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Understanding Your Business Credit Score Range

May 03, 2024 • 9 min read
Young Male Business Owning smiling with credit card
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      A personal credit score determines the level of risk that comes with lending to you. You use it to apply for credit cards and other financing options to cover major purchases. A business credit score works similarly, except instead of evaluating your risk as an individual, financial institutions evaluate your business’s viability.

      Like personal credit, business credit takes time to build. While your equity may be able to boost your business credit, the overall goal is to keep your personal and professional finances separate. This guide will review the factors that go into your business credit score range and what a healthy number looks like.

      What is a business credit score?

      A business credit score is a numeric expression that represents the creditworthiness of a company. It is used by lenders, suppliers, and other financial institutions to evaluate the likelihood that a business will repay its debts. This score typically ranges from 0 to 100 for most scoring models, with higher numbers indicating better creditworthiness.

      Unlike personal credit scores, business credit scores take into account factors such as the company’s payment history, credit utilization rate, length of credit history, public records including bankruptcies, and the company’s size and industry. A healthy business credit score is crucial for securing financing, favorable loan terms, and establishing trust with suppliers and vendors.

      Business credit score benefits.

      Having a high business credit score can unlock numerous advantages for your business that go beyond simply qualifying for loans or credit lines. These include:

      • Better financing terms: A strong business credit score can help you secure lower interest rates and more favorable repayment terms on loans and lines of credit.
      • Increased borrowing power: With a higher business credit score, you may be able to access larger amounts of capital for major purchases or expansions.
      • Improved supplier relationships: Many suppliers and vendors use business credit scores to determine whether or not they want to extend credit to a company. A strong business credit score can help establish trust and open up more opportunities for trade credit.
      • Separation of personal and professional finances: By building a solid business credit score, you can keep your personal assets separate from your business assets, protecting yourself in the event of any financial issues.
      • Insurance policy rates could be lower: A good business credit score may influence your insurance premiums, potentially leading to lower rates on your business insurance policies.

      Overall, investing time and effort into building and maintaining a solid business credit score positions your company for better financial health and long-term success.

      How a business credit score works.

      A business credit score, much like a personal credit score, is a reflection of a company’s financial responsibility and creditworthiness, but with a focus on the business’s operations. When a business applies for loans or credit lines, lenders and suppliers will examine this score to decide how risky it is to offer credit. 

      This score is calculated based on several factors, including the timeliness of bill payments, the amount of available credit used by the business, the length of the business’s credit history, any legal filings such as liens or bankruptcies, and the company’s financial stability. Essentially, this score is a numeric summary of a business’s financial history and current financial position, aimed at predicting the likelihood of the business fulfilling its financial obligations.

      What goes into your business credit score?

      Multiple factors contribute to your business credit score—some are in your control while others aren’t. A few of these factors include:

      • Your payment history: If you have paid off your loans steadily over time without missing any payments, you will have built a strong business credit score.
      • Credit history and age: How long has your business had financial liabilities? A new business will have a much lower credit score than a company that has maintained good credit for the better part of a decade. 
      • Number of accounts: How many accounts do you have? How many are active with existing debits or credits? 
      • Credit utilization: What percentage of allowed credit do you have? Have you reached the maximum limits of your business credit cards, or do they still have available credit for you to use? 
      • Types of credit: Credit bureaus look for multiple funding sources, otherwise called a credit mix. 
      • Recent credit inquiries: Have lenders recently requested information about your business? How many and how long ago?  

      Many of these factors are also used for personal credit scores. However, they take on a new meaning when applied to a business. 

      For example, the severity of the debt you take on also depends on the size of your business and your expected profits. Your credit can also be impacted by vendors that send unpaid invoices to collections or report overdue bills that you miss. 

      Essentially, almost any financial transaction you make as a business owner can contribute to your credit score, which is why it is so important to maintain good, organized bookkeeping.

      What is a good business credit score?

      The main difference between a personal and business credit score is the number range. While a personal credit score ranges from 300–850, business credit scores are typically developed on a scale of 0–100. Additionally, there are 3 main business credit score bureaus, all of which use this range. These are Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), Equifax, and Experian.    

      As a rule of thumb, the higher the score, the better. If you have a business credit score above 75, then you have exceptional business credit and shouldn’t have trouble securing funding. 

      A score of 50–75 is considered fair and you should be able to get funding, though maybe at a higher interest rate or more limited terms. Finally, anything below 50 is considered poor credit and a high-risk account.Each of the three major credit bureaus collects and measures different information to calculate your business credit score.

      How to improve your business credit score.

      Improving your business credit score is a strategic process that requires consistent effort over time. Here are practical steps you can take to enhance your company’s financial standing:

      • Pay your bills on time or early: Establish a track record of timely payments, as payment history heavily influences your credit score.
      • Reduce credit utilization: Aim to use a smaller portion of your available credit to show lenders you’re not overly reliant on credit.
      • Update your business information: Ensure your business information is accurate and up to date with all credit bureaus. Inaccuracies can negatively affect your score.
      • Monitor your business credit report: Regularly review your credit reports from the major credit bureaus to catch and dispute any inaccuracies or fraudulent activities early.
      • Establish trade lines with suppliers and vendors: Use trade credit to your advantage by establishing and maintaining positive payment histories with multiple suppliers and vendors.
      • Limit credit inquiries: Only apply for new credit when necessary, as too many inquiries in a short time can indicate risk to lenders and negatively impact your score.
      • Build a diverse credit mix: Having a mix of credit types, such as a business credit card, a line of credit, and trade credit, can positively affect your score.

      By taking these steps, you can improve your business credit score, which can lead to better loan terms, increased funding opportunities, and a stronger financial foundation for your business.

      Check your business credit score.

      You can find sample business credit score reports for each of these credit bureaus so you can determine which ones you want to use. The scores should stay relatively equal across each report. 

      To access your credit scores, visit the websites of these credit bureaus. You can pay from $40 at Experian up to $100 at Equifax for your report.

      Understanding your business credit score range can help you secure funding for startup expenses and company expansion. You can be more aggressive in negotiations with lenders when you have a good score and can take steps to improve it before taking out a loan if you have a poor one. Don’t be afraid of your credit score—use it to make sound financial decisions for your business!

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      About the author
      Derek Miller

      Derek Miller is the CMO of Smack Apparel, the content guru at, the co-founder of Lofty Llama, and a marketing consultant for small businesses. He specializes in entrepreneurship, small business, and digital marketing, and his work has been featured in sites like Entrepreneur, GoDaddy,, and StartupCamp.

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