How to Check Your Business Credit Score (and Get Your Business Credit Report)

It’s easy to check your business credit score―but it will cost you.

Don’t know how to check your business credit score? Don’t worry―you’re far from alone. Surveys suggest that almost three-quarters of business owners don’t have any idea where they can check their business credit score.1 

(But hey, you’re well ahead of the 45% of business owners who don’t even know business credit scores exist!)

We’re here to fix that. Because your business credit score can matter a lot―especially if you’re trying to get a small-business financing. We’ll explain exactly how you can check your business credit score (all three of them, in fact) and how to interpret the score you see.

Info
Business credit 101

We assume that you already know something about business credit—otherwise, why would you care about how to check it? We’ll remind you of some stuff as we go. But if you need a more complete refresher, you can check out our guide to business credit.

How to check your business credit score

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of checking your credit, you need to understand that you probably have more than one business credit score. (This is why we like to talk about your business credit profile rather than just your business credit score.)

See, there are three different business credit bureaus, or organizations that track your business credit score:

Business credit bureaus

Credit bureau
Score name
Score range
Check your credit report
Dun & BradstreetPaydex1–100
EquifaxEquifax Business Credit Risk Score101–992
ExperianIntelliscore1–100

And each of them uses its own criteria and its own scoring system. (Convenient, huh?)

That means the process for checking each business credit score will be different for each bureau.

Now, some credit bureaus may matter more than others. For example, we see Dun & Bradstreet’s Paydex credit scale come up way more than Equifax’s Equifax Business Credit Risk Score. So you may not need to check your score with all three bureaus. If, say, you know a business lender will look at your Intelliscore credit score, then you may just want to check your score with Experian.

We’re all about being thorough, though, so we’ll walk you through checking your score with each of the three bureaus. And heads up: no matter which bureau(s) you go with, you’ll have to pay to check your business credit.

Paydex (Dun & Bradstreet)

Before you can check your Paydex credit score, you’ll need to manually set up a business credit file with Dun & Bradstreet. You do this by applying for a D-U-N-S number (just an ID number for your business), which you can do for free.

If you’ve already got a D-U-N-S number, you can check your Paydex score whenever you want.

Check your Paydex score

Product
Cost
Type
Get reports for
Check your credit report
Credit Evaluator Plus
$61.99
One-time credit reportAny business
CreditSignal
$0
Subscription score monitoringYour business
CreditBuilder Plus
$149.00
/mo
Subscription report accessYour business
CreditBuilder Premium
$199.00
/mo
Subscription report accessYour business

If you just want to buy a copy of a business credit report (yours or another business’s), you can do that with Credit Evaluator Plus. It charges a one-time fee for a one-time report. 

If you’d rather have regular access to your Paydex score and report, you can choose one of Dun and Bradstreet’s credit subscription plans. For example, the free CreditSignal alerts you to changes in your file but only gives you access to your actual Paydex score for 14 days. 

For long-term access, you’ll need a paid plan like CreditBuilder Plus or CreditBuilder Premium. They’re not cheap, but they let you view your score and a detailed report at any time.

Equifax Business Credit Risk Score (Equifax)

Unlike Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax automatically creates a credit file for most businesses. So you don’t have to set anything up before you check your credit report.

Ordinarily, you can simply visit Equifax’s website to request a copy of your business credit report. Unfortunately, the online service is down for now, and the website doesn’t provide any alternative options.

That said, a single report usually runs you $99.95. Or, if you’re the kind of person who likes shopping in bulk at Costco, you can get a discount by buying five credit reports for $399.95.

Your Equifax credit report will, of course, include your score. It will also have other details about your business, comparisons to similar businesses, payment history, and general information about how risky your business is.

Intelliscore (Experian)

Like Equifax, Experian usually automatically sets up a credit file for your business. You can use the Experian website to see if your business has one. If nothing comes up, you can contact Experian to request a file.

If a file does come up, then you have a few options for accessing your Experian business credit score.

Check your Intelliscore

Product
Cost
Type
Get reports for
Check your credit report
CreditScore Report
$39.95
One-time credit reportAny business
ProfilePlus Report
$49.95
One-time credit reportAny business
Business Credit Advantage
$189.00
/yr
Subscription report accessAny business
Business CreditScore Pro
$249.00
/mo
Subscription report accessAny business

For a one-time report, either a CreditScore Report or ProfilePlus Report will do the trick. Both give you access to your business credit score, banking information, and some other essential details. But ProfilePlus also includes information about trade payments and business liens.

Then you’ve got the subscription products. Most business owners will do just fine with Business Credit Advantage, which offers unlimited access to your business credit report. You’ll only want Business CreditScore Pro if you need to access credit reports for lots of other businesses on a regular basis.

Bullhorn
Who's checking?

You know how you have to authorize someone to look at your personal credit report? Not so with business credit. Anyone can pay to see your business credit history at any time.

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Interpreting your business credit score

So once you’ve actually found your business credit report, complete with your business credit score, then what?

Well, first off, don’t be alarmed if your score looks really low compared to your personal credit score. Business credit and personal credit use different credit reporting scales. Heck, even the different business credit bureaus use really different scales.

Business credit bureaus

Credit score type
Score range
Good score
Paydex1–10080+
Equifax Business Credit Risk Score101–992892+
Intelliscore1–10076+
FICO score (personal credit)300–850670+

That can make them really hard to compare. So keep in mind that the right-hand column in the table above doesn’t actually refer to a specific “good” range each score has. (Some of them use risk scales with descriptors like “low” and “high” instead of “good” or “bad.”) Instead, think of it as the kind of strong business credit score most lenders will be satisfied with.

If you’re surprised by your business credit score, you can look through the information in the rest of the report to see (roughly) what caused the score.

And if you see anything that looks wrong, you can always file a dispute with the credit reporting agency.

Improving your business credit score

So let’s say your business credit score isn’t where you want it to be. It happens, especially if you haven’t been building business credit for long.

Fortunately, just as with personal credit, you can take certain steps to improve your business credit score. For example, the following practices can help:

  • Using a business credit card
  • Applying for trade credit from your vendors
  • Getting a small-business loan or line of credit

With all of these, you’ll want to make regular timely payments. Keep in mind that these practices won’t fix your credit score overnight. But with time, you should see improvement.

(If you want more details, we’ve got a specific guide to building business credit.)

Business credit score FAQ

Can I check my business credit score for free?

In most cases, you can’t check your business credit score for free―you have to pay for a full credit report. Sorry for the bad news.

If you’re specifically interested in your Dun & Bradstreet Paydex score, you may be able to see your business credit score for free when you sign up for CreditSignal monitoring. But you’ll only be able to see your score for a couple weeks. After that, you’ll just get informed that it went up or down.

Can I get a free business credit report?

Nope, you can’t get a free business credit report. You’ll have to pay to get one.

Can I check my business credit score on Credit Karma and other services?

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Best Overall
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Best for Larger Loans
Fundbox
Best for Low Credit
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Most Convenient
Accion
Best for Startups

Learn more about our top brands.

Nope, those credit-checking services focus on personal credit scores. If you want to see your business credit score, you’ll need to go to the source―in this case, the business credit bureau you care about.

Does my business have a credit score?

There’s a really good chance your business has a credit score, even if you haven’t created a credit file. 

Both Equifax and Experian automatically set up credit files for businesses. So if you’ve got an official business (complete with an identification number from the IRS), then you’ve probably got Equifax and Experian business credit scores.

You probably don’t have a Dun & Bradstreet Paydex score though. In most cases, you have to manually create a credit file with Dun & Bradstreet by requesting a D-U-N-S file.

The takeaway

As a business owner, you’ll want to keep an eye on your business credit score (just like you should keep an eye on your personal credit score). 

Checking your business credit score takes more work (and money) than checking your personal credit score does. You'll have to go straight to the business credit reporting agency you care about, choose what kind of access you want, and then pay for your credit file.

Even if you don't plan on applying for business financing anytime soon, you can check your score and work on building business credit now.

Your business credit score is just one factor lenders consider. Learn more about other business loan requirements you should keep in mind.

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.

Sources

  1. U.S. Small Business Administration, “10 Stats That Explain Why Business Credit is Important for Small Business.” Accessed July 24, 2020.
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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