How to Open a Citibank Business Account Online

Citibank is an established brand, offering a range of products for business customers. You can get a checking account which is designed for a large corporate, specialist products for lawyers and real estate companies, or you could opt for a Citibank small business checking account, for example.

The different account types come with their own eligibility criteria, and have varied features and costs. Availability and fees may be different depending on the state you’re in, so it’s wise to check the details with your local branch or online, before you decide on which account is best for your needs.

This article covers everything you need to know about Citibank business checking accounts, and also presents an alternative as a comparison — the Wise multi-currency borderless business account. Let’s get started.
Citibank business checking accounts
Most entrepreneurs and business owners will need a business checking account to manage their company finances and cash flow on a day to day basis. Having a separate business account means your personal funds are kept away from the money you need to run your business, making accounting easier. The good news is that there are several different business checking accounts available from Citibank, suited to businesses of different sizes.

You can choose from:
  1. CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking Account
  2. CitiBusiness Flexible Checking Account
  3. CitiBusiness Checking Account
  4. CitiBusiness Interest Checking Account

We’ll talk more about these different account types, the features they offer, Citibank business account requirements, and the costs you need to know about, in a moment. It helps to know that Citibank business account availability, terms and conditions vary according to your state. Accounts are available in:
  1. California,
  2. Connecticut,
  3. District of Columbia,
  4. Florida,
  5. Illinois,
  6. Maryland,
  7. New Jersey,
  8. Nevada,
  9. New York and
  10. Virginia.

If your state isn’t covered, or if you simply want to compare the options available to you, check out the Transferwise borderless account, which is described in more detail below. Other specialty business account types from Citibank Aside from checking accounts, Citibank offers some specialty business accounts for different customer types. These include:²

CitiEscrow — aimed at lawyers and attorneys who need to hold client funds separate to their own
Standalone IOLTA/IOLA/IOTA — similar to an escrow account, but used where lawyers are handling smaller volumes of client funds Deposit Administrator Account — for real estate companies, CPAs and property managers which administer funds for business clients or subsidiaries
Security Deposit Administrator Account — designed for property managers, landlords, and other parties which need to hold security deposits for clients
If you think one of these specialty types of account is suited to your business, you’ll find everything you need to know about them on the Citibank business banking website.

This article will focus more on the checking accounts which are commonly used by small businesses and entrepreneurs. The terms, features and benefits of these business checking accounts may be quite different to the specialist products offered by Citibank, so doing your own research before choosing an account is essential.

How to choose the best bank account for your business
The first thing to check is the eligibility criteria for the account you’re considering. Citibank only offer business checking accounts in certain states, so you’ll need to make sure their product is available wherever you and your business are based.

It’s then worth checking the fees and limits applied to the accounts you have selected. You can expect to find a monthly maintenance fee, as well as some charges for transactions such as sending or receiving money and international payments.

Some business checking accounts will waive the monthly maintenance fee if you keep above an average minimum balance on the account over the month. You may also find that accounts offer a set number of transactions and deposits for free, as long as you either pay the maintenance fee or hit the minimum balance over the month. After that, you’ll pay per transaction, according to the specific terms applied to your account when you open it.

Before you choose a bank account for your business, it’s a good idea to think carefully about how you’re likely to use it. For example, you may need an account with free ATM withdrawals, or maybe it’s important to be able to write an unlimited number of checks from your account for free.

One important cost to consider, if your business works with customers, suppliers, or employees based overseas, is the price of international transfers and currency conversion. Many traditional banks add an exchange rate markup rather than using the mid-market rate for currency conversion, and may also charge an administration fee for international payments. This can be expensive, and quickly eat into your business profits.

When you’re choosing a business account, take a look at modern alternatives, alongside the products from traditional banks. The Wise borderless account for business, is a great example, offering a simple, safe way to manage your money across different currencies.

You can open an account online for free and there are no minimum balances to worry about. You’ll get your own local bank details for the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the euro area, so you can receive payments for free in these major currencies. Sending money overseas is convenient and cheap too, using the mid-market exchange rate and with just a small upfront fee to pay.

What do I need to open a business account with Citibank?
To open a business bank account with Citibank, you’ll need to either call the service team on 1-877-462-2484, or visit your local branch. There you can check your eligibility for the products available, and confirm the paperwork you must provide to get started. Expect to be asked to bring along proof of your identity and address, details of your business and a minimum opening deposit to get your account up and running.

Citibank business account fees
Citibank business checking accounts have a monthly maintenance fee which covers a certain number of transactions and currency deposits per month. If you maintain a set minimum balance over the course of the month, you may have your maintenance fee waived. However, if you make more than the specified number of transactions or need to deposit more than the limit set in your account terms, you may need to pay an extra fee.

CitiBusiness Flexible Checking Account
The Flexible Checking Account is for businesses with a larger turnover, which are more likely to hit the higher monthly minimum balance and which may require a higher number of transactions per month. You’ll pay more for this account compared to the Streamlined Account — but you also have a higher number of transactions included in the package.

CitiBusiness Checking Account
This is a non-interest bearing account, but offers earnings credits to offset the cost of fees. You’ll earn credit on the monthly combined balance of eligible accounts held with Citi. There are no transactions included in the monthly fee. This account type will suit larger businesses which have a range of cash management solutions

CitiBusiness Interest Checking Account
An interest bearing product like this may work for a business which holds a fairly high balance, and carries out a small number of transactions per month. The interest you earn might go some way to offsetting the fees you pay for the service.

An alternative to Citibank business checking accounts — Wise Business
When you’re doing your research into the right bank account for your business, don’t forget to look at different providers and compare the features and fees of a full range of products.

The Wise borderless account for business offers convenience for business owners, with the option to hold money in any of over 40 different currencies and send and receive money around the world using the mid-market exchange rate. You can integrate your Wise account with Xero for simplicity and make batch payments to reduce admin. Use the Wise API to automate payments and workflow and you could find you’re saving both time and money, leaving you free to do what you do best — grow your business. You can also create and send your invoices by using our downloadable free invoice templates, and use our balance sheet template, profit and loss statement template, cash flow statement template or an independent contractor agreement template.

Choosing a business bank account is an important decision and the more research you can do, the better chance you have of finding the perfect product for your needs. By looking at traditional options such as business checking accounts from Citibank, alongside alternatives designed for global businesses, such as the Wise borderless account, you’ll find the right balance of convenience, functionality, and cost for your company.


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