Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at October 9th, 2017
When you are first starting out, setting up your business can seem daunting. You may be sorely tempted to just take something, anything, in order to be done with it already. But that can get you denied for a business loan.
So don’t! Setup is important. And your business can suffer if you do not take proper steps in the very beginning.
Lenders perceive an 800 Number or toll-free phone numbers (such as with other legitimate area codes) as a sign of business credibility. Even if you are a single owner with a business based out of your home, a toll-free telephone number gives forth the perception that you are an even bigger company.
It is incredibly easy and inexpensive to set-up a virtual local phone number or one or more toll free 800 telephone numbers.
A cell or home phone number as your main business line could get you flagged as an un-established entity. Do not give a personal cell phone or residential phone as your business phone number.
With your brand new phone number in hand, what is the next step? You need to get a listing with 411. This is your business telephone number. Why do you need these? It is because that kind of listing instantly builds and demonstrates business credibility. This is along with a professional website and a physical business address, plus any necessary licensure.
Your phone number must have a listing with 411 for most credit issuers and lenders to approve you. Check your record to determine if your small business has a listing. And make sure that your information is accurate. You can check here: ListYourself.net. If your business does not have a listing, ListYourself, Yext, and even D&B Credit Signal can help you get your business a listing.
First, you will need to set up a website. Not to worry; these go hand in hand.
Credit providers will research your company on the internet. It is in your best interests if they learned everything directly from your company website. This is a lot better than if they learn it from a competitor or from Yelp or any other ratings site. While you do need a presence on Yelp, it should not be your only web presence.
Not having a company website can severely hurt your small business’s chances of getting business credit or loans. By using places like TemplateMonster.com and Upwork.com, you can get a site up cheaply and quickly. And it will look decent, from the very beginning.
You will eventually want someone to design your site, particularly if you are not artistically inclined or you are not too savvy with this, or you just do not have the time. But for your business as you are getting up to speed, having a business website which looks good will go a long way.
And make sure you purchase hosting. Using a free WordPress site via WordPress (so the URL for your business would look something like yourbusiness.wordpress.com) does not inspire confidence in lenders. You can get your website hosted by a hosting company like Go Daddy or Host Gator.
This is because it is important to get a company email address for your business. This will usually come with your website domain. And it is either a small additional fee or your hosting provider will kick it in with your package. This is not only professional; it also greatly helps your chances of getting the thumbs up from a credit provider. Do not use a Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, or similar type of email for your business.
Business credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t link to an owner’s consumer credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the only employee of the company.
Accordingly, a business owner’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.
Establishing company 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 speedier than developing personal credit scores.
Vendors are a big component of this process.
Doing the steps out of order will cause repetitive denials. No one can start at the top with company credit.
A small business must be Fundable to credit issuers and merchants.
Due to this fact, a company will need to have all of the things already mentioned. These include a professional-looking website and email address, and website hosting. The same is true for the toll-free company telephone numbers and their listing on ListYourself.net.
A company will also need a bank account dedicated strictly to it, and it must have every one of the licenses necessary for running.
These licenses all have to be in the exact, appropriate name of the small business. And they must have the same company address and telephone numbers.
So bear in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.
Visit the IRS web site and get an EIN for the business. They’re totally free. Pick a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.
A business can get started as a sole proprietor. But they should change to a type of corporation or an LLC.
This is to limit risk. And it will make the most of tax benefits.
A business entity will matter when it pertains to taxes and liability in case of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.
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 business into their system, to generate 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 websites 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 manner, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.
And with an established business credit profile and score you can start to get more credit.
These varieties 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 first of all, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you initial credit when you have none now. You won’t be denied. Terms are normally Net 30, instead of revolving.
Therefore, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you will need to pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then progress to more credit.
Know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and fix any errors ASAP. Get in the practice of checking credit reports. Dig into the particulars, not just the scores.
We can help you monitor business credit at Experian, Equifax, and D&B for 90% less.
Update the relevant information if there are inaccuracies or the information is incomplete.
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to contest any inaccuracies in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed.
Fixing credit report mistakes means you precisely detail any charges you dispute. Make your dispute letter as crystal clear as possible. Be specific about the issues with your report.
Always use credit smartly! Never borrow more than what you can pay off. Keep an eye on balances and deadlines for payments. Paying off promptly and completely will do more to boost business credit scores than almost anything else.
Growing business credit pays. Great business credit scores help a small business get loans. Your lender knows the business can pay its financial obligations. They know the business is bona fide.
The business’s EIN connects to high scores and lending institutions won’t feel the need to demand a personal guarantee.
Business credit is an asset which can help your business for many years to come.
Consider the lender’s perspective. They want assurances that you will pay your bills on time and will not skip town. Without a listed phone number, or a professional email address, they will see you as fly by night. You definitely do not want that. Your phone number and email address can get you denied. Or you can make them work for you. And don’t worry about being denied any more. This is so even if it’s an SBA loan denied. Or PayPal working capital denied.