Your credit is one of the most important backbones of your business. If you as a business owner, and the business it's self, do not have at least a good credit rating you will face problems and added expenses in your everyday business life.
Reasons you need to check and stay on top of your business credit report and ratings.
1. You need to have a positive credit rating separated from your personal credit.
2. Your business is being rated year by year, whether you realize it or not.
3. Not doing some things can harm your rating more than doing others.
4. Do not assume that your vendors, no matter how small, are not reporting information.
Credit reports are an integral part of modern business and the more and more technologically advanced we become, the easier it will be for unfavorable reporting to effect your business. The key if stopping it before it happens or at least to correct it as fast as possible if it occurs.
Dun & Bradstreet use to be the only player in the business credit reporting world but that has also been changing in the past 5-10 years. They use to report only for the very top Fortune 500 companies but these days they cover down to much smaller businesses as long as it has a physical business address, has a business listing (usually in the yellow pages) and has been around long enough to have vendors and lenders that report to them.
The three formally only person credit reporting companies like Equifax, Transunion and Experian have also moved into the arena; Equifax with their Small Business Enterprise and Experian with their Small Business Reports as well as companies like Credit.net a division of InfoUSAR, Accurint Business and ClientChecker for the mainly freelance professional and contractors.
Your first step is to find out what information they have on your business good or bad, review it and then make the needed steps to improve, correct or even add your business to their listings. Because just like with personal credit sometimes no credit is just as bad as bad credit when it comes time to needing it.
With some of these companies you will not be able to give them new information as to your credit worthiness, only a creditor that reports to them can, but you can find out what info they have and to address any mistakes just like with your personal credit.
Here are the contact links to see what they have for your own business. Just go to each, plug in your business info and see what comes up. If you find you are listed make sure the contact info is correct. But unless you have been denied credit in the past 60 days, unlike personal credit reporting, business reporters do not have to give you a free report once a year. There fore you may have to pay to get a copy of your report if you are listed. If you do not even come up then there is no reason to pay for a report. Most run in the $50 range for the detailed report. Some as low as around $10 for a limited report. Then others like Credit.net offers a free 72 hour trial that will allow you to look at yours and others for free. Accurint is a fee only for output not for the search, they are inexpensive and you only pay for what is actually found. So if you are not there, no charge.
Dun & Bradstreet www.smallbusiness.dnb.com/
Next post I will discuss "How to build good business credit".