When it comes to business credit, businesses start with a zero credit history and build credit ratings up over time. Establishing excellent business credit may take years with diligent planning, however, there are some things a small business can do to get the credit ball rolling. As with personal credit, once your company starts building credit, consistent and regular on-time payments are essential to strengthening credit scores.
Set up your business to operating with its own Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number. This taxpayer number for business entities forms the foundation of the business credit history. You can apply for an EIN by filing a Form SS-4 by phone at 800-829-4933 or online at the IRS website.
Open a business checking account at your local bank. Maintain a consistent balance and never bounce a check. Consistent deposits and account balances give you credibility with your bank.
Register with the major business credit reporting agencies such as Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian. It takes only a few minutes to create a free profile.
Apply for a cell phone under the business EIN. Many cell phone providers will extend credit to a company.
Apply for a business credit card or line of credit at your business bank. Show the bank manager or loan representative your revenue history, and explain why you want the credit line. The more consistent you have been with your bank account, the more likely you will be approved, if only for a small credit limit.
Request vendors to bill you on a Net 30 payment schedule where you pay for inventory or goods within 30 days from the receipt of goods. Request vendors report this to the credit agencies.
- IRS.gov: How to Apply for EIN
- Federal Reserve Bank of NY: Credit Process
- Experian. "How to Build Credit for Your Business." Accessed April 28, 2020.
- Experian. "How Do I Qualify for a Small Business Card?" Accessed April 28, 2020.
- Experian. "How to Improve Your Business Credit Score." Accessed April 28, 2020.
With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.