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The role of trade references in business


Doing business with firms that allow you to acquire goods or services and pay for them later earns you trade references. This is sometimes done using “net terms,” such as net 30 terms, in which payment is due thirty days after the invoice date Zintego. Net terms might vary from net 10 to net 120 and beyond. More extended periods are often provided to established enterprises seen as excellent clients.

 Companies they trust and believe have low credit risk are more willing to grant loans or conduct business with them. They may ask for written or verbal trade references from your current business contacts, or they may examine your company credit records to see how you’ve handled other debtors. If your company doesn’t have a good credit history, you should try to build it up by using accounts that report to the credit bureaus. 

What exactly is a trade reference? 

A trade reference is a report that details a company customer’s payment history with their supplier or vendor. Payment history can be reported to commercial credit reporting agencies such as Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax. Trade references can be provided orally, in a trade reference letter, or by reporting payment history to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax. Excellent trade references aid good company credit ratings.

Business risks and trade reference 

When giving credit or net terms payment choices to a consumer, businesses must be able to assess the risks they are incurring. Their cash flow is impacted by floating net terms (i.e., waiting 30 days to be paid). There are several methods for determining whether or not a customer is creditworthy and whether or not you should grant them trade credit. Paying for a company credit report is one option while checking trade references is another. A credit application form is usually used to acquire trade references. What is a trade reference? And how do they affect business credit? It is necessary to understand the criteria to examine trade reference.  

What criteria are used to evaluate trade references?

Credit references are referred to as trade references by company credit agencies like D&B and Experian. Credit bureaus use trade references to assess your creditworthiness based on payment history.

 The PAYDEX score is a credit system used by D&B. This is a business-only number, although it’s identical to your FICO credit score. The PAYDEX score is a number that goes from 0 to 100. A credit score of 70 or above is considered good, while a score of 80 or higher indicates a shallow credit risk, resulting in some of the best lending conditions.

  • New ventures

To get trade references, also known as trade lines, new firms should look for organizations that provide vendor terms and are willing to deal with companies less than two years old or do not have a long credit history.

  • Existing companies

Check with your current suppliers and providers to see if they offer credit. If they do, keep an eye on your company’s credit reports to determine which ones include payment information. Consider dealing with firms that offer vendor credit if you don’t have any current contacts that will allow you to buy on credit.

Is it true that trade references can aid with financing?

When it comes to obtaining small company funding, having good trade references may be beneficial. You may be required to supply the names of your vendors or suppliers when filling out a credit application for business finance so that your payment history may be checked.

Furthermore, certain businesses that you pay on credit will record your payments to business credit reporting bureaus. On-time payments on these accounts might help you establish credit in your organization. (For example, the Paydex score from Dun & Bradstreet is primarily weighted toward trade credit experiences.) Small company lenders may evaluate strong business credit, time in business, revenues, and personal credit ratings when reviewing applications from entrepreneurs seeking business loans.

If your company credit ratings aren’t stellar, some vendors will take trade reference letters or verbal verification with your current suppliers. This is why, on a credit application, they may ask for the names of trade credit references. However, because this takes more time, you should begin developing company credit as soon as feasible.

When applying for company credit cards, keep in mind that trade references are unlikely to be reviewed. Instead, credit card applications are often assessed using the applicant’s credit ratings. Furthermore, banks seldom ask for trade references when giving loans, but you should be prepared to supply these references anytime you apply for funding.

Why should a company ask its partners for a trade reference?

Trade references can help your firm receive credit, but they can also help you extend credit and be paid on schedule. You’re extending credit if you plan to supply products or services without getting paid in full. As a result, you may be requested to supply your customers with business trade references. If you can, try to meet their demands. It benefits your customers and other businesses by ensuring that they do not take undue risks when offering loans.

What is the difference between trade references and trade credit?

When a company gives another company trade credit, it allows them to buy products or services without paying up front. That relationship is reflected in the trade reference – how that customer handles their credit. The two are inextricably linked: you obtain trade credit, and your payment history decides whether or not that firm will provide you with a favorable trade reference.

I don’t have strong personal credit; thus, can I acquire trade references?

The good news is that you don’t need perfect personal credit to get started with trade credit. Some trade credit firms will not review the business owner’s credit records. Others may do a “soft check” to rule out those with meagre credit ratings. As a result, you might be able to get credit from suppliers while working on your credit.

What is the best way to request a trade reference?

You’ll usually contact the lender’s credit management department to get a trade reference. If you’re a company owner seeking credit, double-check with your vendors or suppliers before including them as a trade reference on a loan application to verify you have the correct contact information.

What additional methods are there for boosting a company’s credit score?

While trade references are an excellent approach to establishing company credit, they aren’t the only ones to do it. Most company credit cards report to at least one of the leading commercial credit reporting agencies, so it’s another approach to developing business credit. Many small-business lenders also report to credit bureaus.


Company owners should focus on keeping strong business credit, just as we should maintain outstanding personal credit. The two, however, are not the same. Because business credit is not automatically reported to business credit agencies such as D&B and Experian, it requires time and effort to establish. However, this effort might result in lower loan interest rates, cheaper premiums, and better credit conditions with vendors and suppliers.


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