If you already have an LLC formed, then you’re ready to go.
If not, then you’ll want to form your LLC before attempting to open any financial accounts in the name of the LLC. Opening an account in your name personally does not afford the same protections as opening one in the name of your LLC.
Browse credit card offers online and apply. It’s as simple as that.
You have three options:
1. Browse all business credit cards (I recommend CreditCards.com). Find an offer that matches your needs – like cashback, travel rewards, or 0% interest.
2. Go directly to a credible bank’s website.
Bank of America:
Well Fargo, and local banks and credit unions.
3. Wait for credit card offers (from reputable banks) to arrive in the mail.
Again, getting a credit card for your LLC is not that hard.
Things You’ll Need for the Application:
• LLC Name
• Email and phone number
• LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
• Your Social Security Number
• Personal annual income
• Business annual income
• Number of employees
• Years in business
Your Personal Credit Matters
The credit card companies will use your personal FICO score and personal credit history during the business card application process.
All business credit cards (except for CapitalOne) will not show up on your personal credit report.
By getting a credit card for your LLC, you’ll begin building credit history for your company.
Again, your SSN and personal credit history are just used during the application. The business credit card you get (except for CapitalOne) will not show on your personal credit report.
I recommend having a FICO score of at least 685; ideally 700+ to get the best rates and rewards.
How to Apply for an LLC Business Credit Card
Browse one of the sites mentioned above and find a card (or a few) that you like.
I recommend getting a business credit card for your LLC that has no annual fee and that offers a good cashback or rewards program.
Here’s an example of what you can expect when applying for an LLC business credit card.
1. Browse business credit cards at CreditCards.com
2. Find a card you like and click apply.
3. You’ll get redirected to a new page. Click Apply again.
4. Enter your LLC name, type of business, Federal Tax ID Number, business category, number of employees, annual revenue, years in business, and your address. This address does not have to be the exact same address you used when you registered your LLC with the state.
5. Select your title, enter your name, address, and your personal annual income. Personal annual incomes should include all sources; so the LLC’s revenue plus any other streams of revenue that you have.
6. Enter your telephone numbers (they can all be the same, or they can be different), your email address, date of birth, social security number, and mother’s maiden name (for security).
7. On the next page, you need to review and accept. If you’d like to add additional cardholders to the account you can, but you don’t have to. Same thing with a balance transfer. You can transfer a balance if needed, skip, or do it later.
I recommend double-checking under the “Terms” section and make sure the card has no annual fee.
8. At the bottom of the page, check off the box agreeing to the terms and click “Submit”.
Wait 30-60 seconds and you’ll receive one of the following messages:
If your LLC business credit card is approved, it will be sent to you in the mail in 7-10 business days.
Sometimes the credit card issuer will ask for you to call. This is nothing to be concerned with. It’s just a security protocol and they most likely need to verify the information that you entered during the application.
Feel free to repeat the process above for a different card. You can apply for 2-4 cards if you’d like.
A large myth in the credit card space is that having “a lot” of hard inquiries will hurt your FICO credit score.
This is simply not true. Hard inquiries have the smallest impact on your overall credit. And yes, your score will go down a bit for each application (usually 3-6 points), but will bounce right back up (and usually higher) in a few months after you use the cards responsibly. This means paying them off every month to keep your balances down.
I recommend keeping a spreadsheet with all of your credit card information for sanity. For security, don’t list the entire 16-digits of your cards, but do keep information on what the terms of the card are, as well as how to reach the issuer in case of loss or fraud.
Don’t “Build Business Credit”
There is so much spam, BS, and crap in the “business credit” space it’s ridiculous.
We get way too many emails and questions that sounds like this:
“How can I get an unsecured business credit card for my LLC if my credit is really bad?”
Look, if you’re credit sucks and your business is brand new, you should not be getting credit!
But most companies won’t tell you this. Why? Because they are making money and taking advantage of you.
The two biggest problems I see:
1. The interest rates are borderline usury and the terms are crazy.
2. There are a lot of people selling courses, services, and consulting to help you build this magical “unsecured” line of credit. Look, I’m not saying that’s not possible. But rather, I think it’s best that you spend your time and energy on building and growing a successful business, not trying to get “something for nothing.”
Eventually, if you build a healthy business, you’ll be able to get unsecured lines of credit. But doing it the right way takes years.
Stay Away from the Following
I recommend avoiding the following subpar “credit cards”. They have crappy terms and are meant to take advantage of people in need:
– Applied Bank
– Credit One Bank (notice how their name sounds like CapitalOne?)
– Continental Finance
– Digital Federal Credit Union
– First Premier Bank
– And anything else that is not a reputable, well known bank
I also recommend avoiding store cards, like Best Buy, Macy’s, etc. Most of these have insane interest rates with little to no upside for you in the way of rewards outside of their own stores.
Stay Away from Dun and Bradstreet
D&B is a subpar company. They make most of their money by selling off your information. As soon as you do anything with D&B, be prepared for a storm of telemarketing, junk email, and spam emails.
Just google “is dun and bradstreet credible”, “dun and bradstreet rip off”, or “dun and bradstreet telemarketing calls”. You’ll see for yourself why I’m telling you to avoid them at all costs.
Or take a peek at these articles:
Remember: most people and companies who promote the DUNS number, Dun & Bradstreet, or provide tricks on how to obtain unsecured lines of credit, are just after your money.
They are looking out for their best interest and they rarely care about yours.
Who am I?
I’ve seen a lot of BS in the credit space and I get very frustrated when people are taken advantage of.
So my hope with this article is to shed some light on all the BS, tell you to stay away from the “business credit” space, and show you how simple it is to get an LLC business credit card from a reputable bank.
I personally have a high 700 FICO score, 30+ credit cards, and a combined personal and business credit line of over $550,000.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. All the best in your business!
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.