As with a personal credit card, the business credit card is a highly efficient method for obtaining, granting, and expending loans. The applicant for a business credit card needs do little more than fill out a brief application or key in a few bits of information over the Internet. In most cases, the customer is granted a line of credit, which can be accessed and expended quickly and easily each time the business credit card is used. Assuming that the customer has a good credit record, the credit limit will automatically be increased when it is reached, thereby increasing the loan amount without much effort on the part of the business credit card holder.
To qualify for a business credit card, a good credit record is necessary. In view of future credit needs such as business credit cards, small business owners should register their businesses with the major business credit bureaus such as Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) or Business Credit USA to obtain credit ratings. These business credit bureaus operate much like consumer credit bureaus. They will collect information from your existing creditors about your business, including a check on how much credit you have, the length of time your accounts have been active, and your payment record.
To complete your credit profile, the business credit bureau will also need some information on the rest of your business. This normally includes how many employees you have, how long you have been trading for, what you sales and profit performance is, and your business’ litigation history. Regardless of whether you register or not, you will probably show up on their records the moment a lender extends your business a credit line. Being proactive about it and voluntarily registering with a business credit bureau is a good idea. It offers you the opportunity to present your company in a good light and it creates a better impression of your business in general.
When the business credit card issuer receives your business credit card application, one of the very first things they do is obtain a copy of your business credit report. If your business does not score too well on the credit report, it may well scuttle your chances of getting a business credit card. Maintaining a good credit score needs to be high on the priority list of any business.
When it comes to new business, there is normally very little solid credit history to bank on. It could take anywhere from two to five years to build your business’ credit reputation. Until that happens, your business credit and personal credit will be inextricably linked to each other. When you apply for a business credit card and your business has no credit history, your own personal credit record is the dominant factor considered by the business credit card issuer.
Once you obtain this business credit card, it is good to remember that this credit will be included in your personal credit report until your business develops an adequate credit history. So the sooner you can establish the independence of your business credit card from your personal credit, the better.