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How Do I Get Business Credit?

To establish credit for your business and to get a good credit score may not happen automatically. It may require some thought to develop a sound strategy, including taking some proactive steps to control the process.

  1. Get your Business Credit File: Using Dun & Bradstreet as an example, the first step would be to get a DUNS® Number from Dun & Bradstreet, which some say is the industry standard for tracking business credit. Think of it as your business’s Social Security Number.  Once you have your DUNS Number, the next step is check your business credit profile to make sure it is up-to-date, accurate and complete, as your business credit file may include numerous entries, or it may just be a thin file with little or no information.
  2. Maintain Your High Ratings and Scores: Having a good rating depends on maintaining favorable relationships with your vendors, and maintaining a prompt payment history with them. Your credit rating does not normally change overnight. They require constant care to make sure that there are no issues or reasons why your vendors would give your business a rating as anything less than outstanding.
  3. Make Timely Payments: Normally your credit scores depend on how timely you are in paying your vendors and other creditors. Making your payments on time is the single most important factor to keep your scores and ratings high.
  4. Monitor your Business Credit File: It is important that your file is depicting the correct image of your company. As much as possible, any old or out-of-date information should be revised to reflect current conditions and information. This may include company financials, employment levels, lease arrangements, and perhaps important certifications.
  5. Monitor Customer and Supplier Credit: For a business, credit and reputation go hand in hand. For companies with poor reputations or credibility, it is very difficult to disprove that they are a low credit risk. Therefore it is important for companies to maintain their reputations, and to exercise reasonable controls in both their customer and supplier credit relationships.

Lastly, note that your business credit is not protected like personal credit where the Fair Credit Reporting Act(FCRA) allows individuals to view and dispute the inaccuracies in their personal credit reports. The FCRA does not apply to business credit, and that is one of the main reasons that you must monitor your own business credit file on a regular basis so if any inaccuracies do do appear, you should dispute the inaccurate issues immediately in case the process takes longer than than you expect.



Related topics:

Ordering Company Credit Reports

Manage Your Company Payments for Good Credit