Business and credit cards operate in the same manner. You’ll make purchases and repay the amount you spend over unless you choose to pay the balance in full each month (before the billing cycle ends) to avoid interest charges. There’s another key similarity – the application process is the same, and you’ll need to provide your personal information to be considered for a credit card account. But there are instances where you may be able to get a business credit card by only providing your EIN.
What is an EIN?
An EIN, or Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to business entities in the U.S. or U.S. territories for identification purposes. It can be retrieved free of charge by applying online or via fax, postal mail or telephone (international applicants only).
Is It Possible to Get a Business Credit Card with EIN Only?
You can use your company’s EIN in lieu of your Social Security number to apply for a business credit card. However, this option is only available through a small number of credit card companies, and your company should be registered in the U.S. to qualify.
The types of business credit cards you can get by only providing an EIN include:
- Business credit cards: You’ll need to identify business credit cards that do not require a personal guarantee, which means the business is solely responsible for the account.
- Corporate business credit cards: As the name suggests, these cards are only available to incorporated businesses or those structured as C-corporations (C-corps), S-corporations (S-corps), Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) or Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs). Beyond structural requirements, most credit card issuers also require these companies to meet certain revenue and time in business thresholds to be approved for a business credit card.
- Corporate store credit cards: Some retailers offer corporate store credit cards that are available without providing a personal guarantee. The APRs and fees vary by the card issuer, but it’s not uncommon for store-specific incentives, like rewards, cashback and discounts, to be offered to cardholders.
- Corporate gas cards: If your company operates in the logistics industry or if you have representatives or company cars on the road, a corporate gas card could make sense. Also known as fleet fuel cards, some are also accessible with only an EIN and feature benefits to help maximize your company’s dollar at the pump. Like other corporate credit cards, you’ll likely need to have a certain amount of income to be eligible for consideration.
What are the Usual Requirements for a Business Credit Card?
It varies by the credit card issuer. However, you’ll generally need to provide the following information to be eligible for a business credit card:
- Your company’s name
- Your company’s annual revenues
- The number of employees you have (if applicable)
- The number of years you’ve been in business
You’ll also need to share some information about yourself, like your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and gross annual earnings.
This information will be evaluated by the credit card company, along with your creditworthiness, to gauge your eligibility for a credit card along with the credit limit and terms.
Why Credit Card Issuers Require an SSN and Other Requirements
Most require a personal guarantee to protect themselves, which means you’ll need to enter your Social Security number and agree to a hard credit check. The credit card issuer will likely also inquire about your income and housing expenses to determine if you earn enough to cover the monthly payments and ultimately repay what you borrow.
Are There Advantages in Getting a Business Credit Card with EIN Only?
You Have No or Poor Credit
Small business owners with a limited credit history or past credit missteps often find it challenging to qualify for traditional business credit cards. And if they are eligible, the options are limited to subprime cards with steep rates and lower credit limits. But with business credit cards that don’t require a personal guarantee, those limitations aren’t in place, and more attractive options could be available.
You’re a Start-up, or Your Business is Just Starting
You’ll likely want to tap into more funding opportunities as your business grows. But whether you’re just starting out or are in the first few years of operations, you’ll need to build business credit to position yourself to secure working capital in the future. And if you’re able to get a business credit card only using an EIN and use it responsibly, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your funding goals.
You Want to Avoid Liability
As mentioned above, applying for a business credit card with only an EIN releases you from being personally liable for business debts. Consequently, the credit card company cannot hold you personally liable in the unfortunate event you’re unable to repay the amount you borrow.
You Don’t Have an SSN
If you obtained your EIN using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) due to your status as a non-resident, getting a business credit card can be difficult. This is another reason to lean towards cards that do not require a Social Security number or personal guarantee to get approved.
How to Get a Business Credit Card with EIN Only
Before you apply for a business credit card, confirm that the credit card issuers accept EINs and don’t require personal guarantees. If so, complete the application as you normally would and include your EIN instead of your Social Security number, along with any other information needed to make a lending decision.
Get Credit That You Wouldn’t Ordinarily Qualify For
Even if you’ve already tried applying for business credit cards using only an EIN but haven’t had much luck, there’s a viable alternative.
Consider Fund&Grow, a platform that’s helped thousands of entrepreneurs secure more than 1.4 billion in funding. Its 12-month done-for-you funding membership helps you access up to $250,000 in unsecured funding.
Here’s what to expect when you join:
- Access up to $100,000 in unsecured business credit within 45 days of enrolling and up to $250,000 over the first 12 months
- Access up to $100,000 in unsecured corporate credit that does not require a personal guarantee or personal credit check and helps improve your business credit rating
- Unlimited credit coaching sessions for the first 12 months
- Expert guidance on hard credit inquiry removals that could be hindering you from business credit approval
- Complimentary business formation services that include a Tax ID with instant seasoning to facilitate the funding process
Plus, there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee if you enroll and the membership doesn’t quite suit your needs. Visit the website today to enroll or book a call with a business lending consultant to learn more about the program. Representatives are also available by phone Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST to speak with you regarding your unique funding needs and explain how Fund&Grow can help.