How Do I Get a Business Credit Report: The Basics

Getting a business credit report is easy – if you know where to look.

Like a personal credit report, the business version considers the most vital details of a business, including: 

 

  • Past payment history and collections 
  • Public filings 
  • Overall sales numbers 
  • Ownership and subsidiaries
  • Number of employees
  • Historical business operational data 
  • Industry classification

 

With this report in hand, banks and lenders can make an informed decision on providing credit by judging whether your business will meet its contractual obligations based on past performance. In turn, small businesses can get the credit or loan they need to meet short-term needs or invest in growth. 

You’ll also find out what kind of repayment terms you can expect at a specified interest rate, what insurance premiums you’ll pay, and how your customers perceive your business. 

 

Affordable and reliable reporting

Fortunately, there are a number of reputable companies that provide business credit reporting at an affordable price. 

 

Dun & Bradstreet

The business performance and analytics company offers credit reports for business starting at the low price of … free, all the way to $39 per month. 

With all the plans, Dun & Bradstreet first rates your business’ financial health and assigns a Paydex score, a delinquency score, and a failure score. 

While the Paydex score evaluates payment performance (with a score of 1 to 100), the delinquency score (101 to 670) predicts the likelihood of a business paying late. The failure score is used to judge the chances of a business closing down over the next 12 months. On a range of 1,001 to 1,875, a lower score means a higher risk. 

Dun & Bradstreet’s free service, CreditSignal, allows small business owners to check their Paydex score and will send an alert if a score changes. 

 

Experian

Experian offers four different business credit reports that can be purchased on a one-time or annual basis.

The company’s CreditScore report product includes your business credit score, financial stability risk rating, payment trends, and account histories. 

The business credit score examines payment behavior, the number of delinquent accounts, and the number of accounts with payment terms beyond 30 days. It is rated on a scale of 1 to 100 with a higher score translating into a lower risk for delinquent payments. 

The financial risk score predicts the likelihood of default or bankruptcy within the next 12 months. Payment trends and histories look at a small business’ likelihood to pay back their loans on time.

Experian does not offer a free business credit report.  

 

Equifax 

Like the other credit report products, Equifax’s report provides multiple scores based on credit risk, failure risk, and a payment index.

Ranging from 101 to 992, the credit risk score predicts the chances of business failure or delinquent payments, with a higher score indicating a lower risk. 

The payment index score (1 to 100), on the other hand, evaluates payment history. More delinquencies mean a lower score. Finally, the failure risk score attempts to predict whether a business will close its doors over the next 12 months, with a lower score translating into a higher risk of failure. 

Equifax will provide a free report, but on condition that you apply for a loan or credit card. Equifax also allows small business owners to purchase a report on a competitor. 

Getting a business credit report is simple, fast, and forward-thinking. If you are a business looking for a little cushion, this report can be invaluable. 

 

We're working on some pretty cool new pieces of content, including tools that will give you insight into your business finances.

Want to be the first to know when they launch?

Where to Get a Business Loan

No matter what your small business does, you’re going to need financing to make it happen.  Cue small business loans!  Small business loans are designed to give individuals the funding they need to maintain and grow their small businesses.  The idea of taking out a loan may be anxiety-inducing for many people, but it doesn’t […]

What is a Good Profit Margin?

As a small business owner, your profit margin might feel like the clearest way to define your success. Considering how hard it can be to keep your head above water, especially in the early days of your venture, breaking even (or even making a profit!) can give you the motivation you need to continue pushing […]

What is an SBA Loan?

Small businesses are an integral part of the economy but they also help make up the backbone of the communities they serve and the country as a whole. After all, part of the foundation of the  American dream is that anyone who wants to can open their own business.  Opening your own business can be […]

How to Find Working Capital

Your business is making money, you’re gaining more customers, and enjoying a steady stream of incoming cash. Perhaps you’re considering growing your team of employees, expanding your inventory, services, or product offerings, or taking additional steps to solidify your business’ impact on the market. But even with a consistent cash flow, your company needs to […]