How to Improve Your Business Credit Score

Updated on:
March 22, 2024

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A strong business credit score is essential for securing favorable financing options and interest rates from lenders and funders. It can also help you negotiate better terms with suppliers and attract potential investors. This blog post will explore the importance of improving your business credit score, the differences between Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet, and offer practical tips on improving your score.

The Importance of Improving Your Business Credit Score

The importance of boosting your business credit score cannot be overstated. A strong credit score is critical to your business’s financial health and growth potential. By improving your business credit score, you can unlock numerous benefits and opportunities for your company.

  1. Lower Interest Rates: Lenders often see businesses with higher credit scores as lower-risk borrowers. Consequently, they qualify for lower interest rates on small business loans, credit cards, and lines of credit, helping save money in the long run.

  2. Increased Credit Limits: A high business credit score can lead to increased credit limits from credit card issuers and financial institutions, giving your business access to more working capital when needed. This increased financial flexibility can help your business take advantage of growth opportunities and navigate unexpected expenses.

  3. Favorable Payment Terms with Suppliers: Suppliers often review a company’s credit score when determining payment terms. Businesses with strong credit scores may receive more favorable terms, such as longer payment periods or even lower prices, which can improve cash flow and reduce operational costs.

  4. Attract Investors and Partnerships: A robust business credit score demonstrates financial stability and responsibility, making your company more attractive to potential investors and partners. These relationships can provide additional resources and support for business growth and expansion.

  5. Easier Approval for Leases and Contracts: Landlords and service providers may also review your business credit score when considering lease agreements or contracts. A higher credit score can help secure more favorable terms and reduce the need for personal guarantees or additional collateral.

  6. Insurance Premium Discounts: Insurance companies often use credit scores to assess risk, and a higher business credit score may result in lower premiums for your company’s insurance policies.

  7. Reputation Enhancement: A solid business credit score can boost your company’s reputation among customers, suppliers, and financial institutions, creating trust and credibility in the marketplace. This can lead to increased sales, better partnerships, and more opportunities for growth.

Understanding the Differences Between Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet

Business owners should know that there are multiple credit reporting agencies that determine your business credit score. While the exact definition of a good business credit score varies between the business credit bureaus, each bureau considers similar factors.

Business Credit Score Factors

  1. Payment History: One of the most important factors in determining a business credit score is the company’s payment history. Credit agencies assess whether the business consistently pays its bills on time and in full. Late payments, partial payments, or delinquencies can negatively impact the credit score.

  2. Credit Utilization: Credit utilization refers to the ratio of the company’s outstanding debts to its available credit limits. A lower credit utilization ratio is considered better, as it indicates that the business is not overextending itself and is responsibly managing its credit.

  3. Length of Credit History: Credit agencies also take into account the length of the business’s credit history. A longer credit history generally leads to a higher credit score, as it demonstrates a more extensive track record of responsible credit management.

  4. Types of Credit: The mix of credit types, such as loans, lines of credit, and credit cards, can also impact a business’s credit score. Credit agencies generally prefer a diverse mix of credit types, indicating that the business can manage various forms of credit responsibly.

  5. Public Records: Any public records related to the business, such as bankruptcies, tax liens, or judgments, can have a negative impact on the credit score. These records suggest financial instability or mismanagement, which can raise concerns for potential lenders.

  6. Company Size and Industry: Credit agencies may also consider the size of the business and the industry it operates in when calculating credit scores. Certain industries are considered riskier than others, and this can be factored into the score.

  7. Trade References: Some credit agencies may take into account trade references from suppliers and vendors who report payment experiences with the business. Positive trade references can help improve a business’s credit score.


Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus that provide business credit reports and scores. Their scoring model ranges from 1 to 100, with a higher score indicating a lower credit risk. Experian considers factors such as payment history, credit utilization, the age of your business, and public records like bankruptcies and judgments when calculating your score.


Equifax is another major credit bureau. Their scoring model ranges from 101 to 992, with higher scores representing a lower credit risk. Equifax considers payment history, credit utilization, company size, and industry risk when calculating your score.

Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) specializes in business credit reporting and uses the Paydex score, which ranges from 1 to 100. A higher score indicates that your business pays its bills on time or even ahead of schedule. D&B focuses on your company’s payment history, with trade references playing a crucial role in your score calculation.

How to Build Business Credit

Even if your small business isn’t immediately seeking an emergency business loan, improving your credit rating can be a good idea. This is true if you are a new business without much FICO credit history or looking to improve your credit score. Remember, bad credit can have effects on a number of aspects of your business.

1. Separate Your Personal and Business Finances

Establishing a clear separation between your personal finances and business finances is essential for building a strong business credit profile. Open a dedicated business bank account and obtain a business credit card to keep your personal and business expenses separate. This will help protect your personal credit score from any potential negative impact from your business activities.

2. Register with Credit Bureaus

Ensure that your business is registered with Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet. This will allow these credit bureaus to start tracking your business’s credit history. Be sure to provide accurate and up-to-date information, such as your employer identification number (EIN) and business contact details.

3. Establish Trade Lines with Suppliers

Trade lines are credit accounts with suppliers, and they play a significant role in building your business credit score, particularly with Dun & Bradstreet. Establish relationships with suppliers that report your payment history to the major credit bureaus. Always pay your suppliers on time or ahead of schedule to positively impact your credit score.

4. Maintain Low Credit Utilization

Credit utilization is the ratio of your outstanding balances to your available credit. A high credit utilization ratio, which is when your credit spending is near your total amount of credit, can negatively impact your business credit score. Aim to keep your credit utilization below 30% to show lenders that you can manage your credit responsibly.

5. Pay Bills on Time or Early

Payment history is a crucial factor in determining your business credit score. Consistent on-time payments or even early payments can significantly improve your score. Set up payment reminders or use automated payment systems to ensure timely payments.

6. Monitor Your Business Credit Reports Regularly

Regularly reviewing your business credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet can help you identify any errors or discrepancies that may negatively impact your credit score. Address any issues promptly by contacting the respective credit bureau and providing them with the necessary documentation to correct the error.

7. Keep Public Records Clean

Bankruptcies, tax liens, and judgments can have a lasting negative effect on your business credit score. Stay on top of your financial obligations to avoid any public records that could damage your creditworthiness.

8. Increase Your Credit Limit

Requesting a credit limit increase from your card issuers can help improve your credit utilization ratio, leading to a better business credit score. Be cautious when requesting an increase, as some providers may perform a hard inquiry on your credit report, which could temporarily lower your credit score.

9. Diversify Your Credit Accounts

Having a diverse mix of credit accounts, such as business credit cards, lines of credit, and term loans, can help demonstrate to credit bureaus that your business can manage different types of credit responsibly. Ensure that you are not overextending your business’s financial capabilities when diversifying your credit accounts.

Final Thoughts

Improving your business credit score is vital for securing favorable financing options, building trust with suppliers, and attracting potential investors. Understanding the differences between your credit file from Experian, Equifax, or Dun & Bradstreet and implementing strategies like separating personal and business finances, establishing trade lines, and maintaining low credit utilization can help boost your creditworthiness. Regularly monitor your credit reports and address any discrepancies to ensure an accurate reflection of your business’s financial health.

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