What You Need to Apply for a Business Credit Card

Plan to provide specifics about your business income, as well as personal details like your Social Security number.
Updated
Profile photo of Kelsey Sheehy
Written by Kelsey Sheehy
Senior Writer
Profile photo of Ryan Lane
Edited by Ryan Lane
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

MORE LIKE THISSmall Business

Small-business credit card applications ask for details about both you and your business. But what you actually need to apply and qualify for a business credit card — and what isn’t strictly required — may surprise you.

Here’s a high-level breakdown of typical business credit card requirements:

Needed get a business card

Not needed to get a business card

Good to excellent personal credit.

Business entity.

Proof of your identity (e.g. Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

Business revenue.

Employer Identification Number.

Business credit score.

Yes, you’re applying for a business credit card, but your personal finances play a pivotal role in the approval process. You'll need to provide your SSN or ITIN so card issuers check your creditworthiness and verify your identity.

The scope of your business matters, too. However, it mostly helps determine factors like your credit limit — not whether you can get a business credit card at all.

Advertisement

 
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card
Chase

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating 
4.8
Annual Fee 

$0

Requirements to get a business credit card

While the bar for approval varies by card and issuer, the following requirements for a business credit card are typically the same across the board:

Personal information

Most business credit card issuers do a hard credit check when you apply, and you’ll typically need good to excellent personal credit (generally a FICO score of 690 or above) to qualify. This is especially true for startups, which can’t lean on years of business success to bolster their application.

Expect to provide the following personal details in your business credit card application:

  • Name.

  • Date of birth.

  • Social Security number. (You generally can’t get a business credit card without your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.)

  • Address, email and phone number.

  • Annual income (include all income, not just what you derive from your business).

As part of the application process, you’ll also most likely have to provide a personal guarantee. This is a promise that, if your business can’t pay the bill for your business credit card, you’ll be on the hook for it personally.

Advertisement
NerdWallet rating 

4.8

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.4

/5

Annual fee 

$0

Annual fee 

$150

Annual fee 

$0

Regular APR 

18.49%-24.49% Variable APR

Regular APR 

N/A

Rates & Fees

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 

690-850
(Good - Excellent)

Recommended credit score 

720-850
(Excellent)

Recommended credit score 

690-850
(Good - Excellent)

Business information

You need a business to apply for a business credit card. But that doesn’t mean you need a formal business entity or history of business income — a side hustle or hobby that occasionally brings in revenue may be enough to qualify.

Plan to provide the following information about your business:

  • Business name and contact information: Give the full legal name of your business, along with the address and phone number used to register your business. Sole proprietors can use their own name, and home-based businesses can use the home address.

  • Time in business: Applications will ask for the date your business was established or the number of years in business.

  • Number of employees: Don’t count yourself.

  • Business category and type: This is typically a dropdown menu. Choose what most closely aligns with your business.

  • Business structure: Note whether you’re a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation or nonprofit organization.

  • Federal tax ID: Your employer identification number, individual tax identification number or Social Security number, depending on your business.

  • Business revenue and expenses: List your annual business revenue (put $0 if you don’t have any yet) and provide an estimate of how much you would charge to the card each month.

Frequently asked questions

You don’t need a business license to get a business credit card. But you typically do need to be engaged in some sort of business activity, whether that’s full-fledged self-employment, freelancing or a side hustle. Basically, if you have business expenses, you can get a business credit card, provided you have sufficient income and credit history to qualify.

You are not required to use a business credit card for business expenses, but there are benefits to doing so. Small-business credit cards typically have higher credit limits and a wider variety of spending categories for rewards and bonuses. Using a separate credit card for business expenses also keeps things streamlined and makes it easier to find deductions come tax time.

One blue credit card on a flat surface with coins on both sides.
Smart money moves for your businessGet access to business insights and recommendations, plus expert content.
Sign up for free
Best Business Credit Cards
ProductAnnual feeRewards rateIntro offerLearn more
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating 
4.8
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

$150 2%-5% 

Cashback

$1,200 
Apply now

on Capital One's website