Establishing Credit With a New Taxpayer Identification Number

I wrote the other day about credit card signup bonuses for business credit cards. Since we’re setting up an LLC for our online endeavors and are in the process of separating our personal and business income, a separate credit card to cover expenses seems to make good sense simultaneously also start tracking its credit report to overcome the errors. But all of this got me to wondering…

How does one go about establishing credit under a new Taxpayer ID Number (TIN)? This doesn’t actually affect us directly, as we’re handling everything as a sole proprietorship, and are thus using my social security number (and associated credit history) for our new card. But what if you’re setting up a standalone entity? Presumably they’re going to run a credit check when considering your application, and it’s going to come up blank.

So what’s the best way to establish credit with brand new business? Maybe treat the new entity like a child coming of age, and get a joint credit card using your own SSN along with the TIN of the business?

See also: Best Business Credit Cards

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81 Responses to “Establishing Credit With a New Taxpayer Identification Number”

  1. Anonymous

    I am trying to open a business checking account with only my business EIN and my Duns number without using my soical. Does anyone know of a bank that provides this? Thanks for anyone help.

  2. Anonymous

    Hi everyone. I skimmed through this entire listing and am unfortunately still left with several questions… Most applications require name last name etc… Do i put my personal info there but use the ein in the social section or is there a different method… And maybe this has been answered several times throughout this listing… But could someone please post a list of creditors that will approve credit strictly by ein without pg for a fresh corporation? 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    Mark; I think I am right in this but an S corp is a pass through entity and I’m not sure you can circumvent the personal info process in obtaining business credit. They will ask for names of the officers (which is you and whomever else) a personal guarantee, and their personal credit info such as SSN and credit references.

    Keep looking; there are some vendors that will give you business credit; but I would recommend an LLC as an entity. You can also establish business credit by getting a secured credit card from your bank.

  4. Anonymous

    Adam, Can you name a few of those companies? Everywhere I have looked wants my personal information and SSN and admit that they are going to look at my personal financial situation. That defeats part of the purpose of being inc. I am recently incorporated as an S corp for a service business and I am having no luck finding even small amounts of credit to build a history with.

  5. Anonymous

    Ok, I have been a dba owner for over 12 years. My credit is “Crap” due to divorce and medical bills.

    Is there a list some where for New LLC business credit, such as secured business cards? I’m going to create a new LLC for Jan 1st 2011 and want a head start on this stuff.

  6. Anonymous

    just getting into the banknbonus thing.have had some luck getting bonus but think I need lots more organization. are there any specifically pertaining to this? are there any computer programs I could install?

  7. Anonymous

    I would like to use EIN to establish credit I don’t have business(but planned to open one) to apply for Staples I need bank account but the thing is to get bank (business) account is like running in circle never mind bus. name but they will need contact person and ssn# that where everything stops !!!!!!!!!help please anyone?thanks

  8. Anonymous

    This is a great website, I have had so many of my questions answered, just by reading previous entries. I live in the UK, but decided to start an American LLC last year. Due to my determination and endless hours of research on the Internet, I was able to form it, raise a EIN number (which took so many phone calls) open a Business bank account, I wish I had found this website earlier it would have saved me so many hours of my time. Thank you. I will now start to attempt to gain credit, my question is , I have a D&B number, but they have contatced me recently and said I need to pay $137 to make the file active and allow reporting on it, is this true, as I have looked at it myself on line it appears as ok. Any advice would be appreciated.

  9. Anonymous

    i have about 6 net accounts and just form my llc . but i still have no paydex score and can’t find a loan or line of credit a\or a credit card ..can some one help

  10. Anonymous

    Yes, apparently! Everyone has tightened up!

    I dont know how anyone with a new business and less than excellent credit gets ahead now 🙁

  11. Anonymous

    We recieved our business card from staples over 5 years ago and have been using fed-ex monthly with a business debit card to back the fed-ex account through our operating account with our local bank. Staples has tightened things up. Good Luck.

  12. Anonymous

    Not sure how you folks are getting a Staples card; I went and applied and they wanted me to give them
    my S.S. # … needless to say I couldnt apply.

    Whats the deal? I gave them my EIN number — but still nothing…

  13. Anonymous


    That doesn’t sound right.

    staple does report, as do many other vendors.

    you should also think about what other vendors you use that can report.

    if you are going to pay the fee (for creditbuilder), at least think about what other vendors you do business with.

    for example…

    water cooler service?
    local printer or graphic artist?
    local pizza place?

    if you do pay you should make sure to get as many vendors as possible on it!

    there are many many office supply vendors that report.

    but even if you don’t need the stuff, it payd to buy somethng (black checks? a shirt?) from nebs, uline, and similar companies- if only to improve the nuber of vendors report on your account.

  14. Anonymous


    This issue is we dont need services like NEBS or any other vendor for credit. We are attempting to purchase the building we are in with our business corp credit. All we really need is fed-ex and staples which is paid off on a monthly basis and neither of them have reported us to d&b. If We could find someone else like staples to purchase paper,ink etc on credit who reports to d&b then maybe we could urge fed-ex & staples to report also. Then we would have three. Since we are a s.corp none of the officers wont to sign a p.g. Staples gave us credit on our EIN 5 years ago but has since change their policy unless you have a paydex score however they have not provided d&b with our credit history with them. I thought you were affiliated with d&b and after my call with them I was somewhat p-offed. If you know of any other office supply companies who report to d&b post the link!

  15. Anonymous

    i’m saying that D&B pretentds that you need to pay. i know that thats why calling them won;t help.

    but in real life- you dont need to.

    and yes, I agree with you about the monopoly part 1000%.

  16. Anonymous

    You are patently incorrect. we just spent over an hour on the phone with d&b and they asked us who we have open lines with and we discussed we are a cash only company to date other than staples & fed-ex. They explained to us by joining their service they will contact our creditors and verify our pay history. They went on to say that both staples & fed-ex are members of d&b and they have a paydex score so we could use them to report toward our paydex score although we had no paydex score from doing business with fed-ex and staples for over 5 years? When I mentioned the only other line of credit is our landlord who we lease our commercial space to (they require three) they informed me that the landlord would have to become a member and have a paydex score themself in order to qualify toward our paydex score. I dont see you defending the monopoly issue? pick up the phone right now and call them an ask them.

  17. Anonymous


    that is patently incorrect.

    while D&B makes it seem that way, you DO NOT NEED TO PAY DUN AND BRADSTREET A SINGLE PENNY to get a paydex score and dunns rating.

  18. Anonymous

    We have found that in order to get a paydex score through Dunn & Bradstreet (d&b) you must subscribe to their service which is quit expensive. They require several of your creditors to report to them in order to establish your paydex score. The clincher here is your creditors must also subscribe to D&B) or they will not be considered. I call this a monopoly!

  19. Anonymous

    As far as Staples is concerned– I just applied to them with my EIN, but they require a personal guarantor… which means they still want your personal credit information… I’m still looking for a creditor that will offer me credit without a personal guarantor. Has anyone found something yet without having to pay some agency loads of money? lol

  20. Anonymous

    I just got a Staples card using only my EIN – piece of cake! I don’t know what Staples requirements are, but I’ve had my EIN for about 4 years and got a visa card about a year ago that reports against the EIN, but requires personal guarantee.

  21. Anonymous

    staples & loews is a great place to start. You can also set up a d&b# on line to get your name out there. We will be reporting credit to the three major credit bureaus & d&b so we can improve or help get you established. Im interested in computer hardware companies who will give 30 day terms with just a EIN?
    Who can also build our credit, Any suggestions?

  22. Anonymous

    I just started a new LLC business and recently aquired my EIN number, how long does it take, after you receive the number that an actual credit report is set up to open checking accounts and business cards

  23. Anonymous

    I have a small boutique. I was able to obtain staples and dell credit with using my social security number. I am still trying / looking for a credit card that I will JUST use my EIN number. Does anyone know anywhere? PLEASE PLEASE

  24. Anonymous

    I am a sole proprietor selling from my own websites since 1998. I file schedules C & SE. I have had my EIN number since 1998 also. I have never applied for credit in my business name but have been called by the credit bureaus a few times over the years for info. Question: will I need to change to LLC, etc to get business credit?

  25. Anonymous


    if you haven’t had any checking account problems in the past, like bouncing checks or having your account closed on you, you should be able to get a checking account by any bank that verifies with systemics (as opposed to with equifax).

    in addition, this happens to bring up a great reason why you should work on your equifax file first when cleaning your personal credit report- it’s because many banks use specifically them when someone comes in to open a bank account.

    (the two most checked places by banks, in my experience have been chexsystems and equifax.)


  26. Anonymous

    Ive tried to apply for Staples an Office Depot cards for my business, unsuccessful. The problem is; there asking for a personal guarantor, because im jus now forming a LLC for my business, ive actually been in business for a yr 1/2, but I’ve formed the LLC for my business 2 months ago, unless you have previous credit history from your business they will need a personal guarantor. Everything that has been purchased for my business in the last year has been by me paying cash or using my own personal credit cards or checks, Im not on any credit lines or anything for my business. Should I just wait it out until I start to recieving credit card offers in the mail? Or keep trying?
    ((((((((PLEASE HELP ME!! ANYONE!!)))))))) Thanks!!

  27. Anonymous

    Here is my list of cards to apply for without PG:

    Gas- Cheveron/Texaco, Exxon/Mobile, Shell, Phillips 76, and Arco.

    Net 30’s- Barnes & Noble, FedEx (net 15), and CDW

    Credit Card- Home Depot- MasterCard (very generous), KeyBank- MasterCard, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, and Loews.

    You must make sure that you are in D&B and have a PayDex score of 80 and above. Also, you must be in business at least 2 years and would help if you are some type of Corporation.

    I have a question to ask, does anyone know of anymore Visa or MasterCards to apply for without the PG? I would like to grab more of these cards for my business.

    I hope my info is helpful to everyone. Good luck!

  28. Anonymous

    I am in the process of aquiring an EIN. I would like to establish credit in my home business name. Which cell phone companies, credit cards, stores are the best? My credit is fair, but not good enough to get the best rates. I would like to use my EIN only, not my SSN because I was notified of possible fraud on my credit reports and I am trying to get them cleaned up from that. I also found out there are three other people in my town with the same name. Would it be better to try to get a different SSN so I can distinguish it from the one that may have been used in the fraud?

  29. Anonymous

    I’m in the process of getting my business off the ground, I have some personal credit issues I’m afraid will hold me down. Where do I start to build credit & acquire a checking account with my EIN # only?
    Please help!!!

  30. Anonymous

    When u recieved your card at Bank of America, did they require your ssn?
    I just formed an LLC for my Business, having it hard right now, applying for credit cards that need your ssn.
    My credit score isnt all that bright, so i’d rather just use my EIN number.

  31. Anonymous

    with staples, you are most likekly to get approved by PRINTING OUT the application and FAXINg it to them along with a professionsal business letterhead and fax coversheet, along with a phone bill or whatever else you have that shows you are legit.

    also, skip the PG part if you have one on any application- this will not work online but on faxes you will many times be APPROVED without it!


  32. Anonymous

    So I had my identity stolen and I work for a mortga ge company which is my parent company. I applied for a sole prop. EIN and I cant seem to establish credit with anyone. Everyone asks for my SSN which does me no good since I am in the process of trying to get a new SSN due to again identity theft. I don’t know what credit cards will accept me most haven’t and I can’t seem to get anywhere with this. Can anyone help?

  33. Anonymous

    Hey Ruth,

    If you are no required to have a business license, then call Staples, Office Depot & tell them that you don’t need one and it is not required for the type of business you conduct.

    Usually they will try to verify your business number & address, send them something about you incorporating or your articles of organization if you formed a LLC.

    All they want is some kind of business documentation saying that you have been in business.

  34. Anonymous

    I have tried every method noted above – My business has been active since 2006. I have applied at Staples, Office Depot and Discover. Each requested that I send them a copy of my business license. In the state I live in (RI) a business license is not needed since I am a consultant. I have the utility bills for the location I work out of and my business bank info but they still say its not enough. What can I do?? Someone help

  35. Anonymous

    Staples Revolving Business Credit Card does not require a personal guarantee, but be prepared to show proof of your business in the form of a business license or utility bill in the business name.

  36. Nickel

    Meghan: It depends on the application. Most have a place for your name and the business name. If your business has a name, enter that for the business name. If not (or if you don’t really have a business) then you can enter your name as the business name.

  37. Anonymous

    I am trying to establish my ein number and i am confused when i fill out the application for a business credit card, on the irs form with my info it has my name then my business name underneith. When filling out the application do i put my name anywhere or just the business name?

  38. Anonymous

    Thanks for all the information you guys have posted. I actually had a call in to one of those companys that charge you to help build Bus credit….thanks to your info, I will disregard! =)

  39. Anonymous

    I would agree with John. Business is a separate entity; you don want and don’t have to use your personal SSN. That is why you create LLC, C- or S- Corp. To detach, separate yourself form your business. If your CC provider doesn’t like it is his problem, not yours. There are plenty CC issuers. You are not out of luck.

  40. Anonymous


    Interesting subject and wide open space, yet why is that, nobody talks about the good old simple “line of credit”. If I would to do business, I‘ll go with “line of credit”, you cannot miss a payment, you don’t have a time limitation of paying it off. Yes, you would start paying interest for every day of usage, but wouldn’t that be tax deductible (you have to ask an accountant for this one)? And save?

    On the other hand having the 1+month time to pay an amount with no interest is a bargain, if you have the guarantee that you would have the funds to pay it back on time. Yet that is in the future and unforeseen events may put you in rather inconvenient position.

    Soo… choice is yours and options are plenty. My suggestion is, have them both and use them accordingly. Good luck.

  41. Anonymous


  42. Anonymous

    Beware of business credit. There are two types: 1) SSN business credit that causes a inquiry on a personal credit report 2) corporate credit that commonly runs a DUNS or PAYDEX based on an EIN or TIN

    Forget about 1) unless you want to do what you already did with the word business on the piece of plastic.

    What matters is behind the scenes. When you hit the button, what computer makes the decision.

    To get the best decision, you’ll need a PAYDEX score 80 or above AND you’ll need to avoid applications that require a Personal Guarantee which is a nice way of saying, SSN.


  43. Anonymous

    Hello everyone, I wanted to start building credit for my business. I applied at Office Depot and got approved and I didn’t even have to use my SSN. I did try Dell but because my business had no credit history, they asked for a personal guarantee and my credit is not good. If anyone knows of any other places that you can apply using only my business info please let me know. Thanks, Lisa

  44. Anonymous

    How does a person invest in the stock market without using their personal SSN? Can a person use a EIN/TIN only to open a stock market account under business name?

  45. Anonymous

    I had a cleaning business in 2002, however I’m no longer doing that business. My personal credit rating is not that good…probably in the- “fair-bad” rating because of medical bills and student loans. I’m wanting to start another eBay business and of course thatwould have me working at home…is it possible for me to get another tax id (EIN) number for that business and attempt to establish credit for that company? Is it possible if I have my home address as business address since I would actually primarily be working from home, but have separate business telephone line. I need to establish credit with my eBay business so I can make purcahsesfor inventory to sell, and mailing supplies. Can I get another tax ID number with new business? If I can then I will go to Staples to establish credit…will I need to make sure Staples report credit to ratings to bureaus…Also Does Dell extend credit with just TIN number vs my personal SS number because I really don’t want to reply on my personal credit score because it’s not that strong to be honest. Thanks!

  46. Anonymous

    Wow, I am so excited I stumbled over this webpage. It came up on my google search. Everything I have read on this webpage is terrific. Just a few days ago I was gonna pay $300 to get a company to help me find these creditors that relied solely on a TIN. Thank all of you for helping us new business owners find this information for free. Alot of time and money has been saved for your contributions. I too, hope to contribute in the near future. GREAT JOB. Keep it up!!!

  47. Anonymous

    STAPLES STAPLES STAPLES!!! Thanks for extending my new business Credit!! Nextlevel, you were right on it!!! I didn’t even have to use my own SSN. I only used my TIN!! Yes!!! I’m well on my way!!

  48. Anonymous

    Its all about starting off with net 30 accounts, places like staples/office depot etc will extend you credit with as little as a business phone line, or faxing in some paperwork(business license, articles of corp, utility bill etc).

    you also need to get a dnb number, get the free one(for grants) and add that to all applications you fill out, once you have atleast 5 tradelines reporting, you obtain a paydex ranking (always pay your bills ahead of time, not just when they are due).

    You can obtain anything you want without a personal guarantee, some will say no you cant, but do you think a real corp(like microsoft, walmart etc) gives a personal social security number to obtain lines of credit(not like they need credit but think about it).. in the business section is a great place to start to learn, I have been reading there for a long time, and have alot of credit without any pg..

    You can even get vehicles without a pg (takes time to build it up for the better lines, but staples and other net30 accounts are very easy and help establish your business)

    Hope that helps some, to those who want to bash, you just are not in the know on this one. =)

  49. Anonymous

    I just incorporated in the US (I am a Canadian citizen) so my new LLC has no credit history nor do I have a personal relationship with the American bank.

    I have a great relationship with my Canadian bank but I am starting over financially in the eyes of the US banks.

    Here is what I have done:

    1. Set up my LLC
    2. Opened a bank account
    3. Acquired a secured credit card with a $500 limit

    The secured card reports to the credit bureaus and I am on my way to establishing credit for my LLC.

    Make purchases and pay your bill on time and within 6 months you have an established history and the banks will love you.

  50. Anonymous

    awesome site…I’m also in the process of forming an LLC. I would be nice to get a separate Tax Id to find all the credit cards bonus…do we go down the local courthouse for this tax ID?

  51. “In addition to tax advantages, liability protection is one of the primary reasons for forming an LLC.”

    Actually, there are no real tax benefits of an LLC in and of itself. That is, unless you opt to be treated as an S-Corp or C-Corp, your are still operating as a sole proprietor, and all income passes through to you own bottom line.

  52. Anonymous

    I think Jeremy has a great point. In addition to tax advantages, liability protection is one of the primary reasons for forming an LLC. If you tie your business debts to your personal credit then you’re somewhat undoing that liability protection.

    I think the best way to establish credit for a new business is utilize your relationship with your bank. If you’ve been a member for several years, they can look at the history and balances of your accounts and use that as justification in extending you a credit card. It helps if it is a smaller local bank and you’ve been a member for a long time.

  53. Anonymous

    Just to add to what was already said, keep in mind that most cards, even if business or corporate cards are tied to your personal credit or SSN somehow.

    I’ve been there, I have had corporations before, and so long as you are current on payments, no harm no foul. But even though it is through a separate EIN or corporate identity, if you missed a payment or are late, chances are when you signed for the card you personally signed for all credit obligations as well.

    Bottom line is, be careful. Even though you setup a company to separate you from your business entity, chances are even though you get a “corporate” card or similar, in the event of a late payment or default you will be held personally responsible.

    I’ve seen it happen before, where my personal credit is spotless, than my “corporation” misses a payment and suddenly that credit account which never showed up on my personal credit report before does show up and it shows a late payment.

    Just be aware that your business accounts, even though they may legally be separate entities can still alter your personal credit.

  54. Anonymous

    Opps, one other thing ot think about. More and more cards with standard useful offers (e.g. 0 APR for 12 months) state in the agreement that if you default on any card through them all cards revert to default rates. My point is I think there are only a few real card companies out there and if you are like me and take advantage of the 0% APR for free money, you might want to get your company business card with another card company. That way, if you run into financial issues with your business, while you would still be personally liable for the amount due, a late payment or other issue wouldn’t cause your personal cards to default.

  55. Anonymous

    Most of the “business card” sign up forms I’ve seen require both the EIN, and the SSN, and it clearly states that whoever’s SSN is given is responsible for the entire amount not paid by the company, just like a co-signer on a loan. I do think there are truly business-only cards out there where the business stands on its own as I’ve had a company card in the past for which I held no personal responsibility. I clicked on a least a couple of the cards presented in this post and they all appeared to be of the former variety.

  56. Anonymous

    A few years ago, when I was in the same boat myself (cash/debit-only until my mid-twenties, no credit history at all), I opened up a money-market savings account, used that as a security deposit for a “secured card” for the first year (it was released at that point), and paid bills off to gain good credit *and* money-market-account interest in the meantime.

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