Business Credit Reports

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Business Credit Reports

Want to know if a potential business, vendor, or client has a history of paying its bills on time?
You can find out by performing a Business Credit Report with Debtor Inspector!

The Debtor Inspector Difference

Debtor Inspector’s proprietary software compiles information from the “Big 3” Commercial Credit Bureaus (D&B, Equifax, and Experian) as well as other sources to ensure that you get the most accurate information about a company’s financial health.

Unlike the “Big 3” who typically charge monthly or annual subscriptions, Debtor Inspector allows for single reports to be purchased at a more competitive rate than what you would normally pay from one of the commercial credit bureaus.

Lastly, bigger isn’t always better. The “Big 3” are enterprise corporations which means that they may not have the time to answer all their consumer’s questions and/or they may redirect you to a support representative overseas.

Debtor Inspector’s 100% U.S.-based support team is available to answer any questions you may have.

Business Credit Report Services 101

Debtor Inspector has been conducting business credit reports for over 20 years.

Business credit report services are also known as “Business Credit Checks”, and “Commercial Credit Reports”.

Similar to a personal credit score, a business credit report is maintained to keep track of a business’s payment history. This history can provide insight as to whether or not a business is good at paying its bills on time and ultimately, whether or not they will pay YOU on time.

Before you engage in business with a potential client, vendor, investor, and/or business partner, it’s always best to “do your business due diligence” and run a business credit report on them.

To learn how a business credit report can benefit you, let’s first understand what a business credit report is so you know what to look for.

What is a Business Credit Report?

In simple terms, a business credit report is a historical record of a business’s payment history that is used to show lenders such as banks, and other companies how safe and/or risky it is to loan you money and what type of interest rates (i.e. financing terms) should be offered to you.

While personal credit scores range from 300-850, a business credit score’s range falls between 0-100 with 0 being considered “ bankrupt” and 100 being extremely financially sound.

What can I find in a Business Credit Report?

In addition to payment history, public records that concern a business can also be found.

Some of the things you can uncover in a business credit report include:

  • Company data such as ownership, number of employees, and sales
  • Liabilities such as debts, liens, judgments, lawsuits, and bankruptcies
  • Revenue forecasts

Where can I go to find Business Credit Reports?

Debtor Inspector offers Business Credit Reports to anyone looking to do their “business due diligence”.

Debtor Inspector’s proprietary software compiles and includes information from all 3 major commercial credit bureaus in its business credit reports so you don’t have to rely on only one source of intelligence, or spend time cross-referencing data from each credit bureau.

The three major commercial credit bureaus are:

  • D&B (Dun & Bradstreet)
  • Equifax
  • Experian

*Another credit bureau, Transunion, provides insight into consumer financial behaviors*.

To understand what may be included in each Debtor Inspector Business Credit report, let’s take a quick high-level overview of each commercial credit bureau.

D&B

Services range from $61.99 – $799 a year and may only be viewable for a certain amount of time. Each service is different depending on the “package” you buy. The business information you receive may include:

  • Operational information
  • Financial performance and payment history
  • Public filing records
  • Company history
  • Key employee contacts
    Ratings

Equifax

Services range from $99.95 for a single report, to $399.95 for a “multi-pack” of reports. Similar to D&B, each service has different offerings and the information you get may include:

  • Firmographics
  • Judgments, liens, and bankruptcies
  • Trade payment history
  • Financial payment history
  • Parent/sister companies and subsidiaries
  • Guarantors associated with small business owners

Experian

Services range from $39.95 and $49.95 for a single report to annual subscriptions of $189 and $1495 a year. Like D&B and Equifax, each service has different offerings and the information you get may include:

  • Financial stability risk
  • Fictitious business name
  • Industry classification
  • Company filing records
  • Payment trends
  • Bankruptcies

Are Business Credit Reports Private?

No. Anyone can pull up a business credit report since it is considered public information.

Personal credit reports on the other hand are considered private, and thus need “permissible use”.

Permissible use can be granted in several different ways. Most often, It comes directly from an individual (”consumer”) via the “fine print” in written consent when financial transactions are made. This consent is then reported and kept on file by the major credit bureaus.

Permissible use can also be granted through the court system in the form of subpoenas.

How Business Credit Scores are Used

Business reports are run to reduce potential financial harm to a company.

As mentioned above, it’s important to “Do your research” (aka business due diligence) before doing business with a potential client, vendor, investor, and/or business partner.

Running a business credit report can give you valuable insight as to whether or not anyone you wish to do business with will pay you on time (or if they will even pay you at all!).

Another use case where a business would run a business credit report on another company is when deciding whether or not they should extend credit to them.

Lastly, business credit reports are performed to see if any business is involved in a lawsuit, has judgments or liens against them, or to see if they have ever filed for bankruptcy.

Common Reasons To Check Your Business’s Credit Score

There are 2 main reasons why businesses check their own credit scores:

  • To check on potential fraudulent events
  • To request lower interest rates and/or financing terms from lenders

Recent Fraud Event

Similar to how you should monitor your own personal credit cards for unusual activity and run personal credit checks to see if there is any change in your credit score, business owners should do the same for their business to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity that could indicate fraud and/or identity theft.

Some things a business should be on the lookout for include:

  • A payment you don’t recognize
  • A credit application you didn’t authorize
  • A new account
  • A drop in your credit score

Request Lower Rates & Premiums

As an entrepreneur, you should run a business credit report on yourself anytime you plan to apply for a loan or a line of credit, and/or want to negotiate financing terms.
Running a business credit report before you ask for lower rates and premiums will let you know beforehand how much leverage you have to negotiate.
In addition to lenders, you can request lower rates and premiums as well as financing terms with:

  • Suppliers
  • Real estate and equipment leases
  • Insurance companies/brokers

Key Metrics That Determine Your Business’s Credit Score

Business credit scores are influenced by the same factors as personal credit scores.

Factors that determined a business’s credit score include:

  • Length of credit history
  • Size of the company
  • Industry risk
  • On-time payments
  • Credit utilization
  • Judgments, liens, and bankruptcies

How Does A Company Establish Business Credit?

Typically, the first things aspiring entrepreneurs do when they start a business include:

  • Incorporating and registering their business
  • Opening up a checking account
  • Applying for a business credit card and/or a line of credit

After these fundamental steps are in place, entrepreneurs subsequently go on to create an EIN (Employer Identification Number) which acts like a Social Security Number for their business. Some entrepreneurs will then go on to apply for a Dun & Bradstreet number (aka “DUNS/D-U-N-S number”).

Other ways businesses can establish credit include:

  • Paying your bills on time (or early!) for products and services needed to operate your business (e.g. software, insurance). This is also known as paying for your “Operating expenses”
  • Opening up accounts with retailers (e.g. Staples, OfficeMax, USPS, etc.)
  • Asking vendors to supply your payment history to D&B

Another overlooked factor in establishing business credit is credit utilization (i.e. the percentage of your credit limit that you use). It’s recommended that you keep your credit utilization below 30%. This shows lenders that you are not completely dependent on credit and/or that you are “maxing out” your credit cards each month.

Why We Are The Go-To Business Credit Reporting Company

As mentioned above, Debtor Inspector provides the same business credit report intelligence as D&B (Dun & Bradstreet), Equifax, and Experian.

Our difference, however, is that we also:

  • Pull and verify information from over 2,777 other public and private data sources
  • Verify our information daily
  • Answer any business credit report-related questions that individuals have via our U.S.- based support teams
  • Offer flexible pricing on reports and subscriptions

Most notably, people decided to run business credit reports with Debtor Inspector because our database consists of millions of under-banked and low-credit-score consumers and companies.

Corporations & Small Businesses

Being in business for over 20 years has allowed us to serve businesses of all sizes and from all industries.

Whether you are a solopreneur, micro business, small to medium-sized business, or enterprise corporation, we can tailor our services to fit your needs.

Business Credit Report FAQ

Business credit scores fall between 1-100 with 1 being “bankrupt” and 100 being “extremely financially sound”.

Anything in the 80-100 range is considered a “Good” business score.

You can check your business credit score with Debtor Inspector!

Since we compile information from the three major commercial credit bureaus and well as from over 200 other public and private data sources, we can provide you with a more accurate “big picture” look than if you were to get your business credit score from just one commercial credit bureau.

Generally speaking yes, it does. However, It depends on a few different variables.

If you are a sole proprietor, your personal credit may be intertwined with your business credit and thus affect it.

If you are an LLC or other entity, your business credit usually is separate from your personal credit but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your personal credit won’t affect your business credit.

When starting a business, banks and other lenders will check your personal credit to determine how much of a credit limit you should have and the types of financing that can be offered to you.

Most of the variables that determine whether or not personal credit will affect business credit typically boil down to the rules established by credit card issuers and the banks themselves. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with their terms and to speak to one of their representatives.

For starters, your personal credit is tied to your Social Security Number (SSN) whereas your business credit history is connected to your Employer Identification Number (EIN).

The scoring range for personal credit and business credit also differs.

A personal credit score ranges from 300 to 850, whereas a business credit score ranges from 0 to 100.

How the ranges are determined also differs.

For personal credit, FICO is the main scoring player. Equifax, Experian, and Transunion also report on personal credit, and each one uses a different model to determine a score.

For business credit, Equifax, Experian, and D&B (Dun and Bradstreet) are the go-to sources for credit scoring.

Depending on the report, you can get a simple business credit report instantly.

More detailed reports can take anywhere from a couple of days, to up to a month.

Business credit reports range anywhere from $40 for a single report, to $400 for multiple reports.

Before you decided to go ahead and purchase the cheapest report, you may want to consider:

When that report was last updated
Whether or that that report relies on only one source of information
Whether that report gives you just the right amount of information to make an informed decision.

With Debtor Inspector, you can expect to pay anywhere from $57 – $107 for a business credit report. Additionally, we have U.S.-based support teams available to answer any questions you may have.

This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, employment, or tax advice.

Want to know more about our Business Credit Report services?