Whether you’ve started your own business or are still working to get started, you’ll want to start thinking about applying for a business credit card.
Having a good business credit history will allow you to get new vendors, order items for your business or a client, and make your business more credible. It also helps if you ever want to take out a business loan.
There are several ways to build your business credit, but the easiest is by getting a business credit card. Getting a business credit card is a little different than getting a personal credit card. Here’s how you go about getting your first business credit card.
Check Your Personal Credit Score
No matter if you are just starting a new business, or if you are running an existing business, you’ll need to know your own personal credit score. Many business credit cards base business credit decisions in part on your personal credit score and credit history. So, you’ll want to run a credit check to make sure your credit is good.
If it’s looking a little rough and you can postpone applying for a business credit card, work to make your personal credit better. This will not only affect your business credit but it will help you in the future with your personal financial needs too. A better credit score will increase your chances of being approved for a business credit card and could also lower your interest rate if you have good or excellent credit rather than an “average” score.
Research Cards That Best Fit Your Business
Research which credit card is best for your business. Just like consumer cards, there are a lot of choices for business credit cards. Business credit cards tend to have higher credit limits. Depending on your spending stream and revenue you can receive more rewards. But if you don’t plan to make that many purchases on your business credit card, a card with rewards tied to your spending may not be the best fit. If you have questions about a certain business credit card, read the fine print on their website, or call the credit company to get all the details.
After you’ve picked out a card that fits your business, this is the next step. Depending on the card you are applying for for your business, you may be able to apply with no current stream of business revenue. Once again pay attention to the requirements of the card you are applying for and call the company if you have questions. Be truthful about the information you fill in on the application. If you lie and don’t make as much money as you stated on the application and end up defaulting on payments, that can come back and negatively affect your personal score.
Use Your Card Wisely
This goes without saying, but once you are approved for a business credit card, be sure to only use it for business expenses. Things can become tricky when you mix personal and business spending, especially when you get to tax time and need to sort out expenses.
Applying for a business credit card is like applying for any other line of credit. Keep in mind that if you apply for a loan and a credit card at the same time, it can affect your score. It might even prevent one or the other from approving your application. Before you apply for your first business credit card, make sure you do your research so you can make the best decision possible.