How to Build Business Credit

What is business credit?
Check out our Business Credit Guide.

Go To Guide

Starting a Business

1

Choose a
Business
Structure

1
2

Get an EIN

2
3

Make Sure
You Have a
D&B D-U-N-S
Number

3
4

Separate
Business
and Personal
Credit

4

Established Business

5

Update Your
Business
Information

5
6

Pay on Time
(Or Early)

6
7

Ask for Trade
References

7
8

Monitor Your
Scores
& Ratings

8
9

Monitor
Inquiries

9
1

Choose a Business Structure

Establishing your business as a separate entity is the first step to separating your business and personal credit. Not sure why that’s important? This video should help.

Establish Your Business
2

Get an EIN

You’ll need an EIN to file your taxes and open a business bank account (step 3). Banks and potential business partners may also request it when you fill out paperwork. Having this number for your business is an important step in establishing your company.

Apply for a free EIN
3

Make sure you have a D&B
D-U-N-S® Number

Your company’s D-U-N-S Number identifies your business credit profile and helps other companies pull your business credit report.

Get an expedited D-U-N-S
Get a free D-U-N-S
Learn more about the D-U-N-S
4

Separate Business and Personal Credit

This video should help.

5

Update Your Business Information

Incomplete or inaccurate business information can impact your business credit scores and ratings. It’s easy to update your information with Company Update.

Go to Company Update
6

Pay on Time (Or Early)

When you don’t pay on time, vendors can submit negative trade references which can affect your business scores & ratings. Learn what else can affect your business credit profile.

7

Ask for Trade References

If you have vendors that you know you pay on time and that you have a good relationship with, ask them if they already submit trade references to D&B. If they don’t, see if they will. You can submit trade references yourself using CreditBuilder.

Get CreditBuilder™ Plus
8

Monitor Your Scores & Ratings

You’ll want to know if there have been changes to your business credit scores and ratings. New information like liens, judgements, bankruptcies, or negative trade references can affect your profile. Free services like CreditSignal® will send you alerts if there are any changes to your scores and ratings.

Get CreditSignal®
9

Monitor Inquiries

When a business pulls your business credit file to help determine if your company qualifies for a loan or can be trusted with a contract, it’s called an inquiry. The names of the companies pulling your report are confidential, but you can find out when an inquiry has been made and what industry the inquiring company is in.

I want to know what industries have made inquiries on my business.

I don’t want insight into industry, just inquiry alerts.

Get CreditBuilder™ Plus

How Well Do You Know the Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number?

Put Your Knowledge to the Test

Take our interactive quiz on the D-U-N-S Number and find out just how much you know. Need to get a D-U-N-S Number for your business or federal contracts? Take the quiz to find out how you can get your free D-U-N-S Number, or search for your company to see if you already have a D-U-N-S.

Need to find another company’s D-U-N-S Number? Our quiz has all kinds of helpful links and articles that can get you started building your own business credit, or help you pull another company’s business credit file. Get started to your right!


How Well Do You Know the D-U-N-S Number®?
How Well Do You Know the Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number?
The D-U-N-S Number is used to establish a business credit file, which is often referenced by lenders and others to help predict the reliability of a company. Let’s put your knowledge to the test!
The D-U-N-S Number has been around since 1963, and there are 280M+ businesses in Dun & Bradstreet’s database.
Did you know?
Even if not required, providing your D-U-N-S Number with your contract bid is a great way to showcase your credibility to non-government clients.
A D-U-N-S Number establishes a business credit file for a company, which can be leveraged for funding, contracts, and more. But, it can take up to 30 business days to receive
a D-U-N-S Number.

Companies may have a D-U-N-S Number and not even know it! See if your business already has a D-U-N-S Number by looking up your business or search for another company to find its report.
A company could have multiple D-U-N-S Numbers associated with it based on information its suppliers and partners have submitted to Dun & Bradstreet. You can verify your company information for free with Company Update.
The government currently requires a D-U-N-S Number for businesses that wish to bid on its contracts. You can get an expedited D-U-N-S Number if you’re a federal contractor.
You can actually use the D-U-N-S Number to do all of these things: establish your business credit file, manage your cash flow, and get better terms and rates on loans. You can use another company’s D-U-N-S Number to find its file and manage risks to your company.
Apple requires developers to have a D-U-N-S Number in order to verify the legal entity status of their organization. You can learn more about D-U-N-S Numbers for developers from Apple.
Your business needs an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for tax purposes, but it won’t establish your business credit file like a D-U-N-S Number will. Learn more about how the two numbers differ.
The D-U-N-S Number is a 9-digit identifier for a business, but the numbers are not representative of the business, they are provided at random!
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How’d you score? If we stumped you, learn more about the D-U-N-S Number, or apply for one below!
How’d you score? If we stumped you, learn more about the D-U-N-S Number, or apply for one below!