As a small business owner, having enough financing is important. It can be hard to keep your business operational if you can’t afford the expenses your business needs.
Luckily, that is where SBA loans come in handy. They have been proven to be beneficial for a wide variety of small businesses. These loans can be hard to apply for and most have usage restrictions, they’re worth checking out.
However, they do not apply to everyone, and other types of loans might be best instead. Before you apply for an SBA loan, there are some questions you should ask yourself.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying for an SBA Small Business Loan:
Have I Exhausted Other Business Financing Options?
SBA small business loans are designed for small businesses that have sought financing elsewhere but did not obtain it. Pursue other options first if you can qualify for traditional business loans from a bank or another alternative lender.
In fact, if you can obtain financing elsewhere, then your business will unlikely qualify for an SBA loan. One of the SBA’s requirements is that you need to submit proof that you have failed to qualify for traditional financing options to be considered for an SBA loan.
Does My Business Meet the Minimum Requirements?
SBA loans are more restrictive than traditional bank loans. To qualify for an SBA loan, your business must satisfy a number of prerequisites. The following are some of the minimum requirements you need when applying for an SBA loan.
- You need to demonstrate a material need for the loan and that you weren’t able to qualify for another loan or type of financing.
- You need to prove that you will use the loan for a reasonable purpose that is approved by the SBA.
- You will need to complete an extensive amount of paperwork.
- Your business credit history and personal credit score will also be considered in the application process.
If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you will be wasting your own time applying for it. Instead, find other funding sources that you qualify for or wait more time until you can qualify.
Is My Business Financially Viable?
You need to prove that your business will be able to grow in result of receiving a loan. If your business is currently operating at a loss, then you will need to demonstrate how a loan will improve your operations. Most SBA loan officers are relatively patient and understanding, but they aren’t going to approve you for a loan unless they know it will be paid back in full and on time.
What Type of SBA Loan is Right for My Small Business?
There are several types of different SBA loans which have various uses associated with it.
What Other Business Financing Options Are Available to Business Owners?
After reviewing this post, you may find that the SBA’s usage requirements and application process might not be the best fit for your company. Other funding options to consider include:
- Small Business Loans from an Alternative Lender
- Merchant Cash Advances
- Business Lines of Credit
- Invoice Financing
- Bridge Loans
- Inventory Financing
- Equipment Funding
- Business Credit Cards
The Bottom Line
The SBA helps business owners attain the financing they need so they can grow and maintain their operations. Hopefully after you read this you will have a better idea of what is the best option for you.