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How to Get a Credit Card for a New Business

You don't need an established business credit history to qualify. Issuers usually look at your personal credit.
By Melissa Lambarena, Kelsey Sheehy
Last updated on May 7, 2024
Edited byRyan Lane

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⏰ Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Getting a business credit card for a new business, startup or side hustle is easier than you may think. You don’t need a business plan, or even any business income; if you have good personal credit (a FICO score of 690 or higher), you can qualify for most business credit cards.
Here are the steps to take, and what you’ll need, to get a credit card for your new business or startup.

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Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card
Chase

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
Annual Fee 

$0

1. Research and choose a business credit card

The best business cards for startups generally combine flexibility with perks and bonuses. Start by researching your options and choosing a business card that matches your needs and spending patterns.
Have a lot of upfront costs? A business card with a 0% intro APR period can help you finance big purchases and other startup costs.
Planning a lot of business travel? A business travel card that earns you points or miles on flights, hotels and rental cars can help finance future trips and make travel more comfortable, with perks like lounge access and free checked bags.
Not sure what your spending will look like? A cash-back business card with no annual fee is a great option for new businesses figuring out their expenses — bonus points if the card has a generous welcome offer.
Remember: You’ll need a personal FICO score of at least 690 to qualify for most business cards. Below that threshold, your options are largely limited to secured business cards, though there are some business cards for those with fair credit.

Ready to apply for a business credit card?

See our top picks for cash back, travel, balance transfers, intro APR offers and more.

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2. Gather your application information

Business credit card applications ask for both personal and business information. When you apply for your new business credit card, be prepared with the following:
  • Tax ID number: If you don't have a separate tax ID for your business (and many entrepreneurs don't), you can use your Social Security number.
  • The business's name: If your new business has a legal name, put it here. If not, put down your own name instead.
  • The legal structure/entity type: Sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership or LLC. 
  • Business address and phone number: Use your home address and personal phone number if you don’t have a separate business line or location.
  • The date you started your business: This one is pretty straightforward.
  • Total annual revenue for the business: Use your gross annual revenue (earnings before deducting expenses and losses) from the previous year. If your business doesn't have any revenue yet, simply put $0 on your application.
  • Type of industry: This is "what you do" in your business, such as transportation, construction or general services, for example.
You’ll also need to provide personal information to get a business credit card, including name, address, date of birth and Social Security number for yourself and any individuals who own 25% or more of the business.
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NerdWallet rating

5.0/5.0  

NerdWallet rating

5.0/5.0  

NerdWallet rating

4.6/5.0  

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$150

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

18.49%-24.49% Variable APR

Regular APR

Regular APR

18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Recommended credit score

690-850good - excellent

Recommended credit score

720-850excellent

Recommended credit score

690-850good - excellent

at Chase

at Capital One

at American Express

3. Understand the personal guarantee

Almost all business credit cards require a personal guarantee. This means that if your new business fails, you’ll be on the hook for any balance, and the credit card issuer can go after your personal assets. This is the case even if your business structure otherwise protects you from liability for company debts, as with a corporation or LLC.
Not comfortable signing a personal guarantee? Startups with professional investors or a healthy bank balance can consider a corporate card like Ramp or Brex. These cards rely on your business financials, rather than your personal credit, for approval. As a result, you’ll need at least $50,000 in a business bank account to qualify. Corporate cards are not available to unincorporated businesses, like sole proprietors.

4. Start building business credit

Opening a small-business credit card can be a first step toward establishing business credit for your new company. Similar to personal credit, a strong business credit score can unlock better rates and terms on loans, as well as on business insurance and with suppliers.
Most business cards report activity to business credit bureaus, like Dun & Bradstreet. On time, and even early payment, can help you build business credit. Negative activity — like a serious delinquency — is often reported to consumer credit bureaus as well. So failing to pay your business card can hurt your business and personal credit.
Best Business Credit Cards
ProductAnnual feeRewards rateIntro offerLearn more
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
Apply now

on Chase's website

$0 1%-5% 

Cashback

$350 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
Apply now

on Chase's website

$0 1.5% 

Cashback

$750 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Rates & Fees

$150 2%-5% 

Cashback

$1,200 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Rates & Fees

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Looking to earn rewards or build your credit? We’ll help match you to the perfect business credit card based on your qualifications.

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Find a business credit card that works as hard as you do

Looking to earn rewards or build your credit? We’ll help match you to the perfect business credit card based on your qualifications.