An Inside Look at Business Credit Scores and How They Work

When you’re ready to make a change in your business, such as expanding, remodeling, or getting a loan to launch a new product, you have to use your business credit score to obtain a loan or line of credit. To make it easier, you should understand business credit scores and how they work.

Business credit scores

Like personal credit scores, business credit scores are used to assess the risk involved with loaning money or extending credit to your business based on a number of factors. This score is not only used for loans but is also used when purchasing property or in mergers or acquisitions. The four primary organizations that handle business credit scores are: Dun and Bradstreet; Experian; Equifax; and FICO.

Dun and Bradstreet

Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is an organization allowing self-reporting to contribute to the score results. Four factors that contribute to your overall score are: Delinquency Predictor Score; Financial Stress Score; Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating; and PAYDEX score.


Experian uses a score called Intelliscore PlusSM, drawing from 800 data factors to attain a rating between 1 and 100. The data comes from public records, consumer sources, and commercial sources. Payment information may also be used in the calculation of the business credit score.


Equifax draws from public records and the Small Business Financial Exchange to calculate a business’s score.


The FICO Small Business Scoring ServiceSM (SBSSSM) solution draws on data from a variety of sources, including your personal credit score.

Checking your business credit score

Since business credit bureaus are not required by law to provide information about your score, it’s important to regularly check your business credit score. Though free reports may be available, you can also purchase reports from the credit bureaus that calculate them or from a reputable third-party organization.

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