Small Business Loan Solutions

Statistics show that 94.7% of all small business owners feel their only financial resources are their local banks or personal credit cards… even though their local banks often require them to pledge their personal homes & land as collateral.

Here are some tips that can save your business, regardless of your personal credit history.

First of all, getting approved for a small business loan is definitely easier than getting personal loans… regardless of your personal credit scores. Additionally, getting the right types of corporate credit is absolutely critical: if you want to protect your personal assets, minimize the risk of a personal lawsuit affecting your business, and to your ability to weather the economic changes that happen overnight.

All business owners must be much more proactive about developing relationships with the right types of lending institutions. You usually want to start your application process with out-of-state, national lenders… not your local or regional banking institutions. National lenders typically won’t require a personal guarantee or your social security number.

I’ve attached a basic roadmap you’ll need to follow, if you need a small business startup loan, a business debt consolidation loan, a bad credit business loan, or a government business loan.

Ultimately, you need to find a competent professional that can help you navigate through the process of building a strong corporate credit rating.

Finding a competent business loan expert will give you a head start on your competition & also let you focus on running your day-to-day activities… instead of dealing with the hassles of establishing a strong business credit rating. An excellent business credit score can help your company’s image, overnight.

You need to prepare yourself with these very basic questions, before you apply for any business credit.

1. How is your business structured? Is it a sole proprietorship, C-corporation, S-Corporation, Limited-Liability Corporation (LLC), Partnership, or Trust?

2. How long has your business been recognized by your State & Local government?

3. Has your company ever had derogatory information reported against it to either of the two (2) most popular business credit reporting agencies, Dun & Bradstreet or Experian?

4. Are your company permits, licenses and registrations current?

5. Does your business have a physical address, or are you trying to use a U.S. Post Office Box instead?

6. Is your business telephone number recognized by directory assistance?

7. Are your incoming telephone calls professionally answered in your business name?

8. Have you established a business checking account?

9. Have you registered & asked for an Employer Identification Number (also known as an EIN) from the IRS?

If your answer to the first question was a sole proprietorship, partnership or trust; I urge you to re-establish your company as a corporation or LLC. I’m not going to provide you with legal advice, but many CPAs and attorneys highly recommend LLCs (Limited Liability Corporations) as a way of protecting your personal assets & estate… in the event of any lawsuits being filed against your company.

As a sole proprietor, your personal assets are at direct risk of seizure or forfeiture when faced with most types of legal action. Additionally, if you are applying for business loans in a corporation’s name… most lending institutions will not require you to provide any personal guarantee!

A corporation can still face difficulties applying for business credit, if it has been in business less than 2 years or had previous credit problems reported against it. Here are some ways to fix these problems.

– Purchasing a “shelf corporation” or “aged corporation” that’s been in good standing with your State government (for longer than 2 years) can drastically improve your chances for small business loan approval.

– You can attempt to repair your business credit rating by writing dispute letters to Experian or Dun & Bradstreet, which isn’t always possible.

– Some corporate credit experts will help you find, select & purchase an established “shelf” or “aged” corporation, some of which already have strong credit ratings established… saving you a lot of hassles!

I cannot stress this enough… you MUST have a physical address (not a PO Box) if you want to establish a solid business credit rating. The same thing is said for telephone numbers & the way incoming phone calls are handled. Would you lend money to a company that does not appear to have a physical address or documented telephone number?

And, don’t forget to always keep your small business permits, licenses & registrations current… and always keep copies of these documents in case a potential lender asks for this information.

Business checking accounts are a must. Again, this proves stability to your potential lenders. Here are a couple of tips for you, in case you’ve had any checking accounts closed by a financial institution. Pay off the outstanding balance (if any) that’s being reported by the bank, or open a checking account at a bank or credit union that doesn’t use the ChexSystems credit reporting system. Most credit unions don’t use ChexSystems, and you can always find a list of banking institutions in your area that don’t use ChexSystems… by simply doing a search on Google, Yahoo or MSN.

Small business credit ratings are tracked using your business name, business address and employer identification number (EIN). You can apply for & receive an EIN at the IRS’s website (irs.gov). You can also call the IRS, but be prepared for long waits.

Then you’ll want to obtain a D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet, the largest business credit reporting agency. You can apply for this without any fees at Dun & Bradstreet’s website, and you’ll usually receive this number within thirty (30) days. Do not apply for this number until you’ve prepared your self thoroughly, because any information you give to them… goes into your credit file… permanently.

After you’ve obtained your D-U-N-S number, you’re probably ready to start establishing some vendor credit. Vendor credit is where many business owners start establishing business credit ratings. Simply go to staples.com, officemax.com or officedepot.com to get started. Then, you’ll also need to fax your business telephone bill & the credit application to them… on your business letterhead (which you can create using your favorite word processing software if you don’t have expensive stationery). They usually don’t require any personal guarantees (if you’ve followed the outline above), and you’ll usually receive a starting credit line of $750.

This is critical & I repeat… critical! Always pay your invoices before the grace periods begin… especially on unsecured credit cards or vendor credit lines. Dun & Bradstreet will lower your credit score for every day a creditor reports your bill as unpaid while you’re within your grace period. Whereas, personal credit scores are not lowered unless you are 30+ days past your due date.

Dun & Bradstreet reports what’s known as a Paydex score (your corporate credit score), and a score of 80 is very good… with 100 being the highest score you can achieve. Your Paydex score is issued once you’ve established a known vendor/credit relationship with at least five (5) creditors.

There are shortcuts that will help you get much more than $750 a lot faster. When using a business credit expert, most small business owners (even startups) can be approved for vendor credit lines of $25,000-$50,000 and open credit lines of $50,000, $250,000, $500,000 or more… in as little as 45-60 days… by using their knowledge of the application process & “shelf” corporations.

Now, it’s your choice. Are you going to go against the grain & try to establish business credit on your own (which could prove costly to your business health, growth & survival)? Or, will you choose to utilize a corporate credit expert… allowing you to remain focused on your daily business needs?

Most business owners make the mistake of trying to do this on their own… usually trying to find grants, investor “angel” money, or falling back onto the “personal credit card sword”. Don’t be a casualty like the rest. Learn more about how you can use the tools that informed, educated millionaire businessmen have used for years.

Business Loan Difficulties – Solutions for Bars and Restaurants

Many traditional lenders have unofficially removed bar and restaurant properties from their short list of business loan candidates. Other lenders will restrict their restaurant lending to a handful of restaurant businesses with a long track record. There are two dominant reasons for these actions by traditional lenders:

(1) Bars and restaurants will usually have the highest failure rate among new businesses. Traditional banks have discovered that an infallible strategy for avoiding such business loan failures is to avoid making these kinds of loans in the first place.

(2) Commercial mortgages for bars and restaurants will involve special financing requirements for liquor licenses and items generally categorized as FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment). As a result, there will be a perceived intermingling of various assets looked upon as collateral by the traditional banks, and this extra level of complexity discourages many traditional lenders from actively making commercial real estate loans to bar and restaurant owners.

Business Loan Solutions

(1) One of the primary underlying reasons for a high failure rate among bars and restaurants is directly due to the commercial borrower being forced into short-term financing when long-term financing is essential to the health of the business investment. Businesses (and especially restaurant and bar properties) should not be financed with short-term funds. It is essential to obtain long-term commercial financing of at least 15-20 years (and longer is even better).

(2) Seller seconds and other variations of subordinate financing should be considered. This will permit the most aggressive commercial financing for bar and restaurant commercial mortgages, often up to 90 percent of the property value. This is important if you are the buyer because it will provide another financial tool to help with financing. It is important to the seller because it might enable someone to buy the property who could not otherwise do so. However, subordinate financing (including seller seconds) is not permitted by many traditional banks.

(3) Finally, restaurants and bars will frequently benefit from using credit card receivables to convert future cash flow into immediate working capital via a business cash advance up to $300,000. This funding solution will primarily be of assistance in providing working capital rather than initial business financing.

Other Solutions

Small business owners often encounter difficulties when reviewing their options for buying a business. Bars and restaurants have some unique problems, but commercial financing options are similar for many types of business properties.

Seeking business partners is a prudent alternative to review in many circumstances, but it has considerable merit when a bar and restaurant acquisition is under consideration. Business partnerships, of course, can also involve potential disadvantages. If a business loan cannot be obtained any other way, then this strategy might become a primary financial option.

Why Asset Backed Business Loans And Asset Lending Make Your Business Financeable For Growth

When was the last time you really found business loans solutions that made total sense for your firm. We’re thinking that you will say ‘ right about now!” after you finish hearing what we’re going to tell you about asset lending and asset back lines of credit in Canada.

Looking for understatements.?We always are. Here’s one… ‘Business financing has never been more difficult to achieve than in the last couple years ‘! Now that’s an understatement. It seems to be all about problems and never about solutions.

What if there was a type of business financing in Canada that made all firms eligible yet at the same time gave you access to unlimited amount of credit, and only had one requirement. Too good to be true? Not necessarily. And what is that requirement our clients always ask, and the answer is ‘ assets ‘.

Canadian asset lending via a non bank asset backed line of credit makes business loans sense today more than it ever has before.

Let’s get to the core of the solution, and then you” see how that solution can fix your current financing challenges. This type of business operating loan is a revolving line of credit that is secured by inventory, accounts receivable, and other balance sheet asset accounts as may be applicable. (Typically those might be equipment and real estate in some cases)

Is there a size that seems to make the most sense when you contemplate such a financing. We have found through experience that clients that require at least a 250k/mo operating working capital requirement are the best candidates for this type of financing. There is virtually no upper limit on asset based line of credit financing in Canada!

We always come back to the word ‘ assets’ in discussing the availability of this type of financing. On a day to day basis you monitor your receivables, inventory, etc and simply draw down against them. As you can see the facility fluctuates every day simply because each day your firm bills new customers, collects receivables from past sales, and purchases inventory and converts that product into a sale and resulting receivable. That whole process is known as your operating cycle.

Asset backed lending in Canada is a secured form of lending that grows as you grow. That’s the main difference from a chartered bank line of credit, which typically has fixed limits and imposes all sorts of other conditions re rations, covenants, collateral, and personal guarantees on the business owners and managers. That’s now that asset lending via bank line of credit is about in Canada.

The key qualification difference here is that a large amount of the approval process for this type of facility revolves around verifying your assets such as the quality of your receivables, inventory turns,, and your ability to ‘ scorecard’ your business via proper financial reporting every month around receivables and inventory.

Does our solution make sense? We think it does if you are in one of several categories, including not being able to access bank credit, not being able to access enough bank credit, and if your firm is in a growth mode and has assets that can be financing for working capital needs.

Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can guide you through the asset backed line of credit strategy for your firms survival, growth, and profit.

How to Apply for a Small Business Loan

Before lenders will grant a small business loan, they want to be sure that the loan will be repaid. Every loan is a risk, but banks and brokers want to take as little risk as possible. They look for businesses that show promise, and they award loans to businesses that have solid personal and business backgrounds and are committed to the success of their businesses.

What are the first things the lender will look at? The following are the five basic items that all lenders look at before they will approve your business loan:

1. Credit history One of the primary factors lenders look at is the condition of your personal and business credit. This is generally reflected in your credit score that is obtained from the three credit reporting agencies. Your personal credit score is associated with your Social Security number, but business credit reports are tied to your tax ID number. Before you even start shopping for a loan, request a copy of your credit report from all three major reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Review it carefully and correct any mistakes before you start the application process.

2. Your investment Business loan applicants should have a reasonable amount of their own money invested in their business. Lenders want to know that you will be motivated to work hard to make your business a success. When they see that you have invested a substantial amount of your own money in your venture, they will assume that you will work hard to make it a success. The amount of your required investment may vary, but it should be at least 20% of the amount you need for the business venture.

3. Working capital Working capital consists of your current assets minus your current liabilities. Working capital can also be thought of as cash on hand or what is available to pay current debts and keep your business running. A lack of adequate working capital increases the risk that your business will fail and makes lenders much less likely to approve your loan.

4. Ability to repay Banks want to see two sources of repayment: cash flow from your business and a secondary source which is typically collateral. Lenders will look at your past and projected financial statements. They will want to see your personal financial statements, personal tax returns for the past two-three years, business financial statements for the past three years or for three projected years, and accounts receivables and payable aging. If your business has consistently made a profit or you can reasonably project a profit, you are more likely to get approved. If your business has not been consistently profitable, you can increase your chances of getting a loan by including detailed information of new opportunities, new contracts, or other information showing that your company’s future will be profitable.

Most lenders require collateral to secure the loan. Collateral is required for all SBA loans. Collateral can be business assets and personal assets. If you plan to purchase equipment and other assets with borrowed funds, these assets will be used as collateral for the loan. Lenders will also require you to personally guarantee the loan.

5. Experience and character Lenders will expect you to have experience in the type of business that you plan to run. If you do not have that experience, lenders will expect you to hire people who have experience. Even if you do not have experience in this type of business, you should at least be able to show experience in other businesses and managerial experience.

What documents will lenders require? In order to expedite the process, the following four documents should be available for the lender to review:

1. Business plan A business plan is particularly important for new businesses, as they lack a track record for lenders to review. Your plan should convey all important facts about your business in a concise manner. A professional business plan will be at least 20 pages long, plus financial projections. The business plan will include:

Balance sheets, Profit and loss statements, and Cash flow projections

from the last three years or for three years’ projections.

Accounts receivable and payables aging

breaking your receivables and payables into 30, 60, and 90-day categories.

Market data showing demand for your type of business

Research on competitors including their customer base and price points

2. Loan request This can be included with the business plan and should detail the amount of money requested, how the loan funds will be used, the type of loan, the amount of working capital you have, the collateral that will secure the loan, the personal guarantees of the loan, and how the loan will be repaid.

3. Personal financial statements You will need to provide personal financial statements for anyone who owns 20 percent or more of the business. The financial statements must include a complete schedule of assets, debts with balances due, payment schedules, maturity dates, and collateral used to secure other loans.

4. Other documents Lenders may also require articles of incorporation, taxpayer ID number, legal descriptions of real property, leases, equipment inventories with serial numbers, proof of insurance for collateralized items, and letters of intent showing that commercial accounts intend to do business with you.

What is the loan process? Some lenders like to prequalify potential borrowers to determine how much they can afford. This also gives you and your lender an opportunity to see which loan program would be most appropriate for your needs. After the lender gathers basic information and your application is received, a loan officer or processor will review your credit reports, the amount of available collateral, and your income.

The loan officer will determine if any additional documentation is required. If you are purchasing real estate, you may also need to submit preliminary environmental reports, area maps, title reports, property appraisals, and lease summaries. Next, your commercial loan package is submitted to the decision makers — either a loan committee or underwriter. During the underwriting process, you may need to furnish additional documentation.

After the underwriting process, you will receive a letter of intent or term sheet. A letter of intent or term sheet is a formal document intended to put all parties (the lender and your company) on the same page. The letter of intent will include the names of all parties, amount of financing, type of collateral, and other key terms. After all underwriting conditions are satisfied, the final loan package is resubmitted to the loan committee for final approval.

At this point, the lender will issue a final full loan commitment. If your loan is approved, you will receive closing documents and they may be handled by a title company. The title company will record deeds and mortgages, order title insurance, coordinate the exchange of funds, and arrange for you to sign the loan documents. At the closing, the lender funds the loan with a cashier’s check, draft, or electronic wire transfer.

Being prepared and organized can save time and help your loan get approved. Be prepared to have all required information ready to submit if your lender requests it.

Jo Ann Joy, Esq., MBA, CEO
The future of your business starts here!

You may contact Jo Ann by phone at (602) 663-7007, by fax at (602) 324-7582, by email at joannjoy@Indigo Business Solutions.net, and by mail at 2313 East Ocotillo Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016. I have many published articles, and I will send any article to you free of charge. Most consultations are free.

Discover the secrets to success

Jo Ann Joy is a strategic business attorney and the CEO and owner of Indigo Business Solutions. Indigo Business Solutions is a “one stop shop” for businesses. We differ from other business consulting firms, because we offer legal and business counseling. We work with our clients to create value and gain competitive advantage.

Jo Ann has a law degree, an MBA, and a degree in Economics. Her legal background includes commercial, corporate, bankruptcy and real estate law. She has expertise in accounting, business planning and strategies, mortgage lending, marketing, and product development.

Business Loan Financing Or How To Get Business Loans Fast?

1. Definition of loans linked with different purposes

a. Purpose

Whenever you ask for a loan, the first thing the lender will ask you will be related to the usage of the money. What are you going to use the money for? Is it for what they call treasury purposes or for capital expenditures? In very simple terms is it for daily routine necessities of the business, which can be in the form of the cash requirements for paying off day to day expenses like paying the suppliers, buying stationery, paying to the cashier, etc. or is this because you need the money to expand or grow your business, which in this case can to buy a new machine the increase your production process. One last possibility is to have some spare money aside for contingencies which means in case you need to make a large payment to replace a new machine which just broke down. One your lender is clear on how you will use your money, then one box is ticked in his scorecard or he is one step closer to the decision making procedure.

b. Lending Criteria

Obviously there is not just one type of Business Loan Financing. It all depends on different criteria the lender will consider before he can decide if yes or no he wants to give you his money. Let’s go through the main two:

1. Amount of the loan: make sure the amount looks reasonable when compared to your capital and the size of your balance sheet. You don’t want to ask for $10K if your capital is at $1K. Why? You could wonder why not after all. What difference does it make? Well there is a huge difference. The bank is going to lend you to the extend it believes you can pay back the money very easily. So if you ask for more than you can cope with in terms of making that type of revenues or having a capital that is smaller than you’re asking for, big RED WARNING signals are going to ring for them. So start small and then you can increase gradually when you have proven you are a good creditor and you make enough cash to pay them back. As remember this is what the bank is concerned ALWAYS!: can my client pay me back? You now start to understand what the key components are in a business loan financing decision process. Bear in mind that once you know all of them, you have the magic key to decide what are the best Business Finance Solutions for you and get your business loans fast.

2. Maturity: this is the second most important information the bank will take into account when they make their decision in any business loan financing transaction. Maturity of the loan means how long you want to take the loan for. A good average is 5 years. If you take a large amount of money and want to repay quicker, you will need to demonstrate that you have enough spare cash after all expenses have been taken out, to repay your loan. On the other hand, if you do go for longer than 5 years, the bank will want to get a picture of where your business will stand after that period. And if you are a small-medium sized company that has been operation of 2-3 years, this can represent a risk for the bank to give you a loan for such a long period as you don’t have enough history to back it up. So even if you have a desperate need to get financial help for business growth, bear in mind that you want to increase your probability to get your loan approved by asking the bank for a loan which will meet their lending guidelines.

c. Take Action Now

Now that you are aware of what the bank is looking for and on which lending guidelines any lender, mostly banks will base their decisions on, you have increased your success rate in having your loan approved whatever business finance solutions you opted for. GO and Get your Business Loans Fast!

Business Finances Made Easy’s mission is to help business owners getting an accurate understanding of their business finances. This will allow them to be able to discuss their business finances at any time with confidence and will help them to get additional funding on demand.