A credit card can be a boon to your small business. It provides you with a credit line that helps you manage cash flow and often offers helpful perks or cash back or rewards programs.
Register with the business credit-reporting bureaus, including Dun & Bradstreet and Business Credit USA (see Resources). They collect your credit history from your creditors as well as the history of your business, including everything from litigation history to company sales. Providing your information up front allows you to present your business in a positive light and also to get a credit score right away.
Make sure your personal business is in order. In order to have a solid credit history for your business, you must also have a solid personal credit history.
Find a bank that you already do business with and apply for a small-business credit card. If your credit is bad, you may have to prove yourself by starting out really small and/or depositing money into an account or CD to insure your loan.
Choose the best credit card for you and your employees. You’ll have to do a lot of research. Some credit cards offer perks, such as frequent flyer miles, which could be helpful if you or your employees do a lot of traveling. To figure out how to find the best credit card, think about how long it will take you to pay off your balance, if no-fee cards are offered, what kinds of rewards you want and what the interest rates are.
Apply for and wait the 10 or so days for the bank to approve (or not) your new card(s).
If you are going to offer credit cards to your employees, be sure to have a good system in place to keep track of their usage.
- If you are going to offer credit cards to your employees, be sure to have a good system in place to keep track of their usage.
Lizzy Scully is a senior contributing editor for Mountain Flyer magazine and the executive director of the nonprofit Girls Education International. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from University of Utah and Master of Science in journalism from Utah State University.