Your personal credit report is a financial report card of how you have managed your credit. Anyone who has a legitimate need can pay a consumer credit agency such as Equifax, Experian, or Transunion to view your report. As a consumer it's important to closely monitor your credit reports to ensure all information being reported is accurate. To check your personal credit reports go to Annual Credit Report.com to take advantage of your free annual credit report from each of the major consumer reporting agencies.But how do you check your business credit reports?
Like consumer credit reports, business credit reports are a company's financial report card of how a business has managed its financial and credit obligations. Unfortunately, there are no laws entitling business owners to a free annual business credit report.
While there are over 30 business credit agencies in the U.S., the three largest and most prominent ones are Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax Small Business, and Corporate Experian. Each of these agencies serves large segments of the financial industry. They collect data on millions of companies and compile the information into a readable format; the business credit report.Here are several ways the business credit reporting agencies collect data:
- Incorporation filings from state and county courts
- Business registrations on the state, city, and county level
- Data supplied from company principles
- Corporate financial reports
- Data mining via the internet, news and media
- Public records
- Banking and payment data supplied by creditors, lenders and suppliers
Business credit reports play a crucial role in business financing and have become the deciding factor in what credit limits your company gets approved for, what rate of interest you'll pay, and what type of terms you'll get. Did you know the majority of businesses, lenders, and creditors will factor business credit reports into their underwriting guidelines?
Before applying for credit it's important to review your business credit reports since it is constantly changing. Let's review how to check your reports from each of the major business credit agencies.Dun & Bradstreet
Fortunately, Dun & Bradstreet offers a free way to view and manage your company information via iUpdate. The iUpdate site provides small businesses the opportunity to view, print and submit updates to their business credit report.
To register go to iUpdate and click on the 'start now' tab to locate your company. Next, you will need to verify your identity and complete an authorization exam. Once you complete your authorization you'll be able to login and view your Dun & Bradstreet report.Equifax Small Business
This business credit reporting agency has over 25 million companies in its database. To check your business report go to Equifax's Small Business site and first locate your company using its company search box. To view your report you will need to either purchase a single business credit report or subscribe to Equifax's Business Credit Monitoring service.Corporate Experian
Another player in the reporting industry with over 27 million companies in its database is Corporate Experian. To check your report go to Smart Business Reports.com and submit your company information in its search tab. Once you locate your company, select which type of report you prefer to purchase. Corporate Experian offers single reports or multiple report plans with each providing various levels of details about your business.It's vital to check and monitor your business credit reports on a regular basis so you can detect any suspicious activity or changes. While the majority of people understand the importance of checking personal credit reports, business owners should be equally as vigilant in checking and protecting their business credit reports.
While your business credit report is just a snapshot in time of your company's financial status, stay on top of your reports so your company can be well prepared prior to applying for credit or business financing. Your ability to secure financing for your business will depend heavily on what your business credit report reveals.