Atlanta-based credit reporting agency Equifax has launched a new service intended to help entrepreneurs better understand the credit worthiness of suppliers and business partners.
Knowing the financial health and payment history of other companies is a key factor in establishing business relationships and getting paid during the current economic downturn.
Credit information is available from Equifax Small Business. Users can purchase Equifax’s new Business Credit Report on about 25 million businesses nationwide. Individual reports are $49.95 each. A discount package of five reports is available at $199.95.
“It would be useful,” says Lisa Aumiller, a veterinarian and sole practitioner in Moorestown, N.J. “I have some accounts where I bill $2,000 to $3,000 a month, so paying $49.95 for a credit report would be a good safety check. I haven’t had any trouble yet, but with this economy, that can change quickly – and some people may not be forthright about how their business is doing,” Aumiller told BusinessNewsDaily.
The service also helps companies better understand their own credit score, allowing them to change payment procedures or, if necessary, correct erroneous information.
Equifax has established an exclusive partnership with the Small Business Financial Exchange , a group composed of about 400 small business financial institutions with information on nearly 25 million firms.
Credit reports include:
- A summary of a company’s financial and non-financial obligations.
- A summary of public records showing any judgments, lawsuits, liens and required business registrations with state agencies.
- Three scores to assess a company’s credit risk, payment history and likelihood of failure.
The information can help small businesses make better decisions on the extension of credit to customers, compliance with state regulations and managing overall credit risk.
Equifax also provides a Business Credit Monitoring and Alert service to help users keep tabs on key suppliers, critical partners and major customers. The service reviews a company’s credit report and sends out an e-mail when there are significant changes in a company’s rating. The service also helps businesses monitor their own credit scores to better manage their commercial credit standing.