So in the report for our latest churn, I talked a bit about business credit cards, but I think some of the hesitation that people feel about applying for these cards is that most people typically don’t have what they think of as a “business”.
Now, personally, I don’t have a problem for that, as I actually have a few things that could count as businesses, but if you’re like most people (especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom), you might have a regular salary or hourly job, with nothing that you consider a “business”, which might make you reticent to apply for a business card.
What is a Business?
What is a business, anyways? I don’t mean to get all dictionary on people, but basically a business is just an organization that provides either goods or a service, usually with the idea of turning a profit / making money
Are you in Business?
So based on that definition, you may already be in business!! Do you ever do anything like this?
- Watch other people’s kids
- Make crafts (beads / jewelry, art, etc.) to sell on eBay, Craigslist, or etsy
- Have yard or garage sales
- Buy things with the hopes of reselling them at a profit
If so, you’re already in business. You don’t have to be Walmart to have a business. You don’t have to be incorporated, or have a separate address or tax ID number to have a business. Most businesses are small.
Starting a Business
Or, maybe you don’t do any of those things, but have you ever THOUGHT of doing any of them (or any other potential money-making idea)? Maybe you’re one of the countless people that has dreamed of investing in real estate (cue Carleton Sheets music…)
Wanting to get started with a business is another good reason to give when applying for a business credit card. Most people that have a business, especially those starting out, want to keep their business and personal expenses separate, and having separate credit cards is a good way to do that.
Filling out Business Card applications
Now you’ve decided to get a business credit card, how do you fill out the application?
Well the first important thing to remember is DON’T LIE OR FUDGE THE NUMBERS ON THE APPLICATION. Just be honest. Believe me, not getting a credit card you’re interested in is going to be much better than what could happen if you end up lying on an application and someone catches you.
Typically, you’ll have to fill in all your personal information as well, and then on the application, there will be a section that looks something along the lines of this
Under Type of Business, you’ll probably put in Sole Proprietor. That just means that your business is just you, and that’s what 70% of the businesses out there are. Another option might be a Partnership, if you decide that the business is something that you and your spouse run. If your business is a corporation, then you probably already know that and can skip the rest of this section 🙂
For the Business Name, you can put your own name, or generally you can just make up a business name. IANAL, but in most states, you don’t have to register your “trade name” to use it. Now you can’t say your business name is “Home Depot” or some other trademark violation, but within reason, I have never seen an issue with it. For address, you can just use your own address.
For the business info, just put the truth. If you’ve been in business 0 or 1 years and have $0 or a very low amount of annual sales, just put that.
In my experience, if YOU (the person) have great credit (and if you don’t, you might want to check out our Beginner’s Guide before dipping your toe too deeply into signing up for credit cards), you can get approved for business cards, even if your business is pretty fledgling. It may not come with a huge credit limit, but for our purposes, that’s generally okay.
You may also not get approved automatically online, but usually after a phone call, you will.
If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it
So what’s stopping you?