In this guide

Checking your own business credit score is an obvious step for many, it can open doors to affordable finance, better terms, or winning new business. But did you know that the credit scores of other companies can also affect you? 

Late payments are regrettably too common, and if delays occur within your supply chain, it can have a significant impact. However, credit checking the companies you work with can help to mitigate these risks. 


Skip to:

  1. What is a company credit check?
  2. Why should I credit check the companies I work with?
  3. How does a company credit check work?
  4. How to credit check a company
  5. What are the red flags for a company credit score?
  6. What can I see on a company's credit report?
  7. Can I still work with companies with low credit scores?
  8. How do I work with companies with a good credit score?

What is a company credit check?

A company credit check is a report of another business’ creditworthiness. It will include important information, such as the business’ credit score, their suggested credit limit, credit history, public records, CCJs registered and other data on their financial health. 
Credit checks allow other businesses, be it a lender, supplier, a partner, or customer of the company, to assess the level of risk of working with them. 

Why should I credit check the companies I work with?

How does a company credit check work?

When you credit check a company, you view a report of information that a credit bureau has gathered. Credit bureaus collect their data from various sources, such as Companies House, public records, financial statements, payment trends as reported from other companies and financial institutions, like banks. 

All of the information on the report should give you an in depth insight into how financially stable a business is and how reliable they are at paying on time, based on this data.

How to credit check a company

You can easily check companies using your Capitalise for Business account. Here’s how the process works: 

  1. Sign up to Capitalise 
  2. Add a company to monitor 
  3. View their business credit score and credit limit to help you decide the credit terms you offer
  4. See their insights to check for any risks and spot any warning signs 
  5. Get alerts on changes to their creditworthiness

What are the red flags for a company credit score?

When reviewing a company's credit profile, look out for these red flags that may indicate financial instability or unreliability:


Frequent late payments or default

Consistently missing payment deadlines or defaulting on obligations can be a clear sign of financial distress.

High levels of debt

Excessive debt relative to income or assets can indicate they’re not financially stable. They may struggle to keep up with their obligations to you on top of their existing debt. 

Legal notices against the company

Outstanding legal notices, such as a CCJ, demonstrate that the business has unresolved disputes and may have trouble meeting payments. A Gazette notice is a warning sign that the company will go into insolvency.

What can I see on a company's credit report?

When you check a company with Capitalise, their credit report will show the following:

Business credit score
See their numerical and letter score, summarising the company's overall creditworthiness. The report will tell you whether this score is a high or low risk and whether extending credit would be a good idea. 

Credit limit
View the company’s suggested credit limit and whether this has increased or decreased over time. You’ll be able to see if you’ve overextended to each customer. 

Payment performance
This section provides a detailed account of the company's payment track record, including how many days over term they have paid historically. You will also be able to see whether their payment trends have been worsening, or improving. 

Legal notices 
Details of any legal notices registered against the company and whether these are resolved. 

Credit factors
See which positive or negative factors are impacting the company's credit score. 

Director details
Information about the company's directors, including their names and when they were appointed.

Financial summary
Financial statements, such as balance sheets and profit and loss statements, to offer insights into the company's financial health.

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Can I still work with companies with low credit scores?

If you credit check a company and see adverse information, you might want to avoid working with them altogether to reduce risk to your business. However this won’t always be practical, especially if they’re a large client. You can still work with customers with low credit scores, but it's important that you take measures to protect your business. Here’s some strategies you can consider: 

  • Ask for cash upfront 

Requesting to be paid before delivering goods or services will reduce the risk of late or non-payment. 

  • Negotiate stricter payment terms

Requesting shorter payment periods, or reducing the amount of credit you offer can help to mitigate the risk. 

  • Monitoring their credit profile closely

Regularly reviewing the company's financial health and addressing any emerging risks quickly can help you navigate potential challenges.

Find out more about how you can work with companies with low credit scores. 

How do I work with companies with a good credit score?

If you run a company credit check on a new customer and they have a good business credit score, you can feel confident in offering them favourable credit terms as their risk of late payment is much lower. You may also want to offer them larger amounts of credit if you can comfortably do so. 

You can find out more about how to work with companies with high credit scores.

frequently asked questions

A good business credit score would be anything above 80/100, or an A or B credit rating. If a company has a good credit score, this suggests that they reliably pay on time and are in a financially stable position, so there is a low risk of working with them.

To check a company, once you sign up to Capitalise just put their company name or registration number into monitor. This will allow you to see all the information on the company’s credit report. 

Yes, you can check another company’s credit score. This is an important step in an effective credit control process and will help a business to successfully assess the level of risk associated with a business. 

Business credit scores are public information, so you don’t need permission to run a company credit check. As such, you could do this without the business knowing. 

If your supplier has a CCJ, it can pose a risk to your business. This is because a CCJ is an early warning sign of insolvency, or financial instability, which could mean you could have disruption to the flow of goods or services to your business. Read more about what CCJs in your supply chain mean for your business.