1. The quality of being trusted and believed in by business credit bureaus, banks, and your target customers.
These steps or "Data Points" must be in place if you want to be taken seriously by banks and lenders.
Without Business Credibility, your business is not taken seriously. Your chances of business funding approval are greatly reduced. Follow the steps below in order to properly establish your Business Credibility.
1. Business Name and Plan
Your full legal business name must match exactly as listed on the corporation records including capitalization, punctuation, and abbreviation!
•Is anyone else using it?
•Is the matching domain name available?
•Don’t put your first or last name in it.
•Depending on your industry, you may not want to include the industry name in it.
Business Plan Software → Live Plan
Financial Projections Software → Projection Hub
2. Legal Structure
•Form your company with the Secretary of State of your choosing. You can file in your state or foreign.
•Choose your entity type; LLC, S Corp, C Corp, etc. *Sole Proprietor will not work.
•Establish your (EIN) Employer Identification aka Tax ID Number and match your state filings exactly.
•Be prepared to assign your “Registered Agent”.
Company Formation → LaunchMyCorp.com
Alternatively, you can do it yourself through your Secretary of State and the IRS.
A. Secretary of State See the list
B. IRS (EIN – Electronic Identification Number) https://www.irs.gov/businesses
***Call (800) 829-4933 then #1, #1, #3
3. Business Contact Info
•Your business must have its own phone number that is a real business or VOIP number not a mobile or home phone. You must have a business fax number and use that on the application when applying.
•A Toll-free number is recommended versus just having a local number.
Business Phone & Fax → BusinessPhoneDiscount.com
4. Business Location
•The business needs its own physical address, do not use a PO box, or UPS box. A home address can work but your home will show up under your business listings including on maps.
Physical Address → BusinessAddressDiscount.com (Best value)
Enter Promo Code: BC101 (to waive the setup fee)
Be sure to select a "Premium" location.
*This service includes a business phone number and reports your monthly payments to the business credit bureaus.
→ iPostal (Alternative)
Be sure to select the "Virtual Office" option with a "Prestige" location/address.
5. Industry Codes
You need to select and know what your industry codes are. You will need this for most loan applications and to list on public records.
SIC and NAICS codes → SIC & NAICS Lookup
6. Business Web Presence
•Your business domain name is your piece of virtual real estate. It is also know as your website address.
•You must have a professional business email address @yourdomainname. Not a Yahoo, or Gmail type email.
•Purchase your website domain name to match or compliment your business name.
Domain Name, Email, and Website → Lazer Lynx
7. Business Banking
Any business checking you prefer. Take a look at PNC Bank or TD Bank if in your area, AXOS Bank online, Nearside and/or NOVO Bank online. Make sure all of the information above is entered when setting up your business checking account.
•You must open up a business checking account and be sure to use only your business information.
•Setup an account with a bank that is business friendly and offers business products which you will benefit from in the future.
8. Business Licenses, Permits, an Insurance
•Be sure to get the proper licensing as required for your industry and your state
•Also be sure to check any local city and county license requirements.
9. Public Records
•Business phone number must be listed with 411 under the exact business name you are using on your application for public records along with as many web directories as possible.
411 Directory → List Yourself
•Web directories can include Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. There are hundreds of web directories. At least get listed on the top 7. You can do this yourself or use a service.
•Check Public Records to make sure all of your “business” information is listed properly.
•Clear your business of any tax liens, judgments, or UCC filings against your company. Check the Secretary of State records online in the state that the record was filed. You can do this at the National Association of Secretaries of State website. UCC Filings Search
10. Dun & Bradstreet
Make sure all of the information above is entered when setting up your DUNNS Number.
*Register your Credible business with D&B as a verified business. D&B Verified
•Experian & Equifax business credit have to be updated by mail and only after their profiles are automatically created by having an account report to them.