It doesn’t have to be difficult to get a small business loan, whether you are a new entrepreneur or an experienced business owner. You can find the right funding by doing some research and following the directions.
6 Steps to Getting a Small Business Loan
1. Find an appropriate loan for your small business
To complete the first step, you will need to know what your business needs are. These are the most important questions to ask when selecting the right loan for your small business.
- What are the purposes of a loan?
- What amount of money do I need?
- What would you like to do?
Different types of business loans
Each small business requires working capital in order to pay for equipment, buy real estate, cover daily expenses, invest in advertising and marketing, expand its brand awareness, etc. There are many types available for business loans. These are some of the most sought-after loans:
- SBA loans: Small Business Administration Loans is a government-backed program that provides loans to banks and other lenders. This type of loan requires strict requirements and can take up to three years to approve. SBA loans can be a great option if you are willing to wait for the approval. They are also highly sought-after due to their lower interest rates and longer repayment terms.
- Term Loans: These loans are cash from a bank or an online lender. The borrower must repay the loan over time and pay interest according to a set payment schedule. The amount of money needed and the purpose of the loan will determine how much you can borrow. A business/business owner should have a high credit score and cash flow history and collateral may be required.
- A business line of credit: This type of loan allows you to access funds up to your credit limit. It is also more flexible than traditional business loans. This loan works just like a personal credit card and can be used to build business credit. It is unsecured which means it doesn’t require collateral and does not have to pay annual fees or dues. If you’re unsure how much money you require or want the freedom to spend as you wish, business lines of credit can be a great option. With a business credit card, You are paying interest on your card balance rather with a term loan you must pay interest on the total loan amount.
- Equipment loans: A large reason business owners look for small business loans is to pay off large, expensive equipment. They don’t have the working capital necessary to finance these purchases. These loans are designed to cover heavy machinery costs such as computers, furniture, vehicles, and large appliances. If you are unable to repay the loan, these items can be used as collateral. These are only a few examples of the many types of loans available, invoice financing, invoice factoring, cash advances, commercial loans, microloans, or personal loans.
After assessing your business and understanding the various types of funding available, you will be able to determine if your needs are met.
2. Qualify for a business loan
Every loan and lender requires that you meet certain requirements before funding is granted. Before applying for a loan, you can determine a few requirements.
- Your business’s life expectancy: How many years has your company been in operation? Lenders typically require that a borrower is in business for at least one to two years before they will approve a loan.
- Credit score: To determine whether you are able to repay your loan, a credit history is often required. With a few details, you can get a free credit score estimate online.
- Cash flow: Is your business able to pay your overhead and borrow enough? Before approving loans, many lenders require minimum cash flow.
These basic questions will be answered with evidence and you can calculate how much monthly loan you can afford.
3. Determine and calculate how much you can afford monthly
This is a crucial step. If you are unable to afford monthly loan repayments, a bank or lender won’t provide small-business funding. You can use online business loan calculator tools.
When evaluating your business finances, you need to determine your minimum monthly cash flow as well as your profits. Your income should equal 1.25 times your monthly overhead expenses. These expenses include the predetermined amount of your small business loan repayment.
Another thing to consider is the repayment frequency and schedule. Some lenders and banks require payment every other week, biweekly, or monthly. When you conduct your initial research, be sure to note this information.
4. You can choose between a secured and unsecured loan
There are two types: secured and unsecured loans. Secured loans require collateral. Lenders will often accept collateral in the form of real estate, which can be used to seize the money if the borrower defaults on the loan.
Unsecured loans are simply an agreement that you, the borrower, will repay the loan if your business is insolvent or cannot pay it back.
Every lender is unique; you will need to research each one and decide which one suits your needs best.
5. Find the right lender
There are two types of banks and lenders:
- Amounts of loans
- Interest rates
- Repayment schedules
- Options for Financing
- Requirements collateral
- Many years in business
- Credit scores
Consider the pros and cons of both online and bank lenders before deciding which one is best for you.
6. Apply for a small business loan
Now it’s time for you to apply for your small-business loan. You should choose between two to three lenders depending on your requirements and timeframes. You’ll need:
- Address and full business name
- Tax ID number
- Business Plan
- Proposal for a business loan
- Financial statements for the entire business
- Information about company owners
Once you have completed all the required items, fill out your application and pray for the best.
Small business loans resources
Many resources are available to assist entrepreneurs and business owners. First, you need to know that every state has its own rules and regulations regarding startup companies as well as requirements for business loans. You should be familiar with the regulations of each state where your business is registered.
Some online resources are:
- Small Business Administration (sba.gov)
- Business Loan Calculator
- Business plans – Office.com
- Secured vs. Unsecured Business Loans: What’s the Difference?
Banks have always required that small businesses operate for many years with proven working capital, cash flow, and secured collateral before they lend money. Small-business owners who are looking for small business loans have many options today.
With clarity about your business’s needs, you can get the right loan. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of your qualifications. If you don’t have all the information, now is the time.