NOTE: This impacts many of the lessons below!
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How to access the D&B DUNSmanager® to submit updates or launch slow payment disputes.

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Are You Hurting Your Company's Credibility?


Hindsight is always 20/20, which is why most successful small business owners say their biggest mistake was using personal credit to support their company's financial needs. If you are struggling to achieve business credit for your small business, you may want to see if you are guilty of making any of these most common mistakes.

SEVEN COMMON COMMERCIAL CREDIT-BUILDING BLUNDERS

1) Failing to establish a D&B DUNS® number and "complete" profile for your company

Even brand new businesses that have yet to get their feet wet can get business credit — whether from vendors, suppliers, credit card companies, or equipment/vehicle financiers — so long as they start by creating a solid business credit profile with D&B and the other commercial credit reporting agencies. If you'll notice, I emphasized solid, because just "getting a D-U-N-S® number" does not guarantee the D&B profile is complete. You need to have all seven of the "Super Seven Elements" in place to have a complete profile, and that usually doesn't happen when you order a free DUNS number online.

2) Failing to get an EIN number in the company name and at the company address

Your company is going to need an EIN number. While you probably won't need it right away, but it will eventually need to be included on some of your business credit applications. You'll also want to have that number handy when creating your business bank account. Establishing your EIN number helps to validate your business, and being established at a date close to your official start date sends a strong signal of savvy (and responsible) business management. You can order an EIN online at no cost at www.IRS.gov, and you'll have the number within about 10 minutes.

3) Failing to establish a business bank account in the company name

You should not make a single purchase for your business until you have created a business bank account. You'll need your corporate registration and EIN to do so, as well as your personal proof of identity and some cash you can deposit to activate the account. Many of the most basic products and services you'll need to start your business will get auto-reported to one or more of the commercial credit bureaus, but usually ONLY if those purchases were paid using a business bank account, check, credit card, or debit card.