Just as having a good credit score is important to your personal financial picture, having a good business credit score is critical to running a successful business.
An excellent business credit score makes it easier to obtain credit for the purpose of growing your business, financing the purchase of equipment, and managing daily operations.
In this article, we show you how to check your business credit score (paid and free options) and provide information on the business credit bureaus.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Business Credit Score?
- How Is A Business Credit Score Calculated?
- Where to Check Your Business Credit Score
- How to Obtain a Free Business Credit Report
- Final Thoughts
What Is A Business Credit Score?
A business credit score is a number that indicates the creditworthiness of a business instead of an individual. Unlike personal credit scores, which can range from 300-850, a business credit score ranges from 1-100.
The score is determined using a variety of factors, including a business’s credit repayment history, public records, i.e., liens and bankruptcies, and the overall business profile.
Your business credit score gives potential lenders and others a quick snapshot of how you manage any business debt you may have.
What Is the Difference Between a Business and a Personal Credit Report?
Personal credit reports contain information about debt that you’ve taken out in your personal name. Business credit reports, on the other hand, contain information on a company’s use of credit.
In addition to repayment information, a business credit report will also contain detailed information about the business, such as:
- Date the business was established
- Information about ownership and key people
- Industry classification
- Information on any public filings
- Information about legal proceedings your business is involved in
The three main credit bureaus monitoring business credit reports are Equifax, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet. Personal credit bureaus include Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
How Is A Business Credit Score Calculated?
Whereas FICO personal credit scores range between 300 and 850, most business credit scores range from 1 to 100. In either case, a higher score is an indicator of stronger credit. As mentioned, business credit scores are calculated using several factors, including payment history, age of accounts, and how much debt the business has.
There are a few places where you can obtain a full business credit report for a fee, including Experian, Dun & Bradstreet, and Nav Prime. Keep in mind that you’ll need to provide the following information to access your report:
- Business name
- Business mailing address
- Email address for your business
- The phone number associated with the business
- Social Security Number or EIN for the business
- Birthdate of the principal owner of the business
You may be required to provide additional information.
If you’ve looked into your personal credit report in the past, you’ve likely heard of Experian. It’s one of the three major credit bureaus you’ll need to contact about all things pertaining to personal credit, including filing a credit report dispute letter.
But Experian also has programs that help you check on and keep track of your business credit score, offering four different programs:
Credit Score Report: $39.95
This one-time report from Experian will give you a credit score (your business or other businesses), business facts, legal information, and more.
Profile Plus Report: $49.95
The Profile Plus Report includes everything in the basic credit score report, in addition to corporate information, trade payment details, inquiry details, and UCC details.
Business Credit Advantage: $189/yr.
This Experian program gives you year-round access to credit scores and reports for one business. In addition, you get all of the information contained in the one-time Profile Plus report. There are more benefits as well, including year-round alerts and monitoring.
Business Credit Score Pro: $1995/yr.
While pricey, the Business Credit Score Pro includes everything the other programs offer but allows you to access information for up to 30 businesses.
You might find this program beneficial if you deal with a lot of other businesses and need to know that they are financially sound.
Dun & Bradstreet
Dun & Bradstreet offers its D&B Credit Insights Basic program to business owners for $49.99 per month, but you’ll save $89 if you choose annual billing.
The Insights Basic report includes the following features:
- 24/7 access to all five D&B business credit scores and ratings
- Paydex Score
- Delinquency Score
- Business Failure Score
- D&B Guidance
- D&B Rating
- Historical trends of your scores and ratings
- Detailed Legal Events
- UCC filings
- Basic company information
- Business operations summary
- In-app or email notification
- Integration of your business bank account
Your Dun & Bradstreet business credit report subscription automatically renews each year, but you can call to cancel or change it if you need to.
Nav is a financial health platform for small businesses. In addition to helping business owners locate and track their credit scores, Nav connects businesses with loan and credit card providers.
The company’s Nav Prime program helps you to get a full view of how your company is portrayed in the credit industry.
Nav Prime costs $49.99 per month and offers benefits including:
- Detailed business credit reports and scores from around the web
- Tradeline credit reporting on your business as you make your monthly payments to Nav
- Business checking account
- Nav Prime card
The Nav Prime card is available without a credit check and without any security deposit. Think of Nav Prime as an all-in-one stop for monitoring the various business credit scores and reports.
How to Obtain a Free Business Credit Report
You can get limited information on your business credit file for free with the following programs.
Dun & Bradstreet Credit Insights Free
The D&B Credit Insights Free program is a lighter version of the Basic program mentioned above. You’ll get the following benefits with the free program:
- Scores of the following D&B ratings
- Paydex score
- Delinquency score
- Business Failure score
- D&B Guidance score
- Legal events summary
- Basic company information
- Business operation summary
Dun & Bradstreet’s Insights Basic gives you the same data but with more detail, including the D&B rating information.
Nav also has a program that allows you to check your business credit score for free when you sign up with Nav.
However, as with Dun & Bradstreet’s free program, the information you’ll get is very limited. If you want detailed business information and scores, you’ll want to sign up for the Nav Prime program outlined above.
Knowing where and how to check your business credit score is an important part of business ownership. After all, your ability to maintain excellent credit can determine if, where, when, and how you do business. An excellent credit score gives you access to higher credit limits and favorable interest rates.
If you haven’t done so already, use the resources we’ve shared above to check your business credit score today.
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About Laurie Blank
Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.
She’s a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.
She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.