Owning a business


How do Business Credit Scores Work?

Paul Cronin

Paul Cronin

February 25, 2024 ⋅ 2 min read

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Business credit scores work similarly to personal credit scores but are tailored specifically for businesses. They are used by lenders, suppliers, and other creditors to assess the creditworthiness of a business and its ability to repay debts. Here's how business credit scores work.

  1. Data collection: Business credit reporting agencies, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax, collect data from various sources, including creditors, public records, and business filings. This data includes information about the business's payment history, outstanding debts, legal filings, and financial performance.

  2. Scoring models: Business credit reporting agencies use proprietary scoring models to analyze the data and generate a credit score for the business. These scoring models may consider factors such as payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, industry risk, and public records.

  3. Credit reports: Business credit scores are typically accompanied by credit reports, which provide detailed information about the business's credit history and financial profile. These reports may include trade references, credit inquiries, legal filings, and other relevant data.

  4. Credit score Ranges: Business credit scores are typically scaled to a numerical range, such as 0 to 100 or 0 to 300, depending on the scoring model used by the reporting agency. Higher scores indicate lower credit risk, while lower scores indicate higher credit risk.

  5. Credit monitoring: Business owners can monitor their business credit scores and reports to track their creditworthiness and identify any potential issues or inaccuracies. Some credit reporting agencies offer credit monitoring services that provide alerts for changes to the business's credit profile.

  6. Credit decisions: Lenders, suppliers, and other creditors use business credit scores to make credit decisions, such as approving loans, extending credit terms, or setting credit limits. A higher credit score may increase the likelihood of approval and favorable credit terms, while a lower credit score may result in higher interest rates or stricter terms.

  7. Improving credit scores: Business owners can take steps to improve their business credit scores, such as paying bills on time, maintaining low credit utilization, monitoring their credit profile for errors or inaccuracies, and building positive credit history over time.

Overall, business credit scores play a crucial role in the financial health and stability of a business, impacting its ability to access credit, secure financing, and establish relationships with suppliers and creditors. It's essential for business owners to understand how business credit scores work and take proactive measures to manage and improve their creditworthiness.