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Tips on Applying for Credit Cards for a New Small Business

written by: Rosanna•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 10/7/2010

A new small business can benefit from having credit cards or small business loans. Applying for the loans can be difficult with no established credit for the business. By following a few tips, you can make the process easier.

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    Register for an EIN

    Visit the Internal Revenue Service website to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number will be used to establish your business credit and allow you to apply for credit cards for your new small business.

    An EIN is required by any business with employees. Even if you are a business owner with no employees, having an EIN is required for you to establish credit under the business name rather than using your name and Social Security number to establish the credit cards for new small businesses.

    Complete the application by adding your small business information and you will receive your EIN upon submitting the form.

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    Establish a Business Phone Line

    Start a business phone line and have the number published. Many creditors check for an active business phone line as a measure of the business's authenticity. It is very difficult to obtain any business financing without a phone line established in the business name.

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    Register with Dun & Bradstreet

    Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) collects business credit information and provides credit reports to those iinterested in offering credit to businesses. Having your small business registered with Dun & Bradstreet should by done prior to applying for credit cards for a new small business.

    It is important to note that not all credit accounts will report to Dun & Bradstreet. Most larger credit card issuers will both pull your credit history with D&B and report your account history with D&B. In the interest of building your credit report with D&B, ask potential creditors if they report the tradelines with D&B.

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    Apply for Business Supply Credit

    Credit card-first 4 digits Apply for a credit card with a business supplier. Staples is known for offering new small businesses a store credit card. Staples does check for the presence of a phone line as the basis for offering the credit. Once you get a Staples or other office supply store credit card, the credit card will be reported to Dun & Bradstreet, and your small business credit history is on the way to being established.

    Keep this card active by charging and paying on the account for six months, and your business credit score will be active. Then you can apply for larger credit cards for your small business.

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    Guarantee the Credit Card

    Provide your personal information and Social Security number as a guarantor of the credit account. By using your good personal credit history, you can obtain a larger-limit credit card for your new small business. Once the small business credit history is established--twelve months' history with the account--you can request the credit card company to approve the account on the business name alone and remove your name as the guarantor.

    As an alternative, you can apply for a separate credit card for the new small business and transfer the balance from the first account. This will leave the credit card with you as a guarantor with a zero balance. You can now close this card or use it for your personal needs.

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