Every year, millions of individuals go into business for themselves, some as a side-job and others as a full-time endeavor, hoping to begin a new financial chapter of their lives. One of the biggest challenges of starting your own company is obtaining enough funds to enter the marketplace smoothly. There are all sorts of ways to raise the needed capital. Some people borrow against their home’s equity while others work with companies like Mason Finance and get a cash payout by selling their life insurance policies for less than the maturity value. A so-called “life settlement” is just one of many financial strategies for getting a new business off the ground.
Many prospective entrepreneurs apply for small business loans. Unfortunately, without proper guidance, it can be tough to get approved for such a loan if you go the do-it-yourself route. Before trying to obtain a small business loan, make sure you have all the documentation you’ll need. It’s also imperative to understand the formal process for applying. Here are a few steps you can follow when applying for a small business loan:
Decide Whether You Really Need the Money
If you truly need a small business loan, your needs will probably be in one of four categories, whether it’s that most business borrowers want extra funds to help the company grow, to manage daily cash-flow needs, to establish a safety net, or to just get the business off the ground. When your desires fall into one of those areas, you’re on the right track and in line with the huge majority of other borrowers.
Shop for the Right Product
There are two basic kinds of business loans: those for start-ups and those for companies that have been in business for more than a year. If you are just starting out, consider using your credit cards, borrowing from family, borrowing against your home, or obtaining a micro-loan. Most traditional institutions will not lend to brand new companies. If you’ve been in business for a year or more, consider applying to the Small Business Administration, a local bank or using an invoice factoring service.
Compare Interest Rates and Terms
In the event you find yourself faced with multiple loan offers, be careful when deciding which one to take. Don’t always opt for the highest loan amount because it might come with higher interest and a shorter payback period. Look at all the factors before choosing the loan package that works for your company.
Gather Your Documents
When you’re ready to make a formal application to the loan provider of your choice, gather up all the documents, like annual proof of income, any financial statements required, and whatever else the lender asks for. The more information you already have on hand, the faster the approval process will be. From there you can submit your documents and wait for the approval. At least once after sending all the information to the lender, contact them and ask if they need anything else. Often, applicants accidentally omit a figure or an entire document. Be safe and ask if everything has been received.
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