Coinbase is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It gives individual investors and business entities the ability to trade crypto with relative ease online, offering a number of crypto products and apps that make the process accessible and convenient. While setting up an individual account is usually a straightforward process if you’re an individual user, creating one for a company is a bit more complex. Still, it’s a critical step if you want to start start investing in cryptocurrency as a business entity.
Before you get started, it helps to understand what’s involved in the signup process so you can make sure you’re prepared. Take a look at Coinbase business accounts, including what they are, their benefits and drawbacks, signup requirements, and more.
What Is a Coinbase Business Account?
A Coinbase business account is simply an account on the platform that’s under a company’s name instead of an individual’s. Businesses, like individuals, can choose between the Coinbase and Coinbase Pro account type for investments. When it comes to security features, which are vital to understand when you’re prioritizing safe crypto investments, both accounts have the same capabilities. You can also access the same assets in either account type, though Coinbase Pro has more advanced trading options.
When it comes to fees, Coinbase Pro can actually cost less. And because that’s the case, that can make it a wiser choice if your business is operating with a significant amount of capital for trading. However, learning the ins and outs of Coinbase Pro can take a bit longer, so keep that in mind.
Coinbase business accounts allow you to make trades under a company name and permit funding with company-associated bank accounts. One of the main uses of this account type is institutional investing. It gives you a way to separate your personal and professional activities, something that can be crucial for proper reporting, financial tracking and more.
However, you may also need a Coinbase business account if you want to accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods or services using the Coinbase Commerce platform. With this, you can track crypto payments more easily, which simplifies income tracking for your business thanks to its straightforward reporting. Plus, you’ll gain access to integrations you can place on your website to make cryptocurrency checkouts easier to manage.
The Pros and Cons of Coinbase Business Accounts
Coinbase business accounts do offer some advantages. One of the main benefits is that it creates a separation between your personal and professional activities. Along with simplifying income and expense tracking, the approach can make compliance easier to manage at your business and create a clear space where crypto business transactions occur.
Additionally, opting for a business account can limit your personal liability. It prevents unnecessary crossover between the crypto element of your business and personal finances. Without the separation in place, this is something that can be difficult to navigate should your company experience certain kinds of hardships, such as lawsuits or bankruptcies.
When it comes to drawbacks, the extra verification steps required during the setup process are the most notable. Getting a business account approved takes more time than an individual account does, which may be frustrating if you were hoping to start either investing or taking crypto payments quickly.
Otherwise, the accounts are functionally the same in many ways. You aren’t necessarily getting more features or access to different assets by opting for one over the other. Further, you can get the lower costs associated with a Coinbase Pro account regardless of whether you’re a business or an individual. While companies may have an easier time hitting the thresholds to get the best price reductions, depending on the purpose of their operation, you do have the ability to do the same as an individual.
How to Sign Up for a Coinbase Business Account
Signing up for a Coinbase business account does take a bit more effort than a personal one. However, it’s still reasonably straightforward. Check out some of the main steps in the process.
First, you’ll need to provide specific company information. This includes, at a minimum:
- Legal Entity Name
- Country and State of Incorporation
- Place of Operation
- Business Type
- Business Description
- Number of Employees Globally
- Fund Assets Under Management
There are a few optional fields, too. For example, you can list your “doing business as” name if you operate with one. However, the fields above are all that you’re initially required to fill out.
As you move forward, you’ll need to choose a product of interest. There are several options available, including Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Exchange and Coinbase Analytics. You’ll need to select the options that align with your purpose for signing up. With the first two, you also need to certify that you can meet the minimum balance requirement. That isn’t necessary for the others.
Following this, you’ll choose the features you plan on utilizing and provide a short overview of how you intend to use the products. With the description, it’s best to be as detailed as possible.
Finally, you’ll provide some contact details. This includes your first and last name, as well as an email address that isn’t currently associated with a Coinbase account of any kind. You’ll also list a phone number and job title. You have the option to provide additional contact details as well, such as a LinkedIn URL or other social media account details. However, these aren’t required. At this point, you’ll tackle a captcha. Once that’s handled, you can hit Submit. However, the process isn’t complete.
You’ll need to handle some extra steps to wrap things up. For example, verifying the email address you supplied with your contact details is a common requirement. You’ll also need to provide proof of ownership status and business registration documents. Exactly what else you need to provide varies depending on the country you’re registered and operating in, though you’ll get clear instructions outlining what’s required.
Usually, you’ll start working with a Coinbase rep at this later stage in the process. They’ll help ensure you understand what’s needed and submit it properly.
Once you’ve provided all the correct documents, you’ll wait for account approval. Exactly how long that takes can vary, but you’ll probably receive an estimated timeline once you send in all of the required information.
What You Can Do With a Coinbase Business Account
Once you have a Coinbase business account, what you can do depends on the services and features you requested when you applied. For instance, if you got access to the Coinbase Exchange, then you can typically start trading using the provided tools right away.
You’ll want to review the capabilities included with the platforms and features you selected. That way, you’ll have a complete understanding of what you’re able to do with your specific Coinbase business account.