Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at November 30th, 2017
Build your business credit and it can happen.
Building better business credit means that your business gets opportunities you never assumed it would. You can get brand-new equipment, bid on real property, and cover the company payroll. And you get this even when times are a bit lean.
Given this, you need to work on growing your business credit. Boost and maintain your scores and you will have these opportunities. Do not, and either you do not get these opportunities, or they will set you back you a lot more.
And no entrepreneur wants that. You ought to know what affects your small business credit before you can make it better.
This is in essence how long your business has been making use of business credit. Naturally newer firms will have very short credit histories.
While there is not too much you can particularly do about that, do not fret. Credit reporting bureaus will also evaluate your personal credit score and your personal history of payments.
If your individual credit is excellent, and especially if you have a somewhat extensive credit history, then your individual credit can come to the rescue of your company. So that is, you did not just get your very first credit card fairly recently.
Obviously the opposite is also true. So if your individual credit history is bad, then it will have a bearing on your business credit scores. That is, until your small business and personal credit can be split up.
Overdue monthly payments will have an effect on your company credit score. Did you know that’s for a good seven years? If you pay company debts off, as fast and completely as possible, then you can make a very real difference in your credit scores.
Be sure to pay in a timely manner. And you will enjoy the benefits of promptness.
A dissatisfactory business year could end up on your individual credit score. And just in case your small business has not been around for too long, it will directly affect your business credit.
Nonetheless, you can unlink both by taking measures to uncouple them. For example, then the credit reporting agencies will begin to treat your private and small business credit on an individual basis.
So this can happen if you get credit cards just for your small business, or you open up business checking accounts and other bank accounts. Or maybe get a business loan.
Also, make sure to incorporate. Or at least file a DBA (doing business as) status.
You can also pay for your company’s expenses with your firm credit card or checking account. And make certain it is the business’s full name on the bill and not yours.
Just like as every entity out there, credit reporting agencies such as Equifax and Experian are only as good as their data. If your business’s name resembles another’s, or your name is a lot like another company owner’s, there can possibly be some oversights.
So keep an eye on those reports, and your small business report at Dun & Bradstreet, PAYDEX. Stay on top of these reports. And contest charges with records and clear-cut communications.
Do not just allow them to stay wrong! You can correct this! And while you’re at it, keep an eye on the credit reporting agency which only handles consumer and not small business credit, TransUnion.
If you do not know exactly how to pull a credit report, do not fret. It’s easy.
But how do I do it? I hear you ask. Not to worry. Here are the steps.
Establishing corporate credit is a process, and it does not happen without effort. A company must actively work to establish company credit. Nevertheless, it can be done readily and quickly, and it is much more rapid than developing individual credit scores.
Merchants are a big aspect of this process.
Carrying out the steps out of order will lead to repetitive denials. No one can start at the top with small business credit.
A corporation has to be respectable to lenders and merchants. That’s why; a small business will need a professional-looking web site and email address, with site hosting from a supplier such as GoDaddy. Also company telephone numbers must have a listing on 411, which you can get via ListYourself.net.
Also the business telephone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the equivalent).
A small business will also need a bank account devoted only to it, and it needs to have every one of the licenses necessary for operating. These licenses all must be in the correct, appropriate name of the company, with the same company address and phone numbers.
Keep in mind that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.
Visit the Internal Revenue Service website and acquire an EIN for the corporation. They’re totally free. Choose a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.
A company can start off as a sole proprietor but should change to a type of corporation to minimize risk and make best use of tax benefits.
A business entity will matter when it pertains to tax obligations and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. Nobody else is responsible.
If you run a corporation as a sole proprietor, then at least be sure to file for a DBA (‘doing business as’) status.
But never look at a DBA filing as being anything beyond a steppingstone to incorporating.
Start at the D&B web site and get a free DUNS number. A DUNS number is how D&B gets a company in their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no DUNS 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 so at https://www.creditsuite.com/reports/.
If there is a record with them, check it for accuracy and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process. This way, Experian and Equifax will have something to report on.
First you need to build trade lines that report. This is also referred to as vendor accounts. 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 getting more credit.
These types of accounts have the tendency to be for the things bought all the time, like shipping boxes, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are often Net 30, instead of revolving.
So if you get an 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.
Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts have to be paid fully within 60 days. Unlike with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you must pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.
To begin your business credit profile the right way, get approval for vendor accounts reporting to the business credit reporting agencies. 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.
Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are merchants that will 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.
Know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and attend to any mistakes ASAP. Get in the practice of checking credit reports. Dig into the details, not just the scores.
We can help you monitor business credit at Experian, Equifax, and D&B for 90% less. Update the details if there are errors or the information is incomplete.
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to dispute any problems in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs often want you to dispute in a particular way.
Disputing credit report inaccuracies usually means you precisely detail any charges you challenge.
Always use credit responsibly! Never borrow beyond what you can pay off. Keep track of balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying punctually and in full will do more to increase business credit scores than just about anything else.
Building corporate credit pays off. Great business credit scores help a corporation get loans. Your lending institution knows the business can pay its debts. They recognize the business is for real.
The business’s EIN links to high scores and loan providers won’t feel the need to request a personal guarantee.
Business credit is an asset which can help your company for many years to come.
Once you understand what effects your corporate credit score, you are that much nearer to building better corporate credit. Learn more here and get started toward how to build your business credit.