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I run a community group which has an yearly fee to participate in. The funds are used to cover its own operating costs... no payments are made to anyone as it's all volunteered based. Currently the funds are held by a 3rd party and it's only accessed on a per need basis. So I ended up having to purchase things in my name and then I submit a receipt to get a refund.

I was wondering if there are any banks (US) that have accounts for small groups/clubs? I have searched online but can't find too much information about it. I wanted to be able just use a debit card and not have to submit receipts to get a refund. At the same time I didn't want the bank account in my name because then it would seem that I have an extra income, which I don't and I believe that could affect my taxes.

I am looking at the possibility of registering this group as a non-profit, but that's rather a costly and long process.

  • Is the group incorporated in any way? Or does it not exist as any kind of legal entity in itself? You may want to form an LLC or similar for this, as well as the liability advantages. – Vality May 1 at 22:33
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    Call up a local bank, they usually have organization accounts. Just keep in mind that even/especially if you're charging direct to the club's account, you need to keep the receipts and keep the accounting clean to prove you're not embezzling. – Kevin May 1 at 22:40
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This is a perfectly normal thing, and I'd expect most local banks would be able to handle it. Political committees, bowling leagues, churches that don't incorporate, and other "clubs" like those need banking services, and banks will generally accommodate. They may want you to get an EIN for the group, but you can do that online and "in order to get banking services" is a reason for doing so. I've only done so myself for political committees, but I believe the process would be the same for other unincorporated organizations.

Certainly you want to make sure to keep good records, as (since it's not incorporated) there isn't a separate legal entity that would be sued or the like if there's a dispute. But for a small community group, again it's a perfectly normal thing.

You probably need to call up banks or go there directly and maybe even talk to a manager, but they should know what financial products they offer for your needs, and what requirements you'd need to fulfill for them. (For instance, they probably want clear instructions as to who is the "treasurer" and is authorized to make withdrawals, and what the process would be if that person were to change.) I'm guessing small community banks may be more accommodating than a large national bank, though that's just a guess on my part.

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