Are business cards personally guaranteed?
Larger companies generally won’t need to sign a personal guarantee. But smaller businesses and sole traders won’t necessarily have had a chance to build up a credit history yet, so their business credit score may be low.
With small business credit cards, usually, the applicant will need to personally guarantee any card debt. This means that even if your business fails, you will still be required to pay, and it could impact your individual credit score if you fall behind with payments.
You should think carefully about whether your business can afford to pay back multiple credit cards before you take one out. Remember, if your business can’t cover the costs, you may have to. So, you might want to set some savings aside for emergencies like this.
Do business credit cards build your credit score?
Small business credit cards can help your business build a credit history. In order to increase your company’s credit score you will need to:
- use your card to make purchases
- pay it off on time, every single month
- never spend more than you can afford
- not exceed your credit limit
If you fail to pay off your credit card or exceed your credit limit, your business could be subject to fines and have its credit score damaged.
Make sure you use your credit card the right way by only spending what you can afford to pay back. Or, at least, by making the minimum repayment amounts each month. Be mindful that not doing so can negatively impact your credit score
What are the benefits of a business credit card?
A business credit card offers a range of benefits, including:
You can make purchases for your business now and pay at the end of the month, helping you to access funds that you might not currently have. Be careful with this, though, because you need to make sure you can pay off your card at the end of the month. Otherwise, you may be charged interest.
Many small business credit cards offer rewards – more so than personal ones. These include things like transferable points, cash-back, travel insurance and no foreign transactions fees. The rewards will differ between cards and providers, so make sure you pick one that will benefit your business.
For instance, free travel insurance might be great if you have to travel a lot with your company or send your employees abroad. But another reward might be better if all your business is conducted in the UK – but there may be an annual fee, so be sure to check the terms of your card.
Advantages over personal credit cards
You tend to get higher credit limits and better rewards with small business credit cards. Many providers allow you to take out additional cards for your employees. There is also the added advantage of keeping your personal and business finances separate. This is very important for when you come to do your taxes at the end of the financial year. If you take out a business credit card, you can use the statements for expenses.
Chance to boost credit score
Boosting your business credit score will enable your company to access better rates and other forms of credit in the future, like business loans. In order to build a credit history, you need to take out credit, so you may want to consider getting out a business credit card. Just be aware that not managing your card responsibly can have a detrimental effect.
How do you get a business credit card?
- decide what type of card you want as we mentioned earlier, the rewards on some cards can greatly benefit your business. Decide on which type of reward you want in order to narrow down the amount of research you have to do
- do your research take a look online; comparison websites are often a good way to go. You can also get advice from brokers or speak directly to the lenders themselves. Some deals are only available through lenders or brokers, so it’s a good idea to combine these methods of research
- use an eligibility checker to avoid having to make multiple applications and potentially damaging your credit score, use an eligibility checker. These let you see how likely it is that you’ll be accepted before you apply. Just make sure you provide accurate information
- make a formal application you’ll need to provide your business name, address and phone number, as well as personal details. The lender will probably want more information on the size of your business, where and what you trade-in, as well as how many employees you have. It’s best to have this information to hand
How many business credit cards can you apply for?
You can technically apply for as many cards as you wish. However, we wouldn’t advise doing this.
All applications leave a footprint on your credit history, so applying for many in a short space of time can damage your credit score.
Having multiple small business credit cards open can increase your credit utilisation ratio because you have more credit available to you. For example, if you have one card with a credit limit of £1,000 and spend £800 per month, your credit utilisation ratio would be 80%, which is pretty high. But if you have two cards each with a credit limit of £1,000 and still spent £800 per month across both cards, your credit utilisation ratio would be 40%. This is much lower and could help your business get a higher credit score.
But having multiple business credit cards with various amounts of money going out at different times of the month can be difficult to manage and lead to missed repayments. Also, if you use all this credit, or take out multiple cards in a short space of time, lenders may see you as desperate to borrow. Therefore, it’s best to follow the golden rule when it comes to credit: Only borrow what you need.
Ready to take the next steps? See what different types of credit cards are available.