The 8(a) Business Development Program assists in the development of small businesses owned and operated by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged, such as women and minorities. The following ethnic groups are classified as eligible: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans (American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians); Asian Pacific Americans (persons with origins from Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Vietnam, Korea, The Philippines, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Samoa, Macao, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Nauru); Subcontinent Asian Americans (persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands or Nepal). In 2011, the SBA, along with the FBI and the IRS, uncovered a massive scheme to defraud this program. Civilian employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working in concert with an employee of Alaska Native Corporation Eyak Technology LLC allegedly submitted fraudulent bills to the program, totaling over 20 million dollars, and kept the money for their own use.
The SBA guarantee reduces the risk for lenders, allowing lenders to make loans to businesses that they would otherwise not lend to. For example, businesses with insufficient down payments or collateral for conventional bank loans may be able to qualify for a loan that’s backed by an SBA guarantee. Similarly, borrowers usually receive loans with lower interest rates and longer repayment terms than they would with conventional commercial loans.
An unsecured loan, sometimes referred to as a signature loan or a merchant loan, is a special type of financing available to business that is different from traditional lending. Instead of requiring collateral to obtain financing, unsecured lending uses several other factors to judge the eligibility of a loan applicant. These could include things such as your credit score and sales records from the business. This type of financing may be advisable for small business owners who do not want to risk their personal collateral in order to obtain the financing they need. Since the loan requirements differ from traditional bank loans, the interest rates and speed of approval can be much different. Oftentimes these merchant loans are reviewed and approved in a very short time frame, making them ideal for anyone who is in need of immediate capital.
When you have strong personal credit and a young business with a lot of unpaid customer invoices, BlueVine and Fundbox are good financing options. Both offer invoice factoring at similar costs. Where they differ: minimum revenue and minimum credit score. With BlueVine, you need at least $120,000 in revenue and a minimum 530 personal credit score. Fundbox does not require a minimum revenue or credit score; the lender does require at least six months of activity in a compatible online accounting software.
Look carefully at your business’s financials — especially cash flow — and evaluate how much you can reasonably afford to apply toward loan repayments each month. Some online lenders require daily or twice-monthly repayments, so factor that into the equation if that’s the case.
Generally, you’ll get solid loan terms from these lenders, making it possible for you to grow your business and establish better credit. That can help you qualify for other types of financing down the road.
If you’re applying through a traditional bank, it helps to work with one that has a track record of processing SBA loans. Patty Staples, senior vice president and chief credit officer at Evangelical Christian Credit Union, suggests you ask your potential lender these questions:
A business line of credit provides access to flexible cash. Lenders give you access to a specific amount of credit (say, $100,000), but you don’t make payments or get charged interest until you tap into the funds.
^ Jump up to: a b c “Women’s Business Centers: Effectively Growing Entrepreneurship”. http://www.awbc.org. Association of Women’s Business Centers. Retrieved 11 November 2014. External link in |website= (help)
The Community Advantage program lets your startup borrow up to $250k, and the Microloan program provides loans up to $50k. The SBA is not the lender but instead they just guarantee the loan. The lender is an SBA-approved intermediary, such as a CDC (community development corporation), a bank, or a non-profit institution.
• Your business needs to meet the SBA’s size requirements. In order to qualify as a small business, your firm needs to meet the government’s definition of a small business for your industry. Some industry size requirements are based on average annual receipts; other industries are judged based on the number of employees, which generally can’t exceed 500 workers — although there are exceptions. The SBA maintains an exhaustive list of size requirements broken down by industry.
The 504 Fixed Asset Financing Program is administered through non-profit Certified Development Companies throughout the country. This program provides funding for the purchase or construction of real estate and/or the purchase of business equipment/machinery. Of the total project costs, a lender must provide 50% of the financing, a Certified Development Company provides up to 40% of the financing through a 100% SBA-guaranteed debenture, and the applicant provides approximately 10% of the financing. Thorough due diligence of properties purchased through this program is required. Specific SBA Level I Environmental Site Assessment guidelines apply as all properties are treated as “high risk.” The Small Business Jobs Act permanently increased the maximum size of these loans from $2 million to $5 million ($5.5 million for manufacturers).
Unlike 7(a) and 504 loans, which are only offered to for-profit businesses, microloans can also be used for not-for-profit childcare centers, though other types of not-for-profit companies are ineligible.
U.S. Bank offers five types of SBA loans for businesses in almost any for-profit industry. Loan amounts range from $25,000 to more than $11.25 million and are available for a variety of business purposes, including:
To raise your credit score fast, check your credit reports for mistakes that could be weighing down your score and dispute them with the credit bureaus, maintain a low balance on your credit cards and stay on top of all of your bills.
A ROBS is flexible and can be used in conjunction with almost every startup funding option on this list. The funds from a ROBS can even serve as a downpayment for a startup business loan or an SBA loan. It’s right for anyone needing financing and willing to contribute $50k+ they currently have in a deferred retirement account. You can learn more by reading our ultimate guide on ROBS Financing.
We make money when you get the funding you need. Some of the loan providers on our site pay us a referral fee when customers get approved for a loan. We always try to find the best option for you, even if we don’t have a paying relationship with a lender. We also turn down offers from lenders that we feel take advantage of small-business owners. Read more about how we make money.
Like angel investing, you need to be ready to give up equity and have the ability to scale your business quickly if you want to find venture capital investors. VC’s are looking for businesses ready to become a large business worth substantially more than they are today, and you need to have something that makes you stand out in your industry.
Did you know you have a FICO small business credit score that banks use to help make their lending decisions?Like your personal FICO credit score, the SBSS score can single-handedly make or break your chances of getting business financing!
Additionally, as a startup your SBA lender will expect that you present a well prepared business plan. We recommend using business plan software, which provides you with great looking templates, guides you through the process so you don’t miss anything important, and provides you with lots of examples.
• Your business may need to meet other criteria depending on the type of loan. The SBA has a variety of loan guarantee programs for different purposes. These are explained below. Make sure to check the qualifications for the particular loan you want to determine your eligibility before applying.
Equity I: This option must be done privately through accredited investors. Entrepreneurs using this type of crowdfunding get access to the fewest number of potential investors but also have to deal with the fewest amount of legal regulations.
Accion is a nationwide nonprofit lender provides microloans for startups. In most states, you can borrow up to $10,000 for a new startup or up to $50,000 for an existing business. Kiva is another nonprofit that will lend up to $10,000 in startup funding.
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