While every case will be different, there are several broad categories if things that must be done to get business lines of credit.  I'll outline those categories here and go into detail in further posts.

You need a CFO with a 720+ FICO score.

You need to start or buy a corporation of LLC.  You save a little bit of time if you buy but not as much as you could two years ago.

You need to acquire and use several small sources of business credit (credit cards, merchant accounts, etc.) and use them. In this step, you can acquire $50k - $300k in various small lines of credit (cash and trade credit).

You must show activity in the corporations bank accounts.

Once the corporation is 2 years old, showing activity and using your current business credit to raise your Paydex score to 80, you can start looking for the larger business lines of credit.

Check out the different Business Credit Programs I've found.

 

For business lines of credit, the key position seems to be the CFO. All of the lenders look at the CFO and the CFO has to sign for any credit (though after 18-24 months the CFO can usually be taken off).

This means that it doesn't really matter what your credit history is.  You just need to partner with someone who has good credit.  Note that the CFO will be responsible for the debts of the company so make sure that the CFO is comfortable with that risk and believes in the ability of the company.

As I stated above,  the CFO is only at risk for the first two years.  After that, if the business is doing well, the CFO can usually get his name off the loan.  That means that this will only be a 2 year risk for him.