When it comes to business, time really is money. In today’s ultra-competitive climate it’s more important than ever to be more efficient than your competitors. With the proper preparation, applying for small business loans can be a swift, painless process. We’ve gathered a small business loans checklist of commonly asked questions and application must-haves. This will ensure you not only get the best possible rate, but also in a timely manner.
The small business funding process can be confusing and stressful. We totally understand. Our team of business funding specialists are here to help in this journey. We know you’re busy running your business. Our small business loans checklist breaks it all down more easily so you can identify what you need. Here are some things to think about before you get started:
1. Calculate how much working capital you need
Using your cash flow forecast, sit down with your bookkeeper or accountant. Work through what you will spend your working capital on. Is it new equipment? Is it refurbishments, paying for inventory in advance to get better discounts? Or to cover gaps in cash coming in, maybe payroll?
2. Make a wish list with essentials and luxuries
Speak to your co-owners, senior management and accountant to determine what is really needed for your business. Seek out ideas and thoughts from others in your business on what is required. Of course, you as the business owner have the final say. However, making a list of essentials and luxuries will help crystallize what is really needed.
Danielle Rivelli’s Small Business Loans Checklist:
After deciding what you need the capital for, there will be a few initial questions business loan providers ask. This helps when determining the type of financing program a business qualifies for. To prepare, gather this information before the call:
• Time in Business:
The amount of time a business has been in operation does matter. “When we are focusing on business revenue and how much to lend a company, its imperative that we have an average,” says Danielle Rivelli, Sales Manager at United Capital Source. “When a business has only been open for three months or five months, or something on the more conservative side, our offers are therefore more conservative. We are going to offer a shorter term.”
• Bank and Credit Card Statements:
Financing programs are typically revenue driven, so recent bank statements are very important. “We like to see the most recent business bank statements. If the business is excepting credit cards, they should know that in addition to the most recent bank statements, we would like to see the 3-4 month credit card statements as well,” she says Rivelli. “Although they generally are being transferred from the processing account to the bank account, we like to compare to make sure each individual batch is making it to the account and averages match up properly.”
Your Monthly Gross Sales & Credit Card Volume
Depending on the business loan program, we will need bank and credit card statements to show monthly sales. As an example, for a merchant cash advance you’d need to provide us with 3 months of credit card statements. If it’s over $75,000 you’re applying to borrow, we might need financials. If it’s a fixed payment loan, we would need our application form and about 6 months of bank statements.
• Bank Account:
Be sure it’s a business account, not a personal account. Lenders look to ensure balances remain positive each month. Account statements with multiple negative months and multiple days of NSF (non-sufficient funds) will discourage lenders from approving a loan. “If I am going to collect the payment, I need to make sure the money is going to be in the account to support the payment,” says Rivelli. Seasonality can be taken into consideration. Therefore, a business that is open seasonally should certainly make a case by providing more bank statements.
Bank Account Details
We’ll also need to have your business banking details. A contact person along with their phone number listed on the business loan application form. If you have a contact person, let them know you’re going to apply for business funding.
• FICO Score:
Coupled with time in business and monthly bank averages, a FICO score will allow lenders to determine of a slightly longer program or a more conservative term is appropriate. Basic applications are generally the first step in the application process; these documents help lenders identify the needs of a business at a glance.
To get through the application quickly and efficiently, be sure you have the following information available:
- Business location
- 6 months of bank statements
- 3 months of credit card statements
- Basic voided check – be sure this check is for the main business operating account
- Photo ID—if there is more than one owner of the business, supply photos for all owners
- Business lease (or mortgage statement if the business owns the facility)
Pro Tip: Don’t worry about bad credit
We’ve financed hundreds of small businesses with a bad credit history. So don’t worry about your credit score and bad credit history. Business doesn’t always evolve how you plan and we’re here to help focus on the future with a range of business loan programs. If your credit is that bad that you can’t qualify, we can assist in in helping you repair your credit to prepare for your next business loan application.
Additional Paperwork & Info:
Beyond the basic application, there may be additional paperwork for some types of finance programs and higher loan amounts.
Typical Business Loan Requirements
For your business funding application, have the following items ready:
- The correct company name, any DBA’s
- The date business was started
- Landlord name and contact details
- Federal Tax ID Number
- If a business license is necessary, make sure to have those handy as well
Business Trade References
Think about 3 references names and contact details you will provide in the business loan application. These are typically suppliers you deal with that can provide a reference for your business payment history.
The application form requires the majority owners information. We typically ask for date of birth, ownership percentage SS# for each owner.
• Basic site inspection—This is generally required for any loan amount $25,000 and over
• Financials—For any loan $74,000 and over, basic year-to-date Profit & Loss, a Balance Sheet is required and your most recent yearly tax return.
Beware of Scams:
• Bank login information should never be required. Avoid giving out this information!
• Some companies require application fees or origination fees for approval,United Capital Source doesn’t.
Danielle Rivelli’s final piece of advice is to “be prepared and set the expectation. Always put your best foot forward and be up front with a potential lender. This allows them to work quicker and determine an accurate rate, in many cases on the initial call.”
Time to fill out the business loan application!
After going through this small business loans checklist and contacting us at 855.933.8638 (WE-FUND-U), we’ll send you a simple 1 page application form requiring the above information. Once that’s completed, we’ll contact you to discuss the next steps!