It pays to be prepared when you apply for a small business loan. You’ll save time when applying and be more likely to qualify when you follow these tips:
- Evaluate loan options: Small businesses can choose from financing options to fit specific situations, such as working capital loans, equipment loans, SBA-backed loans and conventional term loans. You may also consider applying for a business line of credit, or business credit card.
- Consider different lenders: You can approach traditional household-name banks, local community banks, credit unions and online lenders to get your business funding.
- Gauge your risk: Your lender will base their decision and terms (like interest rates) on the level of risk your business presents for them. Indicators they look at include your credit report, the length of time you’ve been in business, business assets, other loans and business debts you’re currently repaying and more.
- Get accounting docs in order: CPA-audited or CPA-reviewed financial documents are the gold standard, but may not be required. You’ll need to present documents showing how your business is going, such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, profit and loss statements, tax returns and more.
- Document your business entity: Lenders will need to collect legal details such as your tax ID number, legal structure (LLC, S-corporation, etc.), business license, liability insurance documents and more.
- Amount requesting and use: You’ll need to have in mind the amount of loan you’re asking for and explain how you plan to use the loan proceeds.
- Assess collateral: Lenders must have verification of the value (and ownership) of any collateral, like business equipment or other property, that you’re offering as a loan guarantee.
- Terms and interest: Be certain you understand your interest rate and whether it’s fixed or variable, as well as any loan fees, pre-payment penalties and other costs to you. Compare terms among different lenders to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.
- Brush up your online branding: Make sure your website looks current and professional, check out your online reviews, LinkedIn profile, social media pages like Facebook, etc.
- Work with experts: Well-respected business lending firms can walk you through your financing options, so you can choose the best financial products for your business needs.
Get more details about our small business loans–or apply today. Contact Miller Financial and Marketing now.