If you want a business credit card for a new enterprise, side hustle or startup, you don’t have to wait to establish a business credit history before applying. If you have good credit — represented by a credit score of 690 or above — you can generally qualify based on your personal credit history.
It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if your business or side hustle hasn’t made any money yet. You can say so on the application. The issuer looks at your personal finances and your business’s information to determine if you’re eligible.
Here’s how to tackle your application for a business credit card for a new business or startup.
Business credit card application requirements
When applying for a business credit card, you’ll be asked for both personal and business information. Commonly requested business information includes:
A tax ID number:
If you don’t have a separate tax ID for your business (and many entrepreneurs don’t), you can use your Social Security number.
The business’s name:
If your business has a legal name, put it here. Freelancers, consultants or gig workers without a “named” business can just put down their own name instead.
The legal structure (entity type):
This is where you identify how your business is organized. (See below for more details about business structures.) Most small businesses in the United States don’t actually have a formal legal structure like a partnership, corporation or LLC. They’re sole proprietorships, meaning they are owned by a single individual who essentially “is” the business. Sole proprietors can qualify for business credit cards just like any other businesses.
Address and phone number:
Provide the address and phone number for your business, if it’s separate from your own. If you don’t have a business location or a separate phone line for business, your home address and personal phone number will do.
The date you started your business:
This one is pretty straightforward.
sum annual gross for the business :Revenue is the money your business brings in. It’s not the same as profit, which is revenue minus expenses. It’s possible that you might not have any revenue as a new business. If that’s the case, you can tax income is the money your business brings in. It ‘s not the like as profit, which is tax income minus expenses. It ‘s potential that you might not have any tax income as a modern business. If that ‘s the case, you can put $ 0 on your application
Information about individuals who own 25% or more of the business:
If someone else has a more than one-quarter share in your business, you’ll want to have their name, date of birth, Social Security number and address handy in case the issuer requests it.
Type of industry:
This is different from business structure. This is “what you do” in your business, such as transportation, construction or general services, for example.
The personal guarantee
When you apply for a little occupation credit calling card, you ’ re by and large required to personally guarantee any debt on the poster. This means that if your business fails, you ’ re on the hook for any symmetry, and the credit tease issuer can go after your personal assets. This is the case even if your business structure otherwise protects you from liability for company debts, as with a pot or LLC . On the asset side, the personal guarantee makes it possible for a new business to qualify for a tease evening if it does n’t have a bunch of tax income. Because of the guarantee, the application besides requires details about you so that the issuer can run a personal credit check. This typically results in a hard inquiry on your credit reputation and a impermanent dip in your credit score. here are some of the details you may be required to provide :
Name and job title.
Social Security number.
Ownership percentage of the business.
Date of birth.
The personal guarantee requirement means that if you have bad personal credit, you’re unlikely to qualify for most small-business credit cards.
What do I set as the business structure?
You don’t need to have walls or employees to be considered a “business” for credit card purposes. If you’re engaged in an activity that earns money, and you aren’t someone else’s employee while doing it, you’re a business. If you have no idea what your business structure is, then you’re most likely a sole proprietor.
The most common business types are:
- lone proprietorships : A sole proprietor owns an unincorporated business by themselves, keeps all the profit and is liable for all the debts. Sole proprietors can include such people as freelancers, Etsy shop owners, rideshare drivers or “taskers” who perform services via TaskRabbit.
- Partnerships : A partnership is a formal business relationship between two or more people, who share in the company’s profits and are responsible to some degree for its debts. Law firms and medical groups are often partnerships.
- Corporations : A corporation is a legal entity that exists entirely separate from its owners, which means the owners bear less legal liability for the company’s debts.
- randomness corporations : An An S pot is a especial type of pot designed for smaller businesses, which allows the owners to avoid personal indebtedness while getting limited tax treatment. There are reasonably close rules for which businesses can qualify for S-corp status.
- Limited indebtedness companies : An An LLC shields its owners from personal indebtedness without requiring them to form a pot .
Choosing a business credit card
The best credit card for your new clientele or inauguration is one that aligns with your needs and spend patterns. here are keystone factors to weigh when picking a business credit tease annual tip : Cards with annual fees often provide benefits that more than outweigh the cost, but there are plenty of excellent Cards with annual fees frequently provide benefits that more than outweigh the cost, but there are plenty of excellent commercial enterprise accredit cards with no annual fee. besides, consider that you may be able to deduct the fee as a business expense .
Business credit cards tend to have richer sign-up offers than consumer cards. While those offers may be attractive, don’t let them distract you from the card’s ongoing rewards and benefits. Focus on whether you spend often in the card’s rewards categories. This way, you’ll get more value from the card.
If your business requires a lot of international travel, a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees will save you money. You can also avoid complications with payments overseas by choosing a business credit card that belongs to a network with broad merchant acceptance like Visa or Mastercard. Regardless of whether you travel domestically or internationally, you might consider a card that offers airport lounge access or that reimburses you for the application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry.
Many business credit cards offer account management tools that can help you stay organized come tax time. If there is a particular feature that can simplify your life as a business owner, it should definitely make it onto the checklist of must-haves for a business credit card.
credit report : If your goal is to grow your business and build your business’s credit history, make sure your business credit card reports to If your goal is to grow your commercial enterprise and build your business ’ randomness credit history, make surely your business credit wag reports to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax, at the very least. Contact the issuer to verify which credit bureaus a credit poster reports to .
Business credit cards worth exploring
The right credit calling card for your fresh business will depend on your goals and expenses. While you ’ re weighing your options, consider some of NerdWallet ’ sulfur best clientele credit cards for startups : The
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
offers simplicity with a 2 % cash rear rate on all purchases. On exceed of that, the card offers a ample sign-up bonus : Earn a erstwhile $ 500 cash bonus once you spend $ 4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account open. It does have an annual fee, however: It does have an annual fee, however : $ 0 presentation for the first year, then $ 95.
NerdWallet rate NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our column team. The scoring convention takes into explanation the type of circuit board being reviewed ( such as cash back, travel or counterweight transfer ) and the poster ‘s rates, fees, rewards and early features .
Unlike early cards for occupation owners, the
does n’t hold you to a personal guarantee. It determines eligibility by looking into your caller ’ second cash counterweight, outgo patterns and investors. Your business must have $ 50,000 in the bank to apply for the card ( $ 100,000 if you ‘re self-funded ). It earns 1 point per dollar spent on purchases and more in other categories if you make the Brex Card your only company card. Cardholders also benefit from an introductory offer and discounts with certain merchants. It has a your only party card. Cardholders besides benefit from an basic offer and discounts with certain merchants. It has a $ 0 annual fee. annual tip .
NerdWallet rating NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into report the type of calling card being reviewed ( such as cash back, travel or proportion transfer ) and the batting order ‘s rates, fees, rewards and early features .
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can offer generous perks like travel credits, redemption bonuses, airport lounge access and more to business owners that spend heavily on travel. It has a steep $ 695 annual fee, but the card’s perks and introductory offer can potentially offset the cost (see annual tip, but the calling card ’ second perks and introductory offer can potentially offset the cost ( see rates and fees ). Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $ 15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the inaugural 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. The card offers 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com, and 1x points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. It also offers 1.5x points on eligible purchases at U.S construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, software and cloud system providers, shipping providers — as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year. Terms apply. The card offers 5 membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and prepay hotels booked through amextravel.com, and 1x points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. It besides offers 1.5x points on eligible purchases at U.S construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, software and cloud system providers, shipping providers — ampere well as on purchases of $ 5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $ 2 million of these purchases per calendar year. Terms apply .
Read more: Debt Restructuring Definition
To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, see , see this page