Wondering what a business credit check is, and why checking a potential customer’s credit rating matters? In this guide from Niche Trade Credit, we’ll discuss the basics of business credit scores and company credit checks, and help you learn why they matter when extending credit to customers.

A Business Credit Score Is Like A Personal Credit Score

If you live in Australia, you likely have a personal credit rating, which you can find using a credit check with a number of external administrations, like Equifax. Your personal credit file is likely full of credit information – like your credit card debt, credit history, outstanding loan balances, and other indicators of your financial health.

This credit history is used to determine your level of risk for lenders – they’ll make credit enquiries and use your personal information to determine if it’s safe to extend you a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, credit line, and so on. These reports include just about everything a lender would want to know about your past use of credit.

The same sort of system exists for businesses – you can use a business credit check for trade to learn more about a company’s assets, liabilities, and other important information to determine their overall creditworthiness. You can also run credit checks on individual company directors to help determine credit risk.

Business Credit Checks Help You Determine Credit Terms For Customers, Minimise Risk

Most of the time, you will obtain business credit checks from a website like Equifax, which offers business credit reports in Australia. Performing a business credit check has a number of benefits, such as:

  • Better cash flow – With a credit check, you can ensure that you are working with a reliable, credit-worthy business, and you won’t have to worry about your cash flow being negatively impacted by late payments and bad debt.
  • Peace of mind – With a business credit check, you will be able to know that you’re working with a trustworthy company, and you will be able to conduct your business with confidence.
  • Provide appropriate credit terms – For a company that has a less reliable reputation, for example, you could limit their credit terms at $20,000 and Net 30, with stiff penalties in your terms and conditions for late payment. But for a company with a better history of repayment and a better credit history, you can give more generous credit terms – like a credit line of $100,000 on Net 60 terms. This will help you develop better relationships with reputable companies.

Want more information? This guide from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is useful for helping minimize risk at your company, and ensuring that your company is not negatively impacted by working with small businesses that have a high risk of default.

What About Companies That Are Not From Australia? Doing Your Due Diligence

If you regularly work with companies that are not in Australia, it’s a good idea to do due diligence and check on their corporate reputation in their home country. The process for this varies, but most countries have some type of business credit rating system.

If this is not possible, you may be able to request information about a particular company’s finances and current assets and liabilities – this should provide you with a good overall idea of their financial stability and credit history.

Additionally, you may want to protect your accounts receivable with trade credit insurance while working with non-Australian companies. Trade credit insurance provides you with compensation in the event that the company defaults, goes bankrupt or refuses to pay – allowing you to extend credit terms with lower risk.

Interested In Protecting Your Business? Niche Trade Credit Can Help

As a leading insurance broker in Australia, Niche Trade Credit can help you protect your accounts receivable with trade credit insurance and political risk insurance. We can even help you recover bad debts with business debt collection and recovery services. If you need help protecting your small business in Australia, we’re here to help. Contact us now to get started.

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