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Should a Real Estate Agent Have a Business Account?

Updated: Jun 29





Managing finances as a real estate agent comes with its own unique set of challenges. In this line of work, earnings are paid through commissions and not regular paychecks. Your job may also involve handling large sums of money and conducting transactions on behalf of clients.


Since most real estate agents are technically considered self-employed, one question that often gets asked is: Should a real estate agent have a business account?


Sure, you could use your personal account for business matters, but that can often lead to confusion and mistakes when tracking expenses. It’s best for real estate agents to have a separate business bank account to help manage finances, maximize tax benefits, and stay audit compliant.


Here's why you should consider opening a business bank account if you don't already have one.


Why Real Estate Agents Should Have A Business Account


Track Finances Automatically


The biggest advantage of a business account is simplified expense and income tracking. No need to estimate expenses or sift through combined statements! This way, you can minimize errors and ensure accurate financial records.


Rather than mixing all transactions into your personal account, you can receive commissions and other income directly into your business account. From there, you can allocate funds for your salary, business expenses, and tax payments.


If you want to take it a step further, you can link your bank account with business tools to automatically categorize expenses. AI accounting software like ReInvestWealth works on your books 24/7 and even integrates with MileIQ, a mileage tracking app, so your records always stay updated.


Get Access to Business Credit and Loans


Opening a business account provides real estate agents with access to business credit and loans with potentially lower rates compared to personal loans. 


This can be beneficial for expanding your business, managing cash flow, and making investments without dipping into your personal savings. Some banks also offer rewards and benefits tailored to business needs, like travel perks and cash-back. 


Strengthen Professional Reputation


Clients appreciate working with agents who take their business seriously, and a dedicated business account communicates this message loud and clear. It projects professionalism and adds extra credibility when transacting with clients.


Maximize Tax Benefits


Proper expense documentation makes it easier to identify tax write-offs for real estate agents that could potentially save you money. This includes realtor membership fees, license renewals, advertising costs, vehicle costs, and other eligible items you may be able to claim tax deductions on. An accounting software connected to your business bank account can automatically detect these transactions and notify you about tax-saving opportunities.


Stay Audit-Compliant


Be aware: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recommends against mixing personal and business finances, and may use a method called "indirect verification of income" should there be an indication of accounts being used interchangeably. Furthermore, the real estate sector is among the industries considered at risk of non-compliance by the CRA, especially in the Greater Toronto Area and British Columbia.


In the case of a tax audit, having a business account streamlines the process by providing a clear audit trail for the CRA. Separating personal and business matters as a realtor saves you the stress of sifting through mixed statements and minimizes the likelihood of an audit in the first place.


Conclusion


Juggling personal and business transactions in the same account can lead to confusion and missed opportunities for real estate professionals. The value of a business account goes beyond organization—it helps you stay on top of finances and keep up with tax compliance so you can focus on getting clients and growing your real estate business.



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