The United States has always had plenty of small business owners. But according to an early 2021 survey, 34% of Americans reported having some sort of side-hustle, with another 24% planned on starting one in 2021. But unless they have incorporated and run their own office, or own their own store, many small entrepreneurs are unsure if they can get a small business credit card. In fact, many small business owners still use their personal cards instead of applying for one of the best business credit cards.
Who Can Get a Business Credit Card?
Nearly anyone can get a small business credit card, as there are few if any requirements related to the size of the business, its age or its legal structure. This means you can get a small business credit card if it’s just you operating the business part-time, and you’re a startup. This includes businesses of nearly every size including rideshare drivers, people who sell goods online and even those who walk dogs or mow lawns.
What Type of Business Qualifies for a Business Credit Card?
Nearly any kind of business can qualify for a business credit card, regardless of the number of employees you have, if any. This includes corporations, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs) and limited partnerships. Business credit cards are also available to non-profit corporations, professional associations, professional corporations, sole proprietors and unincorporated associations.
For example, suppose you just started a new business delivering meals part-time, and you wanted a new credit card to put your business expenses on and earn additional cash back at gas stations. You could simply apply for a business credit card as an unincorporated sole-proprietor. In this case, you would simply use your Social Security Number (SSN) instead of an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can even just use your own name as your business name. But just like personal credit cards, a business credit card will rely on your personal credit history.
Business Credit Cards for Non-Traditional Businesses
When you don’t have a traditional business such as one based in an office or a retail store, then it can be tempting for freelancers, gig-workers and other non-traditional businesses to use a personal credit card. There are several advantages to using a personal credit card. For instance, you may already have the card, and you might not be interested in business specific perks and bonuses. Using your existing credit card als means you don’t have to fill out another credit card application and potentially pay another annual fee.
However, being a business cardholder has several advantages.
- First, you can use a business credit to separate your business purchases from your personal finances.
- Business credit cards can also offer cash back rewards and extra travel rewards points for eligible purchases that businesses make more often, including those made at office supply stores, having a dedicated small business card offers you a line of credit that you can use to smooth out your cash flow.
- These cards can also help you to build business credit and increase your business credit score, which will be vital if you ever plan on applying for a business loan from a lender.
- And with a business credit card, you can order additional employee cards for authorized users, which most credit card issuers will provide at no additional cost.
- And with a rewards credit card, the primary account holder will earn all the rewards from your employee purchases, regardless of what kind of rewards program it uses.
- Furthermore, most business credit cards rely on your personal credit score and credit report from the major consumer credit bureaus to assess your creditworthiness. But business cards can be used to build your business credit history over time.
At the same time, the best business credit cards allow you to potentially earn a new signup bonus, such as bonus points or a cash back statement credit. You could also receive a 0% introductory APR for new purchases, balance transfers or both during your account’s first year. And these intro APR offers you can receive at account opening can be extremely valuable when you need to finance purchases.
Examples of good business credit cards for non-traditional businesses.
This is an ideal card for freelancers and those with a side-gig who have business spending with Amazon. There’s no annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
is another great card for freelancers, gig workers and other non-traditional businesses. With this card, you enjoy an introductory APR of , which is one of the better business credit card offers for promotional financing. There’s annual fee for this card.
Costco stores are often used by small business owners who don’t have the volume or need for a wholesale supplier. With this card, you’ll earn incredible rewards rates on gas, restaurants, eligible travel expenses, Costco purchases and more. There’sannual fee for this card with your paid Costco membership.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Get a Business Credit Card if Your Personal Credit is Bad?
If you have serious credit problems, then you won’t be able to qualify for most small business credit cards. However, there are secured business credit cards that you can qualify for with bad credit.
Do You Need a Business Bank Account to Get a Business Credit Card?
No, the application for a business credit card doesn’t ask you for any banking information, so there’s no reason you must have a business bank account.
Do You Need an LLC to Get a Business Credit Card?
No, even without an LLC or any other type of incorporated business you can still apply for a business credit card as an incorporporated sole proprietor.
What Do You Need to Apply for a Business Credit Card?
You need to supply basic information about your business including your business name, business address and phone number. You’ll also need to supply your company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) or your personal Social Security Number (SSN) instead. Other common questions on business credit card applications include your projected revenue and spending, as well as the type of company and the industry you work in.
This article was originally written on February 28, 2022 and updated on October 28, 2022.