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Small Business Credit Card - Keeping Business and Personal Separate

Aug 17, 2007
It can be a challenge for small businesses to acquire the proper funds they need to set up shop and/or to keep it running smoothly. It is also difficult to keep business and personal accounts separate and to build business credit. As a new business owner, a small business credit card might be just the thing you need. If you have an established business, than a business credit card may be a convenient way for you to manage your cash flow or provide emergency funds when your money gets tight.

Personal Liability For Corporate Spending

Lenders are not quick to give lines of credit or business credit cards to new start-ups and small business that do not have an established business credit history. Banks use your personal history when considering you (and your business) for credit. You will be personally liable for all spending using your business credit card and reports will be made by the three consumer credit agencies (Equifax, Experian and Transunion), rather than business credit agencies.

Having your business credit card accounts linked to your personal accounts isn't the best situation. Large lines of credit for your business may make your personal financial situation appear worse than it really is. If you're late on a payment or default on a business account this could damage your personal credit history too. Less than good credit can affect your purchasing power and increase your interest rates. You lose options and money. The bottom-line - use a business credit card wisely and keep a clean credit report.

Shopping Around For The Best Credit Offers

If you already started looking around for small business credit cards, you know there are hundreds of cards to choose. From zero percent introductory rates and no annual fees to frequent flier credits and cash back rewards. How can you possibly know which one to choose?

The great thing about small business credit cards is that they offer a few more perks that cater to the needs of business owners, as compared to personal credit cards. Low APRs... large credit lines... grace periods beyond 30 days... frequent flier programs... no fee employee credit cards... Take time to shop around. Depending on your spending requirements and business needs, you can find a business credit card that works best for you.

Building Your Credit

Once you've opened up a new business credit card, use it to make purchases on a regular basis and pay off your balances each month. Pay close attention to your personal credit report, ensuring that it stays free of errors, late pays and delinquencies.

After two to five years, you can request that your business accounts be separated from your person accounts. If you can prove that your business is viable and your personal credit history is squeaky clean, then most banks and business credit card issuers will remove the personal liability clause. All business's financials will be reported exclusively to business credit agencies and your business spending will no longer be linked to your personal accounts.

Although small business credit cards aren't considered capital, they can be a tremendous help in the running of your business. In tough times just starting out, it can also add a sense of security. Establishing business credit is difficult but with a little basic knowledge business owners can enjoy many benefits of financial freedom. From making purchases online or cashing in on those frequent flier miles, you can effectively manage your cash flow and even save money with small business credit cards.
About the Author
For more on how to use a small business credit card to take control of your business, Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com
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