of Incorporation/Association include:

  • Trade name registration, if applicable

  • One original, valid, and current government-issued photo identification or two original, valid, and current documents from independent and reliable sources for up to 3 Authorized Signatories.

  • Name, address, and occupation of individuals with an interest of 25% or more in your business.

  • If your organization solicits donations from the public, you will also need to provide:

  • Canada Revenue Agency registration number.

  • If your business has been operating for more than 12 months, you may need to submit one of the following original documents:

  • Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Continuation, or Letters Patent (depending on the jurisdiction of incorporation)

  • Certificate of Compliance

  • Corporate Profile Report

  • Annual Government Filing

  • Latest Financial Statements

  • Latest Business Notice of Assessment

  • Current Liquor License

  • Health and Safety Certificates

  • Business License or Vendor's Permit

  • Another current and valid government-issued document.

One Person Company

A trade name registration certificate or a copy of your Master Business License is required for registration. However, if you operate strictly in your name, no registration is needed. If you operate under a trading name, evidence of registration is required. Additionally, you need to provide one piece of original, valid, and current government-issued photo identification or two original, valid, and current documents from reliable sources. If your business has been operating for more than 12 months, you must also submit one of the following original documents: Latest Business Notice of Assessment, Current Liquor License, Health and Safety Certificate, Vendor's Permit, Current utility bill or invoice to business, or any other current and valid government-issued document.

Type Of Features In Current Account

Here are the main features of a current account:

Quick Access: When you open a bank account or current account, you can access your funds anytime. This will allow you to make payments, deposits, and withdrawals whenever you need to.

Direct Debits/Standing Orders: You can set up direct debits or standing orders to make regular payments from your current account without the need to remember to do it yourself.

Account Online Banking: Most current accounts are offeredbank account onlineservices. That lets you check your balance, view transactions, make payments, check your savings account and deposit account, see interest rates and chequing accounts, and transfer money from anywhere in the world through your bank account online service.

Mobile Banking: Many banks now offer mobile banking, allowing you to make payments like bill payments, check your savings account, and check your bank account balance while on the move.

Multi-Currency Accounts: Some banks provide multi-currency current accounts. Which allows you to hold multiple currencies in one account and switch between them as needed.

Interest on Credit Balances: Certain current accounts may offer a small amount of interest. This is on credit balances, although it is typically minimal.

Reduced Fees: Depending on your circumstances, many banks offer reduced monthly account fee, tax-free savings account fees, or even free banking.

Factors to Consider Before Opening a Bank Account

- How do you plan to use the account, whether it's for saving money or making payments?

- The charges or fees associated with the account.

- The interest you can earn on the money in your account.

- Whether your deposits are protected by deposit insurance.

Before you commit to opening an account, make sure you fully comprehend all the terms and conditions, including any fees. If there's anything you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask questions. It's also a good idea to keep a copy of your account agreement for future reference.

Benefits of Opening a Current Account

Here are reasons why you need to open a new bank account, especially a current account for your personal finance and business finance as well. A current account is an ideal solution for businesses to effectively and systematically handle their finances and transactions. It provides many benefits, such as checkbooks, overdraft options, and online banking, making it simpler to manage regular transactions.

These features let businesses easily handle their cash flow and make payments to suppliers. Even if you are a one-person company, meaning a sole trader, you can still open a current account.

Business Can Overdraft

The overdraft facility offered by a current account is a valuable advantage for businesses. It allows businesses to withdraw more money than what is currently available in their account, up to a certain limit set by the bank. This means they can make transactions even if they don't have enough funds in their account at that moment.

This feature is particularly useful during unexpected financial difficulties or emergencies. For example, if a business needs to make an urgent payment but doesn't have enough money in its account, it can utilize the overdraft to cover the shortfall temporarily. The overdraft facility helps businesses manage their working capital effectively by providing flexibility in cash flow management.

Easily Manage Finance

Managing finances becomes simple and convenient with both personal and business current accounts.

For individuals, a personal current account, often referred to as a chequing account, serves as a hub for managing day-to-day transactions. You can use it for expenses like purchasing groceries, paying for gas, or dining out. Essentially, it's your go-to account for handling routine financial activities.

Similarly, businesses, including one-person companies, benefit from having a current account to manage their finances. With a business current account, you can handle transactions related to your business operations, such as paying suppliers, receiving payments from customers, and managing expenses.

A chequing account is where transactions are used for day-to-day things like gas, food, and other expenses. This is beneficial when it is managed with a bank statement.

It Is Safe

Safety is a primary advantage of having a current account. Funds deposited into a current account are safeguarded in a reserve bank, providing assurance to account holders. Whether it's a current bank account accessed online, a deposit account, or a savings account, your transactions and funds are protected within the banking system.

Additionally, current accounts offer security features that help mitigate risks associated with financial transactions. This includes encryption and authentication measures for online banking, ensuring that your account information remains secure and protected from unauthorized access.

The Thing About High Banks In Canada

When planning to open a high-street bank account in Canada, it is often recommended to visit the country in person. Start by contacting the bank to inquire about their specific requirements for opening accounts for temporary or permanent residents. Certain banks, such as RBC, the Bank of Montreal, and CIBC, offer specialized services for new immigrants.

If you prefer a traditional bank account, it is advisable to get in touch with a Canadian bank that meets your needs. Some banks have dedicated teams that assist with international account openings, even if you are not currently in the country.

Often, the Bank refuses your requests to open your bank account, so what should you do next?

What To Do When Bank Refuses To Open Your Bank Account

A bank can refuse to open a bank account for you if they have reasonable grounds to believe that you will use the account for illegal or fraudulent purposes. They can also refuse if you have a history of illegal or fraudulent activity with financial service providers in the past seven years.

Plus, if the bank believes that you have knowingly provided false information or if they believe that you may cause harm or harass other customers or employees, they can refuse to open an account for you. If you don't already have an account and the bank only offers accounts that must be linked to an existing account with another bank, they can also refuse. Furthermore, if you don't allow the bank to verify the validity of the identification you provided, or if the bank is a federal credit union and you refuse to become a member, they can refuse to open an account for you.

If a bank refuses to open an account for you, they are required to provide you with a written statement notifying you of their decision. They must also disclose their procedure for handling complaints, the name of the external complaints body they are a member of, and how to contact that body. With that, they must provide you with the mailing address, website, and telephone number of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. If you believe you have been treated unfairly, you can file a complaint.

Conclusion

Having a current account is essential for individuals and businesses alike, offering numerous benefits for managing cash flow and transactions effectively. Whether it's for personal financial management or conducting business operations, a current account provides a convenient platform to handle day-to-day financial activities.

Overall, by carefully considering your needs, understanding bank policies, and addressing any challenges, you can successfully open and manage a current account to support your financial goals and activities.

Note: KOHO product information and/or features may have been updated since this blog post was published. Please refer to our KOHO Plans page for our most up to date account information!
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