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Who Ya Gonna Call? Don’t Let a Bad Small Business Credit Score Haunt You

Faith Stewart
October 31, 2020
small business credit score Credit Suite

It’s that time of year when you’re thinking about spooky things lurking behind every corner.  But your business credit score doesn’t have to be one of those things that goes bump in the night. You can call on these bad small business credit score busters to rescue you.

5 Bad Small Business Credit Score Busters

When it comes to a small business credit score, no score is the same as a bad score.  So, whether you actually have bad small business credit, or you don’t have a small business credit score at all, you are in the same boat.  The best place to start is at the beginning.

Bad Small Business Credit Score Buster #1: A Properly Established Business Credit File

No business credit is the same as bad business credit.   The trick is, most people miss out on all the treats credit in the name of their business has to offer because they think they have a business credit score.  They think that if they have a business and pay all the business bills on time, they’re golden. This is a trick indeed.

The truth is, while you do need to know how to build your business credit score, you have to do some pre-work, so to speak.  The problem is, business credit does not develop the same way personal credit does.  You have to actively establish business credit before you can build a small business score.

How to Establish Business Credit

The key to establishing business credit is to set up your business to be a separate, fundable entity apart from you the owner. This ensures that payments on business accounts are on your business credit rather than your personal credit.  Here’s how.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Check out our trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit. Conquer any recession!

Contact Information

You need separate business contact information.  That doesn’t mean you have to get a separate phone line or a separate location.  You can run your business from your home or on your computer.  

Actually, you can get a business phone number easily that works over the internet instead of phone lines ( this is called VOIP, or voice over internet protocol).  Even better, it will forward to any phone you want it to so you can use your personal cell phone or landline.  Calls to your business number will ring straight to you. 

In addition, you can use a virtual office for a business address. This is a business that offers a physical address for a fee, and sometimes they even offer mail service and live receptionist services.  Furthermore, some offer meeting spaces for those times you may need to meet a client or customer in person. 


You also need an EIN. This is an identifying number for your business that is similar to your personal SSN.  You can get one for free from the IRS.


Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is necessary to fundability.  It not only offers liability protection, but it is vital in separating a business from its owner. 

Business Bank Account

You have to open a separate, dedicated business bank account.  First, it will help you keep track of business finances.  It will also help you keep them separate from personal finances for tax purposes. 

Also, several types of funding are not available without a business bank account.  Many lenders and credit cards want to see one with a minimum average balance.  Another reason is, you cannot get a merchant account without a business account at a bank. That means, you cannot take credit card payments.  Even more important, a lot of lenders consider the date a business starts to be the date the business bank account opens.  Time in business is an important factor in business credit.   

Best Bank Accounts for Small Businesses

So, what are the best bank accounts for small businesses? There are tons out there, and each business’s needs are different.  However, there are a few things you should consider when trying to find the best bank account for your business.


This is first because it’s the most obvious, but it isn’t necessarily the most important, at least not in the way you may think.  You do not necessarily want the account with the lowest fee.  While there are probably free bank accounts out there, those may not actually be the best bank accounts for small businesses. Why? Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Which leads to the next thing you need to consider.

Number of Allowed Transactions

You need to consider the number of transactions allowed per month before you are charged additional fees.  Many free accounts allow a very small number of transactions.  This is fine for some small businesses, but you also need to consider growth when determining how many transactions per month you need.

Even business bank accounts that are not free do not usually offer an unlimited number of transactions. Many have a transaction limit, and if you go over, will they charge additional fees. The key is to figure out not only how many transactions you need currently, but how many you may need as you grow. 

Also, make sure you can upgrade your account if you see you are consistently going over the allowed number of transactions. Find out what is entailed in doing so.  You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to get a whole new account if you can help it.  That’s a pain.  Just be sure to keep an eye on how many transactions you do each month.

Required Cash Deposits

Take a look at the deposit amounts allowed or required each month.  Make sure you can meet them.

Minimum Balance Requirements

Are you required to keep a minimum balance in the account to avoid additional fees?  If so, make sure you can meet that requirement.


If you find more than one account that is perfect for your business, take a look at the extras to break the tie.  Do they offer mobile banking? Will they waive fees if you hit a certain number of a specific type of transaction? Do they offer an app or text banking?

Finding the best bank accounts for small businesses takes a little finesse, because what works best for one business may not be what’s best for yours.  This should get you started.


For a business to be legitimate it has to have all of the necessary licenses it needs to run.  If it doesn’t, red flags are going to fly up all over the place.  Do the research you need to do to ensure you have all of the licenses necessary to legitimately run your business at the federal, state, and local levels. 

D-U-N-S Number

This is a number issued by Dun & Bradstreet.  They are the largest and most commonly used business credit reporting agency.  You cannot be in their system without this number. Get one for free on their website.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Check out our trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit. Conquer any recession!

Bad Small Business Credit Score Buster #2: Continuity in Business Information

While this buster does not directly affect your business credit score, a lack of it can definitely get you denied, even with a stellar credit score. Here’s the deal.  Fraud is rampant, and lenders do not like to take chances. If they see one document with your business name that has an ampersand and one that uses the word “and” in place of the ampersand, it will set off fraud concerns and they will deny the loan.  This can happen even if you have a good business credit score. Your business name has to be exactly the same everywhere.

The same is true for addresses and phone numbers.  If you have one address on your website and a different one on insurance papers, it’s going to be a problem. All information related to your business has to be the same on all documents across the board.

Bad Small Business Credit Score Buster #3: Credit Line Hybrid

A credit line hybrid allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use. Qualifying is not as hard as you may think.   You do need good personal credit, at least 685.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Also, in the past 6 months you should have fewer than 5 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit.  

But how is it a bad business credit score buster? Here’s how. If you do not meet the qualifications, you can take on a credit partner that does meet them.  Since it reports to the business credit reporting agencies in the business’s name, you can build credit for your business without having good credit to begin with.

Bad Small Business Credit Score Buster #3: Vendor Credit

Obviously small business lenders are not going to approve applications for loans based on a business credit score if there is no business credit score. Thus, you need a way to build a score without already having a score. This is the time when you need to know how to build your business credit score. Vendor credit is where you start after your business is set up properly.

Vendor credit is offered by what we like to refer to as “starter vendors.”  These are companies that will extend net terms on invoices without a credit check.  Then, when you pay the invoice, they report your payment to the business credit reporting agencies.

This helps you build business credit without already having business credit.  However, for it to work, you have to have your business set up as outlined above.  Also, since they do not check credit, they do have other ways of reducing risk.  These vary by vendor, but some general things they look at include:

  •   Length of time in business
  •   Average balance in business bank account
  •   Revenues

Usually it is some combination of these factors and others that starter vendors are looking for when it comes to extending net terms.

Bad Small Business Credit Score Buster #3: Responsible Use of Store Credit and Fleet Creditbiz credit score Credit Suite

Once you have some starter vendors reporting your payments, you will start to build a small business credit score. At that point, you will be eligible to get approval from some store credit cards.  These are cards from retailers that are meant to be used at their store only.  Apply with your business name, EIN, and contact information so they will report to your business credit report and not your personal credit report, thus building strong business credit.

As they report payments, your business credit score will continue to grow, and you can apply for fleet credit.  These cards are meant to be used for auto repair and maintenance and fuel costs. However, after you get enough of them reporting payments, your score will grow to the point you can apply for cash credit, meaning cards that can be used anywhere on anything, in your business name.

The key to this is, you have to handle the credit responsibly.  If you do not make consistent, on-time payments, you will achieve the opposite effect.

Call on These Bad Small Business Credit Score Busters and Never be Haunted Again

Whether you need to establish a small business credit score or annihilate a bad one, at least one of these tips should help.  If your business isn’t already set up properly, do that now.  Even if you do know how to build your business credit score, it will not matter if your business is not set up properly. The longer you wait the harder it gets. 

After that, be sure anytime you make changes you make them everywhere, and start working on vendor credit.  Small business lenders take all of this into account, so starting as soon as possible to get everything in line is vital. 

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Check out our trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit. Conquer any recession!

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