- A company’s credit history reveals information about its credit health, and lenders consider your credit history when considering credit applications.
- You can build company credit by making timely payments and only using a small percentage of your credit line.
- Business owners should monitor their credit reports for mistakes and track their credit-building efforts.
Managing the financial health of your firm is a vital aspect of owning a small business. Understanding how to build corporate credit, which works similarly to personal credit and offers a snapshot of a company’s credit health and history, is one of the first steps. Lenders use it to assess a company’s creditworthiness, and having a solid credit history can make obtaining finance, such as a business loan or credit lines, easier.
Many of the same factors that determine personal credit also have an impact on business credit. However, there are a few distinctions to be aware of when it comes to business credit.
How Can You Establish Business Credit?
To establish business credit, you’ll need a recognized business entity. You’ll need the following items:
- A well-defined business structure, such as a limited liability company (LLC), limited liability partnership (LLP), or corporation
- The employer’s identification number (EIN)
- Dun & Bradstreet’s DUNS number
- All businesses must have a phone number, a physical address, and a website.
- It is necessary to have a business bank account.
After you’ve established your business, you can begin working on establishing business credit. The following are five basic, easy-to-follow guidelines for doing so.
From Net 30 Accounts you may apply to establish business credit. They are the top credit builders, and they will take care of all of your credit terms and requirements.
1. Identify the Factors Affecting Business Credit
Establishing a track record of solid financial practices, such as repaying your lenders and maintaining your debt under control, is necessary for establishing company credit. When you apply for commercial loans, such as a line of credit, a company credit card, or a loan, lenders consider the following factors:
- Reliability: Whether you’ve paid your debts early or on time in the past, you can count on yourself to do so again.
- Invested funds: The amount of money a business owner has put into the firm; a higher investment could be perceived as a greater commitment to the company’s success.
- Creditworthiness is a measure of a company’s ability to repay its debts.
- Strong personal credit: Entrepreneurs with a solid personal credit score and assets that can be used as security may find it easier to obtain credit for their business.
2. Maintain Vendor Credit
Although not all suppliers report to credit bureaus, working with those who do could help you build stronger business credit. Some vendors will allow you to open a company credit file, such as a net 30 account, which will aid in credit building and cash flow management. Find out about the best suppliers by viewing the list of net 30 vendors.
Net 30 accounts allow you to defer payments to suppliers for up to 30 days, allowing you to collect income from clients before paying your suppliers. This makes it simple to keep track of money moving in and out of your business while also meeting your supplier obligations. Net 30 accounts imply that your vendors credit you regularly, allowing you to build your credit history with each payment.
3. Pay Bills on time or Early
Payment history is essential for establishing personal and commercial credit. Paying your invoices early or on time, including all applicable taxes, demonstrates to lenders that your company can effectively manage cash flow, has sufficient cash on hand to meet its obligations, and has a history of paying creditors on time.
Making payments on time — or even sooner if your firm has net 30 accounts — can help you create a strong credit history over time. Late or missed payments, on the other hand, can signal financial distress and negatively impact your business’ credit score.
In addition to the positive impact on your credit, paying bills on time may have other advantages. As your relationship develops, vendors may provide incentives for making early payments or allow you to access payment arrangements such as net 45 or net 60 accounts.
4. Limit Credit Utilization
Lenders consider credit usage when assessing a company’s financial health. The credit utilization ratio shows how much of the company’s credit is being utilized. If a corporation used $2,500 of its $10,000 available credit, it would have a credit usage ratio of 25%.
A low credit utilization ratio indicates that a company has only used a tiny amount of its available credit and may indicate that cash flow is being successfully managed. When a corporation consumes a significant portion of its available credit, a high ratio implies that the company is in financial difficulties.
In general, small businesses should aim for a credit usage percentage of less than 10%. When a company’s credit utilization hits 30% or higher, it begins to negatively impact your credit score.
5. Track Your Business Credit Report
Building a strong credit history for your company is essential for staying on top of its credit. Regularly reviewing your corporate credit report will help you assess the quality of your credit, provide insight into how to improve it, and identify any errors that may be negatively impacting your score.
- Two major credit bureaus create business credit reports and allow you to track your score and report:
- Experian Business Credit Report
- Dun & Bradstreet Credit Signal
On each company’s credit report, you’ll see the following information:
Finding information about your business: Information on government registrations, ownership, industry classification, and more can be found here.
- There are credit accounts with the company.
- Payment history and collections
- Liens, for example, are examples of public filings that are relevant.
Some reporting companies may give your firm credit score(s), but they are not included in your credit report.
Regularly checking your corporate credit report — every few months — allows you to discover possible problems early and track your credit history’s progression. If you find any discrepancies, acquire the necessary documentation and contact each credit bureau to get them resolved.
Credit Building takes time, Right?
Building strong business credit takes time, and each company’s timetable is different. Establishing credit might take anything from a few months to three years, depending on the items or services you need and the creditors you work with.
The activities that develop a healthy credit history are the same regardless of where you are on your credit journey. Keeping a sustainable amount of credit and paying vendors and suppliers early or on time helps you develop your credit history and maintain great connections with suppliers, which is useful to your business at any stage.