The business credit card could be a great acquisition for your small or home-based company. There are many benefits to using a business credit card, including keeping track of company expenses and cash flow, simplifying accounting tasks, and receiving discounts on business related products and services such as printing, publishing, car rental, flights, hotels, professional organizations and many more. Of course, it is not written in stone anywhere that you must use a business credit card, but when you consider the advantages that having a business credit card offers, you’re likely to see that it is almost a necessity.
The primary reason that many business owners apply for a separate business credit card is to help keep track of business expenses, and to create a clear separation between personal and business charges. This in itself is a great benefit, because it will prevent a small-business owner from having to charge office supplies, airline tickets, computers or other equipment on their personal credit card. Keeping your business and personal credit card expenses clearly separated is absolutely necessary unless you’re trying to make your tax return as complicated as humanly possible and invite an audit. Remember the three word rule: “keep ’em separated.”
Another big advantage of using a business credit card is being able to instantly see all of your business expenses in one simple report. This also is a great help at tax time, because you can simply go through your business credit card statements to easily determine which items are a tax deduction, and which are not. These days, many small-business credit cards even come with their own software applications, to help the business owner keep track of tax-deductible expenses.
While there is no doubt that using a business credit card can simplify your accounting chores, there is another very important reason to apply for a business card. In general, a new business will have no credit history at all. Even though the proprietor of the business may have a long and distinguished credit history, this will not directly transfer to the businesses credit rating. By acquiring a business credit card in the name of your company, you can begin building good credit for your business.
This may not seem like such an important issue right now, especially if your company is new, but as you grow, having a positive business credit history can be invaluable in dealing with banks and other lenders in the future. A business credit record is similar to a personal credit record, but there are different credit bureaus that collect information and report on your business credit history. In the US, the main business credit reporting bureaus are Dun & Bradstreet and Business Credit USA.
Establishing good business credit with these bureaus will ensure that your company is well prepared for future expansion, and will be able to secure a business loan if you should need one in the future.
Besides all these great reasons, a business credit card is also a great insurance policy of sorts. In other words, if unexpected expenses should arise, you’ll be prepared to deal with the situation, without suffering a major setback to your business.
When used responsibly, a business credit card can be a great asset to your small or home based business by simplifying your accounting procedures, and establishing a positive business credit history for your company.
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