One of the most frequently asked questions from our viewers is, “do I qualify for a business credit card?” The short answer: if you’re generating money from a side business (or self-employed), you qualify for business credit cards.
A few examples of small businesses are someone who tutors on the weekend, pop-up shops, selling things online, and any freelance work. All of these would fall under a sole proprietorship, especially if you receive a 1099 form.
You can view credit card offers by going to the "Credit Card Offers" tab. Find offers for the respective cards in "Business Credit Cards." You don't have to use our links, but we're grateful when you do. Thank you for supporting AskSebby!
What is a sole proprietorship?
According to the U.S. Small Business Association:
"A sole proprietorship is a simple and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual with no distinction between the business and the owner. You are entitled to all profits and are responsible for all your business’s debts, losses, and liabilities."
What you need to know about business credit cards
Before we dive into how to apply for a business credit card, here are a few important things you need to know:
- Business cards don’t affect your average age of accounts. The credit inquiry falls off after one year.
- If you default on a business card, this will negatively impact your credit. Because you are the sole proprietor, you are liable for any expenses that you incur.
- On the flip side, if you do pay off your card on time and keep utilization low, this does not affect your personal credit score.
What are some reasons to get a business credit card?
- To separate expenses. Keeping your business and personal costs independent makes filing taxes at the end of the year much easier, especially when you don’t have to sort through different transactions on multiple credit cards.
- Sign up bonuses. If you get the personal and business version of the same credit card, you receive both bonuses. For example, you can qualify for the personal and business Amex SPG card and receive a 35,000 Starpoints for each card. Only do this if it makes sense for you and you can hit the minimum spend requirements.
Let’s walk through a business credit card application (watch video):
In this example, we’ll walk through an Amex SPG Business credit card application.
The information you’ll need:
- Business name — must include your name in the business
- Address — business address if you have one, if not, home address works
- Structure — Sole Proprietorship
- Years in business — how many years you’ve been in business
- Employees — 1 if only you
- Revenue —$ 0–50k
- Estimated monthly spend
- Tax Identification Number — you can use your SSN if you don’t have an EIN