When creditors extend credit to business customers it allows them to purchase products and/or services upfront but defer the actual payment for a later date.
The larger the purchase amounts a typical customer makes the greater the risk the creditor will be exposed to. While extending credit has shown to increase sales by as much as 50% there are certain measures every business should take to minimize its risk.
One of the steps taken to reduce this risk is reviewing the company’s corporate credit report. This is an important part of making a sound credit granting decision because the creditor has the ability to review the payment history of a company’s existing financial obligations, including:
*Outstanding bankruptcies, judgments, or liens
Depending on which business credit bureau you order from it’s important to realize that not all reports are the same. Each business credit reporting agency is a storehouse of collected trade and credit information that is supplied to them by creditors. These creditors that furnish data to a reporting agency are known as subscribers.
The information that gets reported is dependent upon how often a creditor sends its data. Some creditors send data on a monthly basis while others send it on a quarterly basis.
In addition, some creditors may furnish information to a single business credit bureau while another creditor may report to several bureaus. Each bureau maintains its own database and does not share or disseminate credit information to another bureau.
Before you decide to pull a report make sure you have general information about the company. Usually the business name and state are sufficient but it doesn’t hurt to have the address, phone, and EIN number as well.
Here is how to order a corporate credit report from the top three business credit bureaus:
1) Dun and Bradstreet -DNB has over 130 million companies listed and over 1.5 million updates per day. To order reports visit the website and conduct a company search. Select the company to review and then choose the type of report to order. Prices start at $59 and go up to $149. You can also call 866-222-2841 to speak to a sales associate.
2) Corporate Experian – This is another dominant player in the industry with over 22 million companies listed. To order a report visit Smart Business and conduct a company search. Select the company to review and choose whether you want a standard or premium corporate credit report. Prices start at $29.95 and go up to $49.95.
3) Small Business Equifax -This bureau has over 25 million companies listed in its database. To order a report visit the Equifax Small web site and conduct a company search. Once you find the company to review you can order either a single business credit report priced at $99.95 or a multi-pack priced at $399.95. Another option to obtain your report is if you have been declined credit based on a member pulling your report. You can contact Business Equifax at 1-800-727-8495.
Even though there are many other bureaus that collect commercial data, these bureaus contain the largest databases. In some instances it may be beneficial to use a specialty agency. Some creditors will even order a report from more than one bureau in order to get a much broader credit picture of a credit applicant.
Today, hundreds of thousands of companies, lenders, and suppliers rely on credit reports to provide them with the information they need to assess the credit worthiness of a company. Start making sound credit granting decisions for your company by ordering corporate credit reports today.