General Question

nzigler's avatar

Small business owners- depositing checks with your business name- how exact must it be?

Asked by nzigler (1323points) November 13th, 2009

Let me know if you have personal experience with this- that means you small business owners (large too, I guess) and bank/credit union/liquor store employees…

I have a sole prop and my DBA is something like: “Sneaky Pete Production Works”. I’ve only ever needed to deposit one check in my business checking account but will be depositing many checks shortly. My question is this: can I have clients write checks simply to ‘Sneaky Pete’ and will I have any trouble with the bank? It’ll be shorter and easier for everyone, not to mention that I market the company simply as ‘Sneaky Pete’.

Just so you know, I don’t want to ask the bank beforehand if I can help it. I have a small business rep there who knows me and is super anal about paperwork/dotting every ‘I’/crossing ever ‘T’. I don’t want to get redflagged for this if it won’t be an issue. Then again, I don’t want to end up with a check I can’t deposit.

Also, when I have more cash, I might change my DBA but that’s not much of an option currently.


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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It should be fine. Put the correct business name of your checks, though.

Your best bet is to get a rubber stamp to use for the endorsement that includes the full business name and your bank account number. They only cost about $5.

dpworkin's avatar

Generally everything is automated, so no one looks. As @Marina says, if the endorsement is foolproof everything else will work out.

nzigler's avatar

@Marina and @pdworkin Thanks. Maybe I’ll also put ‘For Deposit Only’ if that’ll fit.

marinelife's avatar

@nzigler Yes, I always have! Usually they give you up to 4 or 5 lines.

Val123's avatar

Won’t be a problem. One thing you might consider is getting a stamp with the name on it, and just tell your customers you’ll stamp it for them. Other than that, if they simply wrote “Petes” on it, the bank won’t question it. Shoot, our name was All Season’s Mower and Saw” and people would just write, “Mower shop” on it and it wasn’t a problem.

@nzigler Actually, for bank account information and “deposit only” you get a separate stamp for that, and you stamp it on the back of the check. I think you have to, or you’ll have to endorse every single one with your signature.

srmorgan's avatar

If you are using an automated deposit such as making the deposit at an ATM the bank will accept it with no issue.

At the teller’s window, you might get someone like your anal rep who will look at the name on the check but it is really the endorsement that will count. As to For Deposit Only that is usually added by the maker of the check to ensure that the check is deposited not cashed. This used to be a big deal but the reason for it escapes me at the moment.

My business uses a lockbox address for all deposits. Occasionally an error is made and we get a check made out to someone else in our deposits. The bank may catch it but we will notify the bank of the error and authorize them to charge us back for the money. With so much automation this is a common experience.

Don’t sweat it


rottenit's avatar

I never had a check rejected if the name was resonably close.

Val123's avatar

Had an unhappy customer write it out to “Dumbass!” once and they took it. (JK! Never happened! But they still woulda took it!)

kritiper's avatar

“Sneaky Pete” should work so long as no one ever questions it and your business name is registered with the county and state. Have a rubber stamp made to endorse your checks with. Spell your business name the way it actually is, (and your name, if you want or if required), with the account number, and the note “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY.” If you need money/cash from the account, write yourself a check.

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