7 Simple Steps to Build Business Credit from Zero (and How We Can Help You Grow Your Business)

7 Simple Steps to Build Business Credit from Zero (and How We Can Help You Grow Your Business)

Business credit is a measure of how trustworthy your company is when it comes to paying its debts and fulfilling its obligations. Having a good business credit score can help you secure better terms on loans, insurance, and contracts, as well as attract more customers and partners.

But how do you build business credit from scratch if you are just starting out or have no credit history?

In this blog post, we will show you how to build business credit fast in 7 simple steps.

1. Register your business and get an EIN

The first step to building business credit is to register your business as a separate legal entity, such as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC). This will ensure that your business credit is distinct from your personal credit and protect your personal assets from business liabilities. You will also need to get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS, which is like a social security number for your business. You can apply for an EIN online for free on the IRS website.

2. Apply for a DUNS number

A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier that Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), one of the major business credit bureaus, assigns to your business. You will need a DUNS number to establish a business credit profile with D&B and to apply for federal grants or contracts. You can request a DUNS number for free on the D&B website.

3. Open a business bank account and credit card

One of the easiest ways to build business credit is to open a business bank account and a business credit card in your company’s name. A business bank account will help you separate your personal and business finances and demonstrate your financial stability. A business credit card will help you establish a credit history and improve your credit utilization ratio, which is the percentage of your available credit that you use. Make sure you choose a business credit card that reports to the business credit bureaus, such as D&B, Experian, and Equifax. Also, pay your balance in full every month or keep it below 30% of your credit limit and make timely payments.

4. Establish trade lines with your suppliers

Another way to build business credit is to establish trade lines with your suppliers, vendors, or service providers. Trade lines are agreements that allow you to buy goods or services on credit and pay them later, usually within 30 to 90 days. Trade lines can help you increase your cash flow and diversify your credit mix. However, not all suppliers report your payment history to the business credit bureaus, so you should ask them before you sign up for trade lines. You can also use services like Nav or eCredable that can verify and report your trade line payments to the credit bureaus for a fee.

5. Borrow from lenders that report to credit bureaus

If you need additional funding for your business, you can borrow from lenders that report your payments to the business credit bureaus. This can include traditional banks, online lenders, or alternative financing sources, such as invoice factoring, equipment leasing, or merchant cash advances. However, you should be careful not to overextend yourself or take on more debt than you can afford. Always compare the interest rates, fees, terms, and requirements of different lenders before you apply for a loan.

6. Avoid judgments and liens

One of the worst things that can hurt your business credit score is having judgments or liens against your business. Judgments are court orders that require you to pay a debt or settle a dispute. Liens are legal claims that creditors or government agencies have on your assets until you pay off your debts. Both judgments and liens can negatively affect your ability to get approved for loans or contracts and damage your reputation. To avoid judgments and liens, you should pay your bills on time, comply with tax laws, and resolve any disputes amicably.

7. Keep your information current with all three credit bureaus

The last step to building business credit is to keep your information current with all three major business credit bureaus: D&B, Experian, and Equifax. You should update your contact information, industry classification, number of employees, annual revenue, and other relevant details regularly. You should also monitor your business credit reports and scores frequently and dispute any errors or inaccuracies that you find.


Building business credit from scratch may seem daunting, but it is not impossible if you follow these seven steps. By registering your business, getting an EIN and a DUNS number, opening a business bank account and credit card, establishing trade lines with suppliers, borrowing from lenders that report to credit bureaus, avoiding judgments and liens, and keeping your information current with the credit bureaus, you can create a solid business credit profile that will benefit your company in the long run.

If you are interested in working with us or learning more about our services, please contact us at [email protected] or visit our website at www.tolbertconsultinggroup.com. We would love to hear from you and discuss how we can create something amazing together.

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