How to get an LLC credit card |
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How to get an LLC credit card

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Protect your assets and get simple funding in a few simple steps.

Forming an LLC helps you guard your assets, increase your business’s credibility and gain tax benefits. A business credit card can be a tremendously helpful funding solution for your LLC. Higher spending limits than personal credit cards and protection for your personal credit score both make business plastic an attractive choice.

How to get an LLC business credit card

Securing an LLC business credit credit card is a simple, four-step process.

  1. Form an LLC
  2. Establish business credit
  3. Find the right business credit card for your LLC
  4. Apply and wait to hear a decision

Form an LLC

Follow these steps to form an LLC:

  1. Pick a name for your LLC. Check that the name doesn’t already exist and that it complies with your state’s laws.
  2. Nominate someone as a registered agent. This person will act as your business’s point of contact. They must be a legal resident of your state and allowed to do business in your state.
  3. File articles of organization — the formal paperwork that creates your LLC. You can do so by mail or in person. Pay any relevant filing fees to your state.
  4. Make an LLC operating agreement. This is a document that specifies your LLC’s ownership structure and how your LLC operates. Not all states require this, but it’s a good idea to create one.
  5. Apply for relevant licenses and permits. Requirements will vary based on your state.

Your state may be one of the few that requires you to file a statement of information. This document typically includes your LLC’s registered agent, officers, business address and mailing address.

Establish business credit

Your personal credit score gauges your ability to pay back debt. Your business credit, on the other hand, gauges your business’s ability to pay back debt.

You might already have a credit score, but your business might not. In that case, it’s wise to establish business credit. Doing so will let you borrow larger amounts and safeguard your personal credit.

Pro tip: How to start building business credit

Look for vendors who will start a credit profile for your business and report your payment activity to business credit bureaus. Three to five vendors is a good number to start with. If you consistently make your payments in-full and on time, you’ll soon have positive business credit.

The three largest business credit bureaus are Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian. Before you apply for an LLC business credit card, check your credit reports with them for a fee.

LEARN MORE: How to build business credit

A business card can reward you for your business purchases and help you strengthen your business credit. Here are a few factors to compare:

  • Fees. Consider whether you want to add another expense to your business in the form of an annual fee. If not, look for a card without one. Also consider other potential costs, such as foreign transaction and balance transfer fees.
  • Welcome offer. A welcome offer can give you a burst of cash back, points or miles relatively quickly. To earn it, you’ll probably need to spend a certain amount on the card within three months.
  • 0% intro APR. You could accrue zero interest on your purchases or balance transfers with a 0% intro APR card. Intro periods typically last for nine to 15 months.
  • Rewards. Pick a card that offers bonus cash back, points or miles for the categories your business spends most in.
Compare business credit cards
Updated May 22nd, 2019
Name Product Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
12.24% to 20.24% variable
Enjoy a market-leading 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles, reverting to a variable 12.24% to 20.24% APR. Rates & Fees
3x on travel, shipping, Internet, cable, phone and online ads up to $150,000 combined annually; then 1x after and on all other purchases
18.24% to 23.24% variable
80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
5% back at US office supply stores and on US wireless telephone services on up to $50,000 annually (then 1%). 3% on a chosen category on up to $50,000 annually, then 1% after and on everything else
14.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable
Save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After that your APR will be 14.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable. Rates & fees
2x points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 annually, then 1x points
15.49%, 18.49% or 21.49% variable
Earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 with no category restrictions. Rates & fees
5% on office supplies, Internet, cable and phone up to $25,000 combined annually; 2% on gas and dining up to $25,000 combined annually; 1% on all other purchases
15.49% to 21.49% variable
$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months

Compare up to 4 providers

Apply and wait to hear a decision

To apply for a business credit card, you’ll typically need to provide information about your LLC that includes:

  • The legal name of your LLC
  • Your LLC’s mailing address and phone number
  • Your LLC’s industry, number of employees and years in business
  • Your LLC’s annual business revenue
  • Your LLC’s tax identification number
  • Information about you, the authorizing officer. This may include your name, address, date of birth, annual income, contact details, mother’s maiden name and Social Security number.

Simply fill out the credit card application, sign a personal guarantee and submit the application.

Why do I need to sign a personal guarantee for my business credit card?

Most providers require a personal guarantee to be assured they’ll be repaid for debt your business accrues. This is the case even when you have an LLC. It’s always wise to only spend as much on your credit card as you can personally pay back.
If you don’t want to sign a personal guarantee, look for business credit cards that waive this requirement.

Instant approvals are uncommon, so allow up to two weeks for approval. Call your provider and speak with a representative to get any questions about your application answered.

Best LLC credit cards

CardBest for …Why
American Express® Business Gold CardOnline businesses and e-commerceEarn 4x points on 2 categories of your choice on up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, then 1x points. Categories include US purchases for advertising in select media, US purchases made directly from select technology providers and more.
The Plum Card® from American ExpressFreelancersGet 60 days following your account opening to pay off your purchases without incurring interest.
U.S. Bank Business PlatinumStartupsLong intro APR for a business credit card.
Spark® Cash from Capital One®RestaurantsUnlimited 2% cash back on every purchase.
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardBusinesses with frequent travel needsEarn 3x points on travel, shipping, eligible advertising purchases and more for the first $150,000 in combined purchases every card year, then 1x points.

What if my LLC gets denied a business credit card?

First, figure out why your business was denied. Common reasons include:

  • No credit history
  • Negative marks on your credit history
  • Missing or incorrect information on your application
  • Insufficient business income

If you think your application was denied in error, you can request reconsideration with the provider. Your provider may give you the chance to submit extra supporting documentation and manually review your application.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to look at your business’s finances and credit. Work on improving your business’s cash flow and paying bills on time, and you may have much better odds with your next application.

A credit card isn’t the only way to get access to capital, so you can also consider other funding options.

Bottom line

Once you’ve formed an LLC and established business credit, you’re set to apply for a business credit card. Compare different business products based on the factors discussed and you’re on your way to finding your perfect card.

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