If you are looking for new financing options or help from investors, then your business credit rating will be key to securing the funds you need. Lenders and investors want to see that your business is a safe place to put their money, and that it’s likely to be repaid with interest. Take a look at our beginner’s guide to building a business credit score.
Get your credit report
The first step is finding out exactly where the business stands in terms of its credit rating. The easiest way to do this is using a company credit report service such as Experian, or one of the many others out there.
The score is generated based on financial history, and references things like payment reliability and dependency on credit. The report will go into details about which areas need work to help improve your company credit score.
Businesses with no credit history
The report might not yield any useful data, especially if the business is still young and hasn’t yet built up enough credit data. In this case, the report may turn up your own personal credit history. This is usually the case for sole traders and freelancers who aren’t a separate legal entity to the business.
If you want to maintain a separation between you personally and your business, it’s probably best to set up a limited company and then open a business bank account. From here, you can start to build a financial history for your business that isn’t just your own.
Apply for a business credit card
If the words “business credit card” strike you with fear, you wouldn’t be alone. Many people are nervous about getting into any sort of debt, and understandably so. Using a credit card is one of the fastest ways to create a line of credit and improve your rating. As long as you pay it off!
Many credit cards also come with business perks, discounts and freebies which can prove helpful.
When you apply for a business credit card, use it regularly, don’t spend the entire credit limit and pay it off as soon as you can. Try to avoid making just the minimum payment each month as this can look like you’re struggling to pay off your debt.
Keep up to date with payments
Besides your credit card, make sure that you manage any contracts you have with service providers and vendors. This means making sure you set reminders, and communicate with them when you need to.
It’s better to avoid legal proceedings where possible, especially if all it takes is a phone call. Having them on your record could damage your ability to get business finance in the future.
How are you building your business credit rating? Are you looking to apply for finance to invest? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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About The Author
Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.