A personal checking account is more or less the first introduction to the world of finance. It is quick, easy, and a great way to track expenses. With the face of the check covered with images of sports, puppies, landscapes, or graffiti, a personal check is also a statement of individuality and one more fun way to make spending money a personal expression.
However, while it may seem to be very convenient to use a personal check in the realm of business, a business check is both significantly different in what it represents and what it can do. Since checks are rarely used in this modern era of Internet banking, most people might not know the difference between a personal and business check. So if you are starting a business or you are opening a new checking account, here are few of the major differences between the two checks.
What is the Difference Between a Business Check and a Personal Check?
One of the easiest ways to differentiate between personal and business check is the size. Business checks are known to be larger than personal checks. They are usually the size of half a sheet of standard 8.5”x11” paper. The size is primarily to make it easy for companies to print them right in the office using special software and paper. Cheap business checks like this make it easier for businesses to meet payroll.
In times past, people get paid via a business check, so when large businesses had to print hundreds of pay checks, it was easier to make it the size of a standard sheet of paper. It also makes it easier to mail because it fits in a legal – sized envelope. Personal checks are usually the size of a US dollar bill. It makes this check easier to fit into a wallet. It also makes it easy for any individual to carry around a check book just in case they need to write a check.
Design and appearance is another factor that can be used to differentiate both checks. Personal checks for instance are typically more fun to look at. You can select pretty much any style and pattern. Have it in mind that many personal check printers allow you to personalize your checks with photos of your family or your pets.
Meanwhile, business checks are much less visually interesting. They are meant to look professional, mainly with a plain blue or green background. The design is simple, yet functional, so that it lends to the credibility of the institution that it came from.
Also note that the design really has no bearing on the validity of the check. Any business can print a design on their checks if they chose to, and the transaction would still be valid. Howbeit, most choose not to because they don’t want to appear unprofessional.
3. Security features
Another major feature of business checks is the enhanced security features when compared with personal checks. Businesses are always expected to protect their accounts and employees from fraud, so the technology to print valid checks is quite sophisticated. In the United States, Business checks may include a variety of security features including fluorescent fibres, holograms, heat sensitive ink, or watermarks.
Also, since business checks can be printed, this prevents forgeries from unauthorized users. Because of the complexity of security measures, this is one reason that business checks are often plainly designed. But although personal checks often have a layer of security on the signature box on the back side; it is not as sophisticated or as critical as what you’ll find with business checks.
4. Handwritten versus printed
Also note that business checks have a professional appearance. These checks are almost always printed instead of handwritten. Normally, a company will print a check that is all filled out directly from the computer. In some cases, the check details can be handwritten, but the outline of the check will be printed. In every case, the signature is expected to be real and present to validate the business check.
But then, personal checks are almost always handwritten. Have it in mind that this can present some challenges because you have to get the amounts and details just right or it can invalidate the check. Children are taught how to fill out a check in school so that they would make fewer mistakes when writing checks from their personal accounts one day.
If you own a business, it is crucial to understand why you need to have separate business and personal checking accounts. Unlike a personal check, a business check is associated with a business checking account. Whether the business check is for your own small business or a corporate account, you must maintain a clear delineation between personal and business expenses.
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