3 Vendors That Will Help You Build Business Credit

3 Vendors That Will Help You Build Business Credit

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One of the easiest ways to start off on the right foot when it comes to business credit is to get net-30 accounts with companies that report to commercial credit agencies.

But what is a net-30 account? A net-30 account is one that extends you 30 days to pay the bill in full after you have purchased products or services. Many entrepreneurs think that means getting a loan or line of credit. Those help, but not all business owners will qualify for a business loan or line of credit, as those often require strong business and/or personal credit scores, and may require proof of business income.

So what other accounts are out there? Here’s a simple way to get started if your business is young, or your business isn’t making a lot of money yet: vendor credit. Vendor credit is when you purchase goods or services from vendors that allow you to buy now and pay later. Vendor credit is not just limited to net-30 accounts either—some vendors offer net-15 (15 days to pay), net-60, or even net-90 day terms. Vendors that then report those payments to commercial credit agencies are ones that will help your company establish business credit.

Where do you find these vendors? Below, we’ve provided three net-30 vendors that will make it easy to get started. Want more? Get a free Nav account and use the free Business Launcher tool, which provides the names of lenders and vendors that report.

Before You Open Net-30 Accounts…

Before you jump in and open accounts, we recommend you take a few essential steps to make sure your business is viewed as legitimate. If your business is not set up as its own legal entity (such as an LLC or S Corporation, for example), consider creating one. If you decide to operate as a sole proprietor, make sure your business is at least registered with your state’s Secretary of State. You’ll also want to make sure your business has a D-U-N-S number, used to identify it in commercial credit reporting agency Dun & Bradstreet’s database. And use a business email address on your account, rather than a generic email address like Hotmail.

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While you can always purchase items from these vendors and pay with a credit card at the time of purchase, that doesn’t help you build business credit. You need to purchase on credit, as described below. Again, if you haven’t taken the time to set up your business properly, you may not get approved for credit. This free guide explains how to set up your new business the right way.

3 Net-30 Vendors That Report to Commercial Credit

1. Grainger

Grainger offers a large variety of products for businesses, including tools, plumbing supplies and safety equipment. They also offer office and janitorial supplies. There is a very wide variety of merchandise offered, so you should be able to find something your business needs.

Signing up for a Grainger account is free and easy. Just follow the instructions online. When you do, you’ll be offered the opportunity to request a $1,000 line of credit with Grainger. You simply check that box to apply. This is considered one of the easiest vendor accounts to get.

Vendor line of credit Grainger

You won’t get an answer immediately if you qualify, but if you don’t hear back within a day or two, reach out to them.

2. Uline

Uline also offers a wide variety of products your business may need including shipping boxes, office furniture and supplies, food service packaging and kitchen supplies, and more. Shop for supplies your business needs, then at checkout you’ll be offered the opportunity to be billed, with payment due in 30 days. (That’s referred to as net-30 terms.) Use that option so you can build a credit reference. If you check out successfully, then you’ve been approved for terms.

Vendor Uline net 30 terms

Pay on time or early and you’ll have another credit-building account under your belt. Like Grainger, this account is considered quite easy to get. No Social Security number is requested and your personal credit scores won’t be checked.

3. Quill

When you open a Quill account you will be asked to fill out a profile that describes your business. That information includes the year the business was started and the industry in which you operate. (Don’t be discouraged if your business is young; newer entrepreneurs often report success getting a Quill account.) Shopping online using a Quill account is like shopping at your local office supply store, but with a huge inventory of products.

Once you find what you want to buy, add it to your cart. Proceed toward checkout and you’ll see a notice that you can order now and pay later. If approved, you’ll get net-30 terms. According to Quill, approval can take 1-2 hours during business hours, or up to a business day if you apply outside normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

Vendor Quill payment terms

Similar to the other two vendors mentioned here, you don’t need to provide a Social Security number. Quill will verify your business address before extending terms. Again, most business owners who have properly set up their business should find it to be an easy process.

Tips for Success

There are a few important caveats in this process.

First, and this is important, you do not have to run up debt and pay interest to build business credit via net-30 vendors. Most vendors allow you to purchase items and pay them off in full by the due date to avoid interest. That’s perfectly acceptable when it comes to building business credit.

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It is also worth noting that credit limits typically do not appear on these reports. Instead, the highest recent balance will be reported. So if you spend a very small amount you may not see the same impact as if you are able to make larger purchases. You don’t want to fall into the trap of buying things your business doesn’t need, but if you do need more expensive items consider getting them from companies that will report whenever possible, to get the added benefit of building credit.

Note that unlike personal credit, the names of your vendors will not appear on your business credit reports. Instead they will report as “business type” such as packaging. So keep track of which accounts you have opened and when; you may need to match that to your credit reports if you aren’t sure which account is coming from which vendor.

Pay early when possible. Unlike your personal credit accounts, where you can usually go online to pay your account and have your payment credited the same day, it may take longer for payments to vendors to be processed. If you mail in your payment, do so at least a week before the due date to ensure your credit reports reflect on-time payments.

It may take a month or even two before one of these accounts shows up on your business credit reports. Be patient and monitor your credit. If it doesn’t appear by the third month after you’ve opened it, contact the vendor to make sure it is properly associated with your business and to confirm it will be reported.

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This article was originally written in September, 2017 and updated in July, 2018.

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About the Author — Gerri serves as Education Director for Nav, which provides business owners with simple tools to build business credit and access to lending options based on their credit scores and needs. She develops educational programs and content for small business owners, and works on advocacy initiatives. A prolific writer, her articles have been featured on popular websites such as Yahoo!, MSN Money, ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, NBCNews.com, Forbes, The Today Show website and many others.

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27 responses to “3 Vendors That Will Help You Build Business Credit

  1. Thank you for this. I applied with Grainger and got the net 30, $1,000 credit approval. No credit check required. I initially signed up but it didn’t give me the option like the screen shot above. I had to contact customer service via chat but they gave it to me right away. Thank you!!

  2. I was able to get an immediate net30 account with Quill and Uline. I made an order with Grainger and will make another couple of orders and check them in 90 days to see if they will give me a net30 account.

    I got a partially secured BP card and an Edge (Pilot/Flying J) fuel account.

    I’m also going to use Monopolize Your Marketplace and Jason Adams Transport to get my beginner reporting lines connected.

  3. Excellent article, Gerri! Uline is super simple to qualify for if you take it slow. Initially requesting $50 as a start for your net-30 account will probably increase your odds. Also, Mumeen Media Group offers new small business start-ups a business line of credit with 5% down. They report to DNB and Experian.

  4. Quill gave us a 30-day pay account immediately. We did not have to purchase anything with cash at all. Uline also set us up with an account immediately, as did Grainger. All are reporting for us.

    1. hey when you applied did you already have trade lines on your business credit or was your company new because quill and uline denied me because of no trade history on my business credit

      1. It just depends sometimes
        I was finding it hard time to apply for net 30 with grainger because no vendor was reporting on my credit
        After 3 months of reporting I re apply with grainger and was qualified for $1000 Credit because I had few tradelines.
        I will suggest you to try other vendor credit like gemplers,strategic network solutions and grainger

  5. Quill does not offer a line of credit until your business has spent a minimum of $200.00 a month for three consecutive months. The challenge we ran into is as a small business that is watching the bottom line, the 25% more that Quill charges for those things we use than we have to pay Staples (delivered free) does not make it a worthwhile account.

    1. I did not need to purchase that much in fact I only purchased $36 to start not knowing if it was a minimum, and when I didn’t have the invoice option, I called they fixed it and was invoices for $36 and now have my net 30, lol.. always best to call they can just set you up over phone often times anyway

  6. Yes not all report to everyone. The three listed do report to either D&B or Experian or both. My Nav.com scores shows both D&B and Experian. My D&B shows trade lines . There is also Equifax but I don’t have an account with them.

  7. I have these 3 and 3 more. I’m working on getting a fleet fuel card. It was an easy process to get the three mentioned above and my d&b does show I have trade lines now. I also have Nav and it shows my business rating. I made no personal guarantees. Strictly business credit.

      1. Wilmar was one I have from 2016 not sure & I also had a website & email venture Logix that reported but site crashed just recently so not sure what’s going on. It was great $20 / mo

    1. Shell fleet card is great, they provide a line of credit and bill monthly. Chevron bills every two weeks and charges a $75.00 late charge if you do not pay the entire bill every two weeks.

        1. Erica – Do you mean without a personal guarantee? Shell’s site says: “If any of the following apply, you may be eligible for an account with only business liability. Does your business meet any of the following criteria: a government entity, a non-profit organization, or a corporation in business for at least 3 years with more than $1,000,000 in annual sales?”