There are 4 very basic things a business can do to make sure they do not get declined instantly. These steps are to:
1. Form a separate legal entity
2. Check for name conflicts
3. Get a separate business address from a home address
4. Make sure the company is listed in the local 411 directory
Next, we will examine other simple things a business can do to appear favorable in the eyes of lenders and credit providers. Remember, some of these steps are not absolute necessities for getting business credit and financing, but they will help substantially.
Step 5: Get an 800 number
Again, this is not a necessity, but having an 800 number for your company can enhance its appeal in the eyes of lenders. Perception is everything in the biz financing world, and having an 800 number goes a long way in boosting your image.
Step 6: Make sure you have an EIN
An EIN, or employer identification number, is like a social security number for a business. Even if your company has no employees, it should still have an EIN. This number is very important in separating business from personal credit because you can use it in place of your personal SS# in many cases.
If you form a new company, take in partners, go through a bankruptcy, or buy a business, you will need to get another EIN number.
Step 7: Verify contact information for major listings
It is vital that your business is listed exactly the same in all of its major listings. These listings include your state, the IRS, 411 directory assistance, and your biz bank. Sometimes these listings will have variations of your business name or address, or could be flat out incorrect.
For instance, one listing may be ABC, Inc and another could be AB Consultants. One listing may have you listed at Suite 200 and another could be #200. These may not seem like a big deal, but having all your business listings exactly the same is important for establishing a solid credit profile and securing financing. You can even take it one step further and verify that every bill you receive has the correct information listed. The last thing you want when applying for financing is the lender to be confused.
Step 8: Know your bank rating
Most people, including business owners, are not aware that bank ratings exist. Banks and other lending institutions use bank ratings to gauge the cash flow of a company and how well it will be able to manage debt and other expenses.
Bank ratings are scores based on the average minimum balance in a business bank account over a 3 month period. Here are some common scores for small to mid-sized companies.
Bank Rating Account Balance Bank Rating Account Balance
Low 4 $1,000 - $3,999 Low 5 $10,000 - $39,999
Mid 4 $4,000 - $6,999 Mid 5 $40,000 - $69,999
High 4 $7,000 - $9,999 High 5 $70,000 - $99,999
A lender wants to be confident that you have the resources to repay any funding they give to your business financing.
That concludes the essential checklist for business financing. It is not guaranteed that you will get approved for financing if you follow these 8 steps, but your odds are guaranteed to increase, even if you only complete some of these steps. Hopefully this checklist will help you on your way to establishing a solid business credit profile and obtaining financing for your company.