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Business Credit Reports - Ordering Company Credit Reports

In the United States there are numerous sources for business credit reports including large providers like Experian, Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet. Or you can obtain a blended  style business report from a company that provides all three of the reports mentioned above from a company like Commercial Credit Reports, Inc.

Business credit reports are not like consumer credit reports where you need a permissible purpose defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to get a credit report on a person.  You may generally get company credit reports with or without their permission, or you may even order your own business credit report free.

Although all commercial reports are not the same, generally you will want a company credit report that includes information such as:

  • Company address and phone
  • Perhaps some company history and employment information including SIC code and employment level
  • Prominent corporate filings in the state incorporated and/or doing business in
  • Tradeline history showing payment habits to creditors, perhaps average balances,  and accounts past due
  • UCC filings, tax and other liens
  • Collections, judgments, bankruptcies, and other public record information including lawsuits
  • Credit Score information showing the risk of extending credit to the subject company


Business reports do not normally include banking information.  Such information should be solicited directly and verified by you in addition to getting the company's credit report. Also real estate leases will not generally be on the business credit report. The company's lessor should be contacted directly for reference to the office rent payment habits of the business in question.

Credit Scores in business reports may be in numerical form placing the business on a numerical continuum from poor risk to good risk.  Or the credit score provider may only offer alpha results suck as high risk, medium risk and low risk. In any event it may be prudent to also try to ascertain whether the business report shows the progression of the company's payment patterns, i.e. are they getting better or worse.

Of course it is also prudent to supplement company credit reports with personal credit reports on the primary owner of the business, especially on smaller businesses where company credit is sparse. Unfortunately obtaining personal credit reports normally requires accounts with credit reporting companies who may be reluctant to provide the reports. Easiest way around that is to let the business owner get their own personal credit report and provide it to you voluntarily.

But the way one good way to appraise a business credit reporting company is to look at their sample reports and see if it has the factors in it that you consider important.  Another, perhaps even better idea, is to order your own business credit report free, and to use it to judge the quality of the business credit report product you are considering.  Many business credit reporting companies offer such free trials.

See Also: How to Manage Your Company Credit Report and How Do I Get Business Credit?