Having good business credit is one of the most important prerequisites to getting small business financing. If expanding your bakery business is currently in your pipeline, building good business credit early will help you have access to capital at better terms and rates which most new borrowers have a hard time getting.

What is business credit

Business credit or business credit score is a rating that reflects the creditworthiness of a business. This is commonly used by lenders to determine whether or not to extend credit to a business and at what interest rate.

Similar to a personal credit score, your business credit rating is a numerical representation of anywhere between 0 and 100. Most lenders require a minimum business credit score of 75; of course, the higher your score, the higher your chances of getting approved for financing.

To determine your business credit score, you need to request it from credit reporting agencies such as Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet. These agencies will release your comprehensive business credit report, which includes payment histories since you obtained your federal tax identification number. Compared with a personal credit report, business credit reports may be reviewed by the general public.

What constitutes your business credit score

A business credit score is a number that represents the creditworthiness of a business. This score is used by lenders to determine whether or not to extend credit to a business. The higher the score, the more likely it is that a business will be approved for credit.

There are a few different factors that go into determining a business's credit score. 

  1. Payment history. Lenders will look at how often and how timely the business has made its payments in the past. They will also look at public records to see if there have been any bankruptcies or foreclosures.
  1. Amount of existing debt the business has. The more debt a business has, the higher the risk that it will default on its payments. Lenders will also look at the credit limits of the businesses to see how much debt they can actually handle.
  1. Length of time in business operations. The longer a business has been around, the more likely it is to have a good credit score. This is because lenders feel that businesses that have been around for awhile are more likely to be able to make their payments on time and stay afloat financially.

Reasons to build good business credit early

It’s important to know that your business credit score is more than just an indication of your capability to pay bills and debts on time. It is actually an important benchmark in determining your business’ financial health and trustworthiness. That is why when you build your business credit score early, you’re able to show lenders that you’re credit-worthy enough to be given capital when it’s time to expand the bakeshop.

Here are other reasons why building a good business credit rating early will go a long way in your bakery business:

Establish a remarkable credit history early.

Small companies are usually constricted when borrowing money from traditional lenders like banks because they haven’t been in business long enough to establish a remarkable credit history. So if you’re planning to go big anytime soon, make sure you start building your credit now. The earlier you have a record of your transactions, the longer your credit history will be. 

Borrow money when you need it early on in your business.

Most lenders would require you to be in business for at least three years in order to be approved for financing. In which case, building a good business credit early can get you the funds you need much faster.

Be in a better position to negotiate deals.

Building good business credit leverages you by having the ability to negotiate better deals with suppliers. This is because suppliers would want to keep their relationships with clients who have a clean business credit report.

Save more money.

When you have a good business credit to show lenders, you’re able to score better terms and rates. You may also get access to a variety of financing, such as a revolving line of credit or equipment financing. 

Having good business credit tells lenders that you’re capable of repaying your debts in full and on time. It also determines how big of a risk you might be. It will be used to calculate your rates and the types of small business financing you may be qualified to get and how much you’ll qualify for.

Tips to build good business credit

There are a few different things you can do to build your business credit score. One is to make sure you're always paying your bills on time. This shows lenders that you're a responsible borrower and helps improve your payment history.

Another way to build your business credit score is to use a business credit card responsibly. This means making timely payments and keeping your balance low. Using a business credit card can also help diversify your credit mix, which is another factor that goes into calculating your business credit score.

Lastly, keep your debt-to-income ratio low. This means that you shouldn't be borrowing more money than you can afford to pay back. Lenders will look at this ratio to determine whether or not you're a good candidate for a loan.

The bottomline

It's never too early to start building your business credit score. A strong business credit score can help you get approved for loans and lines of credit, helping you finance your bakeshop’s growth.

About the Author 

Matthew Gillman is a business financing expert with more than a decade of experience in commercial lending. He is the founder and CEO of SMB Compass, a specialty finance company providing education and financing options for business owners.