The short answer is:
--you have to organize a business with at least five principle officers
--fill out a lot of forms
--pay some significant registration fees, and -- most importantly...
--convince the state banking authorities that you're a legitimate banking business.
That last bit is a particular challenge, since there are not clear-cut
threshholds and procedures to follow. The authorities want to see
your business plan, finances, by-laws, insurance coverage, and so on,
before giving you an official certification as a bank (I'm talking
about Oregon, in particular, though rules and procedures in other
states are not very different, as far as I know).
Registering a bank in Oregon (or other states) is covered by state
law...in Oregon's case, the Oregon Bank Act. I'll get to this in more
But to kick things off, the process for actually registering as a
state-sanctioned bank in Oregon begins here:
Oregon Licenses, Permits and Registrations
where you'll find a ton of information and links, including these
excerpts dealing with the definition of a bank, and steps for
Banks and Trust Companies, State Chartered
...Oregon banks and trust companies are governed by the provisions of
the Oregon Bank Act (ORS 706-716). Chartering, certificates of
authority, and application requirements (including foreign banks and
mergers) are set forth in the statutes.
..."Bank" means a company, other than an extranational institution,
that accepts deposits insured to any extent by the Bank Insurance Fund
under the provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended,
12 U.S.C. 1811, et seq.
...Fees - application, exam, etc.: Application fee: $2,500
...Application Form: Multiple forms required.
Note that last item about "multiple forms required". Some of the
pertinent forms are here:
Banks and Trust Companies
Application for authority to organize a state bank 440-2208
--This is a fairly simple form, stating your intent to form an Oregon
bank, providing basic information, and stating how much money you have
on hand for the purpose.
Confidential biographical and financial report 440-2070
--Each officer of the bank must fill out this detailed, 12-page form
laying out their financial, employment, and legal status and history.
Designation of registered agent and/or office 440-4009
--Simple, one-page declaration of the bank's registered agent, a
general requirement for all incorporated businesses.
Other forms may be needed depending on your particular circumstances
and business model:
Special qualifications registration 440-2042
Trust company application 440-4008
and in addition to state forms, there are also the federal materials
to be dealt with:
Interagency Charter and FDIC Insurance Application
Here you can find a list of the home offices of the state-chartered
banks in Oregon:
Oregon state-chartered bank head offices
I told you earlier I'd get back to the laws, which form the foundation
for all requirements for banking in the state.
Towards the bottom of the main link to the DFCS Banks page:
is a list of the relevant laws:
Statutes and Administrative Rules
Administration/enforcement ORS Chapter 706
Bank organization ORS Chapter 707
Bank-related business filings OAR Chapter 441, Div. 5
Branches, ATMs ORS Chapter 714
Definitions; annual assessments/fees OAR Chapter 441, Div. 500
Fees, names, and enforcement authority ORS Chapter 705 (705.610-705.642)
General provisions OAR Chapter 441, Div. 505
Holding companies ORS Chapter 715
Merger, conversion, etc. ORS Chapter 711
Out-of-state; extranational institutions or banks ORS Chapter 713
Public records requests OAR Chapter 441, Div. 002
Regulations of institutions ORS Chapter 708A
Rulemaking and general procedures OAR Chapter 441, Div. 001
Savings and loan OAR Chapter 441, Div. 760
Savings banks ORS Chapter 716
Definitions; annual assessments/fees OAR Chapter 441, Div. 500
Trusts ORS Chapter 709
Obviously, there is more here than can be meaningfully summarized in
the context of this answer.
Just as obviously, it would require the services of a legal
professional familiar with the state's banking laws to walk you
through the complete process.
However, there are some key items of the law worth noting:
Chapter 707 ? Organization to Conduct Banking Business; Stockholders,
Directors and Officers
...Any number of persons, not less than five, desiring to organize a
banking institution shall, as prospective incorporators, first submit
an application to the Director of the Department of Consumer and
Business Services for a permit to organize a banking institution. The
applicants shall pay to the director at the time of their application
a fee of $2,500, no part of which shall be refunded.
...The application shall be signed by one of the applicants and shall
include the following information:
(1) The proposed location of the initial principal place of business.
(2) The class or classes of stock proposed to be issued, the
proposed offering price per share and the aggregate dollar amount of
the proposed initial paid-in capital.
(3) The corporate name.
(4) The names of the proposed senior officers and the initial
directors, at least three of whom shall also be among the
(5) The residence addresses and occupations of the proposed
incorporators and directors.
(6) The proposed articles of incorporation meeting the
requirements of ORS 707.110.
(7) The number of shares of voting stock proposed to be
subscribed for by the incorporators and each of the proposed directors
and senior officers, and the names of any other persons who are
expected to subscribe for, to own or to control more than 10 percent
of the voting stock and the amount of stock for which each proposes to
(8) Evidence satisfactory to the director of the character,
financial responsibility and ability of the incorporators, directors
and senior officers.
(9) Evidence satisfactory to the director, in the form of a
business plan and such additional information as the director may
require, demonstrating that the proposed banking institution is likely
to be financially successful.
(10) The proposed operating policies of the banking institution.
(11) A statement as to whether the banking institution is to be
a trust company, an Oregon commercial bank or an Oregon stock savings
bank, and, if the proposed Oregon commercial bank or Oregon stock
savings bank is applying for trust powers, a statement to that effect.
(12) Any other information that the director may require.
Application For Certificate Of Compliance
...a company shall submit:
(a) A letter request to the Director describing the company's business,
(b) The names, dates of birth and home addresses of all executive
officers, directors and principals of the company, or persons holding
similar positions; and
(c) Supporting documentation evidencing the company's organization as
a financial institution, including but not limited to:
(A) The company's business plan;
(B) A copy of the charter or comparable documents from the
jurisdiction where the company is organized, if applicable; and
(C) The articles of incorporation or proposed articles of
incorporation or similar documents of organization.
(2) Within 10 business days from the receipt of the written request,
the Director will review the request. Upon review, the Director will
either issue a certificate to the Secretary of State and company
authorizing the registration of the name for the company, request
additional information from the company, or send a written denial of
the request to the company.
(3) If the Director requests additional information from the company,
the company shall have 30 days to submit additional information. If
the company fails to submit the additional information within 30 days,
the Director may deny the request for certification.
(4) If the Director denies a request for certification, the company
shall have the right to request a hearing, which will be conducted
pursuant to ORS Chapter 183.
As far as I can tell, there isn't any clear-cut minimum amount of
dollars that a bank must have on hand in order to register in the
state. It's obvious from the language of the law -- and from the
forms themselves -- that a would-be bank has to have enough financial
wherewithal to convince officials in the state that they are a viable
I trust this is the sort of information you were looking for, and that
I have fully answered your question.
However, if you find you need additional information, just let me know
by posting a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist
Best of luck in your ventures,
search strategy -- Google searches on:
Oregon banking department
Washington banking department