- ||
*xy*|| ≤ ||*x*|| ||*y*|| for all*x*and*y*

A Banach algebra is called "unitary" if it has an identity element for the multiplication and "commutative" if its multiplication is commutative.

Banach algebras can also be defined over fields of p-adic numbers. This is part of p-adic analysis.

- The set of real (or complex) numbers is a Banach algebra with norm given by the absolute value.
- The set of all real or complex
*n*-by-*n*matrices becomes a Banach algebra if we equip it with a sub-multiplicative matrix norm. - Take the Banach space
**R**^{n}(or**C**^{n}) with norm ||*x*|| = max |*x*_{i}| and define multiplication componentwise: (*x*_{1},...,*x*_{n})(*y*_{1},...,*y*_{n}) = (*x*_{1}*y*_{1},...,*x*_{n}*y*_{n}). - The quaternions form a 4-dimensional real Banach algebra, with the norm being given by the absolute value of quaternions.
- The algebra of bounded real- or complex-valued functions defined on some set (with pointwise multiplication and the supremum norm) is a Banach algebra.
- The algebra of continuous real- or complex-valued functions on some compact space (again with pointwise operations and supremum norm) is a Banach algebra.
- The algebra of all continuous linear operators on a Banach space (with functional composition as multiplication and the operator norm as norm) is a Banach algeba.
- The continuous linear operators on a Hilbert space form a C-star-algebra and therefore a Banach algebra.
- If
*G*is a locally compact Hausdorff topological group and μ its Haar measure, then the Banach space L^{1}(*G*) of all μ-integrable functions on*G*becomes a Banach algebra under the convolution*xy*(*g*) = ∫*x*(*h*)*y*(*h*^{-1}*g*) dμ(*h*) for*x*,*y*in L^{1}(*G*).

Several elementary functions which are defined via power series may be defined in any unitary Banach algebra; examples include the exponential function and the trigonometric functions. The formula for the geometric series and the binomial theorem also remain valid in general unitary Banach algebras.

The set of invertible elements in any unitary Banach algebra is an open set, and the inversion operation on this set is continuous, so that it forms a topological group under multiplication.

Unitary Banach algebras provide a natural setting to study general spectral theory. The *spectrum* of an element *x* consists of all those scalars λ such that *x* -λ1 is not invertible. (In the Banach algebra of all *n*-by-*n* matrices mentioned above, the spectrum of a matrix coincides with the set of all its eigenvalues.) The spectrum of any element is compact. If the base field is the field of complex numbers, then the spectrum of any element is non-empty.

The various algebras of functions given in the examples above have very different properties from standard examples of algebras such as the reals. For example:

- Every real Banach algebra which is a division algebra is isomorphic to the reals, the complexes, or the quaternions.
- Every unitary real Banach algebra with no zero divisors, and in which every principal ideal is closed, is isomorphic to the reals, the complexes, or the quaternions.
- Every commutative real unitary noetherian Banach algebra with no zero divisors is isomorphic to the real or complex numbers.
- Every commutative real unitary noetherian Banach algebra (possibly having zero divisors) is finite-dimensional.