Q. How can I protect my business credit rating?

A. As with your personal credit rating, your business credit rating should be something you consider regularly. A poor credit rating may impact your ability to raise finance, the credit terms you’re offered, or even the suppliers that will deal with you.

Our five top tips on protecting your credit rating are:

File your company accounts on time and in full. Whilst early filing won’t help much (apart from appearing well organised), filing them late has a substantially negative impact.

Paint a positive picture. By delaying a dividend, or collecting payment early, you may appear to end the year in a slightly better financial position.

Avoid, or deal with any County Court Judgements (CCJs). If you find yourself with a CCJ try to clear it, or seek professional advice immediately. If someone is performing a credit check and a CCJ is on your record, they will be alarmed.

Limited credit applications. If you’re looking at funding, or applying for credit, make sure you discuss it with a funding expert. Not only will you waste time completing the forms but you could be harming your credit rating with each application.

Keep one eye on your score. There are methods (some are free), which allow you to review your credit rating and receive notifications when it’s impacted. We strongly recommend reviewing it each quarter, or before significant events, to ensure you’re presenting yourself in the best light.

Whilst your credit rating may not suddenly improve overnight, it’s something that should be on your agenda to slowly improve your rating.