As a business owner, your personal credit scores don’t tell the whole story of your business. The other score you need to be on top of is your business credit score.
A 2013 Wall Street Journal / Vistage International study, reported that 1 in 4 business owners found errors on their business credit report. That’s just one reason why you should stay on top of your business credit and strive for strong scores. Other reasons a strong credit score is important include rates on insurance policies could be lower and your borrowing power increases.
The SmartBiz Small Business Blog has a quiz to test your knowledge about this important score and offers concise information you need to know: Test Your Business Credit Score IQ
How to Establish Business Credit
Don’t have business credit established yet? Here are steps you can take to get started:
- Establish your business entity
- Get identification numbers for your business
- Establish credit lines with your suppliers
- Take out business credit for your company
- Borrow from lenders that report to credit bureaus
- Keep your business information updated
For in-depth information on each of these 6 steps, read this article from the SmartBiz Small Business Blog: 6 Steps to Establish Your Business Credit
Where to Get Your Business Credit Check
There’s no shortage of sites online to get your personal credit score but you might not know where to go for your business credit score. We’ve got you covered – check out the following 3 sites and get your score today.
CreditSafe.com generates a business credit report as a free trial. The length of your free trial is determined when a CreditSafe.com company representative calls to set you up. After you access the free trial, you have the option to subscribe to three different packages depending on your business needs.
CreditSignal.com provides companies with free access to changes in their Dun & Bradstreet® credit scores and ratings. CreditSignal also provides information and advice about how to interpret and manage your scores.
“In a short period, I have gone from a business with no rating to an A rated company. I could not have done it without the tools provided by Nav.”
This is just one of the many positive reviews about Nav’s credit services. Their free service is a good fit for anyone who wants a basic overview of their business credit life.
- Personal credit score and summary report from Experian
- Letter grades and reports for your business from Experian and Dun & Bradstreet
- Tools to build business credit
- Personalized financing matches
- 24/7 monitoring and alerts
Another helpful feature is the ability to view your personal and business credit scores side by side so you can discover where your credit needs work and what to do next.
Calculating Overall Business Health
Do you want an overall picture of the financial health of your business beyond your business credit score? This knowledge is particularly important if you’re seeking low cost funds for working capital, debt refinance or for a commercial real estate purchase or refinance.
Business owners may not realize that banks calculate several metrics, not just personal credit and business credit. Those metrics include combined debt coverage, business debt coverage, business debt usage, personal debt usage and business revenue trends.