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Can You Get a Business Credit Card With Only A Tax ID Number?

06/18/2008

One of our readers, Frank Mills, sent us this question:

I have heard that you can apply for a business credit card and get a fresh start by using only the tax id number but it seems that all of the cards that we have checked want your social security number. Is there such a card to apply with only the tax id number?

Thanks for your question Frank.

Here is the answer:
If your business is a sole proprietorship, then you will almost always be asked for your social security number, as well as your Tax ID number before you will be able to get credit.

There are some online rumors and “advice” that cite companies like Staples and a few other companies (see the list below) that will allow you to open up an account without your social security number.

So, from here you really have to take a quick look at your motivation and goals:

1) If your personal credit is bad, and you are only starting the business with the hopes of a quick fresh start in the credit department, then you would be better off not starting a business.

Instead consider getting a secured credit card and making the payments on time. From there you can start applying for retail credit cards, and then after another 6 months to a year of on time payments you can move up to an unsecured Visa or MasterCard. This will raise your credit score legitimately and does not really take that much effort – just the initial deposit for a secured credit card, and regular payments. (Check out this link for our reviews of the best secured credit cards to rebuild your credit.)

2) If you really want to start a business and you have bad personal credit, then you will want to take the following steps:

From there you should be well on your way to establishing excellent business credit.

Have a question for us? Leave a comment below!

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21 Comments
Ariel
August 29, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

Just tried to open up a Staples account, they said they used to open accounts if they could verify the business, but now some sort of score has to be attached the process so if your business does not have credit, then they will use your personal credit score to make a determination.

They still do report to D&B for the sake of the business’s credit, but anyway cross them off as a quick way to get some credit for your business.

Also Chevron asks on their application for PG information so cross them off as well.

Reply
    Tim
    July 21, 2017 @ 6:02 pm

    I just got a chevron for my startup $500 no questions asked. So cross your comment out!!

    Reply
Jenna
August 29, 2008 @ 5:50 pm

Ariel,

Thank you so much! I will update the article.

Reply
Yolanda
November 5, 2008 @ 3:46 pm

I have to say, I have a child care center need credit to build my credit report. I had a tradeline 1 on Experian which was a airtran line i don’t know what that is but it helped me on getting lines of credit with

Staple
Office Depot
exxon
Shell
and
sunoco
Fedex
Att
all with good credit lines to start.

I would suggest getting starting with Fedex, att or something like that once you get 1 tradeline they will approve you.

Good luck all

Reply
Cheryl
January 27, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

I am a treasurer for a 20+ year old preschool and we are trying to get a business credit card to make supply purchases. We have a Sams Club credit card for purchases at Sams Club & Walmart only. We are run by a Board of Directors but for safety and security reasons no one wants to put up their Social Security number for a credit card. Any ideas on how I can make this credit card happen?

Reply
Judy
January 30, 2009 @ 6:07 pm

Cheryl,
I am in the exact same situation-a non-profit with a board made up of volunteers. I don’t want to use my SS# or credit to get a bank credit card for the non-profit because I don’t want to be responsible for any mistakes they make in paying, or have my name on their card after I quit. We do have an Office Max credit card, which we use for supplies, but I sometimes need to charge something and have to use my personal credit card and get reimbursed. Not a great solution.

Reply
Faith
April 28, 2009 @ 2:07 am

Hi Yolanda
Airtran is the name of an Airline, perhaps you went on vacation and selected the option to “fly now and pay later” at that time. Usually if you pay it off within 90 days it’s at $0 interest.

Faith

Reply
lynette
June 7, 2009 @ 9:45 am

How can I start getting credit under my business name – tax id numnber, I have heard people say you can get a credit report score under your tax id number how can I make that happen?

Reply
Chris
October 20, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

Hello,

Does anyone happen to know of a company that does indeed offer a “secured business credit card”? (I should say a reputable company)

Also, what would the dollar amounts be to start up a secured card?

Thank you,

Chris

Reply
    April 21, 2016 @ 12:16 am

    Wells Fargo has secured business credit cards starting @ $500 to secure

    Reply
Brandon
December 14, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

Wells Fargo has a secured business credit card

Reply
Adam
February 22, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

Wells Fargo does NOT offer a secured business card. They stopped offering these over 3 years ago.

Reply
Luc
August 17, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

Is this updated? Do any of those companies listed about still offer credit without SSN?

Reply
    Justin
    April 21, 2016 @ 12:21 am

    If a new business with no trade lines then all of those listed you wil get denied. You must start with Vendor Credit for your business that have Net 30 payment terms. For more info go to http://www.fortifiedalliancellc.com and sign up for their Free 3day mini-eCourse, I really learned a lot from it.

    Reply
Ann
February 17, 2012 @ 10:23 am

is it possible to obtain a business credit card with only a tax id number. what does one need to do or present in order to obtain such a credit card. Still need clarity despite the post above. Thank you kindly.

Reply
    February 17, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

    Ann

    if you go to an Amex business card application page, there is a clause saying you can get credit based on your tax id. You will have to include your SSN. But it appears that if you do have a business credit history and it is good, you may be approved for it even if your personal credit is not that great (at least that is my interpretation). So try Amex business card and see if it works out.

    Reply
Michael
September 2, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

No American Express will not give a corperation a credit card unless you have over 100 employees and also you have to personally sign for it even though it is in a company name. I have been with them over 25years and they have not changed the rules and I have asked a thousand times.

So the lady above is not telling the truth.

Reply
Doctor Vince
August 25, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

Aug 2013. As of Today Office Max and Dell will work with you on a line of Credit with an EIN Number only. The next step is to get that free DUNNS number and pay the $69 to $140 for them to certify a credit history based on the new EIN number you have. This will take a few monts to a year, but monthlythey havce your new biz EIN numbered credit score. After a year you can apply with your EIN & Dunns Number to Commercial cards such as Home Depot or Lowes. It takes time to get establishd with a EIN number, it will not happen in 30 or `180 days. No matter how much non sense you see, It takes time to build a EIN number score. In the mean time pay the bills that cime in under the EIN number. DONOT make late paynents, they hit your EIN credit twice as bad as a personal SSN number.

Reply
    Nathan
    July 9, 2016 @ 6:07 pm

    This is not good advice. You do not need to pay a dime to Duns for anything. You got sold on a service you could have easily done yourself and I can tell you that you won’t get a thing for your money. A Duns number will self create. Open 2 NET 30 accounts with a local store that reports to them. Buy something and pay it off early. You need to use these accounts monthly. It can’t just be a one time thing. Don’t even call Duns. Don’t bother with the website either. Just do this and your Duns number will self create. THEN go to the site and do a search on your own company. Just MAKE sure that whoever you open your accounts with to ACTUALLY report. Open accounts that will be useful to your business as they will show the most use and payment history. Don’t bother with huge amounts of office supplies if you are a mechanic.. for example.

    Reply
Dwight pitts
September 24, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

When I get a tax ID number when can I apply for a business credit card.
How long do I have to wait.

Reply
philip hamrick
February 23, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

Savvy article , I am thankful for the insight . Does someone know if I can get a sample a form document to complete ?

Reply

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