• Home
  • Blog
  • Business Tradelines for Sale – Plus 5 You Can Add for Free!

Business Tradelines for Sale – Plus 5 You Can Add for Free!

Reviewed by Ty Crandall

June 29, 2024


Business Tradelines for Sale – Plus 5 You Can Add for Free!

You probably know why you need tradelines on your business credit reports. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to get them there. 

Paying for tradelines as a way to fake payment history can hurt more than it helps. Here’s a list of 6 business tradelines you can add to your report for free!

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links for some products and make a purchase, Credit Suite receives a commission at no additional cost to you.

Get Your Free Business Finance Assessment to Discover your Optimal Path to Improve Fundability™, Build Business Credit, and Get Business Loans

5 Business Tradelines You Don’t Have to Pay For

1. Newegg Business

If you need computers or other electronics, this is the place to start. Newegg Business offers a tradeline you can use to purchase tons of electronic products.

There is something that pretty much any business can use.  

To open a tradeline, or credit line, with net 30 payment terms, you’ll need a DUNS number and a bank reference.  Net 30 accounts range from $500 to $1,000, and they report to Dun & Bradstreet.

2. Strategic Network Solutions

Strategic Network Solutions sells eBooks, software, and even office supplies.  You do have to register to see their products, but the process is fast and easy.  

You will have to make a $60 or more initial purchase to be eligible for a net 30 tradeline of up to $2,000.  They report to Experian and Credit Safe. 

3. Grainger Industrial Supply

Grainger Industrial Supply sells industrial equipment for the outdoors as well as standard tools and more. To gain approval you will need a business license, a DUNS number, and a bank reference. 

You can get a tradeline with net 30 terms that range from $500 to $1,000 and they report to Dun & Bradstreet. Read our full Grainger net 30 review here.

4. Summa Office Supplies

Another office supply provider, you can order anything from paper to staples, pens to printer ink, and pretty much anything you can think of in between from Summa

They require a $60 initial purchase and will approve up to $2,000 on net 30 terms.  They report to Dun & Bradstreet. 

5. Uline

Uline sells a lot of things, but they specialize in packing and shipping equipment and janitorial supplies. You’ll need to place an initial order, and they do ask for a bank reference and two other references. 

They report to Dun & Bradstreet, so you’ll of course need a DUNS number too. 

If you get approval for a net 30 account with each of these, you could have between $5,000 and $10,000 in accounts reporting to a credit reporting agency pretty quickly. 

Make your payments consistently, and that seed you planted with these easy approval business lines will sprout to the point you will be ready for the next step in building your business credit score before you know it. 

What Are Business Tradelines?

The term in question, business tradelines, or trade line, simply refers to accounts that report your payments to the business credit reporting agencies, or CRAs. 

That could be vendor accounts, a business credit card, a secured credit card that reports, or a select few other things. Most often the term refers to a vendor tradeline. 

You buy stuff from these vendors using the business line, and they allow you to pay them at a later date. We call this net terms. 

It is different from revolving credit, like a business credit card, because you have to pay the whole balance by a certain date.  

That means they will bill you for the goods or services you buy from them, with the understanding you will pay within a certain amount of time. 

Most often, these are net 30 accounts, meaning you have 30 days to pay in full.  Occasionally they will extend net 60 or net 90 terms. 

Why is it important to have business tradelines? 

Help Establish Business Credit Score

Your business credit score is separate from your personal credit score. Your personal credit builds passively as you make credit transactions.

You have to be intentional about building a strong business credit score. Having no business credit score is the same as your business having bad credit.

Also, while virtually all credit providers will report both positive and negative payment history to your personal credit report, not all vendors practice positive credit reporting to your business credit report.  

That means you need to add financial tradelines that do report. You’ll likely need help with this from a business credit expert, as most vendors do not make publicly known whether they report or not. 

You need primary business tradelines on your business credit report to establish a PAYDEX with Dun & Bradstreet, which is their main credit score.

They are the largest and most commonly used business credit company. 

Having a PAYDEX is important. D&B says you only need two tradelines to get one.  However, many say that in their experience it took 3 tradelines reporting to establish a PAYDEX.

Raise Your Business Credit Score 

Remember, this only works if you pay on time. However, if you do, the more the merrier. 

When you add tradelines to your credit report, and handle them responsibly, you are only helping your business credit score grow.

Some tradelines break the vicious cycle of “you have to have credit to get credit.”  These typically do not take credit into account for approval.

Rather, they look at other things to determine creditworthiness like time in business, business revenue, and business bank account balance. 

Get Your Free Business Finance Assessment to Discover your Optimal Path to Improve Fundability™, Build Business Credit, and Get Business Loans

Things You Should Know About Business Tradelines

Knowing what a tradeline is and how to get one isn’t enough.

Not all Business Tradelines are Good for Building Business Credit

Tradelines are only good for building credit if they report your payments to the business CRAs. 

That includes Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax Business.  There are a few others as well, but these are the big three.  

The thing is, not all of them report payments.  They are not required to do so, and many do not. 

You have to find those vendors that will report your payments if you are going to use them to build business credit

Buying Business Tradelines is a Bad Idea

It can seem almost impossible to get business tradelines without credit.  You can’t build credit without a payment history.

As a result, someone had the idea to create companies, use them to obtain tradelines, and then sell the tradelines to anyone with a small business who wanted fast business credit. 

Essentially, these are shelf companies that have years’ worth of seasoned tradelines. They market to new business owners as a fast way to build business credit. 

It sounds great. You pay a lot, but you get the potential access to so much more. 

The truth is, however, that lenders are not dumb.  There is no shortcut to business credit building. They caught on to this ruse quickly, and though it is not technically illegal, it is very much frowned upon. 

If a lender catches wind of the idea that you may be using business credit that you did not build yourself, you could be blackballed. 

That means, not only would you not be able to get funding for your small business based on the credit you purchased, but it would block you every time you try to build credit on your own. 

This sounds like great credit repair, but it is really not a good idea. In the end, you trade credit for the ability to get credit, and that doesn’t typically work out well.

You Can Get Business Tradelines without Already Having Business Credit

It is possible to get trade credit without first having good credit. 

If you begin with starter vendors, you can get trade credit without having business credit at all. Even poor credit on your report will not matter. 

When they start reporting the CRAs, your credit will start to grow on its own without you having to spend a dime other than what you buy from the tradeline vendors that your business needs anyway. 

Once you have enough tradelines reporting from these starter vendors, your credit should be strong enough to start applying for credit cards.  As you gather more accounts in each tier, you will be able to move on to the next tier. 

You Need to Get Business Trade Lines in a Specific Order

If you are using business tradelines to build business credit, you can’t just start applying for business credit cards right away.  A credit card company will deny you every single time. 

You have to start with establishing tradelines with starter vendors like those listed above.

Too Many or Too Few Tradelines Reporting Can Affect Your Business Credit Score

The problem with this is, that pretty much any business credit bureau is going to be tight-lipped on where the sweet spot is. That said, your best bet is to open only as many accounts as you need to move on to the next. 

Then, only close accounts if you absolutely must.  

One thing we do know is that Dun & Bradstreet requires at least three tradelines reporting before it will even calculate a Paydex, which is the score lenders most commonly use.  It is the most like the personal FICO score.

What Types of Tradeline Should You Avoid? 

Vendor credit and even a business credit card can be great. However, avoid using shortcuts to add tradelines to your report. The top three “shortcuts” to building business credit are:

  • Buying tradelines
  • CPNs (credit privacy/profile numbers) and
  • Buying shelf corporations

For many, purchasing tradelines seems like the easiest and least risky shortcut. It’s a fast and easy way to get a seasoned tradeline, meaning one that has been in use for a while. However, this type of tradeline business might end up causing more problems than it’s worth.

The following organizations agree.

#1 Federal Reserve

“The potential distortions in credit scores that piggybacking credit may introduce suggest that a reconsideration of existing regulations, industry practices, or both may be warranted to preserve the predictiveness of credit scoring models.”

Credit Where None is Due? Authorized User Account Status and “Piggybacking Credit”, Robert B. Avery, Kenneth P. Brevoort, Glenn B. Canner (Federal Reserve Board, March 5, 2010)

# 2 Dun & Bradstreet

According to a Former D&B Employee:

“Opening a business credit account with any company is free. If you are paying for it, you are being ripped off. When the company who sold that tradeline to you gets taken down, all of their clients will get punished, too, with a mound of debt and a cursed credit file that will keep you from getting more credit to be able to pay it off.”

Joy Greenwood, 10 Common Trade-Line Mistakes, June 5, 2015

# 3 The FBI

When commenting on a 2013 bust of a fraud ring, “A second kind of tradeline is the “authorized user” tradeline, where a credit card holder adds another, so-called “authorized user,” to a credit card account. This raises the credit score of the authorized user, who inherits some of the primary user’s credit history.

Some defendants created and sold fake lines of credit for false identities made up by other defendants. These fraudulent primary tradelines were then used to increase the credit limits on fraud cards so that the defendants could reap even larger profits. Defendants used the authorized user tradelines to create new identities.”


FICO’s opinion on piggybacking is obvious here: “A … shadier version of piggybacking has been promoted by some CROs who offer to “rent” to their credit-challenged customers the trade lines of established account holders, to boost their customers’ credit profiles and scores.”

#5 Equifax

Equifax: “… authorized user abuse occurs when low-risk primary card owners “rent” their tradelines with extensive credit histories, high credit limits, and solid repayment profiles to others – most times, knowingly, to fraudsters.”

#6 Experian

Experian: “Buying tradelines may be viewed as deceptive by lenders and credit reporting agencies, and could even put you in danger of committing bank fraud.

Credit scores are designed to help lenders determine a borrower’s creditworthiness, and most use your credit scores and credit reports to determine whether to approve a credit application and what terms you qualify for.

If you pay money to improve your credit scores without doing any of the work or even getting a card to use, you could be falsely representing your creditworthiness to potential lenders.”

Get Your Free Business Finance Assessment to Discover your Optimal Path to Improve Fundability™, Build Business Credit, and Get Business Loans

CPN (Credit Privacy Number) 

Do not use a CPN to get a credit tradeline or credit cards. It’s not designed to be a business credit builder. 

This is a number that you can use instead of your Social Security Number or your EIN. While there are legitimate reasons to use one, faking a good credit score is not one of those. 

In addition, it is free to get a legitimate CPN, so there is no need to pay for one. Other than that, you may have to pay attorney fees of course. 

Shelf Corporations

The idea behind shelf corporations is that a startup, by definition, has little to no time in business. Therefore, a startup often has few, if any, accounts on their credit report. 

Instead of  building corporate credit the old-fashioned way, a small business owner may be tempted to take a shortcut in the process by buying what’s called an “aged shelf corporation.”

Many business owners realize they’ll have to spend some money to get their business credit profile off the ground. Instead of giving their money to vendors, they give their money to companies selling shelf corps.

A shelf corporation is a corporation on paper only. It was administratively formed, then ‘put on a shelf’ for several years to age.

This is an expensive way to attempt to build credit for your business that may not even work in the end. Not to mention, it isn’t exactly on the up-and-up. A personal guarantee, if it is an option, is better than any of these three shortcuts.

Tradelines are necessary to build a strong business credit history. They are hard to get without already having a credit history, but not impossible.

If you set up your business to have Fundability™ and start applying for starter vendors like the ones listed above, you’ll be heading in the right direction the right way. You’ll soon start to see your credit limit grow.

You can use the credit to manage cash flow, and you’ll be better able to qualify for a business loan as your score grows.

About the author 

Faith Stewart

Faith has a BBA with a major in Accounting, and a combined 20 years of experience in the fields of finance and account.

Before switching to writing, she spent 10 years working in various areas of small business and personal finance and accounting, including working as a public auditor at BKD, LLP, Financial Director at Central Arkansas Development Council, and Commercial Credit Analyst at Farmer's Bank and Trust.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay In The Loop

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter that delivers the most actionable, tactical, and timely business financing tips you actually want and need for Free
*Plus get instant access to the 3-part Fundability™ training - a systems that helps your business become more Fundable and makes you look great to credit issuers and lenders