WAYS TO VALIDATE YOUR BUSINESS
Did you know that many of your current suppliers could be reporting positive payment history about your business but the information is not reaching your corporate credit profile? Business validation could be standing between your company and financial success.
We see it happen all the time…
Perhaps you originally registered your company at a home address or using a registered agent’s address. Without your knowledge, a corporate credit file may have been created using that address. If you open retail or credit accounts using your actual address, whether an office location or a mailing address, that information won’t match what is in the credit profile. For whatever reason, your payment history will not be recognized by D&B® or other credit bureaus.
Oftentimes, a business may have two or more corporate credit files under different addresses, with part of the payment history flowing into one file and part into another. More often than not, the information doesn’t get put into any file at all.
You can think of your credit profile like a puzzle that is missing a piece. It won’t matter if you have several extra pieces (payments) to put into that spot, but if the shapes and sizes are not an exact match, they just won’t fit.
When information flows into the bureaus from various auto-reporting companies, it has to be exact. If information doesn’t fit perfectly into that slot, it won’t get added to your file. If the bureaus receive enough information for that other address, they may actually create a separate file instead of letting the information flow to the correct file. This is why it is so important that you insure everything matches in all your files — not just with the bureaus, but with all your vendors, as well.
The best way to make sure all your payment history is reflecting correctly to your file is to follow a few easy steps to validate your business. That way, when the bureaus receive information about your company, the pieces will fit perfectly into the slot automatically and help to boost your credit potential.
And the best part is… most of them are free!
The most common reason why payment history does not reach your corporate file is because the data does not match what is being represented in the file. Consistency is key. If there is any question about whether “this” information should (or should not) be associated with “that” company, eliminate the question. Make everything match by validating your business.
BUSINESS VALIDATION TIPS
Check the 411 status of your company Even if you are using a personal cellphone as your business line Even if you are operating your business from a residential address Don’t use virtual addresses since they are not accepted as a physical location
Make sure your website is up to date Update your “Contact us” information on your website List all address possibilities, such as mailing address and physical locations Update your site ownership info for your domain at http://www.whois.com Use a domain-driven email address rather than gmail, hotmail, etc.
Make sure your Secretary of State registration shows correctly Your physical location should be listed Even if you have a registered agent, the corporate address should be listed
Use business listing offers from companies such as Yelp, YP, and BBB Never pass up a free listing service or free advertising Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for suggestions Get involved with mentoring or apprentice programs
Use identical business address with all your vendors and suppliers Check invoices to make sure the shipping and billing addresses match Contact your vendors or update your information online Even something as simple as a zip code or abbreviation can make a difference
Your bank account information should match everything else You will need to check your statements and update as needed Banks may pull the business credit file when deciding whether to make offers
Update your social media sites Such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Bizapedia Search for your company, address, phone number to see what others see
Update the address on your corporate credit profile Only your current physical location should have a file Request multiple files be merged into one file, and delete any duplicate files
LESSON: Consistency is key to making sure your clients know where to find you, but also to make sure your prompt payment history can find the business credit profile quickly and accurately.