How to set up a bank account for your book sales

If as a self-published author you wish to separate your book sales from your personal income, you’ll need to keep separate bank accounts. Getting a bank account for your royalties, however, is a bit more complicated than simply going to the bank and opening one.

Generally, you’ll need to ensure your business has a different name than you. You can use your name as part of the business, however. So, if your name is Jane Doe, your business can’t be “Jane Doe” but it could be “Jane Doe Publishing” or “Jane Doe Press.”

Next, you’ll need to complete and file a Fictitious Business Name Statement; in some jurisdictions, this is known as a Doing Business As form. Most banks or county/city clerks offices have these available for you to fill out. Once you complete the form, you’ll need to file it either with your city, county or state.

Then bring the FBNS to your bank and set up an account. You may need to deposit some of your own personal money for the minimum balance to get an account started.

Once that is done, you then can set up PayPal or credit card accounts using your business’ bank account, presuming that they are needed.

Remember that every state and bank deals with creating a business account a little differently. Typically a bank official or information provided online by your state, county or city will explain the process as well.

The advantages of keeping separate accounts are primarily for taxes. If you’re earning a ton of money from book sales, you want the separation so you can take advantage of various tax benefits. You also may want to keep separate accounts for your own personal comfort so you can better track your book earnings or to use only those dollars for book-related expenses, such as paying for editing services.