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2 Ways to Build Initial Business Credit

Credit Line Hybrid

  • The first way to build initial business credit is by using a credit line hybrid, which is business credit that requires a personal guarantee and personal credit check.
  • The benefit of credit line hybrid is that you can get high limit credit lines, no dock, without cash flow verification or collateral.
  • Credit line hybrid reports to the business credit reporting agencies.
  • You can build initial business credit with real cash and get credit lines of up to $150,000 with 0% rates for 18 months.


  • Another alternative to build initial business credit is by using vendors.
  • Trade vendors will give you business credit when you buy products from their establishment. However, over 97% of trade vendors don’t report to business credit reporting agencies.
  • It is essential to find vendors that report to business credit reporting agencies when you have no business credit already established in order to build initial credit.

Business Credit Benefits

  • Building a business credit profile makes your business more fundable because lenders and credit issuers will focus on your business credit profile rather than your personal credit profile, which makes it easier to get financing for your business.
  • One of the huge benefits of separating personal and business credit is that you are getting twice as much credit and you are separating personal and business liability.
  • Business credit liability is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic as many businesses were unexpectedly forced to shut down with the economic shift.
  • When your personal and business liability are separated, your personal credit will not be hurt if your business credit limits are suddenly lowered by an unexpected event.
  • The limits on business credit are 10 to 100 times higher than with consumer credit per SBA.

Business Credit Fundability

Gain Fundability

In order for your business to gain fundability, it has to look legitimate to lenders and credit issuers.

Credit Issuers

The first thing that credit issuers view to determine if your business is credible is your business credit report. If you have not established business credit, the next thing they look at is your application, which means that everything on your application must reflect that your business is legitimate and credible.

Loans Denied

The main reason that loans are denied is because they think your loan application is fraud. The way to avoid denial is by checking that all the information on every credit application you submit is congruent.

Business Address

Physical Address

Legitimate businesses should have a physical or personal business address, you should avoid PO boxes and UPS addresses.

Dun & Bradstreet

You can use a home address, but Dun & Bradstreet includes a google street view of your business address, which will make it obvious to lenders that you provided a home address, which appears less legitimate than a business address.

Business Phone Number

Business Bank Account

  • Many business credit providers will insist that you have a business bank account.
  • It must be devoted to your business.
  • This will also help to keep you from accidentally commingling funds.
  • You can apply for business bank online at many banks, even if the bank has brick and mortar locations.
  • In particular, if you have a personal bank account, and you have managed it well, you can get a business account fast.
  • You can often be approved within as little as 15 minutes online.
  • But it may take longer for you to get a debit card or checks through the mail.
  • So to save time, you may want to do this in person.

Business Licensing and the IRS

  • You want to have an LLC or corporation set up.
  • You need to get a free EIN number provided by and choose your business entity.
  • You never want to apply with sole proprietorship because if your business ever gets into legal trouble, you will also get into legal trouble.
  • Separating personal liability is essential when starting a business, and the only way to do this is if you are a corporation of LLC that will allow you to separate personal and business credit.
  • You also need to get licensed as a business in order for vendors to approve you for business credit.
  • Granger, for example, will automatically give you a $2,500 credit limit just because you have a business license.

Business Website and Email

Business Email

Make sure that your business email that you apply for business credit under is not a Gmail or AOL account.

Email Address

Your email address needs to be on the same domain as your business website.

Professional Names

Generic professional names work well, such as or

LexisNexis Credit Report

  • Make sure to check your LexisNexis Report and remove items you don’t want listed before filling out any credit applications.
  • LexisNexis Reports Include:
  • Every home you’ve ever owned including value and sale prices
  • Building materials for your home
  • HOA info such as beds, baths, and roofing
  • AC Units
  • Deeds and mortgages
  • Title companies
  • Interest rates
  • Loan amounts, terms, and loan types
  • Every phone number and email you’ve ever had
  • All licenses, firearms, mortgages, and violations
  • Traffic tickets, felonies, misdemeanors, sex offender records
  • Name variations
  • Marriage and divorce records
  • Every vehicle owned including VIN
  • Every insurance policy you’ve ever had
  • Every business you’ve been associated with
  • Family information including children
  • Loans and leases
  • Aircraft and boat owner records
  • Public records including bankruptcies, judgements, lawsuits
  • Education information including degrees, schools, dates attended and graduated
  • Military records
  • Online marketing records, and short-term credit offer request records.

Dun and Bradstreet Website

  • After applying for and establishing business credit, you will have to get set up with Dun & Bradstreet and get a DUNS number.
  • D&B may try to unnecessarily charge you for a DUNS number by bundling it in a package, but it is absolutely free.
  • In order to have a business credit score report with D&B, you need to have a DUNS number and at least three accounts reporting.
  • You also want to search to see if you are set up with Equifax and Experian because you will be issued a failing business credit score if you have not established any business credit with them.
  • When you file annual business reports, they go directly to Equifax and Experian, and if they do not like your industry, you will be issued a failing score.
  • If your business has no records with Equifax or Experian, you can move on. If your business does have a record with these companies, you want to go to Creditsuite monitoring to pull your business credit.

Vendor Credit Tier

  • Vendors are credit issuers that offer terms like Net 30, which would give you 30 days to pay it off in its entirety.
  • Some vendors ask for EIN or 411 listings.
  • Utilize start vendors such as Quill, Grainger, and Uline Strategic Network Solutions. Get credit with these companies and then use the credit after you have paid the bill and the item has been shipped. Then, these companies will report to the business credit reporting agencies, and you will successfully obtain trade lines.

  • Quill sells office supplies and reports to D&B quarterly. You have to spend at least $50 with Quill in order to have your business credit account reported.
  • It is important to know whether vendors report quarterly or monthly because you may not see business credit growth on your business credit account reports for three months. If you get a mixture of vendors that report quarterly and monthly, you will build business credit much faster.
  • Uline sells shipping supplies and reports to D&B, so you will need a DUNS number and bank reference in order for your business credit account to be reported
  • Grainger reports to D&B and you will need a DUNS number, a business license, and your EIN number.
  • Strategic Network Solutions reports to Experian, you need a DUNS number, a business license, and an EIN number
  • Summa reports to D&B and Equifax and requires a minimum purchase of $75 to report business credit. Approvals require EIN and entity, business address matching everywhere, business license if applicable, business bank account, and a DUNS number.
  • Well Fargo also has a secured credit card you can get that will help you build business credit.
  • Behalf offers financing for your customers and they will report business credit to Experian, Equifax, and D&B.
  • Where an account reports is called a payment experience. The more payment experiences you have, the more credit you will be able to obtain.
  • A vendor that reports to one business credit reporting agency counts as one payment experience, while a vendor that reports to three agencies counts as three different payment experiences. This way, you will build credit faster and more efficiently.

Retail Credit Tier

Fleet Credit Tier

  • It takes about ten to fifteen accounts reporting to reach the Fleet Credit Tier.
  • You need at least one account with a $10,000 limit, and a 75 paydex score, which means you pay your bills as agreed.
  • At this tier, you are able to buy fuel, repair, maintenance. At the fleet credit tier, you are buying from places like BP, Conoco, and Shell.
  • Shell, for example, reports to D&B and Experian, which means you would need a Paydex score of 78 and a 411 business listing.

Cash Credit Tier

Business Credit Fundability

Manage Your Credit

In order to responsibly manage your credit, you must pay your bills on time.

Business Credit Scores

Paying in full does more to raise your business credit scores than anything else.