A business credit score is the credit scoring model for a business which indicates to lenders or creditors the likelihood and/or ability of your business repaying debts. These scores may help you secure better terms the next time you apply for a small-business loan, credit, or get an insurance policy for your business. Business credit scores are based only on whether the business pays its bills before-time or on-time. A business owner can obtain credit much faster using their business credit profile, unlike with consumer credit. Per the Small Business Administration, credit approvals and limits on business credit cards are usually 10 to100 times higher than the approvals and limits consumer credit cards. This is another great advantage of establishing business credit.
Most of the factors are similar to those used to calculate your personal credit scores, while others are unique and specific to the calculating business credit scores. Moreover, your business’s credit scores are calculated from various traits about your company and its financial history. Those variables could include industry risk, company size, payment history, outstanding debts, length of credit history, credit utilization ratio, and public records, such as bankruptcies, liens, and judgments.
Business credit scores vary between agencies and reports because they can have different information on file for the same person or business, and can produce a different score. The two most popular business credit scores come from the two credit bureaus most renowned for their business reporting. Despite offering business credit reports, Equifax does not market business credit scores.
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A business will need a PAYDEX score of 80 to obtain the most favorable financing. This score simply reflects the business pay all bills on time. To obtain a PAYDEX score, a business will need at least five trade accounts reporting to their file. Having no PAYDEX score is just as bad as having a low one.
When operating on trade credit with vendors, always try to pay before the due date. This greatly helps especially if your vendor is reporting your payment performance. Early payments will improve your business credit score. Most business accounts have net 30 terms, for example, meaning you have 30 days to pay your invoice after receiving it. If you can, try to pay it within the first 10-15 days. Your business credit always improves with early payments. It can take as long as 90 days for those trades to report and a score to be established.
According to Experian, Intelliscore PlusSM is a statistically based credit-risk score that can combine business and proprietor credit data to predict the likelihood of serious delinquency in the next 12 months. Scores range from 1 to 100. The Intelliscore PlusSM is regarded in the credit industry as quite predictive and economical by incorporating statistical modeling using over 800 commercial and owner variables, which includes trade line and collection information, recent credit inquiries, public filings, new account activity, key financial ratios and other performance indicators.
FICO considers personal and business credit history, as well as other business financial information, such as the age of the business, number of employees, financial data, such as revenue and assets. It takes a broader perspective of the business’s overall financial health. If you have no business credit history and limited time in business, the highest possible FICO SBSS score you can get is 140. But to do so, would require pristine personal credit. The SBSS model can be used by banks and lenders in many different ways, putting more weight on certain information, and less on others. For case and point, the lender can put more weight on your business credit profile or more on your personal. It’s also a very “smart” business credit scoring model because it will automatically go from one business credit bureau to another, in whatever order of priority the lender prefers, until it’s able to generate a score.
One of the most important pieces of building business credit is monitoring your business credit score. Moreover, it is imperative that you know what is being reported on your business credit profile. By maintaining good credit for your business, banks and lenders will be more willing to lend money to your business. You can check your business credit online at the three main bureaus that monitor and track business credit scores and profiles. These three companies are Dun and Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax.