Business credit cards: Robbing Peter to pay Paul?
New business owners can then be put in the position of not having access to business capital. So take it upon themselves to fund the beginnings of their businesses using their personal credit cards. An alternative is a business credit card, which is designed specifically for business funding. A business credit card keeps the accounts of the owner and the company separate, making life much easier when it comes to business management.
Any business, no matter how large or small, requires funding. Once the capital to launch the business has been secured, the new business owner then faces the need for regular turnover in order for the business to perpetuate itself. While this may seem obvious, it can be a tougher task than originally anticipated, especially in the early days when the business may have little or no initial reputation. The new business owner can then be put in the position of having to pay wages or order business items, but not having the access to business capital to be able to do so. Some entrepreneurs take it upon themselves to fund the beginnings of their businesses using their personal credit cards. Whilst this may seem like a perfectly logical solution, it can cause more problems than it solves. Sorting paperwork for the tax period can become a nightmare and result in difficulties for both the business owner and the business itself.
A far better method is to apply for a business credit card, which is designed specifically for business funding. A business credit card keeps the accounts of the owner and the company separate, making life much easier when it comes to business management. Most business credit cards offer an online facility enabling you to keep track of business transactions, as well as reducing the paperwork involved at the same time. A business credit card also offers legal protection against unsatisfactory goods and services, ensuring that the company does not have to spend, where the spending is unwarranted.
Business credit cards also offer an effective way to manage a company's cash flow. People can be paid and items can be bought without the money immediately leaving the business's cash account. This is especially useful during times of restricted cash flow or when waiting for a customer payment to clear. Of course, the credit borrowed will have to be repaid, but careful management will allow repayments to be met monthly, and for the business to function normally.
In addition to the benefits of credit, small business credit cards come with a list of incentives and advantages that are designed specifically with the small business owner in mind. This can take the form of things such as 0% APR for a fixed period and also involve deals that can save the business money through discounts and incentives. Perks such as petrol discounts and Airmiles are very common these days, but the wise business owner can shop around to take advantage of deals that are pertinent to his or her company. These may take the form of cashback on certain products and services or even discount on hotel accommodation. If there are recurrent payments to be made, these deals can be taken advantage of and factored in to the decision of which business credit card to choose.
Finding the right business credit card need not be as difficult as it first appears. Yes, there are a plethora of business credit cards out there and, yes, each comes with its own set of advantages. However, if the owner has a good understanding of exactly what the business needs in terms of credit and perks, then the rest is just a process of elimination. Aside from old-fashioned research, there are other tools available to help the business owner select the card that best suits their business needs. Internet comparison sites are invaluable resources that condense the main ingredients of each card and display them in an easy-to-read comparison format.
A business credit card may not be a card that takes care of itself, but then neither is a business; both require attention and care. However, both can offer valuable returns and, if handled wisely, offer the opportunity for expansion and development.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hannah Callen is an independent financial author who writes for various popular websites. Read more about Business Credit Cards and 0 percent business credit cards here.