What are a few pros and cons that are most recognizable? I'm making the leap this year to utilizing a business account for everything and paying myself dividends periodically so I have money to play with. Maybe top 4 reasons this can benefit my life? How do I go about fully utilizing tax deductions?
If you are conducting business then definitely open a business bank account for that. The primary reason is simply to have a separation of concerns.
It's a huge hassle to have to have sort through a personal bank account to find all your business items when you need any kind of financial reporting.
I don't have 4 distinct reasons to give you aside from the one big reason and that is that it just makes keeping track of business revenue and spend a lot easier.
As far as tax deductions go you basically have a categories you can file expenditures under that qualify for deductions. Just add those all up for each category at tax time and deduct.
Of course you will want to discuss the finer details of that with a business tax professional/CPA.
For me, having a business account speeds up my taxes, allows me to more easily track my expenses, and overall make sure I'm getting the best tax break I can when conducting business. Any revenue I collect for my business goes to my business account (typically with it's own EIN, under an LLC or sole proprietorship). When you need to buy something for your business, use your business debit or cred card. When you need to deposit money you were paid as a contractor or consultant, send it directly into your business account. At the end of the year when you go to do your taxes, all of your expenses should be under one account. Your payments to yourself will be a business account (moving cash from your business account to your personal account) and your payments to other contractors who work with / for you will be documented on a 1099 you've collected and within the transactions of your account. Overall, it's easy to see all of your revenue and expenses for the year, see what you paid yourself and others, and record this on your taxes.
Another perk of opening a business account is that if you have a personal account that has a decent amount of savings in it, you can usually pick up $200-500 for just opening an account with a bank you bank with. Protip: Open a business account at a few major banks, pickup the new bank account payment from each, maintain a balance that ensures you do not pick up fees, and then choose your favorite bank / business account to put all of your business expenses and revenues through. So long as you maintain the minimum balance at the other banks, you can pick up those deposits and eventually extend your credit line (through multiple banks) when you're ready to improve your credit, or if you ever need leverage (I do not commonly recommend bank loans for financing a business leap).
Hope this helps!
This isn't really a pro-con situation. If you're running a business you need a business account. If a bank finds out you're running a business through a personal account they'll close it. You also take a huge risk on veil piercing if you have an entity and you risk reclassification in an audit.
If you have a business, you should have a separate operating bank account to receive income and pay expenses. As a best practice, you want to keep the finances and activities of the company separate from the owners.
If business and personal activities are commingled, it makes it difficult to prepare accurate financial records which are necessary to track company performance and prepare year-end tax filings and financial statements.
From a liability perspective, if there is a mix of personal and business use in an entity, the business may not be respected as a separate entity, and the owner can be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. It's important to not oeprate the business as an alter ego of the owner.