Author: Isabel Rudolph

A Starter Guide to Google Ads Manager Accounts

If your business has complex advertising needs, there’s a good chance Google Ads Manager can help.

Rather than having your PPC spread out across several separate Google Ads accounts, Google Ads Manager brings all of your paid ads together in one place. This makes managing your campaigns much more efficient and allows you to maximize return on ad spend.

Setting up a Google Ads Manager account is simple and can quickly change the way you run your paid ads. Ready to give it a try? Here’s how to get started.

What Are Google Ads Manager Accounts?

Google Ads Manager accounts are dashboards that allow you to manage multiple Google Ad accounts all in one place.

Rather than logging in to lots of different ad accounts with separate usernames and passwords, Google Ads Manager puts everything in one place, making it more convenient to manage your ads.

google ad manager dashboard

Originally called My Client Center, Google Ads Manager provides many benefits to organizations with complex marketing needs. You can:

  • Manage all your ads in one place
  • Access campaigns across different accounts
  • Control who has access to different accounts
  • Quickly monitor and compare performance across separate accounts
  • Consolidate billing to better understand your costs

If your business needs to access many different Google Ad accounts, then a Manager account might save you a ton of time and allow you to work far more efficiently.

Why You Should Use Google Ads Manager Accounts

If your business requires access to multiple Google Ad accounts, then a Google Ads Manager account can significantly boost your efficiency. Here’s a few benefits of using this tool:

Save Time

Logging in and out of accounts takes time and it also means you don’t get a complete picture of the data. The more information you have at your disposal, the easier it is to optimize your ads, and with a Google Ads Manager account, you bring all of this data together in one central place.

Improve ROI

Running paid ads is all about return on investment. If you’re not getting the right return, then there are other digital marketing strategies you could be focusing on. According to WebFX, the average small and medium-sized business spends between $108,000 and $120,000 per year on PPC. Google Ads Manager can ensure you’re making the most of your ad dollars.

Who Should Use Google Ads Manager Accounts?

Google Ads Manager accounts are ideal for businesses that run multiple ad accounts. The most obvious example is advertising agencies, but this also applies to businesses of all sizes that do a lot of PPC.

Ads Manager Accounts are particularly useful for marketing agencies because you can seamlessly integrate with client’s accounts.

For example, my agency works with clients from all over the world, so it’s just not feasible to log in to each client’s account with a separate username and password. Instead, through Google Ads Manager Accounts, we can manage up to 85,000 accounts (depending on ad spend) all in one place.

This makes life easier, but it also makes the data much more powerful. If you have all the insights from 100 clients in the same industry all together in one place, it’s much easier to identify where campaigns are going well or where there’s room for improvement.

Plus, this type of account enables clients to share access to their Ad accounts securely. The client doesn’t have to share their passwords or bank details, and they’re still able to make changes to the account or unlink from the manager account if they wish.

While marketing agencies are most likely to be running paid ads on a scale where they benefit from Google Ads Manager Accounts, there are also plenty of other companies that run multiple ad accounts.

Large companies with multiple departments may have separate marketing teams running their own Google Ad Accounts. Although it’s important to make your marketing specific and targeted, which the multiple ad accounts allow for, you also need to have a clear view of the big picture.

Bringing your accounts together under Google Ads Manager allows you to combine the individuality of segmented marketing with the benefits of greater oversight and analysis.

How Many Ad Campaigns Can Be Used in Google Ads Manager Accounts?

The more Google Ad accounts you need to manage, the more Google Ads Manager becomes beneficial. While you can have up to 20 Ad accounts on one email, Google Ads Manager makes them much easier to manage, and beyond 20 accounts is almost a necessity.

No matter what type of campaigns you’re running, you need to have oversight, so Google Ads Manager can be beneficial.

Here are some campaigns where Google Ads Manager can make a difference:

Google Ad Campaigns With Multiple Collaborators

Large paid advertising campaigns often have multiple collaborators, including managers, paid ad experts, and team leads. All of these people need access to the account, but you don’t want to share passwords and grant unlimited access.

If you’ve got hundreds of campaigns, you want people to have easy access to the parts they need without having to share sensitive non-essential details.

While a regular Google Ads account allows you to do this, it’s very time-consuming to update permissions on multiple accounts constantly. Instead, Google Ad Manager will enable you to share access securely from a central point.

When you manage multiple ad campaigns and have multiple stakeholders, Google Ads Manager is a great way to smooth out the process.

Google Ad Campaigns Targeting People at Different Points in the Sales Funnel

One of the main benefits of paid ads is the ability to target very specific groups of people. When you run an ad on Google, you’re not just putting it out there and hoping the right people find it; you set specific parameters that ensure your message reaches the right people.

For example, you might segment your audience based on where they are in the sales funnel. When you do this, though, you’ve got to be highly organized to optimize each stage of the funnel.

When data is spread out across lots of different accounts, it’s almost impossible to keep track of performance across segments. You need to quickly access all your campaign data and make changes based on specific insights. To do this, you need everything to be in one place.

This offers a huge opportunity to stand out as 76% of marketers aren’t using behavioral data to target customers with relevant ads.

Google Ad Campaigns Where Analytics Overlap

The key to optimization is in the analytics, and when you have the data from hundreds of campaigns all in one place, you’re much more likely to get those crucial insights you need.

Most of your ad campaigns will have some similarities. Maybe they target the same audience, they’re in the same niche, or they target the same point in the sales funnel.

While every campaign should be unique, there’s also a lot you can learn from comparing similar campaigns.

When you have all your analytics in one place, you can use them to spot trends you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.

For example, you might have 20 different campaigns all targeting people at the decision stage of the sales funnel, and one is performing particularly well. Even if your campaigns are in completely different industries, you can use the data to isolate why that one campaign is doing so well and find ways to implement it in other markets.

The more data you have, the more useful it becomes, and Google Ads Manager allows you to bring all your analytics together in one place.

Google Retargeting Ad Campaigns

Retargeting is an incredibly useful tool for marketers, and Google Ads Manager makes retargeting even more powerful.

When people click on your ads and visit your website, they’re added to your remarketing audience through browser cookies, allowing you to target them with very precise ads. People who have already visited your site are more likely to become customers, which might be a great way of boosting your ROAS (return on ad spend).

Need help setting up retargeting ads? Here’s my A to Z on setting up your retargeting with Google.

Google Ads Manager helps you better use retargeting data by allowing you to piggyback off all the hard work you’ve done on other campaigns. For example, if one specific type of audience or ad works well in one vertical, you can test it in others.

How to Set Up and Use Google Ads Manager Accounts

Setting up a Google Ads Manager account and linking all your ad accounts is simple, and it might make your life a lot easier.

Google Ads Manager Account - front page
  • head to the main Google Ads Manager page and click “Get Started”
  • answer a couple of quick questions about the number of page views your website gets and whether or not you have an AdSense account

If your website has more than one million page views per month, you’ll be directed to get in touch.

Google Ads Manager Account contact form for websites with more than 1 million views
  • Fill out the contact form with information about your business.
  • A Google representative will contact you and help you with your setup.

If your website has less than one million page views per month:

  • Create a new AdSense account or sign in to your existing one
  • Name your account
  • Select what you’re using your account for
  • Choose a timezone
  • Select the currency you want to use for your campaigns
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Click on save, and you’re ready to go

Once your Google Ads Manager account is ready, you can start to link your ad accounts or those of your clients:

  1. Click link existing account (next to create an account).
  2. Enter the client account’s Google Ads ID (this is the ten-digit number in the top-right corner).
  3. The client account will receive a request to link to the Ads Manager in its account.
  4. The client account needs to accept the request.
  5. The client account chooses the level of access it grants: administrative, edit, or view.
  6. Once the client accepts the request and grants you administrative access, you can manage that Google Ad account.

It only takes a few minutes to set up a Google Ads Manager account and link as many Google Ad accounts as you wish, but it can save you a whole lot of time when it comes to managing your paid ads.


If you have complex PPC campaigns spread out over several Google Ads accounts, then Google Ads Manager could make a huge difference to your operations.

To maximize your return, all your campaigns should work in unison, allowing you to target particular groups and make use of all the data available to you. This is very difficult to do if you’re running campaigns through different accounts.

When you create a Google Ads Manager, you bring all your pay-per-click advertising together in one place, improving efficiency. Rather than logging into multiple different accounts and trying to piece together lots of different analytics, set up your Ads Manager account and get more out of your PPC.

Are you set up with Google Ads Manager yet?

Pelosi’s Latest Partisan Commission

After Jan. 6, she follows her financial-crisis script, creating a panel to reach a foregone conclusion.

The post Pelosi’s Latest Partisan Commission appeared first on ROI Credit Builders.

Best Data Visualization Tools

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The right image convinces a conference room instantly. 

Sell that new client, get your boss’s approval, and rally the team behind you. Data visualization tools turn a whole mess of numbers into a crisp image that says it all.

With the right product, you can take command of overwhelming amounts of data to tell a clear and compelling story, while leaving your audience with a visual that resonates long after your presentation concludes. 

In this post, I’ll give a complete overview of the best data visualization tools, and what to look for as you make your decision. 

The Top 5 Options for Data Visualization

  1. Tableau – Best for Enterprise
  2. Infogram – Best For Collaboration
  3. Plecto – Best for Sales Teams
  4. Datawrapper – Best DIY Visualization Tool
  5. Highcharts – Best for Interactive Visualizations

How to Choose the Best Data Visualization Tool for You

I get it. There are a million tools to help you visualize your data. 

Then, when you start digging, it’s like, “Wait, do I have to know several programming languages to use this really cool product?”

Slow down. Don’t worry. You’re not going to have to go back to school to get amazing data visualizations.

Some of the high-end tools will require a little IT know-how to get off the ground, but those are really aimed at companies who can factor that into their budgets.

If that’s not what you’re looking for, no worries. There are really great data visualization tools a non-specialist can have up and running before lunch.

The key is knowing what you want your data visualization tool to do.

By understanding your local requirements, you can whittle down your options quickly by going through each of the major elements of data visualization products.

Visualization Capabilities

Are you looking for a nice tool that creates sleek reports, or a platform that lets you publish interactive dashboards?

Every vendor showcases data visualization examples on their site. Check these over and really reflect on your gut reaction. 

If you are in search of the “wow” factor, don’t settle until you find something that will give your presentations that aesthetic edge.


This is perhaps the biggest make-it-or-break-it factor on the list: What data types and sources are supported by the data visualization tool?

No data visualization tool is good enough to justify a massive migration. You need to find something that connects with your data, wherever it lives. 

Ideally, connecting data is an easy, secure, and highly-visible process. 

Look for products that clearly explain how to manage and connect data sources. Official partnerships with the database products you use is a big plus. 

Cruise a few reviews to see if people are finding that the connectivity is as good as advertised. Also, be sure to walk your sales team through your desired deployment to make sure it’s going to work as planned.

Skill Requirements

Not so long ago, complex data visualization required familiarity with structured query language (SQL), Python, or another language.

Today, great data visualization products like Tableau allow users to search vast databases using natural language. They provide drag-and-drop functionality that lets non-specialists drill down into the most complex questions.

That said, if you have complex data flows coming into real-time dashboards, it’s a good idea to have someone in-house who can ensure that everything is running smoothly. 

Mobile Compatibility

Look for something that will appeal to your clients and customers, however they browse. 

Does your data visualization tool support touch and multi-touch? 

Good interactive visualizations take a lot of effort, and the last thing you want is for users on iOS or Android to be barred from the experience because of incompatibility. 

Quality data visualization software delivers a final project that looks good on desktop, tablet, or smartphone. You can’t really budge on this unless you are committed to developing visual content for internal use. 

Another thing to think about is collaboration. Will your remote and on-the-go employees be able to stay current with their team projects?

The Different Types of Data Visualization Tools

This product category is highly diversified, ranging from modest software that turns a spreadsheet column into a pie chart to interactive dashboards that interpret data flows from multiple sources in real time.

Although data visualization tools don’t break down into completely neat tiers, there are definitely recognizable categories.

I’ll start out with the lightweight tools and work up to the best business intelligence software, capable of handling the most complicated data analysis.

Simple Charts and Graphs

Simple chart tools have limited connectivity and few data visualization options. The draw is that they are often free and easy for anyone to use. Here’s an example from Google Charts, which is free forever:

For teams in constant communication, these lightweight data visualization solutions can come in handy. 

If you are presenting to clients or company leadership, however, the reports generated by a simple chart might not cut it.


Infographics are really great for making compelling visual statements. 

I like them because you can tie multiple charts, images, and streams of information into a cohesive presentation that can be shared on a billboard or a smartphone screen.

Plus, these are great for your content. Adding original infographics increases shares and retweets because they make your posts stand out.

Infogram is a really popular infographic tool, and looking at the examples above, you can see why I chose to review it. Your teams get a whole new dimension of artistic and creative freedom to present data in an eye-catching way. 

Using Publisher or Google Docs to achieve an end result that looks this good would be tedious, if possible at all. 

Generally, infographic tools come with many options for visualization out of the box. 

They don’t tend to have the connectivity or analytic capabilities that come with business intelligence software, though they are far more robust than a simple chart tool.

Interactive Visualizations

Want people spending time on your site? 

Interactive visualizations let customers and visitors play with your data in a controlled way. 

Below, in the data visualization example from Datawrapper, the chart displays information based on the county the user hovers over. The county itself is also highlighted, and the average income is adjusted on a sliding scale:

Consider these products a blend or midway point between infographics much more powerful business intelligence tools. 

There is nothing complex about interactive visualizations for end-users to understand, yet they allow users some degree of control over the data, which an infographic can’t support.

Business Intelligence Tools

Business intelligence (BI) tools comb through massive amounts of raw data and turn it into actionable insights. As part of their reporting features, many BI tools come with data visualization tools designed to support the most complex analysis.

BI tools connect to a large number of disparate data sources, and usually require a higher-degree of technical skill to deploy and manage. Most often, however, end users like executives and sales managers can easily manipulate data within a dashboard once it is set up.

Customizable dashboards and robust reporting features allow different people within a company to pay attention to relevant KPIs in real time, picking up on trends and patterns that would otherwise be hidden.

Deploying and maintaining a BI tool represents a significant investment, whereas tools from the previous product categories tend to be a lot less work. 

That said, there are BI options for small and mid-sized businesses that provide cross-organization connectivity and data visualization at an affordable price.

#1 – Tableau — Best for Enterprise

Tableau is a best-in-breed BI tool with phenomenal data visualization capabilities. It’s not the cheapest option on the market, but you get both an intuitive UI and the ability to drill down into virtually any data source.

In other words, you don’t have to make the typical sacrifices. Tableau is ultra-powerful in terms of supported visualizations, but it’s really user-friendly once you get it set up.

Many companies elect to use Tableau in order to encourage a data-driven, transparent, collaborative culture. It’s also one of the most secure products on the market, with enterprise-grade governance tools and the option for on-premises deployment.

For the most part, Tableau can do everything that any other data visualization tool can, but better. Some of the standout capabilities include:

  • Combine different data sources without writing code
  • Drag-and-drop statistical analysis, forecasts, and trendlines
  • Optimize dashboards for all screen sizes
  • Natural language queries of any published data source
  • AI-powered data analysis 
  • Publish data sources as encrypted extracts on Tableau Server
  • Robust data management tools
  • Support and solutions from an active community of over 1 million users

Team pricing for Tableau is role-based, which lets large organizations economize their subscription. The roles are:

  • Creator: $70 user/month
  • Explorer: $35 user/month, 5 user minimum ($42 if fully hosted by Tableau)
  • Viewer: $12 user/month, 100 user minimum

Creators have full author/edit privileges, and can connect new data sources and flows. Explorers can work with most existing assets and create their own visualizations. Viewers can interact with data and collaborate with colleagues, though they cannot author or prepare data.

Tableau Public is a free forever version of the product and the company offers a free 14-day trial that lets you test drive some of the premium features.

#2 – Infogram — Best for Collaboration

Infogram is an intuitive data visualization tool that delivers stunning reports, slides, dashboards and social media visuals. 

First-time users are going to love the UI. Basically all of the visualization building can be accomplished via drag-and-drop. 

Infogram makes it easy for teams to share and produce consistent work with customizable branded templates, role-based permissions, and file versioning..

You can see who’s editing your projects in real-time and you can add comment threads directly to an image within the infographic. 

Teams can get up and running with Infogram quickly, taking advantage of its incredibly deep design capabilities::

  • 1 million stock images and icons, as well as animations, GIFs, and video
  • More than 35 interactive charts and over 550 interactive maps
  • Preset and customizable branded design themes
  • Data integration with Google Analytics, Amazon Redshift, OneDrive, MySQL, Oracle, and more
  • JSON feed to import live data
  • WordPress plugin

The streamlined features don’t stop there. Tasks like embedding projects, for example, involve no more than copy/pasting embed codes into your CMS

Infogram can be extremely beneficial for companies of any size. In addition to a free forever version, Infogram offers several pricing tiers:

  • Pro: $19/month for an individual
  • Business: $67/month for an individual
  • Team: $149/month for 3 users
  • Enterprise: contact sales

With Team and Enterprise subscriptions, you get the ability to invite members, set flexible permissions, share projects, and collaborate in real-time. Connect your data, get the input you need, and start publishing great looking content before the end of the week.

#3 – Plecto — Best for Sales Teams

Plecto is a great tool for promoting a data-driven team culture. The idea is to involve everyone in the constant flow of data by making all relevant KPIs available in a real-time, highly-visible dashboard.

Okay, plenty of other tools can do that. Gamification is where Plecto really separates itself from the crowd. 

Gamification? Yes, it’s a word, and a hot one these days. With Plecto, it’s super simple to create contests using your KPIs as benchmarks. This could be sales closed, employees hired, lists built—whatever metric you need to drive, use Plecto to enable the spirit of competition.

Plecto is built for this. It’s easy to set goals and achievements that are directly tied to the numbers you care about. Increase transparency and motivation at the same time.

The platform’s capabilities work exceptionally well for sales teams, yet other departments across the organization can benefit from the unique mix of features and functionality, which include:

  • Unlimited dashboards and data sources
  • Custom KPIs
  • Display multiple dashboards on the same screen
  • Integrations with Microsoft SQL, Oracle SQL, PostgreSQL, and MySQL
  • Notifications based on thresholds and other milestones
  • One-click integration with more than 60 leading cloud services
  • Create and track individual performance agreements in private employee-manager dashboards

There are three plan options for Plecto:

  • Medium: $100/month for 5 licenses, $20/month per additional license
  • Large: $350/month for 10 licenses, $20/month per additional license
  • Enterprise: Contact sales, minimum 100 licenses

Some of the important data visualization tools (like SQL integration) are not included with the Medium plan. You only need to buy licenses for users who send their data to Plecto (view-only users are free).

#4 – Datawrapper — Best DIY Data Visualization Tool

Datawrapper has a simple chart tool feel, yet it’s got the ability to deliver interactive and responsive charts, maps, and tables. 

It’s not designed for BI so much as mass producing next-level data visualizations to capture attention on feeds and pages.

Lots of companies, like The New York Times, for example make use of Datawrapper every day to improve their content. Using striking visuals, the Times can convey complex ideas to consumers about voting data, consumer preferences, and so on.

Datawrapper has a clean, intuitive interface that makes it easy to engage with the cloud-based product’s full range of functions, which include:

  • Copy data from Excel, Sheets, or the web into Datawrapper
  • Create live-updating charts by uploading CSV/XLS files or linking to a URL
  • Embed different types of interactive and responsive charts, maps, and tables
  • Export as PNG, PDF, or SVG
  • Colorblind check for all images
  • Live-updating graphics for maps
  • Collaborative tools and shared team folders
  • On-premise creation to comply with regulatory requirements

You have to purchase premium plans to create custom charts and white-label projects. Custom, the first tier above free, starts at $599/month and really allows companies to reach their audience with on-brand, original visuals.

Datawrapper’s free version is excellent for internal or team use, but less attractive for public-facing visualizations.

#5 – Highcharts — Best for Interactive Visualizations

Highcharts is a wonderful tool aimed at helping developers add interactive charts to web and mobile projects. It’s a clean, SVG-based, multi-platform, JavaScript charting library.

Upload multiple types of data and use official wrappers to work in:

  • Microsoft .Net
  • Python
  • PHP
  • R
  • iOS & Android

This product requires some technical skills to use effectively, but the tradeoff is that it’s relatively inexpensive and works with any database or stack.

And the results are phenomenal. 

Highcharts is extensible, scalable, and meant to work anywhere on every device. Some of the key features include:

  • Multiple map types (heatmap, mapline, tilemap, etc)
  • Dedicated Highcharts Gannt product
  • Export JPG, PDF, PNG, or SVG
  • Add tooltip text information when users hover over labeled data points
  • Pure JavaScript requires no client-side plugins
  • Intuitive configuration and chart editing
  • Mobile and touch-optimized for truly interactive user experience
  • Download, inspect, and edit Highcharts source code.

For personal, non-commercial, or non-profit organizations, all of Highcharts’ products are available for free. This includes Highchart Stock, Gantt, Maps, Editor, and Mobile. 

They also have deals for startups and ways for other businesses to customize the various Highcharts products to their needs. Contact sales to start putting together a pricing plan.


Tableau is the best tool for enterprise because it gives teams an edge in every aspect of data visualization. 

It’s a considerable investment, though, and not every company is looking for a full-bore business intelligence solution.

If what you need is a data visualization tool to build and share memorable images, Infogram will help your teams take their game to the next level with zero graphic design or programming skills.

For companies that want to embed interactive visualizations in their online content, look no further than Datawrapper. Highcharts is another great option for embedding interactive content into your sites, though it’s not as easy for non-specialists as Datawrapper.

Coming back to Tableau for a second—yes, it’s heavy, but you can try the free version today without having to navigate a multi-step enterprise sign-up process. There aren’t any hoops to jump through, just the chance to take your data visualizations to the next level.

The post Best Data Visualization Tools appeared first on Neil Patel.

Ubersuggest Chrome Extension: The Ultimate Link Build Tool

Over the next few months, you are going to see a lot of updates in Ubersuggest, including new features.

But before I dive into what I’m going to release soon, let’s first talk about the new Chrome extension.

If you haven’t installed it, make sure you go and do so now

No more Neil’s face

The biggest complaint we got about the extension was “my face” being in the search results.

You know, that speech bubble that looked something like this…

So, I removed it.

I know you don’t like it based on the reviews, so I tried to leave it in as long as possible because it’s branding.

Indirectly it keeps me and my agency top of mind so hopefully, it would eventually drive business.

Link building

You may have noticed that there is a little “U” symbol within your browser bar once you install the extension.

If you don’t see it, just click on the extension icon…

And then click pin next to Ubersuggest…

Now whenever you visit a site (other than Google) you can click on the “U” to see data.

But what’s new is we have added link data. So when you click on “Backlinks” you’ll see link data on any given site.

You can see the domain score (our version of authority), the number of backlinks, referring domains and organic monthly traffic a website receives.

You’ll even see a chart of link growth (or decline) over time.

And as you scroll down you’ll even see more metrics…

The chart above breaks down how many new and lost links you are getting on a daily basis.

And beneath that you’ll see a list of links pointing to any given site. You can then search for a specific link using the search box or you can use the filtering options.

Keyword gaps

I know that I mentioned a while ago that I am releasing a feature that show competitive domains and gives you an overview of the keywords your competition ranks for that you don’t.

That way you can find more opportunities to go after if you want more traffic.

That’s still coming out soon. We are roughly a month or so away from releasing it. 🙂

But that’s not all

The biggest thing my team and I have been working on is data quality.

From fresher link index to even a bigger link index.

Or when you put in a URL it would be great to have even more accurate traffic estimations.

By the end of the year you’ll see drastic improvement in this. It’s our biggest focus.

And then comes a faster application

The last thing on our roadmap this year is speed improvement.

We have so much data in Ubersuggest that sometimes reports take longer to load than you would like.

We have been refactoring our code, which should fix this soon. So now reports will load faster, which is really important if you use Ubersuggest on a mobile device.


I hope you try out the new Ubersuggest extension. It’s easy to use and it offers more free data than any other Chrome extension.

In addition to the link feature, there will also be some other Chrome extension features that we are adding soon, but I have to save something as a surprise. 😉

Plus, there will also be a few other features that you’ll also see in the Ubersuggest app that is coming out this year that I didn’t mention above either.

So, what else would you like to see in Ubersuggest?

The post Ubersuggest Chrome Extension: The Ultimate Link Build Tool appeared first on Neil Patel.

5 Real Estate Influencers With Exceptional Personal Brands

Real Estate is not only about selling and buying. It serves a higher purpose.  When we think about fulfilling our goals and ambitions, we want only the best for ourselves and those who surround us. … The post 5 Real Estate Influencers With Exceptional Personal Brands appeared first on blog.

The post 5 Real Estate Influencers With Exceptional Personal Brands first appeared on Online Web Store Site.

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Soteris (YC S19), ML to price insurance, is hiring employees #3-5

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Contrasting The Two Types Of Investments

Contrasting The Two Types Of Investments There are 2 significant sorts of financial investments carried out in the stock-trading sector nowadays– long-lasting financial investments and also temporary financial investments. If you discover on your own bewildered as well as puzzled in picking which kind would certainly be best, merely remember of the distinctions in between …

Do You Understand Your Commercial Credit Report?

Lenders often look at your commercial credit report in addition too, or in lieu of, your personal credit score. As you know, they use the information on the report to help them decide if your business is a good credit risk, or a bad one.  

Your Commercial Credit Report Can Affect the Fundability of Your Business

So, why is it important to understand your commercial credit report?  The answer is, because what your commercial credit report says greatly affects the fundability of your business.  Of course, there are many factors that affect fundability, and it is important to understand each of them.  However, there are many pieces to the fundability puzzle and it is best to understand each one individually.

Keep your business protected with our professional business credit monitoring

Commercial Credit Report: Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet offers six different reports. Truly, the one utilized most often by lenders is the PAYDEX. Honestly, this is probably because it is the one most like the consumer FICO score. You see, it measures how quickly a company pays its debt on a scale of 1 to 100. For reference, lenders like to see a score of 70 or higher.  To put it in perspective, a score of 100 reveals the firm makes payments ahead of time. A rating of 1 shows they pay 120 days late, or more.

Together with PAYDEX, they offer the following scores and reports.

Delinquency Predictor Score

As you might imagine, this rating determines the chance the company will not pay, will be late paying, or will come file for bankruptcy. For scoring, the range is 1 to 5, with 2 being a good score.

Financial Stress Score

Not surprisingly, this is a measurement of the pressure on a firm’s balance sheet. It shows the possibility of a closure within a year. The range is 1 to 5, and a 2 is good.

Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating

This is a ranking that predicts the odds of a firm surviving one year. Similarly, it ranges from 1 to 9, with a 5 being a good score.

Credit Limit Recommendation

As the name implies, this is a recommendation for the amount of debt a company can handle. Financial institutions usually use it to establish how much credit to extend.

D&B Credit Rating

This is an estimation of overall business risk on a scale of 4 to 1, where a 2 is considered good.  The smaller the number the better.  The rating is given as a combination of numbers and letters, which together show a company’s net worth. 

Consequently, if there isn’t enough data on a business to assign a regular rating, an alternative score is assigned. This is called a credit approval score.  It is based on the number of employees. They will use any data they have available to calculate this alternative rating.  That means, a company can control this to a point by ensuring D&B has all of the information they need.

Commercial Credit Score

Along with the PAYDEX, Dun & Bradstreet releases a commercial credit report in three components. Each part shows how likely the business is to default on expenses or become seriously late on payments.

Commercial Credit Score

On a range of 101 to 670, the commercial credit score anticipates the likelihood of a firm making late payments. A rating of 101 indicates it is very likely that the company will be late with payments. Likewise, a score of around 500 is good.

Commercial Credit Percentile

For this measurement, the scale runs from 0 to 100. It shows the chance of delinquency too. However, it determines this probability versus other companies in the Dun & Bradstreet system. A rating of 1 is the highest possible probability in relation to other companies. The majority of loan providers consider a rating of 80 or higher to be an advantage.

Commercial Credit Class

In contrast to the other reports, this is an approach of dividing businesses into classes based on the chance of delinquency. Firms in class 1 are the least likely to be overdue. Likewise, if you are in class 2, that’s still good.

What Goes into the D&B Commercial Credit Report Ratings Calculation?

The exact formula used by Dun & Bradstreet to calculate their ratings is proprietary.  What we do know is what information they look for and where they get it. The initial source of this information is the business itself.  

A business must submit a financial statement to D&B before getting a full rating.  Without that, a business gets a limited rating based on the number of employees.  For example, the rating would be 1R if the business has 10 employees or more. But it’s 2R if they have fewer than 2 employees. 

With no financial statement, a composite credit appraisal can still be issued.  However, a business is only eligible for a rating up to a 2 in this case. They are ineligible for a 1 rating without a financial statement.

Businesses can also submit trade references to Dun & Bradstreet themselves.  The catch is, it costs money to do so.  Furthermore, there is no guarantee it will result in a score increase.  Anyway, if you are properly building business credit it will happen for free

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Besides getting data from the business, Dun & Bradstreet also accesses public records.  They look for liens and bankruptcies, and anything to show creditworthiness, or a lack thereof. They also partner with the Small Business Finance Exchange to access data from their records.

Commercial Credit Report: Experian Business Credit ScoresCorporate Credit Reporting Credit Suite

Experian gathers data from a lot of the same sources as Dun & Bradstreet. As a result, their reports are similar.  There are a few key differences in sources, calculation, and also presentation however.

Intelliscore Plus

Experian uses the Intelliscore Plus credit score, which shows a statistics-based credit risk. The result is, it is a highly predictive score that can help users make well-informed credit decisions. 

The Intelliscore scores range from 1 to 100, with a higher score indicating a lower risk class. 

Score Range Risk Class

Low Risk 76-100
Low-Medium Risk 51-75
Medium Risk 26-50
High-Medium Risk 11-25
High Risk 1-10

Exactly How Does Experian Compute the Intelliscore Rating?

One of the things Intelliscore is most known for is the list of specific key factors they use that can indicate how likely a business is to pay its debt.  In fact, over 800 variables go into the Intelliscore Plus calculation. Many of them are from the general information all credit agencies look at.  However, some are unique to Experian.  Here’s a breakdown. 

Payment History

As you might imagine, this is your current payment status. That means, it shows how many times accounts have become delinquent.  It also shows how many accounts are currently delinquent, as well as the overall trade balance. 


Frequency  shows how many times your accounts have gone to collections.  In addition, it notes the number of liens and judgments you have. Also, it shows any bankruptcies related to your business or personal accounts.

It also incorporates information about your payment patterns. Were you regularly slow or late with payments? Did you decrease the number of late payments over time? That affects your score. 


This specific factor focuses on how you use credit. For example, how much of your available credit are you utilizing right now? Do you have a high ratio of late balances when compared with your credit limits?

Of course, if you are a new business owner, a lot of this information will not exist yet. Intelliscore Plus handles this by using a blended model to identify your score. This means your personal credit score becomes part of determining your business’s credit score.

Experian’s Blended Score

Surprising to some, the blended score is a one-page report that provides a summary of the business and its owner.  A combined business-owner credit scoring model works better than a business or consumer only model.  In fact, blended scores have been found to outperform consumer or business scores alone by 10 – 20%.

Experian Financial Stability Risk Score (FSR)

FSR predicts the potential of a business going bankrupt or not paying its debts.  Consequently, this score identifies the highest risk businesses by using payment and public records. They look at a number of factors, some of which include: 

  • high use of credit lines
  • severely late payments 
  • tax liens 
  • judgments 
  • collection accounts 
  • risk industries 
  • length of time in business 

Commercial Credit Report: The Equifax Service Credit Rating

Similarly, Equifax shows three different points on its commercial credit report. These include: 

Equifax Payment Index

Similar to PAYDEX, Equifax’s payment index is a measurement on a scale of 100. It shows how many of your small business’s payments were made on time. Like the others, it uses data from both creditors and vendors. However, it’s not meant to anticipate future behavior.  That is what the other two scores are for.

Equifax Credit Risk Score

This score shows the likelihood of your company becoming severely delinquent on payments. Scores range from 101 to 992 and include an evaluation of:

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  • Available credit limit on revolving credit accounts, including credit cards
  • Company size
  • Proof of any non-financial transactions (like merchant invoices) which are late or were charged off for two or more billing cycles
  • Length of time since the opening of the earliest financial account

Equifax Business Failure Score

Equifax’s business failure score takes a look at the risk of your business shutting down. Similar to others, it runs from 1,000 to 1,600 and bases its scoring on these factors:

  • Total balance to total current credit limit in the past three months
  • The amount of time since the opening of the oldest financial account
  • Your small business’s worst payment status on all trades in the last 24 months
  • Proof of any non-financial transactions, like merchant invoices, which are late or are on a charge off for two or more billing cycles

For the credit risk and the business failure scores, a rating of 0 means bankruptcy.

Equifax Scores

A positive Equifax score for your business is as follows:

  • Payment Index 0 to 10
  • Credit Risk score 892 to 992
  • Business Failure score 1400 to 1600

Are These the Only Agencies Where You Can Get a Commercial Credit Report? 

Actually, there are multiple other agencies that will issue a commercial credit report.  It’s just that these three are the most commonly used.  Still, there has been an increase in the use of another option recently.  It’s the FICO SBSS

Commercial Credit Report: What is the FICO SBSS?

The FICO SBSS is the business variation of your personal FICO credit report. Unlike your personal FICO, the SBSS reports on a scale of 0 to 300. The higher the score the better. However, the majority of loan providers demand a rating of least 160.

How Do They Come Up with The FICO SBSS Score?

Surprisingly, it is significantly different from other business credit scoring designs. The SBSS utilizes your corporate credit score and personal credit rating. It also makes use of monetary details like business assets and income. As you can see, the goal is to give an overall financial picture rolled into one rating.

Unfortunately, business owners cannot access their FICO SBSS by themselves. There is a proprietary formula for score computations. Furthermore, they do not make that data public. As a result, you go into lending institutions blind as to what your FICO SBSS credit rating might be. 

Complicating things even more, lenders can choose how certain factors are weighted in the calculation of your score.  This means your FICO SBSS could actually be different from one lender to the next. For example, one lender could put more weight on your business payment history, while another could lean more on your personal credit score. 

How Does Your Commercial Credit Report Affect Overall Fundability? 

As I said before, overall business fundability is an intricate web woven out of your business information, business credit, organization, personal credit, public records and more.  Your business credit, though only one part, is a large part of the fundability puzzle. This means, you need to know what your commercial credit report says, why it says it, how it is affecting the fundability of your business, and how to make changes when necessary. 

The post Do You Understand Your Commercial Credit Report? appeared first on Credit Suite.

New Business Credit Score Do’s and Don’ts

Breathe Life into Your Business with Your New Business Credit Score

Are you trying to get a new business credit score?  Looking to ditch an old one and get a bright, shiny new one?  Maybe you don’t have one at all yet and you need to know how to get one.  Never fear.  We have all the dos and don’ts to help you build a business credit score either from scratch, or by improving old, dented one.

Why Do I Need a Business Credit Score at All?

This is actually a pretty common question.  A surprising number of people do not realize that their business can have credit that is not related to their personal credit. The fact is, not only can your business have its own credit, but it should.  The reasons for this are many.  Most importantly, keeping your business credit and personal credit separate protects both your personal and your business finances from being affected by each other.

In addition, business credit cards often have higher limits, meaning they can handle the higher spending needs most businesses have.  If you tried to finance all of your business expenses on personal credit cards, you would likely keep balances at or near your personal credit limits.  This would increase your debt-to-credit ratio, which in turn has a negative affect on your personal credit score.

So, what are the major dos and don’ts for a new business credit score?

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet.

Don’t Operate Under Personal Information

If you are running your business as a sole proprietorship, or a partnership, you are going to have a problem getting a business credit score.  If your business has the same phone number, address, and email address as you, that’s even more of an issue.

Your business has to be separate from you, and here is why.  If you do not ensure your business is recognized as a separate entity from yourself, all of your business transactions are just going to go straight to your personal credit report.  Here is how to keep that from happening.

Get Incorporated

The first step is to incorporate.  This is the first step to separating your business credit from your personal credit.  You have a few options.

  • C Corp– This is the most definitive separation, but it is also the most complicated and expensive. Before choosing this option, be certain there are reasons other than establishing business credit that it needs to be done.  If it isn’t necessary for some other reason, there are other, less complicated, and less costly options.
  • S Corp– This option basically offers the same separation as the C Corp, but taxes are paid at the personal level, rather than requiring the business to be taxed as well, resulting in double taxation. It is also cheaper than incorporating as a C Corp.  If you aren’t required to file as a C corp, this is a good alternative.
  • LLC– forming a Limited Liability Corporation results in less liability, thus the name, and offers enough separation to serve the purpose of establishing business credit. If you are not required to be a C Corp or S Corp, this is the easiest and most cost-effective way to create the separation of business and personal credit that you need.

Separate Contact Information

Your business needs its own phone number.  This way, when you apply for credit, you can enter contact information that is separate from your own.  When information is reported to agencies, sometimes the phone number is an identifying factor.  If you and your business share a number, that just decreases the level of separation. The business phone number should be from a toll-free exchange.

There also needs to be a separate business address and email address.  They cannot be the same as your personal address and email address.  Also, the business email address should not be from Yahoo, Gmail, or any other free email service.  It should have the same URL as your professional website.  Don’t have a professional website?  You need to get one of those too.

Be sure your business contact information is listed in the directories under the business name.

Business Bank Account

If you are running all of your business transactions through your personal bank account, stop.  You need a dedicated business bank account that you use for all business transactions.  This helps with the separation of your business from yourself, but it will also help you keep business expenses separate from personal expenses for ease during tax time.

Don’t Use All of Your Available Credit

When building business credit, the first thing you do is work through the credit tiers.  The goal is to get as many accounts reporting consistent, on-time payments from your business name as possible.  This means you get 8 to 10 accounts in the vendor credit tier, move up and get 8 to 10 accounts in the retail credit tier, and so on through the fleet credit tier, and finally the cash credit tier. You can find out more about the credit tiers and how the business credit building process works here.

While this achieves the purpose of building business credit, it also means you have a lot of business credit out there. Resist the temptation to use it all at once. You have to pace yourself.  You want to make payments on each account, but you cannot carry balances at or near the limit on all those cards.  If you do, your debt-to-credit ratio will be extra high, resulting in a negative impact on your credit report.

Do Get and EIN and a DUNS Number

These are identifying numbers for your business. You must have both of them to get business credit.



This is an identifying number for your business that functions much as your SSN does for you personally.  Once you have it, you will use it in place of your SSN when you apply for credit in the name of your business. Your SSN should only be used for identity verification for fraud prevention.  You may have to provide your birthdate for this reason as well, but not for the purpose of checking credit.

If you follow the other steps for establishing business credit and skip this one, accounts could end up on both reports.  You don’t want that.

The process of applying for and EIN is easy.  The IRS has an online form, and as soon as all the information is verified you receive your number.  It typically happens almost immediately.

Get a DUNS Number

Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the largest and most widely used business credit reporting agency.  They issue each business on file a 9-digit DUNS number, and you will not have a business credit file with them until you have this number.  Application is easy and free on their website.  Beware, they will try to sell you a lot of different products, but you only need the DUNS number and it is definitely free.

Do Work with Members of the Small Business Finance Exchange

Working with SBFE members can do more than help you get a new business credit score.  Here are 4 ways working with members of the Small Business Finance Exchange can help your business, including that credit score you are working on.  Find out more about the Small Business Finance Exchange and what they do here.

Build Business Credit

When you do business with members of the Small Business Finance Exchange, you know your information is being reported.  That builds business credit. How do you know if your lender or vendor is a member? Ask them. If they are not, considered mentioning that they become a member. There are enough members in the network however, that it should not be hard to find one.

Grow Your Business

By working with SBFE members, you know that when creditors receive your information, they get a complete credit picture. If you are making your payments and working to build strong business credit, the additional data they receive can only help you.

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet.

Increase Funding Options

The data available about your business from the Small Business Finance Exchange could open up additional funding opportunities that may not be available to you otherwise.

Help Making Wise Credit Decisions

If you are a small business that lends money to other businesses and has the ability to report that information, you can join the SBFE yourself. You will gain access to information about borrowers that is available exclusively to members. This information can help you make better decisions about your own business lending.

Do Monitor Your New Business Credit Score

Once you have business credit, you need to watch it to ensure it stays strong.  If you already have a score and want a newer, stronger score, that is even more reason to monitor your credit report. Make certain all accounts are reporting accurate information, and deal with any mistakes as soon as you can.

You can monitor your business credit by getting reports from the credit reporting agencies directly, but it’s pricey.  To monitor with D&B go to:  For monitoring with Experian, visit:  At Equifax, you can monitor your account at:  Experian and Equifax cost about $19.99; D&B ranges from $49.99 to $99.99.

Another option is to use a credit monitoring service like the one offered by CreditSuite.  We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for only $24/month.

None of It Matters If You Don’t Make Your Payments on Time

Whether you are starting from scratch or trying to do some repair work to get a new business credit score, none of it matters if you do not make your payments on time.  This is an absolute necessity. If you are inconsistent or late with payments, you will not only undo any good, but you may actually end up in worse shape than before.

You have to have a plan in order to be successful with you new business credit score.

Here are some bonus Dos and Don’ts to help with this:

  • Do budget for credit payments. It is easy to forget this or let it get out of control quickly.  As you grow your business credit score, you are going to have a lot of new credit available.  You already know you do not have to use it all, but you have to be sure to budget and plan to pay for what you are using.
  • Do know how much you can handle in debt payment each month before taking on new debt. If you are considering taking on debt payments of $300 per month but you only have $200 per month in cash available for payments, you are going to have a problem.
  • Don’t use debt to pay debt. Of course, there could be times, such as 0% interest on balance transfer opportunities, that it may be useful.  Make it an exception rather than the rule however. It isn’t a good habit to get into.

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet.

  • Do use credit wisely. Yes, you need the accounts in the beginning for your new business credit score to grow, but there is no need to buy things you do not need.  If what you are buying on credit will not grow or expand your business, leave it alone.  It’s ridiculous to buy 7 boxes of latex gloves on credit if you will not use them in the course of your regular business.
  • Don’t stop monitoring your credit. Just once doesn’t do it.  Credit monitoring needs to be an ongoing process, not just to catch mistakes, but so that you know what your credit score can handle at any given time.
  • Do consider automating payments. Most creditors offer some sort of direct draft option.  Just be sure the funds are there!

Getting and Keeping a New Business Credit Score is Vital for Your Business

If you have bad business credit, or no business credit at all, you definitely need a new business credit score. It won’t happen on its own however.  You have to be intentional.  It isn’t hard, but there is a definite process that takes some time.  If you are willing to put in the time and trust the process though, the resulting business credit score could open a world of possibilities for your business.

The post New Business Credit Score Do’s and Don’ts appeared first on Credit Suite.

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How to Set Up a New Business in North Dakota

Starting a Business in North Dakota

Have you been wondering: how do I start a business in North Dakota? And more importantly, can I do so no matter what the economic conditions are? Can I start a new business in North Dakota during a recession?

New Business in North Dakota: Pros and Cons

North Dakota is in the top twenty states to start a new business in, per a 2016 article by Business Insider. The state has the highest opportunity share of new business owners in the country.

A somewhat high density of startup companies is also positive.  North Dakota also has the nation’s second highest per capita GDP at $66,507.

But the state also has the second lowest percentage of available employees.

The energy boom has created 15,000 jobs in the state over the last decade. This is in addition to 9,400 in North Dakota business resource and financial services. Also, the state’s construction employment is up 29% since 2002.

Dizzying New Heights

In 2019, Dollar Sprout vaulted North Dakota up to the number four state for starting a new business. Keep in mind; their methods differ from those of Business Insider.

Why the terrific new ranking? North Dakota has the best 10-year survival rate for all businesses in the country. Unemployment is exceptionally low, and the cost of living goes easy on anyone’s wallet.

New Business in North Dakota: Initiatives

North Dakota cut individual income tax rates by 18% and also corporate taxes by nearly 20%. This came to about $900 million in tax relief over just four years.

The state also created the Small Business Technology Investment Program. This is a $1 million fund providing grants of up to $50,000 matched 2:1 with an angel fund investment.

North Dakota Exports

Exports grew nearly 250% between 2000 and 2009. Compare this to 35% nationwide. The state intends to increase funding for the Trade Office by roughly $490,000. This is to better market North Dakota products and services to the world.

These funds are meant to acquire services in shipping logistics. They are also meant to help North Dakota businesses handle the complexities of a global economy.

The governor’s office has also recommended a North Dakota business resource. This is in the form of state assistance to qualified business owners looking for capital formation.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – North Dakota Top Industries


Per the 2010 – 2020 North Dakota Economic Development Strategic Plan, the biggest growth industries in North Dakota are professional and technical services and management. The state is also known for its agriculture and oil and gas production.

Also, as in virtually all states, health care and social assistance are also large employment sectors.

Smart business owners can find new opportunities. Work with bigger industries in the state. Offer goods or services such as trucking for any industry. More ideas are data and other computer support such as programming. Yet more ideas are the development and distribution of safety equipment.

Here is how to start business in North Dakota.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – North Dakota New Business Secretary of State Requirements

Register a Business Name

Register a business name on the official North Dakota government website.

Business Permits and Licenses

The New Business Registration website of North Dakota also has licensing information.

Local Permits and Licenses

Check with your local municipality, city or county office or website. See if there may be any local licensing or permit requirements.

For example, in Fargo, go to the Starting a Business page on the city of Fargo website.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – Business Registration

Business Registration: the easiest way is by using the State of North Dakota New Business Registration website.

Tax Registration

Find all needed guidelines, information and forms with the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner. The “For Businesses” page is useful.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – Virtual Offices

Alliance does not offer North Dakota virtual business offices.

But Regus offers North Dakota virtual business office space in Fargo. Business owners in Bismarck or Grand Forks, and in other parts of the state, should try local business owners. Or ask computer user groups for help.

Other options may be to look for virtual business office space in nearby states. They are Minnesota, Montana, and also South Dakota.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – Establish Business Credit

Company credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t link to an owner’s personal credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the solitary employee of the company.

As a result, a business owner’s business and personal credit scores can be very different.

The Benefits

Because business credit is independent from individual, it helps to secure an entrepreneur’s personal assets, in case of legal action or business bankruptcy.

Also, with two distinct credit scores, a business owner can get two separate cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles purchasing power.

Another advantage is that even startups can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a formula for frustration. But building small business credit, when done correctly, is a plan for success.

Individual credit scores are dependent on payments but also various other elements like credit usage percentages.

But for small business credit, the scores truly only hinge on whether a business pays its debts on a timely basis.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

The Process

Establishing company credit is a process, and it does not occur without effort. A business must proactively work to establish business credit.

However, it can be done readily and quickly, and it is much more rapid than establishing individual credit scores.

Vendors are a big aspect of this process.

Performing the steps out of order will result in repetitive rejections. Nobody can start at the top with small business credit. For instance, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a rejection 100% of the time.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – Small Business Fundability

A business needs to be fundable to lending institutions and merchants.

For that reason, a business will need a professional-looking website and e-mail address. And it needs to have website hosting from a merchant such as GoDaddy.

And also, business telephone and fax numbers should have a listing on

Also, the business telephone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the equivalent).

A business will also need a bank account dedicated strictly to it, and it needs to have all of the licenses essential for operating.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

Working with the IRS

Visit the IRS web site and obtain an EIN for the small business. They’re free. Pick a business entity such as corporation, LLC, etc.

A business can start off as a sole proprietor. But they will most likely want to change to a variety of corporation or an LLC.

This is in order to reduce risk. And it will maximize tax benefits.

A business entity will matter when it involves tax obligations and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the business owner is it when it comes to liability and tax obligations. Nobody else is responsible.

Sole Proprietors Take Note

If you operate a business as a sole proprietor, then at the very least be sure to file for a DBA. This is ‘doing business as’ status.

If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the small business name. Therefore, you can end up being personally accountable for all company financial obligations.

Also, according to the Internal Revenue Service, with this arrangement there is a 1 in 7 chance of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 possibility for corporations! Steer clear of confusion and considerably reduce the chances of an IRS audit at the same time.

Kicking Off the Business Credit Reporting Process

Start at the D&B website and obtain a cost-free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a small business into their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.

Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s sites for the company. You can do this at If there is a record with them, check it for accuracy and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.

This way, Experian and Equifax will have something to report on.

Vendor Credit Tier

First you need to build trade lines that report. This is also called the vendor credit tier. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.

And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin to acquire credit in the retail and cash credit tiers.

These varieties of accounts often tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are in most cases Net 30, instead of revolving.

Hence, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you need to pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.


Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts have to be paid fully within 60 days. In contrast to with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you must pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.

To start your business credit profile properly, you need to get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting agencies. Once that’s done, you can then make use of the credit.

Then pay back what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.

Vendor Credit Tier – It Helps

Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are vendors that will grant an approval with very little effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

You want 5 to 8 of these to move onto the next step, which is the retail credit tier. But you may need to apply more than once to these vendors. So, this is to prove you are trustworthy and will pay timely.

Retail Credit Tier

Once there are 5 to 8 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then progress to the retail credit tier. These are service providers like Office Depot and Staples.

Just use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the small business’s EIN on these credit applications.

One such example is Lowe’s. They report to D&B, Equifax and Business Experian. They need to see a D-U-N-S and a PAYDEX score of 78 or more.

Fleet Credit Tier

Are there 8 to 10 accounts reporting? Then move to the fleet credit tier. These are companies like BP and Conoco. Use this credit to buy fuel, and to fix, and maintain vehicles. Only use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make certain to apply using the business’s EIN.

One such example is Shell. They report to D&B and Business Experian. They need to see a PAYDEX Score of 78 or higher and a 411 company telephone listing.

Shell may say they want a certain amount of time in business or revenue. But if you already have sufficient vendor accounts, that won’t be necessary. And you can still get an approval.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

Cash Credit Tier

Have you been responsibly handling the credit you’ve gotten up to this point? Then move to the cash credit tier. These are service providers such as Visa and MasterCard. Only use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.

One example is the Fuelman MasterCard. They report to D&B and Equifax Business. They want to see a PAYDEX Score of 78 or more. And they also want you to have 10 trade lines reporting on your D&B report.

Plus, they want to see a $10,000 high credit limit reporting on your D&B report (other account reporting).

In addition, they want you to have an established small business.

These are service providers such as Walmart and Dell, and also Home Depot, BP, and Racetrac. These are usually MasterCard credit cards. If you have 14 trade accounts reporting, then these are doable.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any mistakes as soon as possible. Get in the practice of checking credit reports and digging into the specifics, and not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for only $24/month. See:

Update Your Records

Update the information if there are mistakes or the data is incomplete.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to challenge any problems in your records. Errors in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs generally want you to dispute in a particular way.


Disputing credit report mistakes typically means you send a paper letter with copies of any proof of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never mail the original copies. Always send copies and keep the originals.

Fixing credit report errors also means you precisely spell out any charges you contest. Make your dispute letter as understandable as possible. Be specific about the issues with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.

Start a New Business in North Dakota – A Word about Business Credit Building

Always use credit responsibly! Never borrow more than what you can pay off. Monitor balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying punctually and in full will do more to raise business credit scores than nearly anything else.

Growing small business credit pays. Good business credit scores help a business get loans. Your credit issuer knows the company can pay its financial obligations. They understand the small business is authentic.

The small business’s EIN links to high scores and credit issuers won’t feel the need to ask for a personal guarantee.

Business credit is an asset which can help your company in years to come.

Learn more here and get started toward opening a new business in North Dakota.

Want to start a new business someplace else in America? Then check out our handy guide to starting a business in any state in the country.


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