No Credit Check Business Credit Card
Q: I'm in the process of setting up a new limited liability company (some of you may have seen a seperate VAT thread of mine) and for a few items of expenditure it would be a heck of a lot easier if I had a credit card in the name of the company that I could charge things to. My working assumption is that I don't have a cat in hells chance of a newly formed limited liability company with no trading history getting through a credit check and hence getting a credit card. Is my assumption correct or has anyone managed to accomplish this? If so then what pointers can you give me as to who to go to and what to say? One possible thought that I had was to act as a personal guarantor for the company card but then, if I go to a bank and tell them that I'm setting up a business, then surely they would then realise that my personal status is about to change to self employed with zero years of accounts and zero immediate income so my personal credit rating would also drop off the map for a while too. Then again, I would be doing all the setup while I am still employed full time, I wonder if the banks/credit agencies are too dumb to notice this! Another desperate thought that occured to me is that I wouldn't need credit so I would be perfectly happy with a Visa or Mastercard where I needed to pre-load the card with a positive balance before a transaction would be authorized, i.e. if I want to spend ??100 then I need to first make a ??100 payment to the card so that when I make the purchase the balance won't drop below ??0. I can't imagine that any card issuers would go to the expense of putting this sort of system in place to run this sort of scheme but maybe I'm wrong. If I am then I would be very interested in finding out the names of banks that would do this
A: I did manage to get one for a newly formed company, it is a LloydsTSB Business Chargecard where the payment is automatically taken from the company bank account middle of following month. Admittedly it was damn diffucult, along the lines of my dad is a partner in a firm of chartered accountants and it was a matter of him knowing the the local business team and them authorising it knowing who he was. (Mind you reading yesterdays papers about LloydsTSB maybe that isn't much of a suprise!!!) It does show that all those business lunches with the various banks have some positive effect. I spent an afternoon phoning banks with the question "what is you policy on issuing credit cards to limited companies" and the majority were minimum of 6 months trading history for a small credit limit reviewed after 2 years accounts at which point I simply said good by and crossed them off the list. Barclaycard Business would consider applications from new companies but were talking a ??250 starting point. Most banks demand you bank with them so they can gauge account history which could put a spanner in the works. Abbey were a quite attractive until I discovered no business credit card service. I think most banks will issue proper visa debit cards to business customers which are what are the equivlant of switch/maestro cards or what used to be called delta cards, they have embossed numbers unlike Electron cards which (IIRC as I haven't ever had one) have the numbers printed on the surface so that they can't be used using manual or mechanical card systems and tend no to be accepted online. I actually find it damn confusing having visa brand on both debit and credit cards, I think mastercard international model is better where they brand debit cards as maestro and credit cards as mastercard.
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