Information that goes into creating a business credit profile comes from a variety of primary and secondary sources, such as:
- Payment and banking data from company suppliers
- Suits, liens and judgments, UCC’s, business registrations, incorporations and bankruptcy filings from state and county courthouses
- Corporate financial reports
- Contracts, grants, loans, and debarments from the federal government
- Web mining
- News and media
- Yellow Pages and other print directories
- And, in the case of D&B, Experian, and other companies that can manage your business credit profile, direct investigations and interviews with company principals (i.e. self-reported data) and other companies that you work with.
Business credit companies calculate your business credit ratings or scores based on information gathered from these sources to present an unbiased view of creditworthiness.
Your personal credit score is associated with your Social Security number, but business credit reports are tied to either your tax ID number or D-U-N-S Number (a unique business identifier used by D&B). If you have not established business credit, the first step is obtaining a tax ID number from the IRS and a D-U-N-S Number from D&B. To apply for a tax ID number, complete Form SS-4 and submit it to the IRS. To apply for a D-U-N-S Number, register with D&B.