10 Ways to Build Business Credit Fast
April 12, 2022 | Last Updated on: February 3, 2023
April 12, 2022 | Last Updated on: February 3, 2023
In this article, you’ll learn all about building business credit, including the following:
As a small business owner, your business credit score affects your access to the capital you need to cover day-to-day expenses and make long-term investments. But many entrepreneurs have a credit rating that is too low to qualify for financing; according to the NSBA Small Business Access to Capital Study, 20% of small business loans are denied due to business credit.
There’s an obvious need to build business credit if you are one of those small business owners whose loan application has been rejected due to business credit. But what if you haven’t had trouble getting funding for your small business? If that is the case, it still makes sense to build your business credit.
Here are three reasons why every small business owner should start building their business credit today:
While business credit and personal credit serve the same purpose – acting as a measure of a borrower’s creditworthiness – there are some differences in how they are set up, calculated, and reported. Here are a few of those differences:
Okay, without further ado, let’s look at 10 ways to build business credit fast.
The bad news is that there is no magic pill to build your business credit fast. But the good news is that there are so many simple and straightforward ways to increase your business credit – by doing some or all of them, you are likely to see a noticeable boost in your business credit.
A stable business is more likely to pay back a loan. A tell-tale sign of an unstable business entity is one that is constantly changing its company name.
For example, a small business owner called Patty originally names her new business “Hub Household Appliances” but decides to niche down to kitchen appliances a year later and changes the name to “Hub Kitchen Appliances.” A couple of years later, there’s another pivot and she changes the name one more time.
The above is an extreme example, but the point is you want to do the opposite of Patty – pick one name and stick with it. Since it’s impossible to predict the future, pick a business name that doesn’t need to be changed if/when you pivot.
An EIN is a nine-digit number that you can apply for online with the IRS. You can use an EIN to file tax returns, open a business bank account, and apply for a small business loan.
After getting an EIN, you can open a business bank account. A business checking account helps you build credit because it provides lenders with information on your business credit history.
According to the Nav American Dream Gap Survey, 72% of small business owners don’t know where to find information on their business credit score. It’s actually not too hard to check your business credit score, though. You can get your credit score from any of the major business credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet). With Experian, for example, you can fill out a quick application and get your business credit report.
With your business credit score in hand, you can get a better idea of what needs to be done to build good business credit. If you have bad credit, you should focus on the fundamentals (but you might not have to wait to get a business loan). If your score is on the higher end, you might have to search a little harder for areas where improvement is possible.
As you’ve surely realized, your business history impacts your business credit profile. By applying for a business credit card, you give yourself the opportunity to build a strong reputation.
Your credit utilization ratio is calculated by adding up all of your credit card balances and dividing them by the sum of your cards’ limits. A ratio of under 30% is healthy in the eyes of most lenders, as your credit limit is one indicator of how much debt can be handled by your business.
There are a couple of ways to lower your credit utilization ratio: lower your credit card balances or ask the lender to increase the credit limit.
Your payment history affects your business credit. By paying your credit card bill on time every month, you build your business credit. If you make late payments, on the other hand, your score might go down. As an added bonus, paying your bills on time allows you to steer clear of double-digit APRs – which can be disastrous for your small business.
So, you have a few old credit card accounts and you’re thinking of canceling them. It seems to make sense, as the cancellations would simply your financial life. But keeping the credit accounts open is the right move – account closures actually lower your business credit score.
You can build business credit by applying for net terms with vendors and suppliers… as long as they report to business credit reporting agencies. You should build several relationships with vendors and suppliers – not only to improve your business credit score but also to increase your number of trade references for future credit applications.
Our fourth way to build business credit fast is to check your business credit score – but that shouldn’t be a one-time thing. You have to continually monitor your business credit reports for a couple of reasons:
One is that you want to see what’s working and not working. Say you’ve carried out some of our recommendations, but you haven’t seen the improvements you were expecting. In that case, you might want to revisit this article and see where you went wrong… before you need business financing and it’s too late to make improvements.
Another is that the credit reporting agencies aren’t perfect – they make mistakes. You should review your business history on a regular basis to see if there are any errors. You can file a dispute with the credit reporting agencies if you identify any errors.
After you build your business’s credit, you’ll have the ability to get financing with better terms to expand your business.
But imagine the following scenario: you put a lot of effort into improving your business credit score and you go to apply for a small business loan from a traditional lender… and you have to wait months to get approval. This scenario is, unfortunately, very common.
With Biz2Credit, however, you can quickly get funding for your small business.
Gauntlett Eldemire, who operates GSE Laundry, was trying to get financing through a local bank for a new laundromat. But the bank was struggling to approve loan applications in a timely manner due to the coronavirus. He decided to turn to Biz2Credit, and in his words, “they took over the loan application and came through for me.”
Learn how Biz2Credit can help fund your small business expansion.