Business Archive

How to Build Business Credit – Build Your Business Credit Fast

Learning how to start building or repairing credit for your business are imperative. Whether you are establishing a business or have an existing one, building a good credit rating is essential, as it helps to optimize your business operations.

In the initial stages of building business credit, more often than not, it is necessary to use your personal credit background to obtain funding to finance purchases and attain credit. However, the business credit profile should be separated from your personal one, as relying on one’s own funding to finance the business leaves you personally liable.

The process to build up credit for your business must commence prior to starting operations. To start building credit immediately you must be looking on establishing the following:

Business as a Legal Entity

To separate your business credit score from your personal credit score it is necessary to establish your business as a separate entity. To qualify as a separate entity the business has to be structured as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC).

Tax Identification Number

Acquiring a tax ID number (also known as an Employer Identification Number, or EIN) is the next step involved in building valuable credit for your business. Similar to the personal credit score which is associated with the individual’s Social Security Number, the business credit reports are associated to a tax ID number. The federal tax identification number can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service and there are a several ways to reach them:

Call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Hotline at 1-800-829-4933.
Download IRS Form SS-4 from the Internal Revenue Service website
Download IRS Form SS-4 from the Small Business Administration website and submit to IRS by mail or fax. Directions for the SS-4 forms are provided online.
Business Bank Account

Opening a business bank account allows you to separate business funds from personal funds. Furthermore, a business bank account can also serve as a bank reference when applying for business credit.

How To Start Building CreditWith A Business Credit Card

As a business credit card can be used as a revolving credit line, it is simplest way to build up credit history with on-time payments. Timely payments eventually improve your company’s credit worthiness which facilitates your ability to acquire a business loan. Therefore, use a business credit card for payments whenever possible. Unlike personal credit cards, having multiple active business accounts can be positive, provided that they are in good standing. However, limit the number of business credit cards when beginning and as the company grows you can continue to acquire more.

Business Phone Number

Acquiring a business phone line is important as business credit reporting agencies use the phone number to index your business in their databases. In addition, the credit reporting agencies use the telephone number as proof that you are actually conducting business.

Business Listing

Be sure to supply the exact same business address and phone number to every credit agency and trade credit vendor. Ensure that the business address and phone number are also listed in both the 411 Directory (White Pages) and the Yellow Pages.

A D-U-N-S Number

The D-U-N-S Number is a 9-digit number issued by Dun and Bradstreet that most companies utilize it to verify the credit history of businesses. The United States government and many corporations require their suppliers and contractors to have a D-U-N-S Number. Keep in mind that having a D-U-N-S number is just the beginning. You will need to start building your company’s credit profile by doing business with creditors and/or suppliers that report to Dun and Bradstreet.

How to Start Building Credit By Registering with Credit Reporting Agencies

Many of your company’s lenders and suppliers report information to the business credit reporting agencies about your company, such as how your business pays its bills or loans. There are many business credit reporting agencies such as D&B, Experian Business, BusinessCreditUSA, FDInsight, and ClientChecker. The majority of suppliers, creditors, and lenders pull their reports from Dun and Bradstreet, Experian and, Equifax Business. Registering an account with these 3 business credit reporting agencies is a good start.

Registering enables your company to start building credit through their credit databases. The database can also be used by potential customers, suppliers and lenders to obtain fundamental information about your company. As it is not mandatory, it may be necessary to ask businesses that you work with to report your timely payments to these business reporting agencies. These submissions enhance your credit rating and verify your registration with the business credit reporting agencies.


Before conducting business, it is necessary to obtain all registrations, permits and business licenses that are required in your jurisdiction.

In summary, once the above list has been completed, the process of building business credit profile can commence. Obtaining trade credit with vendors is a good place to start. To build up credit score, it is important to seek vendors and suppliers that are set-up to report your company’s payment history to the credit reporting agencies. Naturally prompt payments for purchases are essential in leading to a good credit score. If the business has an existing loan, timely payment of the loan can also help you establish a better business credit score.

As it is with the individual credit scores, it is important to review your business credit scores from credit bureaus once or twice a year. Make sure the information is accurate. Upon finding errors, contact the appropriate bureau and report the errors immediately with proper documentation. As the business credit report affects the operations of the business, it is to your best interests to have these agencies present an accurate picture of your business.

10 Best Strategies for Building Business Credit Fast

10 Best Strategies for Building Business Credit Fast

We’ve broken down how to build business credit into 10 steps.

The first four steps will help you establish your business identity. If you haven’t formed an LLC yet, you’ll start here.

Then, the final six steps will help you build business credit and increase your credit score.

Skip Ahead
I haven’t formed an LLC yet: Establish Your Business Identity

I have my LLC and EIN in place: Build Business Credit

Establish Your Business Identity
The first four steps for building business credit fast will establish a foundation for applying for (and being approved for) business credit.

1. Form an LLC
When you form a business entity like an LLC or corporation, you create a business credit profile that is separate from your personal credit.

Most lenders and banks require that a business is set up as a legal entity before they extend business credit.

A limited liability company (LLC) is also a good way to protect your house, car, and personal bank accounts in the event that your business is sued or defaults on a debt.

Forming an LLC is the simplest and most affordable legal business entity.

For businesses that require outside investors, read our LLC vs. Corporation guide.

2. Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number for businesses. Just like your Social Security number is attached to your personal credit profiles, an EIN is attached to your business credit profiles.

An EIN is used for filing taxes, opening bank accounts, and applying for business credit.

Read our EIN guide to learn how to get a free EIN.

3. Get a Business Website
Having a business website makes it extremely easy for lenders to find out about your business credit and this plays a role in their decision-making process when deciding to approve your business for a loan. If you don’t have a proper business website, it raises a red flag for prospective lenders.

The more professional and easily navigable your business website is, the better. Lenders want to understand your business. Your website should reflect what your business does, who its customers are, where it is located, what its products and services are, and provide a visual snapshot of your business.

Recommended: The GoDaddy Website Builder is our top choice for small businesses.

4. Get a Business Phone System
A dedicated business phone system will give your business greater credibility in the eyes of your customers and financial institutions. Lenders do background checks to determine if you meet certain business credit criteria — one being having an established business phone number listed on online citations, your website, social media platforms, etc.

The best type of business phone line will depend on what kind of business you run. For example, if you’re running a small business, you might consider buying a VoIP service. This would allow you to set up a virtual office number that customers could call directly without having to dial long-distance numbers.

To find the right business phone service for your business, read our review of the best business phone services.

Start Building Business Credit
Once you’ve established a foundation, it’s time to start building good business credit quickly.

5. Get a Business Bank Account
A business bank account separates your personal finances from business finances. This is critical for upholding limited liability protection and building a business credit file separate from your personal credit history. Lenders, banks, and creditors often use business bank accounts to determine eligibility for loans and other forms of credit.

Keeping a business bank account also brings transparency to your business finances, making it easy for lenders to determine how much your business is worth and, given your past spending habits, how likely your business will be able to repay the loan.

Having the right business bank account is crucial. You want one that offers good terms, flexibility, and support for your business in the long term.

For help with choosing the right bank for your unique business, check out our Best Banks for Small Business review.

Tip: Be sure to have your EIN and Articles of Organization handy when applying for a business bank account.

Getting a Lili online business checking account is an ideal way to separate your personal and business assets and start your credit building journey.

6. Get a Business Credit Card
The length of time you’ve been in business and your monthly revenue determines how much credit you can get approved for. It also determines whether you’re granted a secured business credit card or an unsecured business credit card.

A secured business credit card requires a deposit equal to the amount you’re able to spend on the card each month. An unsecured business credit card does not require a deposit and has a limit set by the lending institution or issuing bank.

Making regular payments on time without spending more than 50% of your credit card limit ensures you’ll qualify for higher credit limits over time. This is how you build business credit fast, by making regular, on-time (preferably earlier) payments, and using your credit responsibly to advance your business. The major business credit reporting agencies will also reward you for these higher lines of business credit.

During the beginning stages of starting a business, it won’t be possible to get approved for an unsecured credit card. Instead, new businesses will need to open a secured credit card, like a Divvy card, to build business credit.

Secured cards only allow you to borrow your own money but each time you repay on time, you create a positive monthly report to the business credit bureaus.

Tip: Be sure to have your EIN and Articles of Organization handy when applying for your business credit card.

Recommended: Get the Divvy card to build your business credit quickly and to manage all your company expenses with Divvy’s card-plus-software solution that easily integrates with your accounting platform.

7. Establish Net 30 Vendor Accounts
Net 30 accounts allow you to order products from a vendor, in return, they invoice you for your order, and then you have 30 days from the invoice date to pay them. Most net 30 vendors report these payments to the major business credit bureaus. This helps you establish tradelines on your business credit profiles to start building your business credit.

And so long as you pay on time or, even better, early, you’ll be working toward improving your business credit scores. The better your scores, the easier it is to get a business loan later.

Our Net 30 Vendors to Build Business Credit guide is a resource for finding and setting up net 30 accounts with vendors who report to the business credit bureaus.

It is recommended you have at least five net 30 vendors reporting to the business credit bureaus. We recommend starting with Office Garner because they report to multiple business credit bureaus, like Dun & Bradstreet*, Equifax Small Business, Creditsafe, and SBFE.

*Dun & Bradstreet reporting requires Office Garner’s Credit Builder service.

Be sure to have your EIN and Articles of Organization handy when applying for your net 30 accounts.

Recommended: Office Garner offers net 30 terms to help you build your business credit fast.

8. Apply for In-Store Credit Cards
In-store credit cards let you purchase merchandise from stores you visit regularly. These cards are like regular credit cards but they only let you purchase products from the stores you have cards at.

Similar to secured business credit cards, in-store credit cards are easier to get than unsecured credit cards, making them a good credit-building strategy for small businesses. The major business credit reporting agencies will update your business credit scores to reflect this better credit history.

Tip: Be strategic when looking for an in-store credit card. We recommend applying to stores where you regularly do business, such as office supply stores and other big-box department stores where you shop for items for your business.
9. Ask for Higher Net-30 Credit Lines
The ratio of your net 30 account balance compared to your credit line maximum creates your credit utilization score. Lenders like to see a low ratio of credit balance to the credit limit. The higher your limit and the lower your balance, the better your credit utilization score. And, as your credit utilization rating improves, so does your business credit score.

This will give you access to more credit and more favorable lending terms.

Request increases in your net 30 credit limits with the net 30 vendors you currently do business with. Assuming you’ve paid your net 30 invoices on time for at least six months, you should be approved for higher credit lines. This will also help your business credit report.

10. Apply for a Business Loan
Business loans give you access to larger amounts of capital. Business owners use this capital to grow their companies quickly.

Being approved for business loans with the best terms is the ultimate goal of building business credit. By having followed the steps above and making payments on time, you’ve set yourself up for approval for the best business loans.

Check out our Lendio business loan review to learn more.

Maintain and Expand Your Business Credit
These final strategies aren’t necessarily required, but following them can help speed up your business’s credit-building process even more.

Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is important because it protects your assets against loss or damage. Creditors will check to see if your business is insured or not. If you are, it means less risk of your business defaulting on repaying the loan, improving your chances of getting a loan.

A good insurance policy will cover things like property damage, general liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial property.

You should always choose a reputable insurance provider when purchasing business insurance.

Find out the real cost of insurance for your small business. Get a get a free quote or call 833-536-1478.

Get a DUNS Number
A DUNS number is a unique identifier used by Dun & Bradstreet to track companies across industries. The D&B database includes information like company size, industry, revenue, net worth, and more.

You need a Dun & Bradstreet business profile to establish lines of business credit and build a solid business credit history. This is one of the first places creditors check to decide if you’re creditworthy or not.

Create Social Media Accounts
Social media is a free way to promote your business. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the top social media sites you should focus on. Each site has different benefits, but in general, they’re all free and easy to use.

The main benefit all have in common is they show transparency, giving your business a voice that provides legitimacy to loan officers.

Tip: LinkedIn is the best social networking platform for businesses and is the first social media account we recommend opening and staying up to date with.

Pull Your Business Credit Reports After 6 Months
Wait six more months and pull your Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Small Business business credit reports. Make sure your business credit reports do not have any derogatory marks and that your business credit scores are excellent.

Pulling credit at the six-month mark will allow enough time for the reporting bureaus to collect the data needed to present an accurate credit report. Knowing your credit history as it relates to the credit bureaus is beneficial because you can adapt your strategy to the new information if needed.

Apply for a Working Capital Loan With Your Bank
A working capital loan is meant to help with a business’s operating expenses during times of low revenue.

The lender will pull your personal credit report and review your business bank account and financials. Based on this information, they will approve or reject your loan application. Capital loan lenders then report the loan repayments to the business credit bureaus. As long as payments are made on time, this will improve your business credit rating.

Tip: Use a working capital loan to pay your bills each month, then pay this balance off with your business bank account. This will help you manage your cash flow better while continuing to build your business credit profiles.

Why Is It Important to Build Business Credit Fast?
The main reason it is important to build business credit fast has to do with cash flow. Did you know that over 80% of businesses fail because of cash flow shortages? This single problem could be easily avoided if a business were to build business credit fast and thus resolve its cash flow problems. This isn’t the sole reason why you should build business credit fast, but it is the most important.

Here are some other benefits of building business credit fast:

Grow your business faster. When you build business credit fast, you can leverage debt faster (i.e., other people’s money ([OPM]), which is how to grow your business fast.
Get faster financing. When you have great business credit, you can get approved much faster for new loans.
Get higher lines of business credit. Lenders love to extend credit to businesses worthy of credit.
Get better financing terms. Like with personal credit, the better your credit score and, the more credit you have, the better the interest rates and other terms.
Keep business and personal finances separate. This protects your personal assets and credit should your business, unfortunately, run into problems (e.g., legal, credit, bankruptcy, etc.).
Track expenses easier. Having a business credit card can help you monitor and track spending as well as a business checking account does.
Make tax time less taxing. There are numerous tax incentives for borrowing money to grow your business. You can deduct interest for short-term loans and lines of credit. You can hand over all this information to a certified public accountant, and they can easily make sense of everything, getting you the best tax breaks.
Final Advice for Building Business Credit Fast
Now you understand the importance of building business credit fast. You understand the preliminaries and even how to build business credit fast. The only thing left is to take action and start implementing the practical advice we’ve laid out for you. Before you do, however, here is some final advice to help you build business credit fast.

Pay all your bills early, always. Paying them on time is good, but it won’t earn you an excellent business credit score rating, just a good one.
Make sure your business is fundable. Fundability is ensuring your business can get business credit. You’ll want to learn more about how to build business credit first.
Do your due diligence. Start by asking yourself some questions: How do I get business credit? Is business credit based on personal credit? How do I build up my business credit without using my personal credit? Questions like these will guide you as you learn more about building business credit.
Find out about small business loans through the Small Business Association (SBA). The SBA offers 7(a) loans that can go a long way in helping small businesses build business credit faster.
Think of building business credit as building relationships with other companies and institutions. The more effort you put into building the relationship, the more you get out of it.
Check your business credit reports regularly. Mistakes in reporting happen. For this reason, we recommend checking your business credit reports monthly to ensure all information is correct.
Monitor public records. Potential lenders will check your business out thoroughly before deciding to extend a line of credit to you. Make sure your company is in good standing and compliant with all reporting requirements, etc.

Business Credit Basics

Why does your venture need business credit? In order to understand this, you need to know the definition of this kind of credit. It basically stands for the credit worthiness of your company as a separate entity. Your personal identity and scores are not up for scrutiny and questioning here. It is of utmost importance for you to build business credit as soon as possible and to ensure that you have a worthy business credit profile. Whether it is a new business or an old one is of no concern, if you haven’t as yet, now is a good time to work on the credit aspect of your business.

Business Credit Bureaus

Personal credit bureaus are familiar names to us. There are specific credit bureaus that deal only with the business aspect of credit scoring for companies. The best of these business loan credit bureaus internationally is Dunn & Bradstreet. Other familiar ones include Experian Business, Equifax Business and FDInsight. Once you apply to receive your trade credit report, these privately owned and operated companies delve into all aspects of your corporate credit and even look into public records and business tax records to create a report and give your company an appropriate score ranging from 0-100. An average of 75 is considered a reasonably good score.

Advantages of Business Credit

There are quite a few perk and advantages that are associated with having good business credit. Small business credit gives you the feasibility to apply for small business loans as well as get business credit cards.

The best aspect of using a business related credit card is that its only purpose is to be used for business expenses like travelling or for a leg up on the startup initial capital required in any business. Many companies offer different business cards. The best thing to do is make an informed choice. Consider all the cards and the perks that they have to offer. The interest rates must be as low as possible with good facilities that are accessible from any part of the country. When you zoom on the card of your choice, be sure to create a good pre-payment plan. This will make certain that no strange debt collection accumulates on your account. All the work that you have put in, in order to sustain good business profile will go down the drain, if you cannot make payment on the business cards that you have.

To Sum It Up

There are many credit building programs that are available online and otherwise that can teach you how to build business credit fast and in an appropriate manner. Some professionals also are available to help you do this task. Fortunately, their fees are not all that high when you consider what you stand to gain. You have succeeded as soon as you stop using your personal credit for business expenses. It may take some time and patience but it is well worth it at the end of the day.