Business credit reporting is not necessarily an intuitive process. Unlike personal credit, there are no legal regulations like the Fair Credit Reporting Act that cover business credit reporting. This puts the onus on business owners to ensure that their credit information is properly collected and disseminated.
Many businesses (especially new, small businesses), operate unaware of this responsibility, failing to undertake necessary steps like:
- Registering for a D&B D-U-N-S® number
- Reporting credit payment history
- Submitting trade and bank credit references
- Monitoring credit reports for inaccuracies and omissions
- Correcting errors and keeping credit files up-to-date
None of these steps is particularly arduous on its own, especially with the help of business credit reporting tools to facilitate them, yet they often go neglected. Even if you are not currently in the market for a line of credit, bank loan, or business credit card, it may be prudent to improve your chances for eligibility regardless. Running into obstacles when you most need financing is not a situation any business-owner wants to find themselves in.
How to Avoid Common Business Credit Reporting Mistakes in 5 Easy Steps
1. Register for a D-U-N-S® Number — The “Data Universal Numbering System” used by Dun & Bradstreet has become the standard for business identification by credit reporting agencies, businesses and governments alike. This can be received for free within 30 days or via paid expedition within 5 days.
2. Report credit payment history — Once you’ve received a D-U-N-S® number, you can create a business credit profile and submit credit payment transactions for inclusion. By reporting your credit payment history, you can demonstrate your financial reliability to credit issuers.
3. Submit credit references — Both bank and trade credit references are beneficial to include in your credit profile. Successful relationships past and present are a strong indicator to potential lenders and trade partners alike that you are dependable.
4. Monitor credit reports and scores — There are a number of tools that offer continuous credit monitoring and alerts, so you can keep your credit profile updated and accurate. Get unlimited access to credit reports, scores, and changes with products like CreditBuilderTM from Dun & Bradstreet
5. Correct inaccuracies and omissions — Maintaining a current and correct credit report is always prudent when it comes to building business credit. Regularly submitting pertinent credit information makes sure that your positive payment history doesn’t go unnoticed, and if you notice an error, you can request an investigation that will help get it resolved quickly before it becomes an issue.