Why and How – To Begin Building Business Credit

When you are running a small business, you know that you are going to face challenges that the larger companies and corporations do not have to deal with or have already dealt with. If you are not only the owner of a small business, but one of its primary employees as well, then you may not have as much time to dedicate to analyzing your financial data as you would like.

Many small businesses fall into the trap of being more concerned with paying the monthly bills, meeting payroll, and acquiring new customers, and not paying enough attention to ways to improve the businesses financial status.


Small businesses need to establish business credit in order to operate more efficiently and to better manage revenue. Many people running a small business do not realize that they can set up a credit rating that is separate from their personal credit rating, in the form of a business credit rating.

We are not talking about trade credit here. Trade credit is a totally separate matter. One of the big downsides on trade credit is that it restricts all of your purchases to the company who is offering the credit line. For example, if you get a trade credit account with one of your local office supply stores, then you will find that you have to pay whatever prices they are charging for their goods. It is entirely possible that if you were to shop around, you would find that the new office supply store down the street is offering better prices… but they are not offering trade credit. So, as a captive of trade credit, you are forced to spend more money than what should be necessary in order to keep your business running.

Instead of trade credit, we encourage all businesses to get credit cards and business credit lines. Both give you more choice on where you buy your goods and services. Both open your purchase decision options to reflect getting the best deal or hiring the best provider of the product or service.


The first step in establishing business credit is to create a professional company. It is quite easy to turn your business into a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or into a corporation. These are far better options than operating your business as a sole proprietorship or as a partnership. The primary reason that businesses become incorporated or turn into an LLC is to protect the owner’s personal credit and assets. If you operate as a sole proprietorship or a partnership, and your business runs into financial trouble or legal trouble, your personal assets and finances can be seized to cover your debts or to pay for legal proceedings.

Once you have set up your professional company, you can register your business with the business credit bureaus, but you want to make sure that you fully comply with all of the business credit market requirements. Basically, this means that you will run a professional above board business with all of the appropriate licenses and that you are meeting all of the typical government requirements in your local area.

You will also want to prepare professional financial statements and a business plan that will illustrate to possible creditors that your business is in good financial health. Once you start using your business’ credit, you want to make sure that you make your payments on time and in full, just as you would with personal credit.


If you have recently incorporated your business or if you are a new business, and you do not have a business credit score to show other businesses, the you might find it difficult to locate companies willing to give you a credit start. Finding credit can also be a problem if you have had business credit in the past, and your business credit rating is negative.

An option to look at if either of these scenarios applies to you, is to look into business credit cards as a possible starting point. Business credit cards are a helpful and viable option for many companies. They are easier to acquire, and credit cards can help businesses get what they need, when they need it.


Building business credit and assuring that you have access to needed capital, is critical if your business is to succeed. The statistics say that most small businesses fail within just a few years of start up. The primary reason for this is poor financial management and a lack of access to capital. All businesses run into times when they need large amounts of money fast. If you do not plan ahead for access to capital, your business will need to do exceedingly well financially, in order to survive.

Making sure that you build business credit and that your information is being submitted to business credit bureaus is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. Many small businesses are realizing that it is a smart investment to hire a company to take care of this for them. If you do not have the experience in financial management, or if your schedule is consumed by the day-to-day activities of running your business, it may make sense to hire a company to help you establish your business’ credit.

Hiring someone to assist you is a small investment that will help to ensure that your business survives the long run, and that your business will have the financial potential to grow and expand as you move forward.

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