Obtaining a signed credit application should be an integral part of the process of extending credit to a customer. The application provides information necessary to determining the risk of not being paid in a timely manner and helps to establish a credit limit. Without a credit application, you won’t have explicit permission to contact the applicant’s bank or trade credit references. With such an important document, it is important that you include every necessary detail.The following elements should be included in your business credit application. Without them, you could be missing important information about your potential customer.

  • Legal name of business
  • Business address
  • Billing address
  • Business phone, fax and email
  • Incorporation date and length of time in business
  • Owner name(s)
  • Amount of credit requested
  • Annual sales
  • Most recent full year financials or tax returns available
  • Bank name and branch address
  • Account number
  • Bank contact name, phone, email and fax
  • Request three
  • Name, address, phone and email address
  • Signature block and legal notice
  • Owner or authorized party must sign
  • Declares information provided is correct
  • Authorizes contact of references
  • Accepts any terms and conditions pertaining to sales such as late charges

You need to independently verify the existence of the customer. A completed application could still contain fraudulent or misleading information and references are chosen with intent. Google is your friend. Search for and confirm the customers address and phone number. Call the number if you have any concerns and tell the person who answers that you are calling to verify the billing address for a new customer.