Everything You Need to Know About Your Business’s Credit Score

Aug 8, 2023 by Kelsey Banerjee

Like your personal credit score, your business credit score determines your creditworthiness to credit bureaus, financial institutions, vendors, and suppliers. In this concise guide, we'll cover the essentials of what business credit is (and isn't) and learn how to foster a good credit score.


What is a Business Credit Score?

  • A business credit score is a credit score that applies to a company instead of an individual.
  • Most range from 0-100 (unlike personal credit scores, which range from 350-800).
  • The FICO Small Business Scoring Service (FICO SBSS) ranges from 0-300.
  • Business credit scores are determined

Are the Business Credit Score and Personal Credit Score the Same?

Small businesses, especially sole proprietors, use their personal credit scores for their business. As a result, these two scores would be the same.

However, it's often better to separate the two. A small business owner can have poor personal credit, but their company can have good business credit. This distinction can ensure that your business gets the working capital it needs to grow.


Why is the Business Credit Score Important?

Access to working capital is critical for any business, and a good business credit score can help you tap into different types of credit at more favorable interest rates. Lenders, suppliers, and potential business partners will often rely on business credit reports to help determine the risk associated with certain companies and use that information to help decide whether or not to do business with them.

A business credit report is essentially a snapshot of the financial and credit health of a company, typically including:

  • Company's financial profile.
  • Tradeline payment history.
  • Recent credit inquiry history.
  • Any legal findings (including judgments, collections, and bankruptcies).
  • Credit score (indicating your business' creditworthiness and the level of risk posed to future creditors).
  • A "financial stability score" may also predict future financial health depending on the credit provider.

Some of the same credit bureaus that process your personal credit report can also provide business credit reporting. This includes Experian and Equifax. Another common credit reporting agency is Dun & Bradstreet.

Each is different, but they have some areas in common, such as what's included in your business credit report.


How to Read Your Business Credit Report

1. Business/Company profile

The SIC and NAISC codes are listed because each industry contains different levels of credit risk. Companies in lower-risk industries might obtain credit and insurance easier than higher-risk industries.

Quick check: The highest-risk SIC classifications include:

  • Real estate investing
  • Other types of investing
  • Car sales
  • Travel/transportation industry
  • Money lending/collecting
  • Restaurants

2. Tradeline Payment History

  • Shows your company's payment history over the last three years.
  • This section also includes when a transaction was first reported to the credit bureau, payment terms, recent high credit line, maximum credit line, monthly payment, and whether it's current or delinquent.
  • It will also show how often you've been delinquent on a 30-day late or more tradeline.

3. Commercial Financial History (Recent Credit Inquiry History)

  • Shows your payment history with creditors, lenders, and insurers.
  • Shows when the tradeline opened, the terms, the starting and current balance, and any delinquencies on the account.
  • Business loans, insurance policies, lines of credit, and equipment leases will show up in this section.

4. Legal Filings, Bankruptcies, and Collections

  • If your business has any legal filings, bankruptcies, or collection reports filed with the credit bureau, they'll appear here.
  • Tax liens, judgments, and accounts placed into collections after being delinquent for 90 days will be noted here.

Like your personal credit score, your credit utilization can impact your business credit score, the time you've had credit, and the amount of delinquency you have on your report.


Differences in Credit Reporting Agencies

The three credit bureaus report information a little differently. We'll cover the key information for each credit agency.


Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)

The D&B uses the PAYDEX score to determine good or bad credit. This scale highlights when, on average, your company pays its debts. A score of 80 or above is ideal, implying that your business pays its debts on time or early. However, your supplier or vendors must report to D&B for this score to be accurate. When determining your strategy for building business credit, it's essential to consider what suppliers you work with and their credit reporting policies.



Many lenders use the Equifax business credit report to determine your creditworthiness. This report pulls from data by the Small Business Finance Exchange (SBFE) and public records. There are three different Equifax reports:

  • The Equifax Business Credit Risk Score shows the potential for severe delinquency and off-charges over 12 months. The score range here is between 101 and 992, and the higher the score, the more creditworthy your business credit profile.
  • The Equifax Business Failure Score tracks potential business failures over 12 months with a credit score range between 1000 to 1610.
  • Finally, the Payment Trend and Payment Index demonstrates how your payment trends perform against industry standards.


The Experience business credit report also pulls from the public record but includes additional information supplied by vendors, lenders, and banks. This credit report uses a 0-100 range, with creditworthiness correlated with a higher score.


What Does Your Business Credit Score Affect?

Your business credit score influences what loans and lines of credit you're eligible for, your credit and payment terms, interest rates, and loan approval rates.

Business credit scores play a part in how lenders judge your company's eligibility for lines of credit, such as loans and credit cards.


How to Check and Improve Your Business Credit Score

Your business credit score is essential, and luckily there are plenty of free and paid services to find (and improve) your business credit score.


1. Check Your Credit Report

Checking your credit report is the first necessary step in ensuring your credit score is squared away. Once you know your score, you know what you're working with and can get the information needed to raise your score, including which accounts are negatively affecting your score and any disputable items on the report.


2. Pay Your Bills on Time

We know it's a bit of a no-brainer—but paying your bills on time is the easiest way to improve your business credit score. If you don't pay your bills on time, your credit score will suffer, and anything else you do to improve your score will just be canceled out because you're still considered a debt risk.


3. Decrease Your Credit Utilization Ratio

Your credit utilization ratio equals the ratio of credit used in relation to the amount of credit available. Your credit utilization ratio plays a significant role in your business credit score. We recommend keeping your ratio under 15%. There are a few ways to make that happen:

  • Pay off your balances. It might seem obvious, but paying off your balances ensures your credit utilization ratio decreases. If you can't pay them off entirely yet, get them down as low as possible.
  • Increase your credit limit. Ask your credit card provider to increase your limit; you've just decreased your credit utilization ratio.
  • Decrease credit card spending. The less you and your team are spending on credit, the better. Paystand's DeFi card can help you control corporate spending by assigning corporate cards internally for your company or externally to work as a new virtual payment method for your merchants or company expenses.
  • Open a new line of credit. This may seem counterintuitive, but having more credit available and not using it all makes you look even better to credit reporting agencies.
  • Pay your bills more frequently than once a month. Paying your bills bi-weekly, for example, helps keep that ratio down, as the spending won't pile up for the whole month.

4. Establish Credit Accounts With Suppliers

Work with certain suppliers often and have a good payment relationship. Establish a credit account with them to increase the amount of positive payments in your credit file.


5. Add Positive Payment History to Your Credit File

Not all vendors and suppliers report payment data to business credit-reporting agencies, but you can manually add trade references to your business's credit file through the credit reporting agency.


6. Dispute Any Errors and Inquiries

If you see something on your report that shouldn't be there, call the credit reporting agency to dispute it. Ensuring that what's being reported on your business is accurate and up-to-date is crucial.


7. "Pay for Delete" With Collections

When running a business, accruing debt is all but unavoidable. When paying off debts that went to collections, ensure the agency deletes the negative account from your credit report.


Improve Your Business Credit Score with Our DeFi Card

Our DeFi Corporate Card allows you to provision cards for teams instantly, designate expense categories, and track spending by account, class, and category. You can assign corporate cards internally for your company or externally to work as a new virtual payment method for your merchants or company expenses.

With real-time expense tracking and our touchless and secure virtual card platform, you are in total control of your money and earning Bitcoin rewards on every transaction!

Learn more about our DeFi Corporate Card and how to open your account. We can't wait to help your business thrive in the digital economy.