Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at March 1st, 2018
Business credit made simple? Yes, really! We can take all of the mystery out of understanding and building business credit.
Business credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t connect to a business owner’s individual credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the sole employee of the company.
As such, an entrepreneur’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.
Also, with two distinct credit scores, an entrepreneur can get two separate cards from the same vendor. This effectively doubles buying power.
Another advantage is that even start-ups can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for disappointment. But building business credit, when done correctly, is a plan for success.
Individual credit scores rely on payments but also other considerations like credit usage percentages.
But for company credit, the scores really only hinge on whether a company pays its debts promptly.
Building business credit is a process, and it does not occur without effort. A small business will need to actively work to establish business credit.
Nonetheless, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much more efficient than establishing personal credit scores.
Vendors are a big component of this process.
Performing the steps out of sequence will cause repetitive denials. No one can start at the top with company credit.
A company must be Fundable to loan providers and merchants.
That is why, a business will need a professional-looking website and email address. And it needs to have website hosting from a supplier like GoDaddy.
Plus, business phone numbers need to have a listing on 411. You can do that here: https://www.listyourself.net.
Additionally, the business phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the equivalent).
A company will also need a bank account dedicated strictly to it, and it must have all of the licenses essential for operation.
These licenses all must be in the exact, appropriate name of the business. And they need to have the same company address and phone numbers.
So keep in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but possibly also city licenses.
Visit the Internal Revenue Service website and get an EIN for the company. They’re totally free. Pick a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.
A company can get started as a sole proprietor. But they should switch to a type of corporation or an LLC.
This is in order to minimize risk. And it will optimize tax benefits.
A business entity will matter when it concerns taxes and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the entrepreneur is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.
Begin at the D&B web site and get a free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a company in their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s web sites for the small business. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.
In this way, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.
First you ought to build trade lines that report. This is also called the vendor credit tier. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.
And with an established business credit profile and score you can start to get more credit.
These sorts of accounts often tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But to start with, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you preliminary credit when you have none now. Terms are in most cases Net 30, rather than revolving.
So, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you need to pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Net 30 accounts need to be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts must be paid in full within 60 days. Unlike with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you have to pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.
To kick off your business credit profile the proper way, you should get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting bureaus. As soon as that’s done, you can then use the credit.
Then pay back what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.
Not every vendor can help in the same way true starter credit can. These are vendors that will grant an approval with marginal effort. You also need them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
You want 3 of these to move onto the next step. Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/
Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and fix any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the practice of checking credit reports and digging into the details, and not just the scores.
We can help you monitor business credit at Experian, Equifax and D&B for 90% less. See: www.creditsuite.com/monitoring.
Update the relevant information if there are mistakes or the relevant information is incomplete.
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to contest any mistakes in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs normally want you to dispute in a particular way.
Disputing credit report mistakes commonly means you precisely itemize any charges you dispute.
Always use credit responsibly! Never borrow more than what you can pay off. Track balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying punctually and completely will do more to boost business credit scores than just about anything else.
Growing company credit pays. Good business credit scores help a business get loans. Your loan provider knows the company can pay its debts. They recognize the business is authentic.
The small business’s EIN connects to high scores and lending institutions won’t feel the need to require a personal guarantee.
Business credit is an asset which can help your small business for years to come. Learn more here and get started toward establishing company credit.