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Can I use a business account for personal expenses?

Buffalo, NY |

I recently learned that my bank was going to begin charging me $15 a month for a maintenence fee on my personal checking account. I also learned that if I had a business checking account that the fee would be waived. Both accounts require a $1 minimum balance. The only thing I would have to do is go down to my city clerk, get a DBA and go to the bank and open a business checking in the "companys" name. I would use this business account for all of my personal expenses as the "business" would actually never exist, only on paper. My question is, is this legal? Would I have a tough time come tax season when asked for transactions? Thanks, Jake

Attorney Answers 4


  1. no, that is not legal. it's not worth the 15 dollars a month to risk it even if it was. Most banks won't let you open up an account unless you have verified documents, not just a dba. however, it does depend on the state, but I would not recommend doing that.


  2. I agree with the prior attorney. What you are doing is not legal, and either the bank or the IRS will catch up with what you are doing eventually, as they have ways to follow the paper trail you have created in setting up the business to challenge what you are doing. I would pay the $15 fee for the personal account or find another bank with a lower fee rather thank risking it like you state above.

    Legal disclaimer: The above information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No representations are made in the above communication nor may any information contained herein be used in a court of law as a representation upon which you may rely.


  3. It is very important to keep your business and personal finances separate. The legalities aside, when tax time comes at the end of the year, having a separate business account makes it much simpler to identify those expenses which are business related and can be deducted. In the present environment, there are many banks and the fee structures are competitive. If you did not like what you heard at the first bank, keep looking. And, remember, the fees on the business account are deductible.

    I truly wish you the best.

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    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.


  4. You absolutely should NOT commingle personal and business funds.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.