Hyattsville, MD asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland

Q: I need to know how to open a business checking account for my LLC, in my unique situation.

So I'm 15 years old and I live in Maryland. I have started an LLC for my soon to open T Shirt business that I'm starting. I formed it as a single member LLC and got my Articles of organization, EIN and all that stuff. My next step was to get a business checking account but I just learned that I can't because I'm not 18, and my parents can't co sign since they dont have any ownership of the LLC. Adding my parents to the LLC is a last resort because of lack of legal knowhow to do so, money, and tax difficulties. Is there anyway I could open an account without all that? What should I do? Thanks.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenesha A Raeford
Kenesha A Raeford

A: You are correct. You have to be 18 years of age or older to open your own bank account without your parent's authorized as joint account holders. To my knowledge, there are no loopholes to this requirement. To put it simply, there is no way around this without adding your parents to your business in some shape or form. You will want to consider, adding one or both of your parents to the LLC as a member of the LLC. That will shift the LLC from a single-member LLC to a multi-member LLC and, yes cause potentially changes in tax obligations. You may also want to consider changing your operating agreement to add one or both of your parents as a manager of your LLC (as opposed to a member). This provides them with limited authority and they would be able to enter into agreements on behalf of the LLC. Although the bank will still want to know who owns the LLC, some banks may be willing to accept joint-occupancy of the account if your parent is at least a manager. I don't suggest you embark on making either of these changes on your own. Obtaining legal advice or counsel is just a part of running your own business. However, there are several low-cost or free legal clinics that you may want to check out, that may be able to assist you at a very low rate or free of charge. I am listing a few here.

Alternatively, you may consider signing up for a PayPal Business Account, CashApp Business account or other financial services platform that is not "officially a bank". I am not sure if the rules are any less stringent, and you may still need your parent's assistance with these platforms, but it is certainly worth looking into as an alternative.

Good luck with your T-shirt Business!

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