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Yes, you can get a small business credit card!

Maybe you’ve seen a great cash back new cardmember offer on a small business credit card. Or perhaps you found a small business card that earns rewards at a place you frequently shop like office supply stores. Regardless of your motivation, you might be asking yourself, “Can I get a small business credit card?”

Do you own a small business? The answer is probably yes. And if you own any small business of any kind, no matter how small, you are eligible to get a small business credit card with most issuers.

You probably have a small business

If you do anything outside of regular employment that earns money, you have a business. And what you do doesn’t have to be large or make much (any) profit. If you do work on a freelance basis, you have a business. If you occasionally drive for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, or do some other “gig-economy” work, you have a business. Even if you occasionally sell items on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or eBay, you have a small business.

You don’t have to incorporate and you don’t have to do anything to register your business. The IRS even has a term for someone who has a small business that hasn’t formally incorporated: sole proprietor.

Your business doesn’t have to be large, or even make money. If you have a hobby that may some day turn into a profitable venture, you have a business and can qualify for a small business credit card.

Business credit card requirements

When you apply for a business credit card, you’ll get asked for some information about your business. If you’ve only ever applied for a personal credit card, this information may be new to you. Here’s what you’ll be asked to provide.

  • Your Employer Identification number, or Tax-ID number. If you’ve registered for an EIN with the IRS or if you are incorporated and have an EIN, you can use this number for your business card application. But you don’t need an EIN if you are just doing business on your own. If this is the case, simply use your social security number.
  • Your business income. If you are a sole proprietor, this can be the same as your personal income.
  • How long you’ve been in business. Back when my business was selling things on eBay and Craigslist, I used the date I graduated college as the start date of my business. Now that I have formally incorporated my writing business, I use my date of incorporation.
  • Your role in the business. This is typically something like “owner” if you are a sole proprietor.
  • Your business address. This is the address at which you do business. If you do business out of your home, this can be your home address.
  • Your business phone number. If you don’t have a separate business phone like, this can be your home or mobile number.

Why get a small business card?

There can be several good reasons to get a small business credit card. Here are a few.

Earning a welcome bonus

Small business cards often offer the largest welcome bonuses available. Chase Ink cards frequently offer welcome bonuses north of $750 and Capital One and Amex have been known to frequently offer 100,000+ point welcome bonuses to new small business cardmembers.

Impact on your credit report

Most small business credit cards don’t show up on your personal credit report, provided you pay on time. While your small business account won’t help you build your credit score if it’s not reporting to your credit report, there can be advantages to not having a business line reporting.

If you’re keeping the number of new accounts low to stay under 5/24 for Chase applications, now having a new account show up on your report can be to your advantage. If you’re purchasing large amounts of goods for buying groups (resale is a small business) and maxing out your credit line every month, it’s probably to your advantage to not have high-utilization credit lines reporting.

Small business credit cards can offer perks, benefits, and rewards that are unavailable on personal credit cards. Some of the best credit card welcome offers are for small business credit cards. But if you’re wondering if you qualify for a small business credit card, the answer is probably, “yes.”

Rewards on small business categories

Maybe you want to get more rewards when you buy office supplies, charge travel expenses, or pay for telecommunications services. These business-related categories frequently get bonus miles, points, or cash back on small business cards. But you’ll rarely find them as bonus categories on personal credit cards.

Getting a small business card can help you earn more rewards that are relevant to you.

Keeping business and personal expenses separate

It can be a good idea to Perhaps you simply want to keep your business and personal expenses separate. Having a small business credit card available to charge business expenses can simplify accounting come tax-time. Many small business cards even offer reporting features that categorize business expenses.

Building a business credit history

Your small business has a credit report through the three business credit bureaus, Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian. And it’s more important than you might believe. Vendors may use your business credit report when determining whether to allow you to pay for purchases over time.

Bottom line

Yes, you probably own a small business and can qualify for small business credit cards. If you do anything on the side to make money or have a hobby that you want to one day turn into a money-making venture, you have a small business and can qualify for small business credit cards.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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