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What should I put on my business credit card application?

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For many small business owners, business credit cards are a smart and effective way to help manage the costs associated with your business. With the right card, you get many advantages that go far beyond the convenience of extending the credit line. With responsible use, you can build your business credit history. You can also earn rewards, get a free employee card, and have access to cost management software.

What name should I put on my business credit card application?
What name should I put on my business credit card application?

When you’re ready to apply for a business credit card, the process won’t be the same as applying for a personal credit card. In addition to some personal information, you also need to provide some details related to the business. This includes the time you’ve been in business, your annual business revenue, and the number of employees.

You will also be asked to provide your business name. This could be your personal name or your legitimate business name if you have one.

Not sure which one to use? Keep reading to learn more and to help you decide which name to put on your business credit card.

Why you might want a business card

There are many reasons to sign up for a business credit card – the simplest is that you have an established business and are looking to organize your spending better.

Even if you don’t need a business card, you may decide that you want a business card to help separate your work expenses from personal expenses. It can also prevent your spending balance from being reported on your personal credit report. This can keep your credit usage low on your personal credit report, and thus help you maintain a higher credit score.

Or, maybe you’re looking to earn some attractive subscription rewards that don’t affect your eligibility for future personal credit card apps and avoid restrictions like Chase’s 5/24 rule.

What name should you apply?

The specific answer to this question will depend on how your business is structured. Banks give you the opportunity to determine whether you are registering as a partner, type of company or sole ownership,

Among other options. Some card issuers, such as Citi, will give you a multitude of options. Larger companies or those registered as corporations, LLC or partnerships will have an easier time deciding which name to use, as they will apply simply to the name of the business.

If you’re just a single-ownership company, things will get a little more complicated.

Related: Who’s eligible for a corporate credit card?

If you’re not 100% sure about the business structure you should choose, talk to a lawyer or tax professional. Many point enthusiasts will register as sole owners or self-employed for things like:

DoorDash Drivers
Uber driver
Rover petitter
Freelance writer
Babysitter

Registering as a sole owner can be a great option, because you don’t need to submit any paperwork to your state or federal government to set up an account – you establish a single ownership simply by doing business. If you follow this uncomplicated path, you will apply for a business credit card in your own name. Some banks (especially Chase) want to ask for supporting documentation before approving a business card application, including proof of a physical address. By using your name as your business name, you’ll be able to submit rent or electricity and water bills in line with the information you provided in your application.

However, branding is half the battle in attracting customers, and you probably don’t want to call a new consulting firm just by your own name. If your business is operating under a name other than your legal name, you’ll need to submit a business activity form as (DBA). The specific rules of this (who/where/when/what/what you need to submit) vary from state to state. Again, you should consult a legal professional before proceeding. This is the necessary step before you can open a bank account or credit line in your business name.

In many ways, here’s a warning about what not to do: In any case, never create a business name for your application without filling out the necessary paperwork in advance.

Not only do you not have recourse rights if the card issuer asks you to provide supporting business documentation; you are also committing fraud by treating yourself as a non-existent business. The simple and concise answer for most business owners who want to sign up for a business card is simply to use your own name, and keep things simple and legal.

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