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So once you have started your business up and running, you are going to want to know where you stand on your credit for potential future lenders. Unfortunately, getting free business credit reports is not nearly as easy as getting free personal credit reports; the game of business credit is quite different from personal credit.
Business credit is based on the credit of a legal business entity. The entity usually takes form in the nature of a C-corp or an LLC, each of which have their own strengths and weaknesses for the purposes of running an industry. You will have to file the business with the IRS, get an EIN, and file with Dun & Bradstreet for a credit profile. Once you have this complete, you are in the credit system; the merchant transactions and credit card payments that you make will contribute to your new credit score.
Monitoring your credit can be done through the credit bureaus themselves; while they will not give you a free business credit report, the fee is small and if you really need to know what your credit standing is, it is probably a very sound investment.
However, there is a way to get a free business credit report if you don’t mind doing something a little sneaky. Start applying for business credit cards that you don’t think that you have a shot of getting approved for. When you are rejected, the credit card companies will send you a letter indicating your status and which bureau they talked to. (Of course, if you get approved you won’t get this information, but you will also know something nice about your credit). You can then call the credit bureau that was contacted and inquire about the credit rejection. They will be required by law to respond to you, and there is your free credit report.