What is a Credit Card for Small Business?

Dana Hinders

A credit card for small business is a very useful tool for any entrepreneur. Regardless of what type of business you own, you undoubtedly need to make many different purchases throughout the course of a typical workweek. A small business credit card gives you access to the funds necessary to obtain your supplies, while making it easier to keep track of tax-deductible business expenses.

Credit cards can allow a small business owner to extend his or her budget.
Credit cards can allow a small business owner to extend his or her budget.

Although many people assume that a credit card for small business is intended for someone who owns a restaurant, retail store, or similar establishment, any self-employed person can apply for a small business credit card. An artist who sells his work at a local gallery can use a small business credit card to purchase canvas, paint, and other supplies. A carpenter can use a small business credit card to buy the tools he needs for an upcoming project. A freelance writer can use a credit card for small business to pay for paper, postage, and research materials for his assignments.

Entrepreneurs may require small business credit cards to obtain supplies.
Entrepreneurs may require small business credit cards to obtain supplies.

Applying for a credit card for small business is similar to applying for a personal credit card. You want to look for a card with the lowest possible interest rate and no annual fee. Rewards cards that offer frequent flier miles, cash back bonuses, or other perks may be useful, assuming the terms of the agreement are favorable. Online account management tools are another helpful perk, especially if you do all of your own bookkeeping for your business.

One major difference between small business credit cards and your personal credit card is that you'll need to decide whether or not to request additional cards for any employees that you may have. It's a good idea to have credit cards available for employees who regularly need to buy supplies for your business, but this does present the potential for misuse. If you're concerned about whether or not your employees are trustworthy, you may want to make a point of selecting a credit card for small business that provides protection against unauthorized employee use.

If you find that you are having trouble finding an acceptable small business credit card due to previous problems with your company's credit history, a secured credit card may be an option to consider. However, these types of cards tend to have multiple account fees and higher interest rates than regular unsecured business credit cards. Additionally, some secured credit cards will only allow for a credit limit that is equal to the deposit you are required to make in a special savings account. For this reason, they are typically only used if a business must reestablish credit after a series of serious financial setbacks.

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