There is more than one way to finance a new business. Many entrepreneurs borrow money from friends and family. Others are able to bootstrap their new ventures by continuing to work their 9 to 5 jobs while the business is in its nascent stages. Some take advantage of crowdfunding, sourcing startup funds from a large group of individual backers. These are all perfectly fine ways to gather startup capital, but they can leave small-business owners with a diminished sense of the importance of business credit.
Some may reason that if having a solid business credit rating is of no significance during the early stages of starting a business, then it must not be that important. They may choose to ignore their business credit rating for the time being, until it becomes necessary to seek financing through traditional lenders. The problem with this hands-off approach to business credit is that by the time having a good business credit rating becomes a necessity, the opportunity to build that credit rating in time may have passed.
For small businesses, the need for an injection of extra capital can arise without warning. That’s why small-business owners should not only know their business’s credit rating, but also make every effort to bolster it as far in advance as possible.
How to Check Your Business’s Credit Ratings
If your business exists as a separate legal entity such as a corporation or LLC, and has vendor accounts, utility bills in its name, fuel cards, or equipment leases it may already have a credit track record of some type. Finding out whether or not that is the case is a relatively simple matter. In order to gain access to your business’s credit ratings, you must contact Dun & Bradstreet and the other business credit bureaus.
If you find that your business does not already have a D&B D-U-N-STM number, you’ll need to obtain one in order to start building and monitoring your business’s credit ratings. The process of obtaining a D-U-N-STM is relatively simple, and can be completed online. For business owners who would like to get started building their business credit as soon as possible, Dun & Bradstreet offers DUNSFileTM, which expedites the process of obtaining a credit file and D-U-N-STM number, for a fee.
Monitor Your Progress
As you build your business’s credit rating through careful debt management, you’ll want to keep tabs on your progress. Business credit monitoring services help business owners better understand the factors that impact their business credit ratings, and keep them alert to any changes affecting their credit standing.