What You Need to Apply for a Business Credit Card

Plan to provide specifics about your business as well as personal details such as income and date of birth.
Kelsey Sheehy
By Kelsey Sheehy 
Edited by Sally Lauckner

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Applying for a small-business credit card is similar to applying for a consumer card: You give the card issuer personal and financial details to help it determine your creditworthiness.

Business credit cards also require information about your company’s structure, spending, earnings and employees. Together, these details factor into the card issuer’s decision, as well as what your credit limit and rate will be if you’re approved.

The bar for approval varies by card and issuer, but the requirements for a business credit card are typically the same across the board.

Here’s what you need to apply for a business credit card.

Business information

  • 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: Typically a dropdown menu. Choose what most closely aligns with your business.

  • Business structure: Note if 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 and provide an estimate of how much you would charge to the card each month.

Personal information

Yes, you’re applying for a business credit card, but your personal credit history plays a major role in the approval process. 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 addition to your business specifics:

  • Name.

  • Date of birth.

  • Social Security number.

  • Address, email and phone number.

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

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.