Building Corporate Credit For New Companies
One of the first challenges for a new business is building business credit promptly. As a general rule, you should apply for a business loan or line of credit at least six months before you go to the bank to ask for a loan amount.
Businesses often underestimate how long it will take to get credit approval and conclude a deal. It is essential to plan for a lengthy time frame and have a budget in place to prove to the bank that you are a good credit risk.
The key to a successful loan application is having an excellent personal credit history (i.e., a personal guarantee) and creating business assets such as office space, equipment, and a product line.
When Applying for Corporate Credit:
When you apply for business credit, you will also need to identify the kind of credit line you will seek. Several options include a secured line of credit (this type of credit will require that you make a deposit to secure the line of credit), unsecured credit (you will not require a security deposit to get this type of credit) and a corporate business line of credit (this option requires no security deposit). It is important to understand that obtaining corporate credit lines will be easier if you use assets to secure the line.
Business borrowers are oftentimes more focused on the terms of the “loan” than the repayment history of the credit line (as occurs, for example, when obtaining a personal credit line). Therefore, it is in your best interest to put together a good credit application before you get started. If your loan application fails, it can potentially cost you millions of dollars and thousands of hours in lost sales due to bad loan submission.
Four Tips to Entrepreneurial Lending:
Building business credit is critically important to the health of your company. It will ensure that your company has the working capital that meets its expansion needs. Therefore, you should apply as soon as you know that you will need financing to expand your business.
The number one thing you should do is establish business credit in your company’s name. Using your first or last name as the name listed on your corporation’s credit file will open up a solid borrowing base for your company – even if you never intend to take out a loan. If you are a sole proprietor or an individual the corporation does not fully own, you should have your corporation’s name filing title of the name on a credit application and not your own.
Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). You will need to file the FAFSA to get a FEIN, which can be done online. Do not ignore the due dates of your FEIN application. Failure to submit a FEIN can result in negative insurance status on a job you are applying to or denial of a state license.
In order to establish trade credit, a new business needs to establish five trade references- suppliers, customers, employees, and vendors- that align with the business’ operations. Use the five trade references to obtain vendor accounts and trade references for employees. The key to a successful start-up is using vendors that are working with other companies and then using those vendors to obtain lines of credit directly from lenders.
Tradelines are usually a 10 year, unpaid loan based on terms and monthly payment. Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) provides Business Services and Credit. 800-289-deprevails in providing credit reports about businesses.