<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-WTMQ4QSL" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden" title="gtm-frame"></iframe>Understanding credit scores for businesses
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Business credit score explained

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is calculated by Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) and used by lenders, banks, and suppliers, as:

  • An evaluation of how credit worthy a business is.
  • A guide to a business’ ability to pay back debt and the risk of default.

How scores are calculated

A business credit rating is usually a number between 0 and 1001. The higher the score, the safer it should be to extend credit to the business. A credit report will usually build up a picture of a business using various factors, including1:

  • Companies House records, and other publicly available data.
  • Any County Court Judgements (CCJs) against you.
  • Financial information, including from your current account providers, and any credit providers you may have.
  • Your history of repaying other credit.

However, each Credit Reference Agency uses a slightly different criteria, based on their own unique algorithms to calculate credit scores. This means that each Credit Reference Agency might give you a different score.

How to check a score

Your business credit rating is so important that it’s worth checking from time to time. Experian and Equifax are the biggest Credit Reference Agencies and most used by lenders, but there are others:

  • Creditsafe
  • TransUnion

Why your rating might not be as good as you think it should be

Just paying bills on time alone won’t give you a great credit rating, because many factors can have a negative effect2, such as:

  • A history of missing credit repayments or making repayments late.
  • Bankruptcies, CCJs and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA).
  • Being late with filing your accounts to Companies House.
  • High levels of debt.
  • Making multiple credit applications in a short amount of time.

When personal credit scores can play a role

If your business hasn’t had time to build a credit rating, personal ratings will come under scrutiny – so be especially careful to maintain a healthy score. The most likely people to have personal credit scores checked are:

  • Sole traders.
  • Directors and partners of new or small businesses.

What impact can a poor score have on your business?

You’ll be seen as a higher risk to financial institutions and lenders because it’s harder to assess how reliable your business is at making repayments. That’s why building your company credit rating is important.

  • It shows lenders and other businesses that you’re likely to repay loans or pay supplier bills on time.
  • It can help you to get a good (low) interest rate and better terms on a loan, saving your business a significant amount.

Business Creditbuilder

If you’re a Zempler Bank business customer and have a Business Extra account, you could build your credit score over the coming year with our business Creditbuilder tool. 


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Terms and Conditions apply, including applicants being resident in the UK & aged 18+ and, if relevant, businesses being based in the UK. 

For full website terms including information on Zempler Bank, Mastercard and use of trademarks, please see our full legal disclosures at https://www.zemplerbank.com/legal/. Zempler Bank Limited (“Zempler Bank”) is registered in England and Wales at Cottons Centre, Cottons Lane, London SE1 2QG (No.04947027). Zempler Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under Firm Reference Number 671140. 

Zempler Bank provides credit facilities subject to approval and affordability, and where accounts continue to meet Zempler Bank credit criteria.