Business Line of Credit Key Terms

Learn about lines of credit for businesses

When applying for a line of credit for a business, borrowers should understand the terms associated with such applications, including the business credit profile and the Dunn & Bradstreet ratings often used by lenders. Learn what is considered a small business and the 4 Cs of Credit. Businesses should understand these and other terms before to applying for a line of credit.

Small business

A small business is generally any business with fewer than 50 employees. The United State's Small Business Administration (SBA) also defines a small business by the amount of revenue obtained. Consider these standards and the size of the business when applying for a small business line of credit.
Small Business Administration's website to learn more about size requirements for a small business.

Credit categories, credit category

The business will be listed as one of several credit categories on a business credit report, depending on the payment behavior of the business. Other aspects, such as derogatory legal filings, may also lower the credit category for a business. The categories include acceptable, caution, warning, serious risk and bankruptcy and play a significant role in a business being able to obtain a credit line.

Business credit profile

A business credit profile is similar to a personal credit report. It details the payment history and credit background of a business rather than an individual. When applying for a business line of credit, the business credit profile is one of the key determinants of qualifying for the loan. Lenders use past credit experience to determine creditworthiness.

4 Cs of Credit

The 4 Cs of Credit are often used to determine a business' ability to manage credit. These include character, capacity, capital and conditions. As a business, it is important to understand how your business relates to in these areas prior to applying for a business line of credit.

Debt financing

Debt financing is the process of lending to businesses so thay can use the funds as working capital. In terms of a business owner, the lower the amount of debt financing on the books, the more promising the business looks to investors. The more debt financing the company needs to use, the less secure the business appears to be.

Dun & Bradstreet ratings

Dun & Bradstreet ratings outline a business' health and credit standing. These ratings are provided to interested investors and credit lenders in the form of a report.