7 Vendors that Help Build Business Credit

Your business credit profile takes quite a few things into account, including your credit relationships and payment history. That doesn’t mean you have to rely on business loans and credit cards to build your business credit though.

Many business vendors offer short-term credit for customers―and they report your payment habits to business credit bureaus (like Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian). So you get the goods and services your business needs anyway, and you get to improve your business credit score at the same time.

Interested? Then let us tell you about some of the best companies that help build business credit.

Companies that help build business credit

Compare the best vendor accounts for building business credit

Company
Product type
Annual fee
Online application
Get an account
Creative AnalyticsMarketing services$79 (refundable)Icon Check  Dark
Crown Office SuppliesOffice supplies$99Icon Check  Dark
GraingerIndustrial suppliesUnlistedIcon Close  Dark
ShirtsyPersonalized merch$99Icon Check  Dark
Strategic Network SolutionsIT supportUnlistedIcon Check  Dark
SummaOffice suppliesUnlistedIcon Check  Dark
UlineShipping & packing suppliesUnlistedIcon Close  Dark

Data effective 2/1/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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What is NET 30?

Most of the companies here offer NET 30 vendor credit. That just means that you get 30 days to pay for your purchases (with no interest), giving you a sort of short-term credit solution.

Creative Analytics: Best for marketing services

Creative Analytics offers a variety of marketing services for small businesses. For example, you can get a new business off the ground with its logo design, branding, and website design services.

Growing businesses can take advantage of its social media management, content marketing, and email writing. And even established businesses can get help refining their business processes and project management.

And of course, no matter which marketing service you use, you can also enjoy NET 30 business credit from Creative Analytics. You will have to pay a $79 annual fee with your application, but Creative Analytics will refund your fee if your application gets turned down.

For an even bigger (potential) bump to your business credit, you can sign up for a monthly Creative Analytics plan. When you do, Creative Analytics gives you a trade line increase of up to $10,000. A bigger credit line can help build business credit faster. As of right now, Creative Analytics has monthly plans for web design and social media marketing.

So if your business could benefit from better marketing, Creative Analytics can give you that and a boost to your business credit file.

Crown Office Supplies: Best for office supplies

Need office supplies? Crown Office Supplies (as you can probably guess from the name) has what you need. It carries all your office essentials, from stationary to pens to scissors and more. Plus, Crown Office Supplies carries quite a few not-quite-office-supplies goods as well, including wall art, T-shirts, and even kitschy gifts you can give to clients.

As for its credit terms, Crown Office Supplies offer NET 30 terms. Its vendor accounts give you a small credit line between $800 and $5,000, letting you make purchases and pay for them 30 days later. Note that Crown does charge a $99 annual fee to businesses using its vendor credit solution.

Even with that annual fee, Crown Office Supplies gives you a good way to get extra cash flow with your office needs.

Grainger: Best for industrial supplies

Grainger sells industrial goods, which includes everything from HVAC system components to shipping supplies to lightbulbs. You’ll also find things like janitorial supplies, screws and other fasteners, eye protection, and duct tape. In other words, Grainger covers quite a lot of ground.

If you have a decent credit history, Grainger also offers a credit line. Unfortunately, Grainger doesn’t offer too many details about the credit line. In fact, it’s one of the few vendors on this list that doesn’t have an online credit application. You’ll have to call Grainger to apply for its vendor credit.

Of course, if you need a regular stream of industrial supplies for your building, then it’s worth making a phone call to Granger―and taking the first step to establishing a solid payment history.

Shirtsy: Best for branded merchandise

You can probably guess what Shirtsy sells. Yep, it’s shirts―but also face masks, decorative license plates, wall signage, mugs, and more. Put simply, Shirtsy has all kinds of merch just waiting for your business logo. So whether you want to hand out branded swag to customers or keep your team in matching face masks, Shirtsy has you covered.

Just like other businesses listed here, Shirtsy has NET 30 credit for customers. It does charge an $99 annual fee on its business accounts, and account approval is based on “creditworthiness” (so assume that Shirtsy will look at your personal credit score).

With all sorts of swag, Shirtsy could provide a perfect way to improve your branding and your business credit report at the same time.

Strategic Network Solutions: Best for IT support

Got IT support? With Strategic Network Solutions, you can. Strategic Network Solutions offers a handful of technology-related services. For example, it offers disaster recovery, which can help your business avoid huge data losses. It also has security services to keep your network safe and updated. Strategic Network Solutions can even help you take care of old, outdated hardware.

And yes, Strategic Network Solutions offers NET 30 accounts. You get a $2,000 credit line to use on Strategic Network Solutions costs. To sign up, start by purchasing a $75 product. When you check out, you can sign up for NET 30 credit. As an added bonus, Strategic Network Solutions provides trade references for its customers (in addition to reporting to business credit bureaus).

For IT support and a small line of credit, give Strategic Network Solutions a look.

Honorable mentions

Summa: Another source for office supplies

Summa offers another place to get office supplies. It’s got all your basic needs, like writing utensils, folders, notebooks, tape, and more.

You can fill out an online application to get NET 30 terms with Summa. Once you’re approved, you can use your NET 30 account on any online purchase from Summa. And like Strategic Network Solutions, Summa notes that it’s happy to serve as a trade reference for you.

Uline: Best for shipping and packing supplies

Uline has everything you need to package and ship. Think boxes, boxes, and more boxes―plus tape, labels, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and stuff like that. It’s even got some janitorial supplies and safety products.

To sign up for Uline’s NET 30 terms, you can submit a PDF application. You can also choose NET 30 billing when you check out as a new customer―but you won’t know right away if you’re approved, so the PDF application offers the safer bet.
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Using vendors to build credit

Now that you’ve seen some companies that help build business credit, let’s talk three simple steps to actually using them.

1. Sign up with credit bureaus

First things first, you’ll want to make sure you have an active business credit file with each major business credit reporting agency.

The three major business credit bureaus

Credit bureau
Score name
Score range
Check your credit report
Dun & BradstreetMarketing services1–100
ExperianIntelliscore1–100
EquifaxEquifax Business Credit Risk Score101–992

Experian and Equifax often create a credit profile for you (once you’ve legally formed your business), but Dun & Bradstreet usually requires you to manually apply for a D-U-N-S number (the ID number for your Dun & Bradstreet credit file).

Vendors that report to these credit bureaus often ask for your relevant bureau ID (usually your D-U-N-S number) in your credit application. So make sure you’re active with the business credit bureau you care about, and keep your ID number handy.

2. Sign up for vendor accounts

Once you’ve got an active business credit profile, you’re ready to start building business credit. So go ahead and sign up with vendors that offer NET 30 terms (or look at getting a business loan, credit line, or credit card).

It’s always a good idea to check with your vendor of choice to make sure they actively report to bureaus. After all, their practices can change over time.

And while the vendors above offer a good starting point, they’re definitely not your only choices. If there’s a vendor you use and like, go ahead and ask if they do (or are willing to) report your payment history to business credit bureaus. If you’re lucky, they’ll say yes. And if not? Well, the worst they can say is no.

3. Maintain a good credit history

After you get your vendor accounts in order, you just have to make sure you use them wisely. Remember, the whole point is to establish a good payment history―so always, always pay on time. Otherwise, you might end up hurting your business credit score instead of helping it.

You can also check your business credit score from time to time to make sure things look good. With any luck, you’ll see that credit score going up and up―until you have the good credit you’ve been working toward.

Small-business credit FAQ

How can I quickly build my credit score?

You can improve your business credit report by getting business credit (through vendor accounts or business loans) and creating a good payment history―but it won’t happen overnight.

Just as with your personal credit score, building business credit takes time. Your payment history makes up a big part of your business credit profile. And, well, it takes time to create credit history.

So you can start creating good business credit by opening accounts today. Just don’t expect to have a perfect business credit report next week.

How long does it take to build good business credit?

There’s no one answer for how long building business credit takes. Your business credit score depends on so many factors, like the number of credit sources you have, how much credit you have with each of those sources, how regularly you make payments, and more.

That means that a company with lots of credit sources (and big ones at that) might be able to establish a good credit history faster than a business with just one or two small credit sources.

Either way, expect it to take months to build a decent business credit profile―and years to solidify it.

Does it cost money to build business credit?

While you can’t simply pay a set amount to improve your business credit score, you will need to have and spend money to build small-business credit.

Again, a big part of your credit profile comes down to how you’ve used credit in the past. That means that you need to actually get credit accounts, use them, and make payments on them. And yes, that takes money.

The takeaway

If you’re a business owner, choosing to deliberately improve your business credit file is a wise choice. It makes you more attractive to lenders and ensures you can get the credit accounts you need in the future.

There are several ways to build business credit, but getting a credit account with a vendor offers one of the easiest options. The vendors above can help you improve your credit limit and credit utilization―and ultimately help you get the strong business credit you want.

Now that you’ve got a plan to improve your credit rating, keep an eye on your improving business credit score with the best business credit monitoring services.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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