Updated: Feb 3
People always ask: "Is a business website and email required to build credit?" The short answer is "no", but there is a long answer, too, and it may surprise you.
It's a tale of Jack & John... Two clients, both of whom have businesses that are unusually similar. Both are home-based businesses, less than three years old, in the same industry, and both are sole owner/operators of an LLC. Both owners have similar personal credit scores, similar backgrounds, and their annual sales, believe it or not, are within just ten thousand dollars of each other. The biggest difference between the two clients is that Jack has invested in a domain name for his company, a simple website to show what he does, and a business email account. John hasn't. Instead, he uses a generic email address (like Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL).
While Jack achieves retail credit approvals and business-based credit cards with regularity, John struggles for every approval and they don't come with the frequency and success that Jack experiences. Why does this matter? Several years ago, I decided to test my "email address" theory using my graphic design business as a guinea pig. It's been operating since 1988. To test my theory, I created two new retail credit accounts with the same company just minutes apart. On one account I used a generic Yahoo email address I've had for 20 years. On the other I used a business email address that's about 5 years old. Since the business information is the same no matter what email address I use, there should be no difference between the two online accounts I created, right? But there was... The account I created using my domain-driven business email address received an on-the-spot approval. My $1000 credit line had