Step 1

Bank Account

(Optional) Create a bank account to use for your investments.

    • Banco Popular offers a free online checking account (eAccount) without having to visit a branch.

    • Having the funds separately helps you keep from spending it on things not related to the investment.

US Bank Limits

(Reference Source)

The Numbers

Banks must notify the government any time they receive more than $10,000 in a single deposit. They must also report withdrawals of that size, or anyone using that much cash to buy a negotiable instrument such as a cashier's check or a bank draft. This rule applies to American dollars and to foreign currency worth more than $10,000. It also kicks in if the bank receives multiple payments from the same agent or individual over the course of a year adding up to more than $10,000. Banks don't have to report personal checks, regardless of the amount.

Suspicious Activity Reporting

The federal government requires banks to report smaller transactions that may be a sign of suspicious activity. Federal guidelines say suspicious activity could include a deposit or withdrawal of $5,000 or more by a customer who doesn't normally make transactions that big. Banks may also report transaction that fall just under the BSA's $10,000 limit or that have no "apparent lawful purpose," just to be on the safe side of the law. Critics of the law say the standards for suspicious activity are far too vague to be effective.


Banks and businesses must file a form 8300 within 15 days after receiving the $10,000-plus payment. If the customer makes multiple smaller payments, the 15 days countdown starts as soon as the total paid exceeds $10,000. The bank or its parent must notify the person who made the transaction that he's been identified in the report, provide a contact number for follow-up questions and state the total amount of cash involved. Notification doesn't have to go out until Jan. 31 of the year after the company filed the 8300.