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Credit Building Steps for Every Business

Every business will find that building credit requires time. While there are no shortcuts, there are some clear steps.

Get Credit Often

Many potential small business owners would like to obtain financing to start their businesses. Almost all of them face disappointment when they learn that banks and other lenders are generally reluctant to make loans to unproven businesses.

The fact is that without an operating history for your small business, there will not be a credit history that the lenders can use to approve a loan. Instead of ending their credit search at that point, the small business owner should consider changing their focus.

Rather than seeking large amounts of financing, startup businesses should consider obtaining small credit lines.

National chain stores, such as office supply stores and gasoline service stations, will often allow small businesses to open credit card accounts without a credit history. Although the credit limits will be very small, this will be a starting point for a business credit history, and could serve as the first step towards bank approval for a loan that funds an expansion plan in a few years.

Building Credit Requires Time

A business credit score will generally be based on reports from two years or more of your payment history. Before a business credit score is even calculated for your small business, you will generally need to have at least five credit references. The fact that you will need a minimum number of references highlights the importance of office supply store and gasoline company credit cards.

To build credit, you will need to establish a credit file, obtain credit even if it is in small amounts, and pay your bills on time generally for at least two years. There are no shortcuts, but after you prove that your small business has the capacity to repay loans, you should be able to qualify for larger loans.


Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.