If you would like to expand your business by purchasing of new equipment, services and goods, adequate business credit would be your first step. If you have strong business credit, you can obtain lower interest rates and in many cases make purchases without having to personally guarantee the loan with your personal credit. Businesses operate a little bit differently in that they do not automatically get a credit profile when the business is “born.” However, there are steps that you can take to register your business to establish its business profile.
Obtain a federal tax ID number. When you establish your business, you should have received a federal tax ID number from the IRS. When you apply for credit, businesses will typically ask you for this federal tax ID number. Some of the businesses that you have been paying each month could already be reporting positive credit history to Dun & Bradstreet and Experian if they already have this number from you. If you have not obtained your federal tax ID number, go to the IRS this website or contact the IRS by phone.
Obtain a D-U-N-S number (Data Universal Numbering System). A D-U-N-S number is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. Dun & Bradstreet can be considered the credit bureau for businesses. Once you have a Dun & Bradstreet number, you are able to use that to apply for credit with certain businesses. Each month that business may report your good payment history to Dun & Bradstreet. Sometimes establishing a business profile with Dun & Bradstreet is not instant. If you would like to instantly establish a credit profile and register, there is a fee that you must pay. Contact Dun & Bradstreet's sales staff for information on establishing a credit profile. They refer to this program as 'Credit Builder.'
Contact businesses that you work with and ask them if they report to Experian or Dun & Bradstreet. Reporting to the credit bureaus for your business is indeed optional, but now that your interest is to register with the business credit bureaus, you want to have more than five businesses reporting your good credit payment history.
Locate other businesses that will report your good credit history. If you have less than five businesses that are reporting each month to Dun & Bradstreet or Experian, gauge what other needs your business may have. Then you can apply for credit at other institutions that may report. Be sure that you ask if they report before you give them your service. It is discouraging to build business credit relationships with companies that are not reporting your good payment history.
Once you register your business with the credit bureaus try not to check your business credit too frequently. Dun and Bradstreet will flag your account as a high risk for doing so.
- Business.com: Dun & Bradstreet CreditBuilder
- IRS: Employer ID Numbers (EINs)
- Federal Trade Commission. "Fair Credit Reporting Act," Pages 10-22. Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.
- Experian. "Intelliscore PlusSM." Accessed Oct. 21, 2020.
- Dun & Bradstreet. "Changes to a Business’s PAYDEX® Score." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.
- Duns & Bradstreet. "Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S® Number." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.
- Once you register your business with the credit bureaus try not to check your business credit too frequently. Dun and Bradstreet will flag your account as a high risk for doing so.
Qyou Stoval holds a bachelor's degree in communications/media studies from Clayton State University and a MBA with a concentration in marketing from Ashford University. He has more than 10 years experience writing articles, poetry, novels, and stage and screen plays. His writing career started professionally in 1997. He is also proudly serving the United States Air Force.