Your Business Credit Identity
Building business credit requires an EIN Number. Just like your personal credit profile is based on your Social Security Number as your identification, your business’ credit identity will be based on your Tax ID, or EIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) given to you by the IRS. If you don’t already have an EIN number for your business that you’re building credit for, you will have to get one. Companies Incorporated can have your EIN today, call 1-800-Company for details. If you have changed your company name or just formed your business, you need to get a new EIN number from the IRS.
Getting an EIN
You have several options here, first you can complete the IRS Form SS-4 and send it to the IRS for processing. Or you can apply with the IRS online. If you had an EIN and misplaced your number, you can Contact the IRS to resolve that scenario. You might have to update your address or information with the IRS in order to confirm all of your information is correct before you start building corporate credit.
You might want to review the IRS guidelines to determine if you need a new EIN before you continue.
Verify Business Entity Information for Credit Building
Your business has a profile with many agencies, that include, the state you are incorporated in, the IRS, your bank and any directory or 411 assistance records. You need to verify that all of these are up-to-date with the current and proper information. Remember that your legal entity address, cannot be a P.O. Box and business phone number not your personal or household line, so if you have completed the preparation steps prior to this, you should ensure that all agency information is updated and will match the information you submit when building your business credit profile.
Exact Match Required
The information should match exactly on all of your business’ identifying records and agency listings. If your business name is “ABC Repair, Inc” and you find information listed as “ABC Repair Company” or “ABC Repair Experts”, it needs to be changed. Another example is your address, if it contains a unit or suite number, those should be identical, i.e. “Suite 700”, “#700”, “Unit 700” are not the same for the purpose of creating your business credit profile.
The records with your service providers should be checked to make sure they have the exact business name and address. This includes your service bills, power, Internet, phone, supplies, etc. It’s very important that these details be reviewed and corrected if they are not exact.
- Secretary of State / Corporation Commission – The state office that you are incorporated with should have your business information current. This is the same thing as filing an annual report or statement of information that goes on public record. Check and make sure your incorporation documents and public record are current.
- IRS Information – You can contact the IRS and make sure that your business information is accurate. If you have a CPA firm who manages your records, they should be able to update your information. If you need to update your address with the IRS, you can use IRS Form 8832 to do so.
- Post Office – You can quickly update your address with the USPO using their online mover’s guide.
- Other Agencies – Retirees, Veterans and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) address change information can be found on the Social Security Address Change website page.
- Directory and 411 Assistance – If your business is listed in any directory or 411 assistance resource, you should verify that it contains your updated legal information that you are using to create corporate credit.
The business credit building process will be much smoother with your information audited, updated and current. With so many variables to look at when establishing corporate credit, the preparation phase must be thorough.