By in Business

What They Told Me at the Bank Regarding My Business Checking Account

As you may already know from some of my posts like Water Leak Woes , my husband and I own a little condo that we rent out, and I have a checking account in our business name. We are not incorporated, so the account is a "DBA" ("doing business as") account that also has my name on it, for convenience. My husband is also listed as a signer on the account, but I'm the Paperwork Goddess and therefore handle all the transactions.

I was depositing a couple of money orders from my tenant, and the lady at the bank--a new person I'd never met--told me that she had "gone ahead and stamped" the money orders for me, because I had signed my name on them. I was unsure of what she meant, and she said that she had stamped "For Deposit Only", because they were made out to the business name. And I had signed MY name.

I explained that it was a DBA account, and that my name was ON the account. She said it would be different if they were made out to me and not the business ("But l'etat, c'est moi !" I wanted to say, feeling a bit Napoleonic. I refrained). I asked her, somewhat incredulously, if she actually wanted me to write the business name instead of endorsing with my signature, and she said yes. "But anybody could just write the business name and cash them!" I protested.

But no, fortunately. Apparently, if an instrument is made payable to a business, it cannot be cashed, only deposited. But why, when I was depositing the funds in the first place, and they could not be cashed ANYWAY, would she tell me I needed to have "for deposit only" on the back? I did not feel like quibbling. I thanked her for this new information and took my leave...wondering why no one from the bank at which I have had my business account for over ten years and made regular deposits has ever told me this before.

Image Credit » by Hans

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scheng1 wrote on March 15, 2015, 8:25 AM

They probably assume that you know about business accounting and all that.

arthurchappell wrote on March 15, 2015, 8:38 AM

sounds like she is being a jobsworth but might be just worth checking with other bank tellers on future visits to be sure

AliCanary wrote on March 15, 2015, 9:09 AM

They are giving me too much credit, then! Oh well, you learn something new every day.

AliCanary wrote on March 15, 2015, 9:10 AM

I just write "for deposit only" now, and they seem fine with that.

Soonerdad3 wrote on March 15, 2015, 9:46 AM

It was probably because she was new and still adhering to everything she learned and felt it necessary to dump it on you. I would have definitely said something that I may or may not have regretted, but that's me, LOL.

alexdg1 wrote on March 15, 2015, 10:12 AM

Actually, you were channeling Louis XIV, which in addition to your title of Paperwork Goddess, makes you the Sun Queen.

GemOfAGirl wrote on March 15, 2015, 2:10 PM

She probably had just gotten an "A" in her Business Law class, and she probably had the same lawyer-professor that I had when I took the class. There are actually real, legal reasons for all the stuff she told you.

SLGarcia wrote on March 15, 2015, 3:01 PM

I don't believe you HAVE to write "for deposit only" on the check.

Kasman wrote on March 15, 2015, 4:22 PM

Just another one of life's little mysteries. Would have thought a bank would be more on-the-ball than that.

wolfgirl569 wrote on March 15, 2015, 6:47 PM

As she is new she could just be being careful to do her job right. With time she may relax about little things like that,

shaggin83 wrote on March 15, 2015, 9:09 PM

Maybe it is a new rule that they came up with recently? Seems that could be the only logical explanation since you have been going there for 10 years and this was never brought up before. Who knows though maybe she is new and made a mistake about what she was telling you. I hope that all works out.

AdGoggleKo wrote on March 15, 2015, 11:02 PM

In the Philippines, I noticed tellers in different branches tell different requirements so maybe it's just the teller may or may not fully know their job or he/she maybe newbie bank employee or old employee but first time to handle that specific transaction.

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 10:42 AM

I was a bit non-plussed, but I guess it's helpful information. She was older, but that doesn't mean she might not have been new!

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 10:43 AM

Oh, that's right--Napoleon wasn't l'etat, he was l'empire! I should fix that. How could I have forsaken Louis Quatorze?

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 10:44 AM

I've no doubt, but her delivery coulda used some work...

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 10:45 AM

It makes a bit more sense to me than just writing my business name. I should probably get a stamp at some point.

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 10:56 AM

As long as they took the money, I guess it's all good!

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 11:18 AM

I haven't seen her since, so I wonder if she was filling in from another branch and made it her mission to try to set things straight!

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 11:19 AM

It could be new. I think it will be okay--she didn't make any indication that it would be a problem.

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 11:19 AM

SInce I started doing it differently, it's been okay, too--I think they don't really mind however way I do it, because they know me.

nbaquero wrote on March 16, 2015, 11:37 AM

AliCanary I didn't that an instrument payable to a Business can't be cashed out. I learned something new today, thank you!

alexdg1 wrote on March 16, 2015, 11:50 AM

Je ne sais pas.

wolfgirl569 wrote on March 16, 2015, 2:13 PM

That could be, they maybe had someone out and were short handed

SLGarcia wrote on March 16, 2015, 2:31 PM

You're right - now that I think back to my working days. A stamp would be quite helpful.

AliCanary wrote on March 16, 2015, 10:27 PM

I could understand if it were a corporation, but I would think that a DBA account such as mine, with my name on it, would be very different.

FreyaYuki wrote on March 18, 2015, 11:02 AM

This person doesn't sound very nice. She sounds strict. Maybe she's new? Or maybe this is a new rule now or something?

AliCanary wrote on March 18, 2015, 6:01 PM

It might be a new rule, which is why I figured posting about it might be helpful.