A credit card is a powerful tool for both individuals and businesses, but business credit cards can seem a little more complicated than personal credit cards at first glance. Fortunately, if you're familiar with personal credit cards, there's not too much to the business versions
Requirements For Business Credit Cards
If you're looking to apply for a credit card for your business there are a few requirements you'll need to be aware of first (most of which, if you have a business you probably already meet). You will need:
- A registered business name
- Your business number or personal ID number
- An address (can be personal depending on business type)
- Projected annual revenue
- A bank account
Why Get a Business Credit Card?
Most business expenses can be easily handled with a business bank account (for the record, you should have a separate bank account for everything to do with your business and never mix business and personal accounts), but a credit card allows you to borrow small amounts of money to help with your business's cash flow; an essential tool to help you keep your operation up and running when budgets are tight. Additionally, your credit card helps you build credit as a business.
Building a Business Credit Score
You may be familiar with a personal credit score, but businesses have them too, and using a business credit card whilst consistently paying your balance will help you quickly establish a strong credit score for your business. A good credit score is essential for businesses just like it is for individuals, and will be useful if you ever need to apply for a loan down the road (for example, if you want to expand your operations, buy a building, etc.).
How to Apply For a Business Credit Card
Applying for a business credit card is about as easy as applying for a personal one. Some banks will even let you apply online or over the phone. The key thing is to make sure you have all the necessary information ready. Once you do, the process of applying is fairly straightforward:
- First, do your research and find a card that suits your needs.
- Second, see if you qualify for the card you want and read the fine print on promotional periods, exclusions, etc.
- Next, if you're confident in your personal or business credit score, you'll want to apply for the card. If your credit score is low however, you may want to consider putting off your application until you can improve your score.
- Now that you've put our application together or done it over the phone all you have to do is wait for the card issuer to process your application. This can take a couple of weeks.
Can You Have Multiple Account Holders on a Business Credit Card?
Just as with a personal credit card, business credit cards allow cardholders to add an authorized user to your account. You (the business owner) are still the primary account holder and therefore the one responsible for paying the bill each month, but your authorized user can have an additional card and make purchases for your business.
When considering adding multiple account holders on your business credit card account, you'll want to be sure you trust the employee using the card. This is because it's you and your business's credit on the line if expenses ever get out of hand. Don't let this scare you though, as adding authorized users can be an incredibly convenient way to allow other people in your business to make purchases for the business without you being present, and can prevent you from having to deal with reimbursements.