Your Questions About Credit Reports For Business

Daniel asks…

What companies offer credit reports to business owners?

For instance if I wanted to check the credit of a perspective vendor of my merchandise?

John answers:

You can check with any of the 3 credit reporting agencies

Steven asks…

How do I build credit for my small business?

I just opened a car audio business in tx and i have poor personal credit. How do i build my business credit/get a credit report on business ect… also my business is a dba type. Also I can’t seem to get credit approval from anyone because of my personal credit any advice will be helpful.

John answers:

As a small business, your business’ credit is pretty much tied directly to your personal credit.

You could try to incorporate, i.e. Form a corporation. This has certain costs and benefits, but DOES essentially create a new “person” in the eyes of the law with a mostly clean slate as far as credit goes. This is an expensive and complicated option, and probably a bad idea for you, but it IS an option.

Your best bet:

Go to the bank you normally do business with, i.e. The one where you have your checking account, and ask for a SMALL personal line of credit for the business.

This would be in the order of a couple of thousand dollars, but you would have to take care of this as if your business’ life depends on it.

The best thing you can do otherwise is to grow the business and become profitable for another year or two. Keep your expenses as low as possible, remember to pay your taxes honestly and on time, and you will over the course of a year or two be able to borrow more.

Learn how to write a solid “business plan” before you go asking for a line of credit with your bank. This lets the bank know that you have a solid grasp on the business, and will maximize your chances.

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WHAT FOLLOWS IS SOME GOOD GENERAL ADVICE THAT EVERY SMALL BUSINESSPERSON NEEDS:

I have done some bookkeeping for a number of small businesses, and will tell you that there are TWO sets of skills you have to master.

The first set is knowing how to do your job well, whatever that is.

The second skill set is that of knowing how to run a business, and that includes what to use credit for, how much to get, and even when to throw in the towel.

A LOT of small businesses go under because the owners are experts in the first area, but horrible in the second.

I strongly recommend that anybody who wants to run their own business take at least two, and possiblly three accounting/business courses. This allows you to look at your business in a way that lets you plan for things like getting credit and how you spend/earn your money.

Another thing that helps is to get a book on writing a business plan. Any good bookstore with a business section will have one of these, as well as a LOT of free sources on the web, if you search. Be careful of websites that offer to sell you “courses” in business management. The information you need is widely available and free.

Lastly,

Get in touch with the Small Business Administration. They can help you with a whole range of things, and provide you with some very solid FREE advice, including training courses that will help you manage your business.

Regards,
RG

George asks…

Are items reported to Small Business Financial Exchange also reported to my personal credit report?

I am considering settling a business credit card debt for less than the amount owed (Advanta, now out of business). Advanta says they will report this to the Small Business Financial Exchange. Will this also be reported on my personal credit reports?

John answers:

If the card is an actual business account, it should not show on your personal credit report.

I also wouldn’t be too worried about the Small Business Financial Exchange. This is not widely used by creditors and any negative report probably won’t impact your business at all.

Lisa asks…

Do credit inquiries have the same effect on a business credit report as they do on a comsumer credit report?

I know that if I personally apply for a lot of credit, all the inquiries get recorded and as a result my credit score goes down.

If my business is constantly applying for credit. Do all the inquiries get recorded and lower my business‘s credit score? Assume I am signed up with D&B, have an LLC with a separate TIN.

John answers:

Yes, all credit inquiry is embedded on your total score. Every credit search, even if you search on yourself to check your status will show.

Ken asks…

what is the best way to make a business owner realize how important their business credit report is?

what is the best way to make a business owner realize how important it is, to establish their business credit report with dun & bradstreet (even though they have to pay a few hundred bucks for thevalidation) even if they do not intend to use it for credit purposes?

everyone thinks that they can use their personal credit for their business, and feel that no one cares about d&b is this true?

John answers:

The reality is that for a small business to medium sized business owner who does not have need for outside financing or already has that financing relationship in place, they have little need to be listed on d&b.

Also most privately held companies do not want to put out to the public the information that d&b typically asks for. I worked for a privately held German company that did over $100,000,000 a year in sales and did not list with d&b or give out any financial infromation for any reason. Any vendor that requested financial information was simply told we do not give that out.

I currently work for the owner of a privately held company who wishes he had never listed with d&b.

You asked what the best way is to make business owners want to go with d&b, well you have to get past the issues above.

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25 Responses to Your Questions About Credit Reports For Business

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