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5 Steps to Get a Business Credit Card, Bad Credit or Not

If you have bad personal credit, you may find yourself struggling to get a business credit card. The key to getting a business credit card, bad credit or not, is business credit. 

You Can Get a Business Credit Card, Bad Credit Not Being an Issue

You’re likely aware business credit is a good thing.  You know you need it to help you fund your business.  But do you know how it helps you specifically get credit cards, even if you have bad personal credit? Furthermore, do you know how to get it? 

How Do You Get Business Credit? 

Business credit doesn’t just happen like personal credit does.  You have to work to build business credit intentionally. While not hard, it is a process, and a time consuming one at that. The sooner you start the better, especially if you need a business credit card, bad credit being an issue. 

Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Separation is Key

First thing’s first. You have to establish your business as an entity separate from yourself the owner. This means not using your own name or address. That doesn’t mean you have to get a separate phone line, or even a separate location.  

You do need separate contact information however.  You can get a business phone number pretty easily that will work over the internet instead of phone lines.  In addition, the phone number will forward to any phone you want it too so you can simply use your personal cell phone or landline if you want.  Whenever someone calls your business number it will ring straight to you. 

You can use a virtual office for a business address. This is a business that offers a physical address for a fee, and sometimes they even offer mail service and live receptionist services.  In addition, there are some that offer meeting spaces for those times you may need to meet a client or customer in person. 

business credit card bad credit Credit Suite

Learn more here and start building business credit with your company’s EIN, not your SSN. 

Business Credit Card Bad Credit: EIN not SSN

The next thing you need to do is get an EIN for your business.  This is an identifying number for your business that works in a way similar to how your SSN works for you personally.  Some business owners used their SSN for their business. This is what a lot of sole proprietorships and partnerships do.  However, it really doesn’t look professional to lenders, and it can cause your personal and business credit to get all mixed up.   You can get one for free from the IRS.

This step is vital.  When you apply for a business credit card, bad credit can get in the way mainly because your SSN signals a look at your personal credit.  If you use your EIN instead of your SSN, the lender will only be seeing the credit attached to your business. 

Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Incorporation is Not Optional

Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is necessary for separation of business from the owner, and many other things. .  It lends credence to your business as one that is legitimate. It also offers some protection from liability. 

Which option you choose does not matter as much for these purposes as it does for your budget and needs for liability protection.  The best thing to do is talk to your attorney or a tax professional.  

Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Separate Bank Account

You have to open a separate, dedicated business bank account.  There are a few reasons for this.  First it helps solidify the separation between yourself and your business.  Also, it will help you keep track of business finances. This is important for tax purposes. 

There’s more to it however.  There are several types of funding you cannot get without a business bank account.  Many lenders and credit cards want to see one with a minimum average balance.  In addition, you cannot get a merchant account without a business account at a bank. That means, you cannot take credit card payments.  Studies show consumers tend to spend more when they can pay by credit card.

business credit card bad credit Credit Suite

Learn more here and start building business credit with your company’s EIN, not your SSN. 

Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Starter Vendors

Now, once you have these things in place,  you need to get accounts that will report your payments to the business credit agencies. It sounds easy enough, but the catch is, you have to find vendors that will extend credit without you first having credit. 

We call these vendors starter vendors.  They will extend net terms on invoices with little requirement. They don’t check credit. Typically, they require a certain number of days in business, a minimum average balance in a business bank account, minimum annual revenue, or some combination of these things. 

Extending the credit isn’t enough however.  There are some that do this, but there are far fewer that will actually report those payments.  You need vendors to report payments to the business credit reporting agencies, thus building your business credit score. 

The Snowball Effect

Of course you are wondering what any of this has to do with applying for a business credit card, bad credit being in the way. Here’s how.  Once you have several of these starter vendor accounts reporting, your score will be strong enough to support store credit. 

A business store account is usually issued for that specific store or website specifically.  Their limits are usually on the lower side as well.  However, after you get a few of them and use them responsibly. Your score will grow even strong. These are cards from places like Home Depot, Staples, or Best Buy. 

Then, you should qualify for fleet credit. These are cards from places like Shell that are used specifically for gasoline and automotive repair and maintenance.  

After a few of those are reporting your consistent, on-time payments, you should have a strong business credit score and be able to apply for standard business credit cards that are not limited by where you use them or what you use them to buy. By using your EIN and not your SSN, you can get a business credit card, bad credit on your personal credit report and all. It’s all a big snowball effect. 

business credit card bad credit Credit Suite

Learn more here and start building business credit with your company’s EIN, not your SSN. 

In the Interim

In the meantime, you can give your business credit building efforts a kickstart with a card like the Brex card for startups.  It  is one of the few true options if you are looking for a business credit card, back credit not being an issue.  Even a FICO as low as 300 may qualify.  There is no annual fee, and you can apply with your EIN rather than your SSN.  There is no personal guarantee requirement. 

The only catch is, not all industries qualify, and some industries require more paperwork than others.

You could also try getting accounts that you already have a relationship with to report to the business credit reporting agencies. This could be vendors you work with already. Maybe ask them if they will consider net terms and reporting payments. If you already make your payments consistently on time, they may be willing to do so without a credit check. 

You could also consider asking utilities that you already pay regularly to report your payments.  They may say no. They don’t have to do it. But they might, and if they do it can only help your business credit grow faster. 

A credit line hybrid can be another great option to help speed things along. You have to have a 680 or better personal credit score, but you can take on a credit partner if you don’t meet that. The account still reports to your business credit, so you can keep building your score. And, you can get up to $150,000 unsecured financing for your business. 

An Expert Can Help You Through the Steps 

It sounds easy enough to do all of this on your own.  However,  there are some steps that are easier than others. Specifically, it can be very difficult to find starter vendors that will report to your business credit. For this and other difficult steps, it can be very helpful to have a business credit expert help you out. It’s definitely worth considering. 

 

The post 5 Steps to Get a Business Credit Card, Bad Credit or Not appeared first on Credit Suite.

What is Psychometric Profiling for Marketing?

Here’s a question for you: How well do you know your customers? 

I ask because the better you understand your customers, the more effectively you can reach them. If you know what makes them tick and what influences their individual buying decisions, you can adapt your marketing strategy to increase conversions.

The answer? Psychometric profiling. Let me show you why it’s such a valuable tool for increasing marketing effectiveness and how you can deploy it across your business. 

Psychometric Profiling: How Does It Work?

Psychometric profiling is a measuring tool. It allows you to “measure” someone’s personality and use the findings to develop highly targeted, individualized marketing campaigns.

Did you know that customers prefer personalized messaging? 83 percent of customers are OK sharing data with you if it means a more personalized shopping experience. 

The takeaway? Psychometric profiling makes it easier for you to give customers what they want.

To be clear, it’s not the same as demographic profiling. Demographic profiling means categorizing customers based on “generic” measurements, like age and gender. Psychometric profiling offers a new, more diverse way to categorize your audience base. Here’s how it works:

What It Measures

Psychometric profiling measures six things:

  • personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism)
  • interests
  • lifestyle
  • opinions and beliefs
  • values

In other words, personality profiling helps you understand why your customers behave the way they do. Once you know what drives people, you can devise highly effective and targeted marketing campaigns.

Building a Psychometric Profile

The data you need to profile your customers and improve your marketing outreach? It’s already out there. 

Think about it. Over 4.5 billion people use the internet, including email and web browsing, and roughly half of the world’s population uses social media.

These people are:

  • shopping online
  • reading marketing emails
  • sharing Facebook posts
  • following brands on Instagram
  • tweeting about things they care about

All of this is data you can use to understand your customers better and discover which marketing strategies they’ll respond to best.

Are There Any Limitations to Psychometric Profiling?

Psychometric profiling helps you connect with your customers, but it has limits like anything. 

You still need to collect demographics and other user data for a complete picture. Plus, it’s no substitute for reaching out and engaging with customers directly, for example, on social media. You also can’t use psychometrics to measure marketing performance. In other words, it doesn’t show you whether your strategy’s working or not. 

5 Reasons Why Psychometric Profiling Helps Marketers

There’s no such thing as a perfect marketing tool, so don’t let the limitations deter you. Here are five reasons to try it: 

Psychometric Profiling Helps You Understand Buyer Intent

Say you own a cosmetics store. Your demographic profiling and analytics testing reveal that your customers are typically middle-class women aged between 21 and 45, and they respond well to promotional emails. 

Why, though, did a 21-year-old single woman and 45-year-old mother buy the same cosmetics set at 50 percent off? You won’t know until you profile your customers’ personalities and behavior.

With the help of psychometric profiling, here’s what you might discover:

  • Some women bought the set as a gift. 
  • Others treated themselves “just because.” 
  • Another group bought the set because their favorite influencer promoted it.

Based on buyer intent, you now have three subgroups:

  • gift-givers motivated to buy discounted products
  • women who purchase products because they enjoy pampering themselves
  • those who try new things to feel part of an in-crowd

Personality profiling fills in the gaps left behind by other analytics tools. 

Psychometric Profiling Helps You Improve Conversions

Do you know why you’re losing people at a certain point in a sales funnel? Psychometrics can help you play detective by eliminating some of the guesswork.

If you have assertive, no-nonsense customers who value efficiency, check your page loading speed. Slow loading speeds could be the culprit. 

Do your customers love it when companies share their values? Check your copy. Maybe your message is unclear or goes against what your audience believes in. 

Psychometrics speeds up your troubleshooting process by helping you pinpoint exactly where the problem lies. The outcome? More conversions and lower abandonment rates.

Psychometric Profiling Helps You Widen Your Social Media Audience

Social media platforms like Facebook let you get pretty specific about who you target. Want to target local moms who love fitness and care about the planet? Facebook’s got you covered. 

Using psychometrics, take a look at your followers and delve a little deeper. Let’s stick with our moms for this:

  • Chances are if they’re into fitness, they probably care about health and nutrition. 
  • If they love green products, maybe they care about your attitude toward sustainability. 
  • Do these moms see themselves as progressive? Reflect their beliefs in your copy.

Take what you discover from profiling to refine your social media ad campaigns and draw in more followers.

Psychometric Profiling Helps You Target Your Marketing Outreach

Harness the power of psychometric profiling to target your marketing outreach. 

Those women who buy cosmetics because their favorite influencer promoted it? Use more influencer marketing to reach these customers. 

The moms who care about sustainability and green products? Send them emails talking about the eco-friendly causes you support.

Here’s something to think about: 68 percent of customers will shop elsewhere if they feel you don’t care about their business. Target your outreach to show people just how much you value their custom. 

Psychometric Profiling Helps You Build a Stronger Brand

Don’t underestimate the power of brand personality. Over 60 percent of men and women prefer brands to build an emotional connection. 77 percent of customers remain loyal to brands that share their values. According to PwC, 64 percent of customers walk away from companies that don’t share their values or political beliefs.

With psychometrics, you can: 

  • Identify your most loyal customers or followers.
  • Profile them based on their personality, beliefs, lifestyle, and values. 
  • Ensure your branding reflects what your loyal customers want to see. 

TALA, a fitness brand, clearly knows its audience base. They’re all about diversity, sustainability, and inclusivity, and they target millennials who love eco-friendly fashion.

Psychometric Profiling Brand Personality UI Targeted Marketing

Through hashtags and slogans, they reinforce their branding across all platforms, including their website:

Psychometric Profiling Social Media Marketing Audience Engagement

Don’t forget their social media:

Psychometric Profiling Helps You Build a Stronger Brand

The takeaway for marketers? TALA understands why its customers shop the way they do and draws in followers through strong, personality-based messaging. 

You can do the same. 

How to Use Psychometric Profiling in Your Marketing

Don’t let the idea of “profiling” your customers intimidate you. Remember, the information you need is out there already. It’s just a matter of bringing it all together and analyzing the results to improve your marketing strategy. 

1. Survey Your Current Audience 

Don’t worry; there’s no need to formally interview your top clients or run expensive marketing focus groups. Instead, here’s what you can do. 

First, try making casual conversation with your most loyal (or highest-spending) clients. How did they spend their weekend? What matters to them? 

The questions you ask vary depending on your consumer base and how you do business. For example, if you don’t have a physical store where you speak with customers, this may be less practical. You could still ask these questions online, though, if your customers respond well to social media engagement.

Next, send out some customer questionnaires and be honest about what you’re doing (remember, transparency is key). Ask them questions like:

  • what they care about 
  • how they prefer communicating with you
  • what else they’d like to see from you 

Spend some time crafting questionnaires and reflect on the results. 

For example, maybe your customers hate marketing emails, but they respond well to social media messaging because they’re friendly and love interacting with businesses. The answer? Send fewer emails and spend more time talking to customers online. 

2. Analyze Existing Website Data

Hopefully, you’re already gathering marketing data, whether it’s through A/B testing, Google Analytics, or social media tools like Hootsuite. 

Don’t have this data on hand? No worries. You can start now using quick and easy tools like my free A/B testing calculator

Once you have the data, look at it from a “why” perspective and put yourself in a customer’s shoes. Ask why:

  • certain posts get the most interaction
  • some emails have great click-through rates 
  • people drop out your sales funnels at certain points 

This approach is great because you’re finding new ways to put existing data to work. It’s efficient and cost-effective.

3. Collate the Data

You’ve got the data, and now it’s time to use it. 

The goal here is to create demographic and psychometric profiles to segment your customer base into target groups. Once you have your target groups, you can try out new marketing techniques and refine your outreach strategy. 

Think back to our women aged 21-45 who bought the cosmetics set on sale. We categorized them into three separate audiences based on motives, but it’s possible to go deeper. 

Use all the tools at your disposal to learn as much about these women as possible. Why do they shop the way they do? Who are they as people, and what drives them?

Try psychometrics tools if you need a little more help, and compile demographic and psychometric data for the most accurate possible profile. 

4. Use Tests and Tools

Once you segment your audience, test out new marketing strategies on them. Tweak your plan based on your findings. You can also try these techniques:

  • Run different UI flows. 
  • Make targeted product recommendations to personalize the shopping experience. 
  • If your customers are extroverted, fun, and friendly, make your sales funnels more engaging.
  • Do your customers love to feel like they’re part of something exclusive? Use scarcity tactics to encourage them to buy now. 

There’s no right way to do this, so try a few things and see how they affect conversion. 

5. Improve Ad Relevance 

Use your personality profiles to improve ad quality and relevance. 

For example, say your customers are usually middle-aged men who love tinkering with cars. They often work alone, and they have plenty of time on their hands. 

Chances are, they’ll respond better to ads showing other middle-aged men working on cars alone in a relaxed environment. Families working on cars together or mechanics racing to get the job done? These images may be less effective. 

The more relevant your ad, the better your ad performs, which ultimately helps grow your business. 

6. Write More Compelling Emails 

Since you now know who your customers are and what they want, you can craft highly relevant and emotionally engaging emails. Here are some tips:

  • Analyze your most successful email blasts from a psychometric perspective. Why did customers respond so well?
  • Use your findings to replicate these marketing campaigns. 
  • Try out new techniques (based on your profiling, of course) and analyze performance as you go. 

For example, maybe discount codes perform great, and promotional emails less so. What does that reveal about your audience, and how can you integrate this info into your email marketing strategy?

7. Craft New Content

Are you looking for new content ideas? Turn to psychometrics. Here’s an example:

Your followers work in cybersecurity. Through social media and website analytics, you discover they care about general IT trends. They care about IT trends because they’re concerned about how they affect their cybersecurity strategies. Thanks to psychometric profiling, you can tap into these concerns and write new content. 

Use psychometrics to cater to a user’s every need. 

Conclusion

Psychometric profiling offers a window into your customers’ personalities. It tells you why your audience behaves the way they do, what influences their buying decisions, and, most crucially, what you should do to keep their loyalty

Want to get the most out of personality profiling? Take the psychometric data you uncover and compile it into your findings from other analytics tools like Ubersuggest to build the richest possible picture of your audience base. 

Have you tried psychometric profiling in your marketing strategy? How is it working for you?

The post What is Psychometric Profiling for Marketing? appeared first on Neil Patel.

Get the Best LLC Credit Card

Need an LLC credit card? You’ve come to the right place. And they are still available, despite the COVID-19 situation.

The Very Best LLC Credit Card

We researched just about every LLC credit card for you. So, here are our top picks.

Per the SBA, company credit card limits are a whopping 10 – 100 times that of personal credit cards!

This shows you can get a lot more cash with business credit. And it also means you can have personal credit cards at retail stores. So, you would now have an additional card at the same retailers for your small business.

And you will not need collateral, cash flow, or financials to get company credit.

LLC Credit Card Benefits

Perks vary. So, make certain to choose the perk you would prefer from this selection of options.

Get a Secure LLC Credit Card for Fair Credit Scores

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Check out the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. It has no annual fee. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 24.49%. You can earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your company, without any minimum to redeem.

While this card is within reach if you have average credit scores, beware of the APR. Yet if you can pay promptly, and in full, then it’s a bargain.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-classic/

Get a Trustworthy LLC Credit Card for Fair to Poor Credit, Not Calling for a Personal Guarantee

Brex Card for Startups

Take a look at the Brex Card for Startups. It has no annual fee.

You will not need to provide your Social Security number to apply. And you will not need to provide a personal guarantee. They will take your EIN.

However, they do not accept every industry.

Also, there are some industries they will not work with, and others where they want added documentation. For a list, go here: https://brex.com/legal/prohibited_activities/.

To determine creditworthiness, Brex checks a business’s cash balance, spending patterns, and investors.

You can get 7x points on rideshare. Get 4x on Brex Travel. Also, get triple points on restaurants. And get double points on recurring software payments. Get 1x points on everything else.

So you can have bad credit (even a 300 FICO) to qualify.

Find it here: https://brex.com/lp/startups-higher-limits/

Establish business credit fast with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines.

Get an LLC Credit Card with No Annual Fee

No Annual Fee/Flat Rate Cash Back

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Take a look at the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. Beyond no annual fee, get an introductory 0% APR for the first year. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

You can earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your business. And get $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening. You can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more using Chase Ultimate Rewards®. But you will need excellent credit scores to receive this card.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/unlimited

Get an LLC Credit Card for Luxurious Travel Points

Flat-rate Travel Rewards

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Take a look at the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. It has an introductory yearly fee of $0 for the first year, which then rises to $95. The regular APR is 18.49%, variable due to the prime rate. There is no introductory annual percentage rate. Pay no transfer fees. So late fees go up to $39.

This card is terrific for travel if your expenses do not fall into typical bonus categories. You can get unlimited double miles on all purchases, without any limits. Get 5x miles on rental cars and hotels if you book through Capital One Travel.

Get an initial bonus of 50,000 miles. That’s the same as $500 in travel. However you just get it if you spend $4,500 in the initial 3 months from account opening. There is no foreign transaction fee. But you will need a good to superb FICO score to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-miles/

Bonus Travel Categories with a Sign-Up Offer

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

For a wonderful sign-up offer and bonus categories, check out the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Pay an annual fee of $95. Regular APR is 17.49 – 22.49%, variable. There is no introductory APR offer.

Get 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the initial 3 months after account opening. This works out to $1,250 towards travel rewards if you redeem via Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Get three points per dollar of the first $150,000 you spend with this card. So this is for purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services. Plus it includes advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.

You can get 25% more in travel redemption when you redeem for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards. But you will need a good to superb FICO score to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/business-preferred

No Yearly Fee

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World MasterCard® credit card

For no yearly fee while still getting travel rewards, have a look at this card from Bank of America. It has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for purchases during the first nine billing cycles. After that, its regular APR is 13.74 – 23.74% variable.

You can get 30,000 bonus points when you make a minimum of $3,000 in net purchases. So this is within 90 days of your account opening. You can redeem these points for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases.

Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, everywhere, every time. And this is despite how much you spend.

Also earn 3 points per every dollar spent when you schedule your travel (car, hotel, airline) through the Bank of America® Travel Center. There is no limit to the number of points you can get and points don’t expire.

But note you will need superb credit to get this one (as in, 700s or better).

Find it here: https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness/credit-cards/products/travel-rewards-business-credit-card/

Hotel Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Check out the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ Card from American Express. It has an annual fee of $125. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 17.24 – 26.24%.  But you will need good to exceptional credit scores to get this card.

Points

You can get 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after using your card to make purchases of $3,000 in the initial three months. Get 6x the points for qualified purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You can get 4x the points at US restaurants and gasoline stations. And you can get 4x the points on wireless telephone services bought straight from American service providers and on US purchases for shipping.

Get double points on all other eligible purchases.

Rewards

Also, you get a free night every year after your card anniversary. And you can earn one more free night after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.

You get free Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Also, spend $35,000 on qualified purchases in a calendar year and get an upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.

Plus, each calendar year you can get credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/bonvoy-business/

Business Credit Cards with a 0% Introductory APR – Pay Zero!

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Take a look at the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It has no annual fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

Get double Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases like office supplies or client dinners for the initial $50,000 spent per year. Get 1 point per dollar afterwards.

But you will need great to outstanding credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/bluebusinessplus-credit-card/

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Also take a look at the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card. Note: the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is identical to the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. But its rewards are in cash as opposed to points.

Get 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year. Then get 1%.

So it has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the initial year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

But you will need great to excellent credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/business-bluecash-credit-card/

Establish business credit fast with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines.

Get a Flexible Financing LLC Credit Card – Have A Look at Your Options!

The Plum Card® from American Express

Have a look at the Plum Card® from American Express. It has an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year. After that, pay $250 per year.

Get a 1.5% early pay discount cash back bonus when you pay within 10 days. You can take up to 60 days to pay without interest when you pay the minimum due by the payment due date.

However, you will need great to excellent credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/the-plum-card-business-charge-card/

Get an LLC Credit Card for Cash Back

Flat-Rate Rewards

Capital One ® Spark® Cash for Business

Take a look at the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. It has an introductory $0 annual fee for the first year. After that, this card costs $95 per year. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 18.49%.

You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $4,000 in the initial three months from account opening. So you can get unlimited 2% cash back. Redeem at any time without any minimums.

But you will need great to exceptional credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash/

Flat-Rate Rewards and No Annual Fee

Discover it® Business Card

Check out the Discover it® Business Card. It has no yearly fee. There is an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for one year. After that the regular APR is a variable 14.49 – 22.49%.

Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no category restrictions or bonuses. So they double the 1.5% Cashback Match™ at the end of the first year. There is no minimum spend requirement.

You can download transactions quickly to Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. But note: you will need good to outstanding credit to qualify for this card.

So you can get it here: https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/business/

Bonus Categories

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Take a look at the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the initial year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%. You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening.

You can get 5% cash back on the initial $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on net, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.

Get 2% cash back on the initial $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no restriction to the amount you can earn.

But you will need outstanding credit scores to receive this card.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/cash?iCELL=61GF

Boosted Cash Back Categories

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card

Take a look at the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card. Get an 0% introductory APR for the initial 9 billing cycles of the account. Afterwards, the APR is 13.74% – 23.74% variable. There is no yearly fee. You can get a $300 statement credit offer.

Get 3% cash back in the category of your choice. So these are filling stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services. Get 2% cash back on dining. So this is for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year. Then earn 1% after, with no limits.

But you will need exceptional credit to qualify.

And then you can find it here: https://promo.bankofamerica.com/smallbusinesscards2/

The Best LLC Credit Card for YouGet cards for your Limited Liability Corporation Credit Suite

Get an Irresistible LLC Credit Card for Jackpot Rewards That Never Expire

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Check out the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business. It has no annual fee. You can get 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no limit on the cash back you can earn. Also get a one-time $200 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the initial three months. Rewards never expire.

So pay a 0% introductory APR for 9 months. Then pay 14.49% – 22.49% variable APR afterwards.

But you will need great to superb credit scores to qualify.

And then you can find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash-select/

The Best LLC Credit Card for You

Your outright best company credit cards hinge on your credit history and scores.

Only you can select which features you want and need. So, make sure to do your homework. Because what is excellent for you could be disastrous for somebody else.

And, as always, be sure to build credit in the recommended order for the best, speediest benefits. The COVID-19 situation cannot last forever.

The post Get the Best LLC Credit Card appeared first on Credit Suite.

Small Business Start Up Loans and Other Funding Options

There are many options for funding a startup.  The most popular is small business start up loans.  However, not everyone can just go to the bank and get a loan.  Things like income and credit score get in the way. There are options if you find yourself in this situation.

Small Business Start Up Loans are Great, But Are There Other Options?

While business start up loans are the most popular option for funding a start up, sometimes you have to think outside of the box.  Sometimes you have to stack different types of funding to get what you need. Here are some funding options, some loans and some not, that you should consider outside of traditional loans.

Score the best business credit cards for your business, even when a recession looms.Check out our professional research.

Credit Line Hybrid

What if there were an option that allowed you to have an even better interest rate than a secured loan, and yet get the money faster and easier than any type of traditional funding.  Consider if you could get business funding without having to supply any bank statements or credit stubs? Just think, you could get funding in a few days rather than weeks without supplying any collateral or documents. That is exactly what the credit line hybrid lets you do. 

It is revolving, unsecured financing.  It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use.  

What are the Qualifications? 

How hard is it to qualify?  Not as hard as you may think.  You do need good personal credit.  That is, your personal credit score should be at least 685.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Furthermore, in the past 6 months, you should have less than 5 credit inquiries.  Also, you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit.

If you do not meet all of the requirements, it’s okay. You can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements.  Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business.  If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can pair with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding. 

What are the Benefits of a Credit Line Hybrid? 

This type of funding has many benefits.  First, it is unsecured.  That means you do not have to have any collateral.  Next, you do not have to provide any bank statements or financials.  

Not only that, but generally approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on your personal credit report. Sometimes, you can get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put that savings back into your business. 

The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.  Another benefit is, with the approval for multiple credit cards, there is competition.  This makes it easier, and even likely if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months. 

Credit Cards

Credit cards get a bad rap.  Yet, if you know what you are doing, they can work well to help fund a start up in addition to small business startup loans. The draw is that these are accessible even with a credit score that isn’t great. However to be fair, the lower the credit score, the higher the interest rate. Also, there are limits on how low they will go with a credit score.

Typically, most business owners are eligible for a credit card of some sort. They do a credit check, but your credit doesn’t have to be as high as it would to gain approval for traditional small business start up loans. 

The downside of business credit cards is that they usually have a high interest rate. The upside is that many of them offer rewards in the form of cash or points that can be helpful.

Crowdfunding

This is an increasingly popular option for startup funding.  Here is how it works.  Crowdfunding is a type of investment option.  You get a lot of smaller investments from a lot of people.  Hence the term, crowdfunding.  This is different from getting the bulk of your small business funding from one or two larger investors. 

First, you have to figure out which crowdfunding platform is best for your situation. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the most popular. Be sure to take note of the rules each platform has for when you gain access to funds.  They can vary greatly. 

Angel Investors as an Alternative to Small Business Start Up Loans

Investopedia defines angel investors as those who  “… invest in small startups or entrepreneurs. Often, angel investors are among an entrepreneur’s family and friends. The capital angel investors provide may be a one-time investment to help the business propel or an ongoing injection of money to support and carry the company through its difficult early stages.”

They are usually a lot less formal than regular investors. An angel investor can be anyone. Like, it could be your mom or someone you met through networking.  

The best way to find angel investors is to ask people you know. Also, you can try an angel investors website or network. For example, Gust keeps a database of investors, companies, and programs. Startups can even search for business plan competitions and other opportunities.

SBA Options

Small business start up loans are a specialty of The Small Business Administration.  These programs are designed for borrowers with lower credit scores than those required for traditional loans.

Score the best business credit cards for your business, even when a recession looms.Check out our professional research.

Small Business Startup Loans: 7(a) Loans 

This program offers federally funded term loans of up to $5 million. Funds can be used for expansion, purchasing equipment, and working capital in addition to startup. SBA partner lenders, usually banks,  process these loans and disburse the funds.  

The lowest credit score to qualify is 680.  There is also a down payment requirement of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. The minimum time in business is 2 years. For startups, business experience equivalent to two years will serve this purpose.  

504 Loans 

small biz start up loans Credit SuiteThese loans are also available up to $5 million.  Funds can be used to buy machinery, facilities, or land. Typically, these loans are used for expansion.  Like 7(a) loans, partner lenders process and disburse funds. These are especially great for real estate purchases.  

Terms for 504 Loans range from 10 to 20 years, and funding can take from 30 to 90 days. They also require a minimum credit score of 680.  The asset being financed is required for collateral. In addition, the down payment requirement of 10% remains, but can increase to 15% for a new business.  

Again, you must be in business at least 2 years, or management has to have equivalent experience if the business is a startup.  

Microloans 

Microloans are available in amounts up to $50,000. They work for starting a business purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or for working capital. Community based non-profits administer microloan programs as intermediaries, with financing coming directly from the Small Business Administration.  

The minimum credit score is 640, and the collateral and down payment requirements vary by lender. 

Private Lender Options for Small Business Start Up Loans

If your personal credit score isn’t the best, consider looking at private lender options.   

These are alternative lenders that have less strict eligibility requirements.  They do have higher interest rates and less favorable terms than traditional loans however, so choose wisely. 

BlueVine 

BlueVine requires that you be in business for at least 6 months.  If you have at least $120,000 in annual revenue, you may qualify for a loan from them.  The minimum credit score for a line of credit from BlueVine is 600. Furthermore, if you want invoice factoring, you can get approval with a score as low as 530, 3 months in business, and $10,000 in monthly revenue.

Kiva 

Kiva is different. How different?  They are actually very different.  For example, the interest rate is 0%.  That means, even though you have to pay it back, a loan from them is free money. They don’t check your credit at all. However, you have to get at least 5 family members or friends to throw some money in to help fund your business. In addition, you have to pitch in a $25 loan to another business on the platform.

Accion 

Accion may be a good fit for small business start up loans also. It’s a nonprofit that offers microloans.  Installment loans are available to both startups and already existing businesses through Accion. The minimum credit score is 575. You don’t have to already be in business, but if you are not, you must have less than $500 in past due debt. In addition, your business needs to be home or incubator based.

Fundability is Important for Small Business Start Up Loans

Fundability, in the simplest terms, is the ability of your business to get funding. When lenders consider funding your business, does it appear to them to be a good idea to make the loan?  What do they look at to make that determination? 

You see why it makes a difference.  Lenders have to perceive lending to your business as profitable.  But what makes a business fundable? How do you become fundable?

First, you have to have a fundable foundation.  That includes the following. 

Separate Contact Information

The first step in setting up a fundable foundation is to ensure your business has its own phone number, fax number, and address.   That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a separate phone line, or even a separate location.  There are ways around that.  

EIN

The next thing you need to do is get an EIN for your business.  This is an identifying number for your business that works in a way similar to how your SSN works for you personally.  You can get one for free from the IRS.

Score the best business credit cards for your business, even when a recession looms.Check out our professional research.

Incorporate

Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is necessary to fundability.  It offers liability protection and helps separate your business from you as the owner, among other things.  

Which option you choose does not matter as much for fundability as it does for your budget and needs for liability protection.  The best thing to do is talk to your attorney or a tax professional.  Also important to note is that, when you incorporate, you become a new entity. You’ll also lose any positive payment history you may have already accumulated, and your time in business will start over. 

This means it is vital to incorporate as soon as possible.  It’s important for fundability and building business credit, but time in business makes a difference for those things as well.  The longer you have been in business the more fundable you appear to be.  That starts on the date of incorporation, regardless of when your business actually opened.

Business Bank Account

You have to open a separate, dedicated business bank account.  First, it will help you keep track of business finances.  It will also help you keep them separate from personal finances for tax purposes. 

Furthermore, it is much easier to show you meet the minimum income a lender requires for small business start up loans if you have everything in a separate business account.  

Licenses

For a business to be legitimate it has to have all of the necessary licenses it needs to run.  If it doesn’t, red flags are going to fly up all over the place.  Do the research you need to do to ensure you have all of the licenses necessary to legitimately run your business.  

There is much more to fundability than these foundational factors, but none of it matters if you don’t have the foundation in place.  Taking care of that piece at startup is the way to go.

Small Business Start Up Loans Are Just One Way to Fund a Startup

There are many ways to fund a startup.  Small business start up loans are just one of them.  The truth is, most businesses have to access more than one option to make things work.  If you can start debt free with angel investors or crowdfunding, do that. If not, these other options are just what you need to get up and running.

The post Small Business Start Up Loans and Other Funding Options appeared first on Credit Suite.

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