Business Resource Center

Establishing Business Credit as a New Owner

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Business credit reporting can be inconsistent. Before applying, ask whether the lender will report your account to one of the credit bureaus.
  1. Apply for a business credit card.

    You will have a “thin” credit file until you open an account that is reported to at least one of the three business credit bureaus — D&B, Equifax and Experian. Applying for and using a business credit card or secured card will help to establish business credit.  Initially, you may only qualify for a low limit. However, if you pay bills on time, you may be eligible for a future limit increase. All business credit card issuers don’t report to the three credit bureaus, so ask before you apply.
  2. Open a vendor tradeline.

    Some companies, like Uline, Quill and Home Depot, offer “net 30” or other similar lines of credit for small businesses to purchase office supplies, safety equipment, etc. The vendors report payments on these accounts to the credit bureaus. So, within a few months, you’ll begin to build business credit.

    You can also submit vendors and suppliers with whom you have a positive payment history to D&B as trade references. The D&B team can also use the payment records to calculate a PAYDEX® score. This is a proprietary, dollar-weighted performance indicator ranging from one to 1000. Higher scores indicate D&B's confidence in a business’ likelihood of paying bills on time.
  3. Pay utilities and other bills to build credit.

    Utility and wireless payments don’t typically appear on credit reports. However, services like eCredable help businesses and individuals report these payments to the credit bureaus. The company offers two levels of service. When you sign up for eCredable, you can link an unlimited number of eligible accounts, including internet, mobile phones and utilities, for which the company downloads and reports payments. Businesses can also request on-demand verification and reports for other paid monthly or quarterly expenses, such as accounting, marketing and property rentals. It’s a good option for businesses that are interested in establishing business credit without taking on debt.
  4. Apply for a business line of credit.

    A business line of credit is like a credit card but, rather than purchasing goods and services, it’s used to access cash. You can use a line of credit to buy inventory, compensate employees or cover shortages while waiting for customer payments. Without an established credit history, you might be unable to qualify for a standalone line of credit. It’s a good idea to meet with a banker at the financial institution where you maintain business or personal checking accounts.

Carefully manage your business credit once it’s established.

There are good reasons for establishing business credit early on. For example, you may want to purchase inventory or new equipment, or need to tap a line of credit to supplement cash flow during slow periods.

Always pay your bills on time and use credit responsibly. Regularly monitor your credit history and score to ensure there are no reported inaccuracies. Carefully managing your credit ensures you’ll have access to the funds your business needs in the future.

If you have questions about how to establish business credit, we can help. For more information, call 1-888-SYNOVUS (1-888-796-6887) or stop by one of our local branches.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Guidant, “2024 Small Business Trends: A Look at the State of Small Business in 2024” Back
  2. Ibid Back
  3. Federal Reserve Bank, “2023 Report on Employer Firms: Findings from the 2022 Small Business Credit Survey,” March 2023 Back