Small-Business Credit Cards

Why You Need a Small-Business Credit Card

There are many benefits to having a small-business credit card. A separate business credit card legitimizes your business in your own eyes, and in those of your customers and vendors. "It's a prestige and ego thing," says Chanaud. "Instead of using personal funds, you use a professional-looking card that has your company name embossed on the bottom."

One of the main reasons that many small-business owners like company credit cards, though, is the ability it gives them to streamline records and bookkeeping. By having a credit card to use exclusively for business, "you don't have to worry if an expense was personal or business," says Berger. "A lot of accountants are encouraging customers to use corporate cards so there is no confusion at tax time as to which expenses go where."

Most small-business credit cards include quarterly management reports that summarize expenditures by category, which makes bookkeeping and expense analysis even easier.

Many business credit cards also allow access to products and financial options that large corporations have, such as independent lines of credit and discounts on car rentals and hotels.

Chanaud points out that another often-overlooked benefit of a small-business credit card is that the annual fee and interest are tax-deductible--an obvious advantage when every penny counts.

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This article was originally published in the January 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Small-Business Credit Cards.

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