For many small business owners, the ideal business credit card is one that does not require them to provide a Social Security number on the application. Some cards let you apply with a taxpayer identification number, but it may take some legwork.
For many small business owners, the ideal business credit card is one that does not require them to provide a Social Security number on the application.
Some owners simply don’t want their business credit to be linked to their Social Security number; they prefer to build credit for their business under their federal tax ID. Other owners may not have a Social Security number yet. Sometimes that is the case for new immigrants who run a business.
See related: How to get a business credit card
Can you get a business credit card without an SSN?Fortunately, it is possible to get a business credit card without a Social Security number, but it is harder to do than applying with a Social Security number.
There are generally two ways to do this. Some business credit cards will let you apply with an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), a number available to immigrants and their spouses. You may have to review a number of credit card applications online to find one that will allow you to apply using your ITIN.
Other business credit cards will let you apply using your employer identification number (EIN), a federal tax identification number that the government uses to identify a business entity. You can apply for one through the IRS for free.
Why most credit cards require a Social Security number
Most credit cards require a Social Security number because under federal law, financial institutions must verify the identity of anyone who opens a new account. Banks will typically require an identification number such as a Social Security number, passport number or ITIN to make sure they’ve covered their legal obligations.
How to apply for a business credit card without a Social Security number
It takes several steps to apply for a business credit card without a Social Security number.
- Research credit cards that allow you to apply with another form of identification.
- Once you have identified the card you want to apply for, log onto the application to see what form of identification number is necessary.
- Apply for the identification you need. The IRS has published a guide to obtaining an ITIN here. If you need an EIN, you can apply here.
- Once you have obtained your ID, submit your application.
Considering a business credit card with an EIN
Many business owners consider it advantageous to apply for a credit card using an EIN. One benefit of using an EIN is that it will help you build your business’s credit profile. Credit bureaus track businesses by their EIN.
Here are some cards that will allow you to apply with an EIN (but note that you may also need a Social Security number or an ITIN):
- American Express® Business Gold Card
- Brex 30 Card
- Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
It takes some legwork to apply for a business credit card without a Social Security number, but for many small businesses, it is worth the time. Having a business credit card can help you build your company’s credit profile, paving the way to additional credit when you need it to grow your business.