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Small businesses, including new businesses that are startups, need to build credit. But not all vendors report credit history to business credit rating agencies.
Tier 1 business credit vendors extend trade credit to early-stage businesses. They report both positive and negative payment history. Using net 30, net 60, or net 90 term accounts from vendors that report business credit will help your company develop a good business credit history if it pays invoices on time. You need to find these credit builder vendors.
We include a business vendor credit list of tier 1 vendors for newer companies building credit with time payment for invoices and some tier 2 vendors for more established businesses.
Why Use a Net 30 Account for Your Business?
Net 30 account vendors offer businesses 30-day trade credit as accounts payable, which builds your business credit when vendors report payment history to credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet – D&B, Experian, Equifax, and Credit safe). Your business buys goods or services and receives a tradeline to pay the vendor invoice without interest by its due date in 30 days, improving cash flow.
With adequate payment and credit history, your business may qualify to get bank loans and interest-free trade credit from other suppliers. Some of these vendors for business credit will offer early payment discounts. Trade credit improves cash flow.
How to Set Up Your Business So It Builds Credit
Your business needs to establish credit with tier 1 vendors offering credit payment terms and reporting your company’s positive payment history to business credit bureaus.
12 steps for setting up your business to build credit:
- Create and file documents to establish the legal entity for your business (after consulting an attorney) and register with the Secretary of State in your state
- Get a business phone number and use a physical address (not PO Box) for the business
- Launch a business website
- Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS
- Establish a business bank account
- Get a D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet to track business credit reporting
- Set up multiple net 30 accounts with vendors to build credit
- Pay vendor invoices on time or early to build your payment history
- Apply for a business credit card using the business owner/CEO’s personal credit history
- Seek venture capital for your high-growth potential business
- Apply for a bank line of credit or SBA loan
- Read your business credit reports and credit scores or ratings
7 Vendors That Report Business Credit
Consider using some of these business vendors that report credit.
A list of 7 vendors that report business credit described in detail below includes:
- Summa Office Supplies
- Ohana Office Products
- Business T-Shirt Club
- Home Depot Commercial Credit Cards
After your business establishes customer/vendor account tradelines, these vendors invoice the company for purchases with credit terms, receive payments, then regularly report positive and negative payment history to credit bureaus. Credit bureaus let interested companies (with subscriptions or paying their one-time price) access your business credit profile.
Ask each vendor for business credit you’re considering about their minimum purchases in dollars required for credit bureau reporting. Verify which credit bureaus they currently use for reporting. Check the vendor’s website to see if you need to pay annual fees for membership to qualify for a net 30 account.
For newer businesses, some vendors may perform a personal credit check on the small business owner and look at your personal credit score for approval decisions.
You’ll find more business credit vendors with vendor inquiries and word-of-mouth from contacts in your business network.
For more vendors offering net 30 accounts, read this linked article. Amazon’s Pay By Invoice program is by invitation to businesses. Amazon Pay by Invoice may not report positive credit payment history to Dun and Bradstreet or other credit reporting agencies.
Uline is an eCommerce and catalog-based distributor offering net 30 accounts. Uline offers an extensive selection of products with same-day shipping, including supplies for boxes, packaging, shipping, safety, warehouse, janitorial, retail, and food service.
Uline credit bureau reporting: Experian Commercial and Dun & Bradstreet
- Fast net 30 account application
- Choice of applying online or by phone
- To apply online, you need the customer number from your Uline catalog
- Uline Credit Department may decline your credit application
Applying for a Uline net 30 account is fast and easy. You can apply online for your business with your customer number from the yellow box on the back of your Uline catalog. Or call a Uline phone number to apply for a business net 30 account with credit terms or ask questions.
Not all businesses will qualify for a net 30 account. The Uline Credit Department determines credit qualification.
Credit Bureau Reporting
Uline credit bureau reporting: Experian Commercial and Dun & Bradstreet
Quill is an office supply merchant that also sells office furniture, printers, and electronics.
- Quill’s process starts with the assumption that you’ll be approved by using regular order checkout, with a credit application form on the next screen
- Credit approval or decline within 24 hours
- Ability to buy current and subsequent orders with a credit card if not initially approved for net 30 account credit
- Try again in 90 days to apply for net 30 credit
- Minimum $100 order required to submit a credit application for net 30 terms
To apply for a Quill net 30 account, follow the linked instructions on the Quill website.
It’s easy to apply for a net 30 account at Quill. And you get a second chance if you’re declined the first time.
To apply for a Quill net 30 account, start with the regular online checkout process and choose Invoice my Account for your $100 minimum first order. On the next screen, fill out a net 30 account application form. Your credit is checked within 24 hours. If your business is approved, the order is confirmed and invoiced.
If your business isn’t approved for a credit account, the Quill Credit Department contacts you. You’ll pay with a credit card before order shipment for the first 90 days of orders, then request a Quill net 30 account again after 90 days based on that business experience.
Credit Bureau Reporting
Quill.com credit bureau reporting: Dun & Bradstreet
Grainger is a well-known seller of industrial supplies and equipment. And Grainger’s products include office and janitorial supplies that every type of business can use.
- You can apply for “open account financing” for your business if you know the process
- Must remember to set up a business account first through the Register link on the Grainger website
- Requires subsequent email responses and a phone call to a sales rep through Customer Service at 1-800-GRAINGER
First, Register on the website to set up your business account. Next, call 1-800-GRAINGER for financing information or to apply for Open Account financing. Get a net 30 account upon credit approval.
You need to Register first on the website to set up a business account. The Grainger open account credit application process requires a phone call and emails.
Credit Bureau Reporting
Grainger credit bureau reporting: Dun & Bradstreet
4. Summa Office Supplies
Summa Office Supplies is a mail-order office supplies company.
- No personal guarantees are required for tier 1 newer customers
- Reports to Equifax Business and Experion Business
- Summa Office Supplies may report credit every two months instead of monthly
- A $75 minimum purchase is required for credit bureau reporting
- Newer businesses have access to a tier 1 catalog, including Summa Office Supplies website products
- You may need trade credit references from your business vendors to apply
- Tier 2 accounts with some credit experience may need to give a personal guarantee
Summa Office Supplies has a net 30 application online and includes an FAQ page about its net 30 accounts on the website. The first step of the Business Application is to register on the website. Then the business seeking a net 30 account enters its business information and authorized officer information on the next screens.
After approval of your net 30 account, at Checkout, click the button “Bill My Net 30 Terms Account” to receive a digital invoice with credit terms.
Credit Bureau Reporting
Summa Office Supplies credit bureau reporting: Equifax Business and Experian Business
5. Ohana Office Products
Ohana Office Products is a mail-order retailer selling software and some office supply products, including printer ink.
Ohana Office Products has the same business address and type of application form for net 30 accounts as Summa Office Supplies. (See the Summa Office Supplies information.) The Business Application and checkout process for a net 30 account are similar to Summa Office Supplies.
6. Business T-Shirt Club
Business T-Shirt Club offers custom embroidered merchandise that can include the customer’s company logo and custom garment design. Read the terms on the website.
- Pricing for garments is wholesale with membership
- Available brands are premium per Business T-Shirt Club
- Provides customers an online custom design tool (look for 1 free custom T-shirt offer using the design tool) or an option to email their design
- Business credit reporting to build up your business credit file
- BBB rating is A
- Business T-Shirt Club requires a $69.99 annual membership
- 12-piece minimum in custom apparel order
- Wholesale blank apparel $250 (before shipping & taxes) minimum order
- Pre-decorated apparel $100 (before shipping & taxes) minimum order
- A 50% upfront deposit on custom products is required for new members per the FAQs; 50% of the custom merchandise amount is on net 30 credit terms for approved credit customers
Complete the membership application. All members can choose the net 30 credit option at order checkout by selecting “add to account.” Remember that new customers will pay 50% upfront for custom embroidered orders, with the balance due on a net 30 account.
Credit Bureau Reporting
Business T-Shirt Club credit bureau reporting: Equifax, Credit Safe, Ansonia & Cortera on the first week of every month
7. Home Depot Commercial Credit Cards
Home Depot is a large company selling building materials, repair, and home supplies.
- The Home Depot Commercial Account card
- The Home Depot Pro Xtra Commercial Revolving Charge
Businesses can apply for either 30-day or 60-day terms on the Commercial Account card. The Commercial Account card offers a 2% early pay discount for online invoice payment in 20 days. If the early payment discount isn’t used, the Commercial account card requires either payment in full each month for 30-day terms or in 60 days for 60-day accounts. Businesses less than three years old require a personal guarantee from small business owners for the card. Approved businesses with three years of business operations shouldn’t need a personal guarantee.
The Home Depot Pro Xtra Commercial Revolving Charge card doesn’t need to be paid in full each month. The credit card requires a personal guarantee for all cardholders. To earn Perks rewards, join The Home Depot Pro Xtra program.
The pros and cons below apply to The Home Depot Commercial Account card.
- Enables spend management by issuing cards to authorized users
- Online application with choice of 2/20 net 30 or 2/20 net 60 terms
- Wide selection of products at Home Depot stores
- A personal guarantee is required for newer businesses
Apply for your choice of business credit card through The Home Depot Credit Center link.
Credit Bureau Reporting
Home Depot credit bureau reporting for both business credit cards: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax Business, and Experian Business
How to Set Up a Net 30 Account
How to set up a net 30 account differs for the customer and the supplier.
How a Customer Sets Up a Net 30 Account
A customer sets up a net 30 account with a vendor by:
- Researching vendors that offer net 30 payment terms
- Following the supplier’s website instructions and completing an online application form, or
- Contacting customer service or the sales department to apply by phone or ask for instructions
- Receiving approval (if not denied) from the supplier’s credit department for net 30 invoice payment terms
How a Supplier Sets Up a Net 30 Account
A supplier sets up a net 30 account in its accounting system by:
- Adding the customer name and contact information
- Choosing payment terms of net 30
- Deciding whether to offer an early payment discount like 2/10 net 30
- Invoicing the customer with net 30 payment terms
- Collecting the account receivable within 30 days or the earlier discount date
What Does Reporting Business Credit Mean?
Reporting business credit means a vendor regularly submits and verifies its trade credit customers’ payment history to one or more business credit reporting agencies.
Businesses using vendors to build business credit should preferably select vendor companies that report to Dun and Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax, and Creditsafe after signing up in their credit reporting systems to share customer payment history.
You can access your own business credit report to monitor your credit scores and check data accuracy. Access to business credit reports is generally granted to any requester with usage credits or money.
Potential suppliers, current vendors, partners, lessors, utility companies, insurance companies, and lenders make trade credit and contract decisions based on commercial credit reports and business references. Other stakeholders, including competitors and lawyers, may use credit reports to check your company’s business description, payment history, financial stability, liens, and possibly financial statement information.
Business Credit Reports and Scores
Vendors report customer payment history to major business credit bureaus that calculate and report scores for operating businesses and provide credit reports. These suppliers of goods and services include net 30 vendors that report to DNB (a.k.a D&B), Equifax, Experian, or Creditsafe.
Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Experian, and Creditsafe provide different credit reports, score ranges, and other analytics that vendors for business credit and other interested users can access.
Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Business Credit Reporting
Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) uses analytic techniques to provide several credit scores and rating reports combined into its cloud-based Live Business Identity. These commercial credit scores and ratings help business vendors decide whether to offer credit terms like net 30 to their customers and monitor existing customers with vendor tradelines.
The D&B PAYDEX Score measures a company’s history of payment performance. The Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX score ranges from 1 to 100 with three risk categories by range. A PAYDEX score of 80 – 100 indicates a low risk of late payment; 50 – 79 is moderate risk, and 1 – 49 is high risk.
According to Dun & Bradstreet:
“The PAYDEX Score reflects a business’s credit history and payment trends. Two of the most effective ways to potentially improve your business’s PAYDEX Score are (1) paying your bills on or ahead of time and (2) making sure your suppliers and lenders are reporting your payments to Dun & Bradstreet”.
D&B Maximum Credit Recommendation computes a suggested credit limit for vendors and lenders to offer credit based on business “size, industry, and payment history.”
Dun & Bradstreet also provides a Delinquency Predictor Score (DPS) that quantifies “the likelihood that a business could make a late payment, go bankrupt, or have future payment failures.” For the DPS, which ranges from 1 to 5, the lowest is best. DPS of 1 represents a low risk of delinquency; DPS of 5 represents a high risk of delinquency.
The D&B Failure Score predicts financial distress like bankruptcy within the next twelve months, also using a 1 to 5 scale. This score was previously called the Financial Stress Score.
The D&B Rating “combines a company’s size and its balance sheet information (the company’s assets, liabilities, and the owners’ equity) and uses this to create an overall rating for the business’s creditworthiness.”
Equifax Business Credit Reporting
Equifax provides a business credit report for small businesses that includes an overall credit risk score, payment index score history by days past due that’s benchmarked to the industry median, credit utilization percentage, highest credit, any bankruptcy, judgments, liens, ownership/guarantors, and other business information.
The Equifax credit risk score for businesses ranges from 101 to 992, as shown on the Equifax small business Credit Report. Its top credit score of 992 is ranked as the best possible score when assessing the risk of offering vendor credit to customers. Most businesses don’t rank that high and should still be given credit if justified.
Experian Business Credit Reporting
Experian business credit scores range from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best business credit score, with the lowest risk for business vendors. The number of trade events, payment history, length of time in business, public record results, and other factors will help you improve your business credit score.
“Experian requires minimum information to generate a score. If a business doesn’t meet these requirements, a score is not generated. Minimum information is at least one tradeline and/or one demographic element.” Experian defines demographics considered in a business credit score as “years on file, Standard Industrial Classification codes and business size.”
Creditsafe Business Credit Reporting
Creditsafe is a worldwide commercial (and business owner) credit reporting agency that sells business credit reports. The Creditsafe credit score ranges from 0 to 100, with the higher the score, the lower the risk of default or bankruptcy within twelve months. Creditsafe shows good credit scores in green and poor credit scores in red. The Creditsafe business report includes credit scores and limits, core business data, and payment data.
Importance of Building Credit for You
Building credit for your SMB (small or medium-sized business) is important. Companies that build good credit will be approved for interest-free trade credit from new vendors through invoicing on account with payment terms.
Without business credit, your company needs to pay for goods much earlier in the cash conversion cycle. It usually doesn’t receive cash until the customer pays for the goods and services it provides. If the business offers credit terms to its customers, this extends the cash receipt time until accounts receivable are collected, or customer invoices are factored for early receipt of payment.
Businesses with trade credit accounts improve cash flow. Your business won’t be required to use cash as quickly by paying in advance (PIA) or upon receipt of goods (COD). The Accounts payable team may be able to take early payment discounts, saving money on purchases and increasing profitability.
Companies with strong business credit can apply for business financing like bank lines of credit and SBA business loans, with a higher chance of approval. Yet Small Business Administration loans may still require personal guarantees from the small business owner.
Business insurance premiums may be lower for companies with good credit scores.
In your supplier evaluation and vendor selection process, include companies that help build business credit.