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How Do I Build Business Credit Scores?
Lenders use credit scores to determine whether they should offer credit to a borrower. Most people are familiar with the idea of credit reports for individuals, but businesses have credit reports too. If you want to obtain credit for large purchases, you will need to have a good credit score.
Building business credit is similar to building personal credit, although it can be harder in some ways because the requirements are more stringent from a lot of lenders. For example, a landlord may rent a house out to an individual with an identity check and a deposit, but the covenant strength required for a business to take on a lease with another business could be several year's worth of audited accounts.
The easiest way to build a good credit score is to make sure that you always pay your creditors on time. Missing even one payment will leave a massive 'black mark' on your score, and it will take a long time for that to drop off.
Having some borrowing history is better than no history at all, so if you are confident that you can manage credit appropriately, do take it out. Make sure that the amount you borrow is kept only to what you need to use, however, and that you pay it off as quickly as possible so that you don't end up paying more interest than you need to.
If you take out a company credit card, make sure that you pay the balance in full, and don't extend the line of credit too high. Lenders look at your past history, the total amount of credit that you have available, and the amount of credit you are using as a percentage of that. Too much credit, or maxing out your line of credit, is bad.
Be patient, and don't be in a rush to take out huge amounts of credit. Try to find ways to work with suppliers, perhaps putting down a significant deposit to obtain goods if you cannot get the whole order on credit. You will find that you can build your reputation with an individual supplier much more easily than you can build your reputation with an individual company than you can improve your credit rating as a whole, since most companies have their own internal database and way of judging a customer's individual creditworthiness for themselves.