How To Establish Business Credit: Your 2023 Guide to Success
Establishing business credit is essential for any company.
In a reality where one in five businesses are denied loans due to bad credit, a good score is vital to access the money necessary to grow and expand a business.
In this post, I will discuss the how-to and importance of establishing good business credit.
Knowing this can help you build business credit fast and ensure the success of your company’s financial reputation.
Why Is Business Credit Important?
Similar to personal credit history, companies can report payment history to various commercial reporting agencies.
Then other businesses use this to gauge credibility when deciding whether or not to extend services and products on credit.
An established record of prompt payments can open many doors for your business regarding vendors offering more favorable terms.
One also gets small business loan opportunities with better interest rates.
New small business owners must establish adequately by opening the proper bank accounts and applying for a business line of credit through vendors.
Taking out necessary loans can build up their score, further underscoring the importance of paying bills promptly and regularly.
Demonstrating solid financial footing will go a long way toward positioning your company favorably amongst potential customers and lenders.
It also helps with investors looking into your firm’s background.
An early start toward establishing your company’s financial reputation will be invaluable sooner rather than later.
How Business Credit Scores Work
Setting up business credit usually starts with creating a business credit profile.
The business should create business credit reports with the major reporting bureaus, such as Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
These reports include information about a business’s creditworthiness – payment history, debt obligations, and creditors.
Agencies use data from your financial statements, financial history, payment habits, and other relevant information to generate a score.
The score indicates how likely you are to repay your debts.
Vendors may check your business credit score before deciding whether or not to extend you a line of credit.
This kind of inquiry highlights why having a good score is crucial, as it can open up opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available.
By investing a little time and effort in building up your business’s credit, you can secure credit for a credit limit of your choice.
Good business credit can also help a business get approved for lower rates on loans, lines of credit, and other products from lenders.
Major Business Credit Bureaus
These bureaus provide a business credit report that lenders check when assessing the credibility of a business before offering financing services.
A business owner must understand the credit bureaus’ procedures and criteria for establishing a satisfactory score.
Whether you run a limited liability company, sole proprietorship, corporation, or any other business structure, having an established business credit history can help secure access to capital when your funds are insufficient.
Small business credit can be a powerful tool for budding entrepreneurs who must establish trustworthiness with potential lenders.
Upcoming entrepreneurs can use the above business credit bureaus to establish a reliable business credit score.
Such a score can help secure financing and increase the chances of a successful venture.
Third-party sites such as Experian Business Credit Advantage allow businesses to monitor their credit scores in one place.
With these services, businesses can access notifications whenever changes occur at the primary reporting agencies.
This process allows companies to stay up-to-date on their financial standings without keeping track of multiple reports from different agencies.
Additionally, third-party sites provide businesses with additional insights such as industry trends, competitor analysis reports, etc.
Individual Business Credit Reporting Agencies
Another option for keeping tabs on your business’s credit score is checking in with individual business credit reporting agencies directly for updates.
This approach can be beneficial if you’re looking for a more detailed look into how your company is doing financially.
Individual agencies may provide deeper insights into items like payment history or other financial indicators that could affect your overall rating.
Plus, checking in with individual agencies allows flexibility if you need to switch reporting services.
Building Your Business Credit Score
After opening a business credit file, the next step in building your business credit score is to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
The EIN will serve as the “social security number” for your company.
Once you have an EIN in place, start establishing trade lines with vendors who report payments regularly to one of the major reporting agencies mentioned above.
Doing this will help build your score by demonstrating that you pay your bills on time.
Additionally, if you apply for a small loan or line of credit, only use your business name (not your personal one) to demonstrate further reliability and responsibility with money management.
Establish Business Credit With Suppliers And Vendors
One way of establishing business credit is by utilizing suppliers or vendors who can purchase inventory on credit.
This step can boost your business’ credit score immediately should your payments be reported to the relevant credit bureaus.
Business purchases a vendor on credit count as establishing a trade line which can help build your business’s credit score over time.
Making total payments on time shows that you are reliable and trustworthy regarding fees.
In addition, it also reflects positively on your vendor, who will be more likely to do business with you in the future due to your dependability.
Listing Vendors As References
Another effective way of improving your business’ credit score is by listing vendors or small suppliers as references on applications for loans or other forms of financing.
This step provides lenders with evidence that you have established relationships with credible vendors and suppliers willing to vouch for your reliability in making timely payments.
These references can prove invaluable when it is time for lenders or creditors to decide to extend financing or other financial services.
The Importance Of Credit Rating
Every agency uses its rating system to evaluate your business.
These ratings can range from AAA, followed by AA, A, BBB, and so on.
The higher your rating is, the more likely you are to receive favorable terms from lenders or creditors when seeking financing.
Demonstrating a good credit rating is another of the best routes to better terms and conditions for financing.
One of the most effective ways to establish business credit is by building a business portfolio with lenders, creditors, and other business-related professionals.
Such a statement is especially true for those willing to extend business loans.
How Business Credit Factors In Business Loans
Business owners can also take advantage of various loans, including those within the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program.
Such loans offer favorable terms for small businesses.
Getting a loan, when proven to be a reliable borrower, will have much better terms than going with an unsecured loan.
Again, your business credit plays a significant role in getting loans and other financings.
Good business credit can also help you secure better loan terms, such as lower interest rates, extended repayment periods, and higher borrowing limits.
Differentiating Personal Finances vs. Business Credit
It’s important to distinguish between personal and business credit when doing business.
Having business checking and credit accounts along with payment methods specifically for business is essential.
Moreover, securing business credit is much different from personal credit cards.
Separating personal and business credit makes it easier to track financials, as personal credit reports will not include information about business finances.
Your personal credit history and personal credit score will not affect your business’ credit rating.
Said differently, you won’t be held responsible for any past debts incurred by the company.
Moreover, any cash back rewards and other incentive programs attached to business credit cards will often benefit the company.
A Note On Credit Utilization
Credit utilization is the ratio of how much credit you use to how much credit you have available.
It’s important not to overburden yourself with debt or max out your available business credit card.
This process can lower your business credit score and make it harder for you to secure favorable loan terms.
Keep track of spending and try to pay off any debts quickly.
Maintaining a low credit utilization rate will help improve your business’ long-term credit rating.
Other Tips To Establish Business Credit
One of the essential factors in establishing a good credit history is ensuring that you pay all bills on time.
That includes utility bills, loan payments, rent, and other business expenses associated with running your business.
Paying your bills on time shows that you are reliable and trustworthy for additional financing.
Additionally, it’s essential to pay off past-due debts as soon as possible.
Doing so signals to potential creditors that you are willing and able to make sound financial decisions.
Entrepreneurs must also develop positive financial habits such as budgeting and saving money.
Not only will these habits help keep you out of debt, but they will help you manage your cash flow more effectively.
With that, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you can’t make payments on time or in whole.
In addition, having an emergency fund set aside for unexpected expenses goes a long way in demonstrating responsible financial management practices.
Next, it’s important to remember regular check-ins with your credit score.
Incorrect data or identity theft can seriously damage an entrepreneur’s standing in the eyes of lenders.
You should also be aware of any changes taking place within the industry that may impact your ability to secure favorable lending terms.
Staying abreast of trends like interest rate hikes or new regulations will allow you to anticipate any potential pitfalls down the line.
How To Establish Business Credit – FAQ
Should All Businesses Have Good Credit?
The answer is yes; all businesses should consider having good credit, regardless of the size or type of their business.
Establishing good business credit is ideally done before formally opening certain businesses, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
The type of credit you need depends on the kind of business.
For example, a startup business has a lot to consider when establishing credit, such as securing access to capital through loans and lines of credit.
Establishing credit for your business is also essential in the growth of any sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation.
It allows the business to access additional financing and capitalize on opportunities.
Generally, a personal guarantee is essential when securing a loan or line of credit in the early stages of establishing your business.
As you build and maintain your business credit, potential vendors, creditors, and investors will trust you more.
Why Are Late Payments Bad For Business?
Good business credit scores and late payments happen on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Late payments can cause lenders to view your business negatively and potentially deny you access to financing.
A low credit score due to late payments can also make it difficult for businesses to secure good terms on loans or other forms of financing.
You will want to pay all bills on time as a business entity.
Doing so shows potential creditors that you are reliable and indicates that you are responsible with your finances.
How Does A Paydex Score Help In Building Business Credit?
Your Paydex score is a crucial indicator of your business’s creditworthiness.
Your score is based on the number of times you have paid vendors on time and the amount of time it takes for payments to be made.
As a legal entity, you build credit by obtaining loans, credit cards, and vendors who report your payment status to significant business bureaus.
What Is A Duns Number, And Why Do I Need One?
A Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) D-U-N-S Number is a unique identifier that helps D&B accurately track and report on the type of business.
A Duns Number is essential for companies because it ensures accurate credit reporting to lenders, service providers, and other vendors.
A new business should obtain a D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet.
How Can I Create A Business Credit File?
To create a business credit file, you must establish trade references and open a business bank account.
Having an established record of paying vendors on time will also help to build your creditworthiness.
You should also ensure that all information associated with your business, such as the address, is up-to-date and accurate.
Can Personal Assets Be Used To Build Business Credit?
Using personal assets such as your home or car is not recommended to build business credit.
That could lead to disastrous consequences if any payments are missed or defaulted.
It would help if you kept your personal and business finances separate to protect both.
The best way to build business credit is to establish a good payment history with vendors, open a business bank account and maintain accurate records.
Does Having A Dedicated Business Phone Line Help Your Business?
A business phone number helps build your business’s credibility and makes it easier for customers and suppliers to contact you.
Similar to how a business checking account allows lenders to confirm that your business is legitimate, having a business phone number is critical.
It demonstrates to potential lenders, vendors, and creditors that you are serious about your business.
From getting better loan terms to improving vendor relationships, having good credit is paramount for businesses.
Entrepreneurs should focus on developing good financial habits, such as budgeting, saving money, and maintaining an up-to-date business profile.
They must also be aware of changes within the industry that could affect their ability to secure favorable lending terms.
Doing so will help businesses stay financially secure while increasing their chances of obtaining the credit they need to grow and succeed.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: Here’s information on getting a business loan.
Whether you want an unsecured business loan or a secured one, the above article can help you do so quickly and easily.
Finally, check out these credit repair software options to help restore your credit.