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How to Establish Credit When You Have None

Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at December 20th, 2017

How to Establish Credit When You Have None

Establish Credit When You Have None

How do you establish credit when you have none? 

Every Business Needs Small Business Credit Establishing

Small business credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t connect to an entrepreneur’s consumer credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the sole employee of the company. 

Thus, a business owner’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.

The Advantages

Given that company credit is separate from consumer, it helps to protect an entrepreneur’s personal assets, in the event of court action or business bankruptcy.

Also, with two separate credit scores, a small business owner can get two different cards from the same vendor. This effectively doubles purchasing power.

Another advantage is that even startups can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for disappointment. But building small business credit, when done right, is a plan for success.

Personal credit scores are dependent on payments but also additional considerations like credit utilization percentages. 

But for small business credit, the scores actually just hinge on if a business pays its invoices timely.

Establish Credit When You Have None: The Process

Establishing business credit is a process. It does not happen automatically. A business has to actively work to build company credit. 

Having said that, it can be done readily and quickly, and it is much speedier than establishing personal credit scores. 

Merchants are a big aspect of this process.

Carrying out the steps out of order results in repetitive rejections. Nobody can start at the top with business credit. 

Establish Credit When You Have None with Small Business Fundability

A business needs to be fundable to lenders and merchants. 

Due to this fact, a company needs a professional-looking web site and e-mail address. And it needs to have site hosting bought from a supplier such as GoDaddy. 

And also, company telephone numbers must have a listing on 411. You can do that here:

Also, the business phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the like).

A small business also needs a bank account dedicated solely to it, and it must have all of the licenses necessary for operation. 


These licenses all have to be in the correct, accurate name of the company. And they must have the same business address and phone numbers. 

So, note, that this means not just state licenses, but possibly also city licenses.

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Working with the Internal Revenue Service

Visit the Internal Revenue Service website and get an EIN for the company. They’re free of charge. Select a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc. 

A business may start off as a sole proprietor. But they should change to a kind of corporation or an LLC. 

This is to lessen risk. And it will maximize tax benefits.

A business entity matters when it comes to tax obligations and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the business owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. Nobody else is responsible.

The best thing to do is to incorporate. You should only look at a DBA as an interim step on the way to incorporation.

Establish Credit When You Have None: Getting Started

Start at the D&B website and get a free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a small business into 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 company. You can do this at 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 have something to report on.

Establish Credit When You Have None with Vendor Credit

First you need to build trade lines that report. This is also called vendor credit. 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 begin to get more credit.

These sorts of accounts tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are ordinarily Net 30, versus revolving. 

Therefore, if you get an approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you must pay that money back in a set term, like within 30 days on a Net 30 account.


Net 30 accounts have to be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts must be paid fully within 60 days. In contrast to with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you must pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of. 

To start your business credit profile the proper way, you should get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting bureaus. Once that’s done, you can then make use of the credit. 

Then repay what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.

Vendor Credit  – It Helps

Not every vendor can help in the same way true starter credit can. These are vendors that grant an approval with negligible effort. You also need them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

Here are some stellar choices from us: 

Accounts That Don’t Report

Non-reporting trade accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to at least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can also be of some value. 

You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. Also, credit accounts of any sort will help you to better even out business expenses, thus making budgeting simpler. These are companies like PayPal Credit, T-Mobile, and Best Buy.

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Establish Credit When You Have None and Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and address any errors ASAP. Get in the practice of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the specifics, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian, Equifax, and D&B for 90% less than it would cost you at the CRAs. See:

Update Your Information

Update the relevant information if there are inaccuracies or the details is incomplete. 

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So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to dispute any inaccuracies in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs generally want you to dispute in a particular way.


Disputing credit report inaccuracies usually means you specifically itemize any charges you contest.

A Word about Business Credit Building

Always use credit sensibly! Don’t borrow more than what you can pay off. Monitor balances and deadlines for payments. Paying off punctually and in full does more to boost business credit scores than nearly anything else.

Building company credit pays off. Good business credit scores help a company get loans. Your lending institution knows the business can pay its debts. They recognize the company is for real. 

The company’s EIN connects to high scores and lenders won’t feel the need to call for a personal guarantee.

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Establish Credit When You Have None: Takeaways

Business credit is an asset which can help your company for many years to come. Learn more here and get started toward establishing small business credit.

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