Do Subscriptions Build Business Credit?

Do Subscriptions Build Business Credit?

Do Subscriptions Build Business Credit?

  • Paying subscriptions can be one way to establish and build business credit.
  • To achieve strong business credit, there are additional steps you’ll need to take. 

In the world of personal credit, getting credit for monthly payments for subscriptions—like your cell phone bill or Netflix subscription—has recently become a popular and creative way to help build your personal credit scores with FICO and VantageScore.

How does that work if you’re a business owner? Can subscriptions help build your business credit history? Here we’ll explain how these payments may help build credit, and additional steps to achieve good business credit. 

Does Paying Subscriptions Build Business Credit?  

Subscription payments can be a low-risk way to help a small business establish creditworthiness, provided they are reported to major business credit bureaus. They are a type of tradeline, and tradelines that are paid on time can help establish business credit. 

Over time they can provide a steady and reliable credit reference. Unlike a small business loan or line of credit that you may use from time to time, you probably pay subscription fees each month, and if those appear on your credit reports, they help keep your credit history active. 

How Subscriptions Impact Business Credit

A tradeline is an account listed on your credit report. It includes details like the account type, credit limit, current balance, and payment history. 

When you establish credit with a supplier or vendor and make timely payments, this positive payment history gets reported to your business credit report. Since payment history is the most important factor on business credit, these accounts can contribute a credit reference with on-time payments. 

Types of Subscriptions That May Impact Business Credit

Subscriptions are sometimes referred to as “tier one” tradelines as they are among the easiest to get. If you are in the process of establishing credit, they can be very helpful. However, not all subscriptions are reported to business credit so you may need to actively seek out those that do. 

Nav Prime offers a tradeline submitted monthly to the major business credit reporting agencies to help you build and maintain a strong business credit history. 

Again, this can be helpful if you are in the process of building credit or trying to keep an active credit history. 

You’ll need more than just one active tradeline on your credit reports, though, and that means you’ll need to seek out other types of credit. We detail those options below. 

Building Business Credit the Right Way

Here are seven essential steps small business owners can use to build business credit the right way. The sooner you start, the sooner you can see results! 

1. Lay the Groundwork

Whether or not you want to build business credit, a professional reputation is important. It can also help as you establish business credit. Vendors or suppliers will want to verify your business is legitimate to avoid potentially fraudulent orders, and a new business will get scrutinized more carefully.

Get a business phone number and list it in directory assistance. Use a professional email address (not @hotmail or @yahoo) and choose your business address. 

How this helps: These are little details but they can help. They may appear on your business credit reports and help establish your business as legitimate.

2. Register Your Business

Officially register your business with your state, which involves forming a business entity like an LLC or S corp. Annual filings may be required. If you’re a sole proprietor, you can file a fictitious business name (DBA) with your state.

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is a taxpayer identification number for your business. You can get an EIN for free from the IRS. 

How this helps: Registration information is often public record information; credit bureaus may use it to start your business credit profile.

3. Obtain a D-U-N-S Number

A D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet is required for a D&B business credit profile. If your business doesn’t have one, you can request it for free. Other agencies like Experian and Equifax have their own identifiers they create when they open a file on your business, so you won’t need to request them separately.

How this helps: It makes your business visible to Dun & Bradstreet, which is essential for building credit.

4. Get Tradelines

This is key, and it’s where accounts like subscriptions can fit into your strategy. 

To build credit, you need accounts that report to business credit bureaus. Establish credit accounts with companies that report your payment history. The easiest way to get started is with tradelines from subscriptions and net-30 vendors. There are a number of companies offering office supplies, branded apparel and other items a business needs on 30-day payment terms. 

Beyond subscriptions and trade credit, many small business loans and business lines of credit report to business credit bureaus. Business credit builder accounts are another option. They allow you to borrow a savings account and report monthly payments to credit bureaus. 

How this helps: Without reported payment history, your business credit file will be weak or non-existent.

5. Open a Business Credit Card

A business credit card that reports to commercial credit agencies helps establish business credit. These cards offer benefits like cash back or travel rewards and are available to both new and established businesses. 

Most of the major small business credit card issuers require a personal credit check (not business credit) when you apply, making them startup friendly. They often report payment history to at least one of the major business credit bureaus. Here’s how major small business credit cards report to business credit

How this helps: Regular, timely payments on a business credit card help build your credit profile.

6. Pay On Time

On-time payments are critical for good business credit scores. Business credit reports use “Days Beyond Terms” (DBT) to indicate how late payments are. Paying on time or even early can significantly boost your scores.

How this helps: Paying accounts that report on time is the best way to build strong business credit. Make every effort to pay on time. 

7. Monitor Your Credit

Regularly check your business credit reports and scores to track your progress and identify any errors. Dispute any inaccuracies with the reporting credit bureau.

How this helps: Monitoring your credit will let you see what’s being reported, check your progress, and address issues promptly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Subscriptions For Building Credit

Do subscriptions report automatically to credit bureaus?

When it comes to personal credit, most subscription providers don’t report directly to credit bureaus. Instead, you’ll need a credit builder type of credit card that facilitates and reports these payments, or you’ll need to use a service like Experian Boost that will evaluate these types of payments. 

On the business credit side, a few providers like Nav Prime and eCredable Business Lift report these monthly payments directly to business credit bureaus. 

How do I get a Paydex Score? 

The PAYDEX® score is one of the business credit scores generated by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B). Their model analyzes how a business makes payments and gives it a numerical score from 1 to 100, with 100 signifying a perfect payment history. You should have at least three open tradelines to generate a PAYDEX score on your business.

How does Tillful Credit Builder build credit?

Tillful is now Nav. Get the same business credit-building features Tillful offered—and then some. 

Do business debit cards build credit?

Business debit cards do not typically report to business credit bureaus and do not help build business credit. If you prefer a debit card to avoid debt, a business charge card may be a good option. For the most part, these cards require you to pay your balance in full, and don’t have the option to make minimum monthly payments. Many business charge cards can help build business credit. 

This article was originally written on May 25, 2024.

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