Part of running a successful business is ensuring it maintains a good track record. This includes keeping an eye on its credit rating, as you might need to apply for additional funds for future growth.
This is particularly important for start-up businesses, which can have a struggle obtaining credit.
So here are five tips to help make yourself more appealing to lenders.
Check your business' credit report now
1. Make payments on time
Whoever you owe money to, pay on time. This is not only good for building the reputation of your business relationships, but also your credit rating.
After all, this is partly based on your ability to repay any debt on time. If you fear you may forget to make payments, make a note in your diary or set up a direct debit if they’re regular.
Having issues with late payers? Read our guide to chasing payment.
2. Keep records at Companies House up-to-date
The credit reference agency will use documents you file to Companies House to build a profile of your business. So make sure you file regularly and update any information that might be used, making sure it’s accurate.
You could be turned down for any future credit if you haven’t filed accounts, or kept them up-to-date, as this could be seen as a sign of financial difficulty.
Filing as early as possible, particularly if the figures are good, is always advisable to give Companies House time to process everything.
Getting an accountant to keep on top of everything is probably wise, particularly in the early years of a new business.
How to find an accountant for tax self-assessment
3. Regularly check your credit report
You can check your business’ credit report using one of several UK agencies, for example Experian.
It’s worth checking your credit report for any errors regularly, and definitely before applying for credit.
Go through it carefully to check for any mistakes, and previous addresses, including spellings, as a simple mistake could cause a headache if it’s not detected.
Protect your business by credit checking your customers
4. Correct any errors
If your credit record is incorrectly marked for any reason - whether it says you missed a payment or gives the wrong address - make sure to amend this.
You may have to talk to the company that originally supplied the incorrect information, but it's worth it to make sure you get it amended or removed.
5. Maintain your personal history
If you’re just starting out in business, lenders may not have enough information on your business to make decisions on your situation.
So they may look to your personal credit history, which deserves the same amount of care as your professional one.
Keep your personal finances in check, review your history, and rectify any inaccuracies (if there are any) as a good starting point.
Did you know you can access your Experian business credit report on a simple pay as you go basis?