Can You Qualify for a Business Credit Card?

Can You Qualify for a Business Credit Card?

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A business credit card can be a convenient method of payment, a method of finance and even a way to earn valuable rewards and benefits. But many small business owners wonder if they will be able to qualify for a small business credit card. Actually, it may be easier than you think.

What kind of businesses can qualify?

Nearly any kind of business can qualify for a small business credit card. This includes corporations, partnerships, non-profit companies and limited liability companies. You can also apply as a sole proprietor. Furthermore, your business doesn’t have to be established before you apply for a small business credit card. You can apply for a card as soon as you start your business, as your application will rely on your personal credit history and credit score, not that of your business.

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How good does your credit need to be?

While there are personal credit cards that are designed for those with any credit profile, even if you have fair or poor credit, most small business credit cards require good or excellent credit (though there are some business credit cards for bad credit). Good credit is often defined as a FICO credit score of between 671 and 739, while excellent credit is 740 or above. If your FICO credit score is 670 or below, then you’ll have a hard time qualifying for a small business credit card until your credit improves. 

Here’s how to fill out a small business credit card application.

An application for a small business credit card will be similar to a personal credit card, except that it will ask you for information about your company. For example, you will need to supply your business name and the name you will want to appear on the card. You’ll also need to provide your business address and phone number. Other business information required will include your business’s legal structure, its ownership type and its tax ID number. The IRS provides your business with a 9-digit TIN or EIN. But if you are a sole proprietorship, then your tax ID will be your Social Security Number. Also, the application will ask you for some basic information about your business, such as its age, industry type. It will also ask you for financial information such as your annual business revenue and spending.

This is all in addition to the personal information that you would provide for any credit card application including your home address, birth date and social security number. You’ll also be asked to supply your total annual household income and your rent or mortgage payment. When it comes to your income, you can include nearly all sources including alimony, child support, investment income and government benefits. But at the same time, you don’t have to include anything you don’t want to.

You can also include income from other household members, so long as you have a reasonable expectation of access to these funds to repay your loan. For example, a non-working spouse could include the income of a working spouse if he or she can use that income to make credit card payments.

What to do if your application is rejected.

Most of the time, credit card issuers are able to offer you instant acceptance when you apply for a small business card online. But even if you don’t immediately receive approval, you have two options. First, you can call the card issuer by telephone, and ask for a decision. Or you could wait and you might still be notified by mail within the next two weeks.

But even if your application is declined, you can still contact the card issuer and ask to have it reconsidered. During a reconsideration telephone call, the representative will go over your application and see if there’s any changes that you can make to improve your chances. For example, if you failed to list all of your sources of household income, or if you accidentally listed your business profits rather than its revenue.

And if you already hold business credit cards from the same issuer, you could consider closing another account or moving part of your line of credit in order to be approved.

Bottom Line

By understanding how small business credit card applications work, you’ll realize that most small businesses such as yours can qualify for a new account.

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About the Author — Jason Steele is an expert in the credit card industry. He is frequently quoted in national media and his work is regularly featured by mainstream outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and Business Insider.

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