Credit Reports Credit Risk Financial Risk Assessment Risk Management RiskScore
4 mins read

How to check a business credit report – A step-by-step guide

A businessman using a calculator and laptop to calculate financial data.

What is a credit report? 

A credit report details a potential borrower or debtor’s risk to the lender or creditor. A credit reporting agency, such as CreditorWatch, analyses large subcategories of business data to generate our reports and credit scores for Australian companies. Users access this information to inform their decision-making and avoid risky entities or the prospect of bad debt. 

What is a business credit report? 

There are consumer credit reports and business credit reports. They all detail risk and creditworthiness but refer to different entities – individual consumers or businesses. Three reporting bureaus hold consumer credit reports: Experian, Equifax (who purchased Veda) and illion. A business credit report focuses on company debtor risk from trading partners. An example of a business credit report is RiskScore from CreditorWatch. 

What data does a business credit report use? 

The data incorporated into RiskScore to assess company creditworthiness is extensive. The sophisticated machine-learning platform analyses three subcategories of data, including: 

  • Tradeline behavioural data. Over 11 million monthly tradelines from CreditorWatch’s 55,000+ customers. This transaction data includes SME payment data from Xero and MYOB, and payment behaviour from corporate Aged Trial Balance (ATB) uploads. 
  • Business demographic risk data. This dataset includes geographic risk clusters that capture the risk of a location and factors such as business maturity, entity type, industry and tax status.  
  • Traditional credit risk drivers. Events including ATO tax debt defaults, court judgments, bankruptcies and insolvencies. 

What does a business credit report tell you about a business? 

A business credit report takes the guesswork out of knowing which customers and/or suppliers to trust as debtors and why. When you search for a business via its ABN or ACN in RiskScore, the intuitive platform will generate a score between 0-850 and a tier of risk between A1 and F. Alongside you’ll receive recommended actions from CreditorWatch. This information clearly outlines which businesses you can confidently extend terms to and which to be wary of.  

There is nowhere risky debtors can hide when you leverage company credit reporting. Your company need not take them at their word – you’ll know if they’ve demonstrated malpractice or adverse cross-directorships. You’ll see if they have a habit of defaulting on credit obligations. For these reasons, credit reporting should form a central tenant of your due diligence process.  

Why might you want to check a business credit report? 

Risky debtors pose a significant risk to your bottom line. If trading partners have a history of defaulting on payments, engaging in business with them could have serious ramifications. You may be stuck waiting for the money to leave their Accounts Receivables while your costs keep stacking up. Astute companies use a business credit check to avoid this scenario eventuating. If you can identify potentially risky entities ahead of time, you can safeguard that critical cash flow.  

How difficult is it to credit check a company? 

With RiskScore, accessing company credit information is quick and easy. The intuitive user interface and makes the extensive and complex data easy to follow. What’s more, we offer a free company credit check in Australia to trial users so that you can ensure that it’s the right fit for your business.   

How to check a business credit report for free  

  1. Sign up for RiskScore: If you’re a new customer: sign up for a free RiskScore trial. Decide on the subscription that best suits you when the trial period concludes and add your profile information. You can then sign into the credit reporting platform via the login portal.
  2. Enter an Australian Business’s ABN or ACN: Every Australian business will have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN). That’s all you need to search for them on the RiskScore platform. If you’re unsure of these details or need to check an Australian business name, you can conduct a free company search using the ABN lookup on the official Australian Business Register (ABR) website. If you’re wondering how to check your credit score, search your own company details. 
  3. Reveal the RiskScore from 0-850: The higher the score, the more creditworthy that business is. RiskScore distils the datasets into a simple, intuitive score. To make that result meaningful, it places the score into context, showing where entities of the same type typically fall.
  4. Reveal the risk tier from A1 to F: The business credit score generated will also place that company in a tier from A1 to F in the RiskScore platform, complete with generally recommended actions based on our extensive experience. This information helps guide your business through the steps to take, particularly if you remain undecided about extending credit. 
  5. Make credit decisions with confidence: RiskScore lends the weight of meaningful information and data to your decision-making process regarding trading relationships, lines of credit, and business loans. Without leveraging company credit reporting, it’s leaving a lot to chance and intuition. Proactively manage your risk exposure and support your instincts with actual numbers. 

Manage your risk better 

If you’re concerned about your business’ level of financial risk, talk to our team today to build business credit checks into your due diligence process with RiskScore. 

business credit report credit report RiskScore
Michael Pollack
Head of Media & Communications
Michael joined CreditorWatch in July 2021. He has more than 20 years’ experience in business journalism, marketing and communications strategy and digital content development. He is passionate about communicating to the business community how CreditorWatch’s product suite can help them grow and protect their companies.
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