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What steps can companies take to overcome blemishes on their credit?

With the everyday rush of tasks that comes with SMB ownership, it can seem difficult to add yet another thing to monitor, but your company depends on it, especially small businesses looking to grow.

First, check and correct your business credit. Know what is in your business credit report at all times, monitor it and understand your business credit score. It is a modest investment that will help you spot any issues in the file and address or correct them. It can also alert you to any fraud being perpetrated in the name of your business. And, be sure to check your credit profiles well in advance of applying for new credit so that you have time to address any inaccuracies or problems prior to submitting your loan or other credit application. A good resource for this is www.SmartBusinessReports.com and www.BusinessCreditFacts.com.

Second, borrow and pay on time. Some businesses think that the only way to establish business credit is to open a business credit card. While that makes sense for some companies, securing credit terms from suppliers or taking out a commercial loan can offer similar benefits with fewer downsides. Paying according to agreed-upon terms is a critical step in establishing good business credit.

Lastly, act like a business. Even the smallest operation can benefit from a positive business credit profile. Again, your business accounts (telephone, utilities, leases, loans) should be established in your business' name. In the early stages of a business, you may need to personally guarantee payment, but the more established your business credit history is, the more likely it is you'll be able to negotiate and secure good credit terms without those guarantees.

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Average U.S. business score is 62

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