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Basic facts every small business owner should know

Here are some basic facts every small business owner should know about business credit ratings:

Business scoring is much less regulated than consumer credit scoring. The process of scoring your business is much more complicated and less clear than the consumer scoring process.

Just because you have a business, don't assume you have a business credit score. Credit reporting companies require a minimum amount of information before they can generate a report and score for your business. To establish your business credit history, encourage vendors to report your payment history to one of the major credit reporting companies. Many credit reporting companies can provide you with information on suppliers who report to them.

Don't rely on your personal credit rating to finance your business. If your business becomes at risk, so will your personal credit score. Keep in mind that many creditors are now looking at scoring tools that consider both personal and business credit to predict small business risk.

Access to business credit scores and reports are not as restricted like personal credit reports. Business credit reports are available to the public, and anyone - including potential lenders and suppliers - can view your business credit report. This makes it imperative to monitor your business credit score and report.

You can proactively manage your business credit score. Ensure your vendors are reporting your business payment history, and monitor your business' credit on a regular basis. Experian's provides easy access to business credit reports and information about the business credit scoring process.


Business Credit Tip

If you're a sole proprietor or a business owner with fewer than 20 employees, your personal and business credit scores are closely linked in the eyes of banks and other lenders. So it's important to take steps to protect both. You should monitor, evaluate and protect your credit standing just as you would protect any other business or personal assets. Learn more about protecting your credit.

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