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Starting a business

How to Get a Loan to Start a Business

When starting your small business, you need strong financial foundations. Therefore, small business loans are a vital resource if you’re looking to turn your business idea into a reality. 

While securing a small business loan isn’t always a walk in the park, and many entrepreneurs often find it challenging, there are plenty of opportunities for upcoming small business owners as they begin seeking funding for their new venture.

So if you’re trying to seek capital for your new venture, this article will act as your guide in better understanding the world of small business loans and the all-important small business loan applications.

This article will take you through the following topics and questions:

What is a small business loan?

As an entrepreneur, you’re probably familiar with the concept of small business loans. They are a financial tool specifically for entrepreneurs to help them access the funds they need to start their business from scratch. 

They are typically offered by a financial institution, like a bank, and give you the opportunity to overcome the initial financial obstacles that arise at the beginning of your business journey. 

Understanding small business loans

Before you apply for a small business loan, you should make that you fully understand what they are and what types of loans are available to you. This will help you to apply for the right loan for your new business. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and common types of small business loans that might help you and your idea come to life. 

Types of small business loans

There are many types of business loans for starting a business, each offering different terms that will benefit different businesses. Here are some that you might want to consider for your business idea: 

Line of credit

A flexible form of financing that allows businesses to access funds when they need it, with interest paid only on the amount borrowed. It provides a safety net for unforeseen expenses and variations in cash flow.

Term loans

Term loans are a typical form of borrowing that require consistent payments over a predetermined period of time. They are often utilized for the purchase of equipment or to support business growth.

Microloans

Specifically for new small businesses, microloans offer smaller loan amounts compared to traditional loans from banks. These loans often go along with mentorship and support to help grow businesses under expert guidance. 

Invoice financing

This type of loan helps small businesses facing cash flow issues. Rather than waiting for clients to pay their invoices, invoice financing lets businesses unlock their value immediately to convert them into capital.

Industry-specific loans

Rather than a generic small business loan, this type of loan is catered towards the needs and challenges of specific industries like healthcare, agriculture, technology, or hospitality. 

Alternative or online loans

Sometimes traditional banks won’t lend to small businesses because they don’t yet have a track record to prove they’ll be able to pay the money back. For this reason, online lending is a viable option available to small businesses.

Government loans

Governments usually reserve a portion of the annual budget to help small business owners finance their businesses, which in turn, boosts the economy. In many cases, these government loans are offered by traditional banks. This reduces the risk for the lender and provides better funding for the borrower. 

Pros and cons of business loans

Check out these benefits of getting a loan to start your new business:

  • Options: there are a variety of loans available to suit your business’ unique needs.
  • Lower interest rates and flexible payment terms: banks offer attractive interest rates for small businesses and some lenders offer extended loan terms.
  • Flexible use: in most cases, you can use the funds for any business-related expenditure.
  • Fast-tracking your business: the availability of funds means you can use money towards advancing your business operations and goals.

Here are a few challenges to think about if you're trying to get a business loan: 

  • Eligibility requirements: your business may need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for a loan.
  • Performance: loans don't guarantee business improvement or success.
  • Spending restrictions: some small business loans are limited to being used for specific purposes, such as technology upgrades or equipment.
  • Approval and availability of funds: small businesses may experience longer approval periods and slower funding times. 
  • Documentation requirements: you may need to provide several documents with personal and business details when applying for a small business loan.
  • Repayments: consider the interest rate and if your business will be able to make consistent repayments.

When should you consider a small business loan? 

Before you apply, you need to make sure that the time is right. Otherwise, you may end up in a worse financial position in the long term. Here are some examples of when you should look at loan programs:

Starting your business: When you're looking to start a new business, securing a loan at the right time can give you the financial boost you need to hire staff and open new branches. You may even want to invest in marketing strategies.

Working capital: For day-to-day operational costs and managing inventory levels, many businesses rely on working capital loans to keep a solid cash flow. 

Buying essential equipment: If you're looking to buy or upgrade equipment that can improve your productivity as a business, loans can help you finance these essential investments.

How to apply for a small business loan 

Before diving into the loan application process, you must spend time preparing to improve your chances of approval. Let’s take a look at what you should consider before application day. 

  • Your business needs: Always clearly outline why you need the loan and how it will benefit your business goals. This will help lenders understand why funding is necessary for your small business. 
  • Your credit profile: You’ll struggle to secure a favorable term loan unless you have a strong credit profile. Before applying, take a look at your current credit score and work to improve it if you can. 

Securing a business loan without credit

If you have a poor credit score, don’t panic. It’s still possible to secure funding for your small business with financing options, like PayPal Working Capital. This type of loan assesses your PayPal sales history rather than your credit score.

Preparing financial documents

Before your application, you’ll need to gather all your essential financial documents that a typical lender will need to approve your loan. These include:

To make things easier, use QuickBooks to keep accurate and organized financial records. This will help you not only on application day, but throughout your entire entrepreneurial journey. 

Researching and comparing lenders

The task of finding the right lender for your business’ small business loan should be treated with upmost care, because the decision can have a significant impact on your financial wellbeing.

Take the following factors into account when conducting research and comparing different lenders:

  1. Check annual percentage rates (APRs): Understanding the complete cost of the loan, which includes both the interest rates and any additional fees, is crucial. A lower APR means your overall borrowing expenses will be lower. 
  2. Fees: Keep an eye out for any application fees, origination fees , or prepayment penalties that could affect the total cost of your loan. 
  3. Lender reputation: Always check your lender's reputation by reading reviews and seeking recommendations from other small business owners. A trustworthy lender will always prioritize transparency on what your loan will cost. 

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We understand the challenges you face in these early stages, QuickBooks Accounting Software is designed to streamline your financial process and unlock your business’s full potential, offering a range of feature to set the stage for success, 

From intuitive invoicing and expense tracking to powerful financial reporting and scalable solutions, we've got you covered. Start your free 3 financial journey on the right track! 

Small business loans, when used correctly, can play a major role in helping your small business grow and develop. This article has given you all the starting knowledge you need to choose the right loan and apply at the right time. With this, you’re ready to navigate the complex world of small business financing!

Once you’ve secured a small business loan, it’s essential to manage it efficiently to ensure you’re using it properly and make timely repayments. 

If you’re looking for accounting software for your small business, QuickBooks Accounting Software will help you manage your repayment schedule and use your loan to its full potential. By being careful when applying for your loan, you can guide your enterprise toward long-term success. 


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