Some banks and credit unions may require a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), state corporation ID, or business tax ID to open a campaign bank account. This is not a Minnesota Election Law requirement. Banking laws require records of customers and as a result the requirement to provide a tax, non-profit, or business ID to open an account may be internal bank policy. If you would like information on how to obtain a federal EIN, please see this guide from the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Although local candidates and committees do not file with the Campaign Finance Board, they may find the information from the board below helpful. Contact Business Services for information on filing for a state corporation or business tax ID.
A message from the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board
“Banks and credit unions are increasingly informing potential customers that they need to be registered as a business or nonprofit entity with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State to open a bank account for a candidate committee. Some banks and credit unions will allow a committee to open a bank account with an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Some banks and credit unions have allowed principal campaign committees to open a bank account after both obtaining an EIN and filing a registration and statement of organization with the Campaign Finance Board. A guide to obtaining an EIN from the IRS is available on the Board’s website. They also provide a general guide to bank accounts for entities required to register with the Board. Finally, we recently drafted a notice to financial institutions that treasurers and candidates may provide to a prospective financial institution explaining why they may be unable to provide the documentation typically requested of an entity seeking to open a bank account.
It should be noted that when candidate committees inform us that they were told that they need to register a business or nonprofit entity with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State to open a bank account, we typically suggest that they find a different financial institution due to the legal, financial, and practical ramifications involved. Political parties and other candidates may be good sources of information as to which banks and credit unions are best able to cater to the needs of candidate committees, so we also recommend that candidates seek recommendations from others in their area as to which financial institution may be able to best serve their needs.”