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Business Credit Reports: A Summarized Guide For Small Business Owners

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

What is a business credit report?

A business credit report, similar to a personal credit report, is a reflection of your business’s creditworthiness. It is an accumulation of your financial references, which help potential creditors make decisions about doing business with you. This information could positively or negatively impact the amount of credit suppliers will extend to you, the repayment terms, the interest rates you will pay, and more.

Business credit reports are maintained by the business credit reporting agencies: Experian, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), and Equifax.

How is the information reported in my business credit report?

When you open an account such as a business credit card or loan in your company’s name, those lenders will begin reporting to the business credit reporting agencies. Additional data will be provided by those with whom you have established credit relationships, such as:

  • Suppliers

  • Wholesalers

  • Manufacturers

  • Leasing companies

  • Other financial institutions

What information is included in my business credit report?

A business credit report contains some of the same elements as your personal credit report, including:

  • Your company’s identifying information: company name, SIC code, business type, address, phone number, date of incorporation, years in business, number of employees, etc.

  • Account payment information: payment trends, account balance, amount of credit extended, etc.

  • Public record information: legal filings, bankruptcy collections, and more

  • Inquiries

What is a business credit score?

Your business credit score is the numerical assessment of your credit risk. The information in your credit report is used to determine your business credit score. Unlike personal credit scores, which range from 300-850, business credit scores range from 0-100. The higher the score, the lower the risk you present to potential lenders. Paying your lenders and suppliers on time is the best way to build and maintain your business credit score.

How do I get my business credit report?

You can visit Experian's website to order a copy of your business's credit report. Experian also offers a credit monitoring service called Business Credit Advantage that can help you stay on top of your business credit history and business credit score. It provides alerts to any changes in your report and tips for improving your company's credit standing. It’s best to check your business credit report at least once per year.

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