Best Startup Business Loans of 2018

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Funding options for startups? Do they really exist?

If a business has been up and running for over 5 years, they have multiple options to secure capital for the business, especially considering that alternative lending industry has grown significantly in the last ten years. But what about startups? Where can startups turn for funding?

Now when we say ‘startup’, we don’t mean the next billion-dollar company coming out of Silicon Valley, we mean the next local business. The dry cleaner, the restaurant, the mechanic, the yoga studio, the home-based internet business, even the new college graduate looking to launch a new dentist practice.

With over 600,000* new businesses created each year in the United States, lack of capital is one of the main reasons why business fail**. Appreciating how critical capital is, we have put together a comprehensive list of how a startup business owner can get access to the much-needed funds required to launch and growth their business

Compare The Best Startup Business Loan Options

Funding Source Best For Take Action
SBA Startup Loans Low Interest Rates and Long Term
Business Credit Cards Low Interest Rates, Speed of Funding and Flexibility of Funds
Equipment Financing Purchasing specific equipment
Friends and Family Flexibility of Funds and Speed of Funding
Angel Investors Funding Range
401k Rollover Funding Range and Flexibility of Funds
Crowdfunding Funding Range and Flexibility of Funds

Top 7 Options for Start Up Business Loans

1. SBA Startup Loans

Best for Low Interest Rates and Long Term

SBA loans are great for low rates and long terms. Ideal for the right business owner who is patient and meets the strict SBA guidelines. As a startup business, the business owner will usually be required to make a 20-30% capital contribution alongside the lending bank.

  • How Does It Work?

  • How Do I Get Approved?

  • How Much Does It Cost?

Getting an SBA startup loan can be very difficult but worthwhile if you meet the criteria. The funding rages between $25,000 to $350,000. Keep in mind that you can only use these funds on approved expenses and it takes about 3 to 6 months to get the funding if you are able to pass through all of the strict requirements.

In order to get approved, you will need the following business documents: business plan, 2-5 year financial projections, profits & loss statement, balance sheet and personal financial statement. You are also required to be in business for more than 6 months, unlike using credit cards which don’t even require a business to have actually started operating.

The biggest problem with SBA small business start up loans is that they require the owner to contribute 20-30% to the loan. However, if you are able to do so you can $25,000 to $350,000 for between 6%-10% which is unbeatable. The origination fee for SBA startup business loans is between 1% to 3% which is relatively low.

When it comes to the SBA, there is a lot of rumors, stories, misconceptions and even a little truth out there.

To start with, who is the SBA? The SBA stands for the Small Business Administration. The SBA is a US government agency that provides support for entrepreneurs and small businesses. SBA loans are made through banks, credit unions and other lenders who partner with the SBA. The SBA provides a government-backed guarantee on part of the loan.

The Inside Scoop on How SBA Startup Loans Work

How does it work? At the simplest level, the SBA says to their approved lenders that if they provide a loan under a pre-set of conditions, they will guarantee a certain percent of the loan in case of default. That means the lender is guaranteed, not the entrepreneur. Because the SBA is guaranteeing the loan, they require the loan to be low risk. They will look at requirements from the entrepreneur such as; personal investment, years of industry experience, time in business, business plan, financial forecasting. They want to ensure they are truly lending to businesses that have a proven track record and the ability to continue to grow and repay the loan.

According to the SBA, when you use the microloan program you can qualify for up to $50,000. The SBA has a lending program known as 7(a), which can also be used to start businesses. The SBA website states that: “7(a) loans have a maximum loan amount of $5 million. SBA does not set a minimum loan amount. The average 7(a) loan amount in fiscal year 2015 was $371,628.”

The Challenge of SBA Loans to Start a Business

The challenge with the SBA loans is that in order to qualify the SBA usually requires collateral or a 20% capital contribution. Meaning, for every $1 the business owner borrows, they must be able to contribute $0.20. In other words, the SBA says if you want to borrow $100,000, they want to see the startup owner contribute $20,000 of their own startup capital. This can be very difficult for some new business owners. In startup business funding, there is no one size fits all.

SBA startup loans have very strict qualification criteria as the federal government will ultimately be insuring them. For this reason, there is a large amount of due diligence that the lender will do, they have an extensive application process and very specific documents required. The application process is very thorough and obviously no guarantees of approval. With that said, for the right business with the suitable criteria, the SBA route may be ideal as their rates are typically very competitive and they provide long terms to ensure the monthly repayment is extremely manageable to the startup business owner.

So what should you do next?

While not a perfect fit for all business owners, if your business does meet the criteria, you can make the capital contribution and are patient enough to go through the process, SBA loans maybe the idea funding choice for your startup business. Funding in a timely manner is usually integral to the survival of your business.

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2. Business Credit Cards

Best for Low Interest Rates, Speed of Funding and Flexibility of Funds

Business Credit Cards are the most popular form of business funding and have multiple attributes that many users pleasantly surprised with. Business credit cards should at least play a part in every single startup business funding plan. Funding range is usuallyt between $5,000 and $150,000 and can grow with good payment history. It is not uncommon to start with a $10,000 limit business credit card and within 12 months, can be as high as $100,000 due to strong usage and payment history. There are absolutely no restrictions on how you can use the money. The speed of the funding is extremely fast - you can literally get the money in 5 business days.

  • How Does It Work?

  • How Much Does It Cost?

The documentation required for a startup business funding with credit cards is extremely minimal, depending on which bank you utilize.. You just need the business registration documents, federal tax identification number (EIN) and Articles of Incorporation. Time in business can be 0 with a strong personal credit score, so generally recognized as the best funding option for startup businesses under 6 months in business. There is no need to contribute any money to get this type of startup funding, unlike with SBA startup loans or equipment financing which both require a significant contribution on the owner’s part.

The rates are absolutely amazing as you can get 0% APR on the credit cards for up to 15 months. You can also take advantage of very nice rewards programs to travel for free or earn cash back. Given there is absolutely no origination fee for using credit cards to fund a startup, you should definitely use credit cards at least as part of your startup funding plan.

While most people don’t immediately think of credit cards as a way to get startup business loan, it is actually one of the most common ways for new businesses to get off the ground. Now before you scroll past this section, take a moment to read, you may be pleasantly surprised with a few of our tips. We’ll also share a few interesting statistics from the 2011 US Census and the Small Business Association (SBA).

Of all US based small businesses, 80% use credit cards to provide working capital while 60% of businesses use business credit cards. That means a lot of business owners are still using their non-business, standard, credit cards for their business. Our view is that this works well if you have a card specifically assigned for business or keep great records. It is generally recommended to avoid having the same card being used for your business and your personal expenses.

Why should I consider credit cards?

Credit cards are one of the fastest and easiest methods to access capital. Each bank has their own criteria but as a good rule of thumb, they are looking for credit scores of 680+ for FICO8 and to have a current credit card with a credit limit of $5,000 that you have had for a minimum of 3 years.

Credit cards operate in the same manner as an unsecured line of credit, meaning, you can use the funds, pay back and then draw down again and continue to repay and draw down. For this reason, credit cards are ideal for expenses that are monthly expenses such as inventory, rent and other frequent bills. They provide the business owner the ability to make the payments for their regular expenses, enjoy the payment terms, typically net 30 and if need be, carry a balance. So think of it like this, let’s say you purchase $10,000 worth of inventory on your credit card, you will usually have monthly net 15 on monthly net 30 terms on that. This now gives you the ability to purchase the inventory, put it on the shelves, sell the inventory for let’s say $15,000 and make the payment for the inventory all after you have already sold it. This gives you the ability to actually not come out of pocket a penny for that inventory. Now this is a nice way to run a business!

Beyond just the payment terms, earning a huge amount of rewards from your business that you can use for your business or personal life has mass appeal. In fact, we recommend that you try to run every single transaction through the credit card to earn the points. It is quite easy in a business sense to earn enough points to get a FREE annual vacation for yourself and your family.

Before jumping in blind with a random business credit card, it’s important to understand which the best match for you is, your requirements and your eligibility. There is a large selection of different types of credit cards and each business owner has their own unique requirements and advantages/ disadvantages.

There is one more major tip that we have to share:

Don’t think you have to be limited to just one business credit card, in fact, the majority of small business owners have multiple business credit cards.

Multiple cards? Why?

Great question! There are several reasons why you might want to have multiple business credit cards:

  1. Access to Additional Capital

    If you receive a $10,000 limit business credit card, that simply may not be enough for your business needs. If that’s the case, a second or third card may be beneficial to fully utilize the credit line

  2. Maximize Cash Flow

    As a startup business, you will have both one-time, initial setup costs as well as ongoing monthly costs. With some business credit cards providing 0% interest for the first 9 or 12 months, many business owners will actually place a major purchase on that card and pay it down each month. For example, if you buy a $12,000 piece of machinery on a credit card that has 0% for the first 12 months, you are able to pay $1,000 per month, have a full year to pay for it and never pay a penny in interest. Not a bad deal at all! From there, a second or third card can be used for monthly expenses that you pay for each month and repay in full or partially each month

  3. Maximize Rewards

    Each credit card has a different rewards program and if you are willing to be mindful, you can actually increase your benefits quite a bit by having multiple credit cards and using the right credit card at the right time.

    As a simple example, if you travel a lot, if you use an airline credit card such as the Delta Business Amex or the Citi AAdvantage. If you book all your flights through that card, you will get to enjoy multiple benefits such as increased airline status, bonus miles based on preferred status, free luggage, priority boarding, exclusive airport lounge access, free on board food, all because you spent the same money you would have spent but you used it on the most suitable credit card.

    Oh, and let’s not forget all the airline miles that you’ll accumulate that you can get free flights. To provide some context, an average return, cross country flight is around 40,000 miles. If you spend $10,000 per month for 4 months, you just got a free trip across the country, not bad for spending the money you were already going to spend.

    Next would be a hotel credit card such as Hilton Amex, SPG Amex, Hyatt CARD or the Marriot CARD. Very similar to the airline credit cards, if you pay for all your hotel visits on this type of card, you will get free room upgrades, elite status, bonus miles, free meals and a slew of other benefits.

    The next major category is cash back cards. There is the standard cash back whereby you’ll receive 1% or 1.5% back of everything you spend. Meaning, if you spend that same $10,000 per month, you’ll actually receive $100 per month as cash back. You can use that as either a statement credit or you can just have a check sent and use it for whatever you want, no questions asked. This is pretty good, but where it gets exciting is the bonus categories. Many of the cash back credit cards have what are commonly known as ‘bonus categories’. This is where they have specific categories where you receive bonus cash back. As a perfect example, the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express provides 1% cash back on most purchases but they give a huge 3% cashback on the following categories: Airfare purchased direct from the airlines, Hotel rooms, car rentals, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, shipping, computer hardware and a huge 5% cash back on US office supply stores and wireless telephone service.

    You can see that by simply being mindful of which card you use, it’s easy to rack up a massive amount of points and cash back. Having one business credit card is nice, but having 2-4 diverse business credit cards can really help you take advantage of the credit card perks. To see a full list with recommendations of business credit cards, go to Top 10 Business Credit Cards

  4. Maximize Sign Up Bonuses

    Using different credit cards to maximize the rewards is now, but to really hit it big, maximizing the credit card sign up bonuses are the easiest way. As a perfect example, the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN gives you 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 in the first 3 months. To simplify it, if you spend $20,000 in the first 3 months, you will receive the regular 20,000 points plus the 75,000 bonus points, giving you a total of 95,000 points. That’s before you even look at the $200 air travel credit, the $250 worth of lounge access, the $200 UBER credit. This card is stacked with perks and if you use it, you’ll actually have over $1,500 in sign up bonus benefits.

    Another great option is to add the Chase Ink card which gives you 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. That’s in addition to the 5,000 points you receive for the actual spend. To provide some context, those 80,000 points can be redeemed easily through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and is worth $1,000. That’s one hell of a bonus for spending just $5,000 in the first 3 months.

  5. Rainy Day Capital

    As your business grows, so too will your capital needs. In most businesses, particularly if you sell physical product, the strange dynamic that you will find is that the more your business grows, the more working capital you will need. As an example, if you are a restaurant and each day you have 50 customers, you have to have to purchase enough food to serve 50 people. Now business is great, and your restaurant becomes a popular lunch spot for a few local businesses and you now receive 150 customers per day. That means you have to purchase enough food to serve 150 people. That means a lot more cash goes out the door. That’s working capital requirements and that’s where having a ‘rainy day’ credit card becomes a life saver. That’s a card that you apply for today with no intention of using it, except perhaps just to get that sign up bonus. After that, you keep it in your draw in case of a rainy day. The worst thing that could ever happen is your business grows and you simply don’t have access to enough capital to handle that growth. It is strongly recommended to have that 1 card that you don’t use on a day to day basis, but you have available for just such an occasion.

Credit Cards as Your Start Up Business Loan Solution, But Which to Choose…

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Credit Card Perks

If credit cards are right for you, the next question becomes which credit card(s). Every business owner is unique and needs to choose the cards that suit their individual needs. The most common attributes to look at when selecting a credit card are:

  1. Business Credit Cards Vs. Standard Credit Cards

    When starting a business, it is natural to simply start using the credit card that is in your wallet to make business related expenses. The challenge with this is twofold, firstly, it becomes incredibly difficult to track business related expenses unless you have a good bookkeeping system or bookkeeper. The second issue is that due to poor tracking, it becomes overwhelming and difficult come tax time to know which expenses were for business and which were for personal use. Looking back 6 months, do you really think you’ll be able to remember which receipt is for a business-related meal and which was you buying dinner with a friend?

    Our recommendation is to have at least 1 business credit card to create this separation. By having a separate card you’ll be able to accurately track business expenses and as a kicker, most business credit cards will actually integrate to your online accounting software such as Quickbooks or Xero. This will save you a lot of money on bookkeeping or accounting fees. As an added bonus, you can have this updated in real time, so you don’t have to wait till tax time to see how much you are spending on various business expenses.

    A couple of other helpful features of business credit cards is that they give you the ability to have additional cards for your staff, great if you have a finance person, assistant or even a spouse who handles a lot of the purchasing for the business.

    With the exception of one or two banks, the majority of business credit cards do not report to your personal credit profile each month. This is helpful to maintain a good credit score even when you are carrying large balances in the business, they aren’t reflecting on your personal profile. They do however report if you don’t make payments and are in default, so make sure you are making those monthly payments on time, even if it’s just the minimum.

  2. Credit Card Approval Limits

    One of the best ways to fund your business is with 0% APR introductory credit cards. Please notice the term ‘credit cards’. There are certain times that more than one credit card maybe suitable for your business. If you need $20,000 and each card gives you $10,000, by simply having 2 credit cards, you achieve your funding goal. Now let’s be mindful that if you are taking on more money, it’s advisable to have a well thought out plan of how you are going to use those funds and how you are going to repay them. A good rule of thumb is you want to have a plan to be able to repay the funds within less then 2 years. This will give you 1 year at 0% APR interest and another year at the usual interest rate.

  3. Credit Card Rewards

    It is not uncommon for business owners to utilize these rewards for their own personal consumption, though do speak to your accountant for legal and accounting advice. We hear all the time about business owners that are able to take their family on vacation based on the points they accumulate from business expenditures. Imagine how sweet it will be to work all year and then take a hard-earned vacation at the end of the year where flights and accommodation are fully paid for. What could be better than that?!

    A Quick Look at The Types of Credit Card Rewards:

    1. Cash Back Credit Cards

      Simple and easy to understand. Each time you use your credit card, you earn a percentage of that back. The most common is 1% or 1.5% of everything you spend. Where it gets exciting is when you have the bonus categories where you can earn 2%, 3% and even 5% on the bonus categories. To learn more and see the full review of each card, go to our Top 10 Cash Back Card Guide.

    2. Airline Miles Credit Cards

      If you travel a lot, these may be perfect for you. Each time you use your credit card, you accrue miles for either a particular airline or for a generic travel card such as American Express Gold or American Express Platinum that you can use on a huge number of airlines. To learn more and see the full review of each card, go to our Top 10 Airline Miles Credit Card Guide.

    3. Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

      If you are a road warrior and spend time in hotels, these may be perfect for you. Each time you use your credit card, you accrue points for either a particular hotel chain or generic points with a generic travel card such as Amex Hilton or Amex SPG that you can use on a huge number of hotels. With all the consolidation in the hotel industry, the major chains have a wide variety of hotels in their group. As a great example, The Hilton Group has everything from The DoubleTree, to Hilton, to Conrad to The Waldorf Astoria. In fact, they have 14 different brands that you can earn and redeem the points with. Spending on the credit card can greatly accelerate this especially if you capitalize on their bonus categories. To learn more and see the full review of each card, go to our Top 10 Hotel Rewards Credit Card Guide.

    4. General Travel Rewards Credit Cards

      In the credit card world, there are specialist rewards cards such as an Amex Hilton or a United Mileage Plus card or you can choose a more versatile card that points are accrued with your spending, but those points can then be used across multiple airlines and hotels. The most popular examples of these cards are the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World MasterCard or one of the American Express Cards such as American Express Business Gold or the American Express Business Platinum card. These types of cards not only offer versatile rewards that you can use across multiple travel companies, they also offer additional premium benefits such as (be sure to check the card details for the most up to date terms and conditions):

      1. Airport Lounge Access

        Amex Platinum offers free access to 1000+ lounges

      2. Bonus points based on spend

        Each card has bonus categories where you can earn bonus points for each dollar spent in select categories. Chase Ink Business Preferred offers 3 points per $1 spend on the first $150,000 spent each year on select business categories

      3. Purchase and Return Protection

        Several cards offer extended warranty when you make a purchase with the card. American Express offers protection for theft, accidental damage or loss. This provides incredible peace of mind for major purchases.

      4. No Foreign Transaction Fees

        If you travel abroad, these cards provide a huge value add that they don’t charge you additional foreign transaction fees. Obviously, you’ll pay the currency conversion rates, but you avoid the foreign transaction fees which are usually 1-4% of each purchase which can really add up. This is a huge benefit when traveling. Chase Ink Business Preferred is one of multiple cards that provides this benefit

      5. Extended Warranty on Purchases

        For each item that has a warranty of less than 5 years, American Express will actually offer you an additional 1-year warranty after the original warranty

      6. Concierge Services

        This is a little-known benefit of some of the top travel cards, but it really is a great service that shouldn’t be underestimated. A concierge service at your disposal such as the one offered with the American Express Business Platinum card give you the ability to have a single point of contact that can organize anything for you. I mean anything! I once travelled to Dublin, Ireland and my passport need to be renewed before traveling back to the United States. Instead of calling and chasing after the Embassy, I was able to call the American Express Concierge, explain to them the issue and they actually called the Embassy, sat on hold for over an hour, explained the issue, conferenced me into the call for my authorization and organized my new passport. They even sent the required documentation over so all I had to do was go to the Embassy, wait all of 4 minutes and pick up my new passport. Now this is an extreme example, but if you are traveling and want an updated flight, hotel, rental card, restaurant reservation, sports or concert tickets, these guys are amazing! You can even just email your request in and they’ll get it all sorted. This is all offered as part of having the card, so no additional charge

    5. Fuel Rewards Credit Cards

      Depending on the requirements of your business, a little-known rewards type of card is a Fuel Card. These cards are ideal for any business that spends a good amount of money on auto fuel. The obvious is a truck driver, but this type of card is also ideal for a food truck owner, a sales person on the road, a delivery driver and anyone else that spends money on fuel. When we ask ourselves the question of ‘Why wouldn’t you have a fuel card?’ It starts to become pretty obvious if you need one or not

    6. 0% APR Credit Cards

      If favorable payment terms are your priority, then 0% APR credit cards are probably going to be your preference.

      Think about that, the bank is literally giving you money for a period of time, usually 12 months and not charging you a penny in interest. So why would this do this? It’s simple, banks are long term thinkers. They are willing to sacrifice revenue today to be able to create a client and create a lifetime revenue stream. Their thinking is if you come on as a customer with a credit card today, you have a good experience with them, they will be able to entice you with future financial services such as a checking account, a mortgage, a car loan, retirement account, investment account etc. In addition to this, if you are carrying a balance on the card after the 0% introductory period is up, then you will start paying interest and the banks obviously make money that way.

      0% APR introductory cards, if used are amazing! One of the most popular ways to use them as a business credit card is like a business loan. Let’s say you want to buy a piece of equipment, perhaps some commercial cooking equipment for your new restaurant, and this equipment costs $12,000. If you don’t want to part with $12,000 as you start your business, you can pay for it on your credit card which has 0% APR introductory period for 12 months. This gives you the ability to purchase the equipment for $12,000 and then pay $1,000 per month for the next 12 months, have it fully paid off in a year and pay not a penny in interest. That’s an amazing use of the 0% APR credit card.

      Alternatively, you can use continue to use it as a regular credit card and be comforted in knowing that in the first 12 months, if you ever need to carry a balance for a month or two or even 12, so long as you don’t have a balance at the end of the introductory 12 month period, you won’t be paying a penny in interest.

How do I choose what perks are most important?

Here’s what we believe is the easiest way to evaluate: First, understand what is most important to you: Credit limit Vs. Perks Vs. Rates. If you are like most people, it’s usually a combination of 2-3 of those criteria. We usually recommend choosing which is going to be your most commonly used card first and then add another 1-3 cards to round out your credit card funding. This will now give you the ability to have several cards, so you can use them wisely and maximize the credit limits, best rates and credit card perks

What's the bottom line?

We are also huge fans of a mobile app by the name of Wallaby. It allows you to designate which cards you have, and it will then recommend which card to use for which purchase to maximize rewards. If you take it a step further and link your credit cards, the app will also factor both the rewards as well as the available credit on each card. This app gets a 10/10 from all of us over here!

Here's the bottom line, credit cards are probably our preferred way of getting your business going. They are fast, easy and have a tone of perks. One of the other things we like about credit card funding is they are great for any business owner who has the credit profile to support it (680+ FICO) but they can also be used in conjunction with any other funding source. Let’s say you get a business loan, equipment finance, an SBA loan or borrow from friends and family, you can still use credit cards to supplement those funding sources.

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3. Equipment Finance

Best for Purchasing Specific Equipment

For certain business models that require equipment to operate, equipment financing is a very solid option to get startup business loans. You can get between $10,000 and $150,000 with equipment financing. Unlike with credit cards, there is no flexibility of funds, as you must use the funding to purchase the equipment you specified.

  • How Does It Work?

  • How Much Does It Cost?

The time to funding is fairly quick as you can get the equipment funding in 30-90 days. You will need the following documents to apply: Bank statements, financial projections, balance sheets and an approved purchase order. You must be in business for more than 6 months, which makes it a very good idea to use friends and family as well as business credit cards to help with cash flow to get the business off of the ground.

Equipment financing also usually requires that the owner contribute more than 20% to the equipment similar to SBA startup business loans. The rates on equipment financing usually range from between 10% to 40% and the origination fees range from between 1% to 5% of the amount your are borrowing.

If the desired startup business funding is strictly for a specific piece of equipment, this may be the ideal funding method for you. Equipment finance is generally for any piece of physical equipment that when put to work in a business, can generate revenue. A couple of examples would be commercial kitchen, manufacturing machinery, construction equipment, vehicles that can include trucks (long haul and short haul), construction vehicles, heavy machinery and many other pieces of equipment. Although not a definitive rule, many equipment leasing firms do not provide financing for office IT equipment due to rapid depreciation rates. With that said, there are specialty firms that do and even more so, there is a large array of vendors that actually provide vendor financing or leasing for their equipment.

Two Main Categories of Equipment Financing
  1. Equipment Leasing

    This will allow you to lease the equipment for a st monthly payment for a set number of months but never actually own it. Many people are familiar with this form of leasing as it’s similar to their auto leasing. This type of financing is usually offered by dealers as it allows for the business owner to turn in the equipment at the end of the lease or alternatively, if they want to keep it, they can pay a large balloon payment and take full ownership.

  2. Equipment Financing

    By choosing to finance the equipment as opposed to leasing the equipment, the business owner is making some tough decisions. The reason being is that the monthly payment will be higher with financing as opposed to leasing, but they will be the actual owner of the equipment. And these are the 2 core differences; ownership Vs leasing and higher monthly payment Vs lower monthly payment. So why would a business owner choose to finance over leasing? The 3 main scenarios where this makes sense are:

    1. No Eligible Leasing Options

      well that made the decision easy. There aren’t always leasing options available, so financing is the only way to go. If this is the case, then the decision has already been made

    2. Pre-Owned Equipment

      This is particularly important to understand for pre-owned equipment. Very few if any leasing companies will provide leasing financing for pre-owned equipment as it may not be covered by warranty and they can’t determine the true condition of the equipment the way they could with a new piece of equipment. This is a very important criteria for you to decide what you want to do. A simple scenario is if at first you were planning on purchasing a pre-owned vehicle for $20,000 but when looking at a new vehicle for $30,000, if you can lease the new one but only finance the pre-owned one, it may actually be cheaper per month to go with the new one. This is where it becomes counter intuitive. Think about this, it may actually be cheaper per month for you to purchase a new piece of equipment as opposed to buying a pre-owned model. When making the decision to purchase, you should always evaluate the entire package; the cost of the item + the cost of the financing. If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to reach out to an accountant who can help guide you through this impactful financial decision. This should only cost you less than $1,000 but will be the best $1,000 you may ever spend!

    3. Desire to Make Modifications

      If you are leasing a piece of equipment, at the end of that lease term you are required to return in the same condition, minus normal wear and tear. If you are planning on making any modifications to the equipment, then leasing probably isn’t the best option for you as you will be in breach of the leasing agreement and you will be required to pay a very stiff penalty, which could include the balloon payment and have no return options available to you

    4. Long Term Ownership

      If you plan on using the same piece of equipment for a long time, financing maybe a better option then leasing. With leasing, you pay a lower monthly payment, but you are always making a payment every month. If you decide to finance the equipment, you will pay higher monthly payments for that same period, but once that period is over, you will then own the equipment with no more monthly payments. This is ideal if you can continue to use the equipment long after the financing period is over. Imagine getting to continue using the same equipment every day but all of a sudden, you no longer have any monthly payments, that has to be a pretty sweet day!

So what equipment financing/leasing options are available to startups?

Well, here’s the good news, there are actually some pretty good options available businesses. Why? The nature of equipment financing/ leasing is that there is collateral ie the equipment, so if you don’t make payments, the finance company can legally repossess the equipment.

It’s not that they want to, but they are in a position to if they have to. Because these finance companies are in the business of making money, they aren’t interested in breaking even or even losing money. To achieve this, they need to ensure that they always have more value in the equipment then what they have provided the business owner.

Here’s a practical example, if you have a piece of equipment that is worth $20,000, if you make payments of $5,000 and then stop, they would have to repossess the equipment and hope they can sell it for over $15,000, now once we take into account the depreciation, this becomes a risky proposition for them. To help mitigate the risk, they usually require the business owner to pay a down payment, usually 20% of the purchase price. If we go back into the $20,000 piece of equipment, if you pay $4,000 (which is 20% of the $20,000) they are only providing financing for $16,000 which immediately reduces their exposure.

Now let’s assume the same scenario that you made payments of $5,000 and then stopped, the financing company would now have $9,000 of value in the equipment so if they had to repossess and sell it, they would only need to be able to sell it for $11,000 to break even, which is more than likely a lot less than the value, so they could actually sell it for more than that and make a profit.

Don’t worry! They don’t want to repossess anything, they would much rather you make your monthly payments and if you are having an issue, reach out to them and you can usually create a new payment structure. Repossessing is the true last resort. In fact, the default rates on equipment financing are some of the lowest out of all business funding mechanisms and one of the main reasons for this is because this is a piece of machinery that is being put to work and making you money, it’s not recreational.

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4. Friends and Family

Best for Flexibility of Funds and Speed of Funding

Friends and Family funding is one of the fastest and most flexible sources of funding an entrepreneur can take on. For best success, it is strongly recommended to have a detailed business plan and financial projections so your friends and family can see what they are lending/ investing in. One of the best and easiest ways to get money to start a business is to turn to friends and family. With respect to funding range, in our experience, the average amount of funding that people usually get is between $5,000 and $500,000. The funds are very flexible because you can use them for anything that you want, in contrast with SBA startup loans where you are required to only use the funds for approved expenses.

  • How Does It Work?

  • How Much Does It Cost?

There is no restriction on how long it takes to get the money either from friends and family. You can literally get it in 1 day if that is what everyone agrees to. The only real required documents to get startup business financing from friends and family members is a business plan and legal agreement of what they will get in exchange for the money.

The typical rate on a startup business loan from friends and family members is either 10% to 30% interest or 5% to 30% equity. However, these small business startup loans do not come with any origination fees, unlike SBA startup loans, 401k rollovers and equipment financing.

Everything you need to know about Getting startup business loans from Friends and Family

Believe it or not, turning to friends and family is one of the most common methods for funding a startup business. Whereas financial institutions may not feel comfortable investing in your business, the people that are closest to you - your friends and family - might be more willing to roll the dice on you. The largest difference here is that these are people who know YOU, they are willing to invest in YOU.

A bank on the other hand only looks at the hard numbers and as a startup, those simple don’t exist. Your friends and family will assess you, your character, your passion. They see first-hand how committed you are to your business, how excited you are, the late nights you put in and all the other sacrifices you are willing to make to ensure your business is successful. Remember, they are putting their faith in YOU more than your business idea.

‘Friends and Family’ may sound formal and cliché, but it truly is one of the most common sources of startup funding and it can come in many forms. It could be in the form of a blank check, free rent of some spare office or garage space, free tables and chairs, a loan or any number of other means.

The Benefits of Friends and Family Small Business Startup Loans

One benefit of getting startup funding from friends or family is that there is an actual chance it will work and you will get some capital. After all, if your friends and family don’t believe in you and your business, who will?

Another benefit of getting startup loans from your inner-circle is that the investors will become interested in your business. If your friends or family members have business experience, this can be very valuable as you will not only get funding but also advice on how to succeed and potentially introduce you to other people who can lend or invest.

So what is the Catch about taking money from Friends and Family?

Believe it or not, turning to friends and family is one of the most common methods for funding a startup business. Whereas financial institutions may not feel comfortable investing in your business, the people that are closest to you - your friends and family - might be more willing to roll the dice on you. The largest difference here is that these are people who know YOU, they are willing to invest in YOU.

A bank on the other hand only looks at the hard numbers and as a startup, those simple don’t exist. Your friends and family will assess you, your character, your passion. They see first-hand how committed you are to your business, how excited you are, the late nights you put in and all the other sacrifices you are willing to make to ensure your business is successful. Remember, they are putting their faith in YOU more than your business idea.

‘Friends and Family’ may sound formal and cliché, but it truly is one of the most common sources of startup funding and it can come in many forms. It could be in the form of a blank check, free rent of some spare office or garage space, free tables and chairs, a loan or any number of other means.

So What Should You Do?

Like any other financial decision, make sure both parties understand and agree to the terms so both parties on the same page from day 1. Good communication is the simplest way to avoid conflict. Be sure they understand both the risks and the rewards, and everyone’s interests and expectations will be aligned.

So how do you ‘qualify’ for Friends and Family funding?

This is quite subjective, but here are a few pointers on what you should have:


You Commitment

People want to know what you as the entrepreneur are willing to commit. That could be your own money that is going in, if you are leaving a well-paying job to focus on the business or selling a car. It goes a long way to a potential investor to show them that you are willing to make some kind of sacrifice and are willing to commit something big!

Business Plan

It doesn’t need to be a 50-page document, but it does need to spell out the basics:

  • What your business is
  • What makes you unique
  • Why you will be successful
  • SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

Budget

have a 3-year budget broken down by month showing where you will spend money, where your income will come from. This will be a great exercise for yourself but will also be very powerful for your friends and family to understand how their money will be used

The Ask

Be specific in how much you are asking for and exactly what it will be used for

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5. Angel Investors

Best for Funding Range

For certain businesses that want to take it to the next level, go all in and seek an angel investor. You can get between $50,000 and up to millions of dollars if you are able to attract the right angel.

  • How Does It Work?

  • How Much Does It Cost?

With respect to flexibility of spending, you need to get an annual budget approved. This might be a lot of work one time, but once approved by investors, you know the game plan for an entire year in terms of how you spend the money. The time to funding is a lot longer than credit cards or friends and family since the amount is higher. It can take up to a full year to get the funding and will usually take at least 6 months.

The documentation required to get startup business financing from angel investors includes a business plan, financial projections, profit and loss statements, balance sheets and personal financial statements. There is no minimum time in business required to get the funding, but usually angels like to see traction which means you have been doing well for 6 months or more.

As the owner, when you get angel funding you do not need to contribute any of your own money, unlike with equipment financing and SBA startup financing. However, you are usually going to be required to give up between 20-60% of equity in your business. With angel investors, there are also no origination fees.

Though not commonly used for small businesses, but if you believe your business is not destined to be a small business, this may be a good fit for you. Angel Investment is the investment of money into a business by high net worth individuals who are looking to make a return on their money. They are usually looking for a minimum of 10x return on their investment within 3-5 years. For this reason, expect they will look for a sizable equity component.

If you believe this good be a good option for you, the first step is to create a strong pitch deck that you can use to present your business, the merits of the business, the potential revenue and your team. Forbes wrote a great article on the actual deck which can be found here and you can also find pitch deck templates here. This will be the first and one of the most important documents that you create for your business as it’s designed to show your business to be attractive to others to invest money in your business. This is definitely an area you do not want to skimp on.

To gain access to angel investors, it comes down to referrals. Keep in mind you are asking someone to invest their heard earned money into you and your business, this is a huge element of trust that you will do what you say you are going to do. One way they can minimize their risk is be investing where they have personal recommendations. Remember, they are actually investing more in you as a business operator then they are in the actual business idea. If you ask any investor if they had a choice, would they rather invest in a great idea but with a bad team or invest into a bad idea with a great team, they will all choose the bad idea with the great team. Why? Because great ideas come and go each and every day. Great teams are able to work hard, make good decisions and change directions if need be. They are able to attract other high caliber team members to help grow the business. Knowing this, it shows the importance of you own personal track record, your integrity and your relationships. There is no one single way to develop these kinds of relationships, but it’s always a good start to put yourself in similar surroundings both professionally and recreationally to start to meet the people who can be influential in your business life. Start with industry functions, trade associations or something as simple as, if you have a job currently, work with the right people in your current company who may be able to be supportive when the time comes for you to take the leap and start your own business.

There is obviously a magnitude of ways to fund a startup business and there is no one size fits all. Each and every business is special and unique. It is your baby, your love, your hard work, your everything! Our genuine desire here at Seek Capital is to help provide you with the information to allow you to make an informed decision for yourself. Remember, when you are an entrepreneur, you will have to make many critical decisions, and this is one of the first of many. Don’t be intimidated, don’t be overwhelmed, don’t be deterred. Take 1 step forward, then another, then another, before you know it you will be running at full speed with your own highly successful business.

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6. 401k Rollover

Best for Funding Rates

Using your 401k to fund a startup business can be a really good idea if you follow the rules carefully. The funding range people usually pull from a 401k account is between $50,000 and $300,000. In general, there are minimal legal restrictions on how you can use the funds to start your business. It takes between 30 and 90 days to get the money out of your 401k.

  • How Does It Work?

  • How Much Does It Cost?

In order to use your 401k as a small business startup loan you need the following documents: A business plan, financial projections,profit and loss statements, balance sheets and personal financial statements. However, even though all of these documents are required, there is no minimum amount of time you have to be in business to use your 401k.

The owner contribution is 100% because you are using your own 401k to fund the business. In other words, there is more of a risk to using your 401k as you might lose your hard earned cash, but will not owe anyone any money for using it. The rates are also amazing because you usually pay only a $140 per month account fee rather than any interest rate. Origination fees are not the best as it usually costs at least $5,000 to take out the money.

A little-known strategy for funding your start up business is to actually use the funds in your IRA or 401(k). As your personal retirement funds, you are entitled to invest these funds in a business, in this case, your own business without paying early withdrawal penalties or income tax. This is known as Rollover as Business Startups (ROBS). It is not a loan against your retirement account but rather it is your retirement account buying shares in your new business entity.

If you have worked hard for years and have equity in a 401(k), you may be able to use these funds to start a business. However, it is not as easy as just writing yourself a check from your 401(k) account. You must follow the legal process very carefully as there are significant penalties for improperly using your 401(k).

The best way to invest your 401(k) into a startup business is by rolling the money into a corporate retirement and then investing the money from the retirement account into the business. While this is a very strong option for starting a business if you have the funds available, we strongly recommend speaking to a qualified financial advisor before taking action. First and foremost, you want to ensure you aren’t breaking any laws and secondly, you want to make sure you aren’t overpaying in taxes and penalties which is very easy to do if you use an incorrect structure

This usually only makes sense if you have a minimum of $50,000 in your retirement account that you are willing to invest into your own business.

So why would someone use their own retirement account as opposed to a loan or credit cards for a startup business loan? It’s simple, if you are extremely confident in your business and yourself, then it may make perfect sense for you to have your retirement account ‘invest’ in you and your business. The ultimate question becomes, would you prefer to invest in your business or publicly traded companies that you have no control over? If you do have the confidence, then this is a worthwhile funding avenue to explore.

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7. Crowdfunding

Best for Funding Range and Flexibility of Funds

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly more popular way to get startup business funding. In terms of the funding range, most campaigns strive to get between $5,000 and $500,000, although some campaigns have raised in the millions. The funding is extremely flexible - you can use the funds however you want as long as everything complies with the advertising you did to raise the money. The speed as funding may not be as fast as credit cards or friends and family, but you can still get the money in 30 to 120 days.

  • How Does It Work?

  • How Much Does It Cost?

The documentation you need to raise start up loans through crowdfunding is the most difficult part. You will need a business plan, term sheet, business registration documents and very compelling marketing material such as a video sales pitch. Similar to getting funding with credit cards, you do not need to have even really started operating as a business yet as long as you have business documents.

The owner contribution is also nothing, meaning you do not have to match the funds that people give to your campaign provided that some forms of crowdfunding require you to provide the investors with a product. If you are doing equity crowdfunding the rates are also very favorable and negotiable as they fall somewhere between 8% and 10% to fund your startup. There are also absolutely no origination fees with crowdfunding.

As our world evolves, so to do our startup funding options. We have witnessed over the last 10 years or so the explosive growth of crowdfunding sites. At first it seemed like a fad, but it has far exceeded fad and a huge amount of great businesses have gotten their start on crowdfunding sites.

The age-old question of Why? Comes to mind. Why on earth would anyone give money to a business owner to help launch their product or their business? It’s pretty simple, they want to be involved from the gross roots level. They may get to be part of a movement they believe in, pre-release access of the product or service or nothing more than to be a good citizen of the world and give back to budding entrepreneurs who are willing to put themselves out there and go for it. In its simplest form, they want to receive either 1) Rewards; 2) Debt Raise AKA Interest on their money or; 3) Equity in the venture.

The Rewards model is by far the most popular form of crowdfunding and has really taken off for startups. This model is quite simple for everyone to understand, in exchange for donating money, the business shall provide a reward, usually an early version of their product. This model is very popular for unique and exciting products that users want to get behind

The Debt model is when users donate money in exchange for a pre-agreed upon return on that capital. Pretty simple to understand and usually goes like this; if you donate $100 business will return $120. There may or may not be a due date or perhaps another contingent action e.g. raise additional funds or launch the product within 2 years

The Equity Rewards model is where users donate their money in exchange for a percentage ownership stake in the business. This gives you the ability to raise money quickly and have no obligation to return that money until you are profitable or have a sale of the business, partial or whole.

Crowdfunding is a great option but like all other funding mechanisms, is not going to be suitable for all businesses. Where crowdfunding is suitable is if you believe you can rally a community around your business idea or if you have an exciting product that is captivating to others who want to get behind you and help you succeed. A little known use is to have a community back a business that they believe will be beneficial to their community. A perfect example could be in a small town, let’s say a gym doesn’t exist but everyone agrees a gym would be a good thing for the town. If someone put together a great plan, created a compelling pitch, promoted it on one of the crowdfunding sites and then shared that with people in the town, they may be able to get local folks behind them, particularly if they are offered 3 month’s free use of the gym for anyone who donated say $200. This would give the person ‘free’ gym access that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to and they would be helping establish the only gym in town which they could continue to be a client of. This pitch could also be shared with people outside the town to bring in some additional money by other people who are enthused.

One of the most critical elements to a successful crowdfunding campaign is the story. If you decide to go down this avenue, be sure to work on your story. It is usually more of an emotional reason then an intellectual one that compels people to donate. This is absolutely something you want to spend time on developing, testing and refining. Your story needs to be compelling and at its core, there needs to be someone who benefits from this campaign other than just yourself. You will have a lot more success with a business pitch that aims to solve a problem, make like better or connects people other than just making a profit. It’s OK for the business to make a profit, it just needs to be whilst bettering the lives of people.

Some of the most popular crowdfunding sites include:

Fundable Specializing in launching businesses via crowdfunding. A combination of private citizens as well as investors utilize this platform.

KickstarterSpecializing in projects that are unique and may not have the same focus on profitability but rather on unique cultural experiences

IndieGogoSpecializing in unique and cutting-edge products

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Frequently Asked Questions

Startup Business Loans vs. New Business Loans

Startup business loans and new business loans might sound like two completely different things and ultimately whether or not they are can be based on interpretation. When you fully understand what each term means, however, it may help you find the best way to search for new business funding.

The phrase “new business loan” refers to a business that has not yet started. There is a common misconception that if a business has not started yet it is not eligible for funding. This is absolutely not true!

At Seek Capital we specialize in getting new business loans for companies pre-revenue. Our pre-approval criteria is based on personal credit score. While revenue and other items can come into play, the bottom line is that if you have a FICO score of 680+ you will likely qualify for a new business loan.

A startup business loan can refer to a company that is still in the startup stage. This also includes pre-revenue companies like new business loans, but maybe the company has taken a few more steps, like filed and LLC or a corporation with the state. Maybe a company looking for a startup business loan is a little further in the startup process than someone seeking a new business loan.

Either way, if you have a FICO of 680+, there are real and substantial options to get the funding that you need to take your business to the next level.

How do I finance a Startup Business?

Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to fund a startup business even before the company has any revenue or time in business. One obvious way to do so is to use personal and/or business credit cards.

The banks are only looking at your personal credit score in order to get approved. If you have a 680+ FICO score, you should be able to get some money in the form of an unsecured line of credit. You can also earn amazing credit card rewards for travel or cash back.

Other ways to finance a startup business include, but are not limited to, getting money from friends and family, running a crowdfunding campaign or using an equipment financing company.

Here are the 7 best ways to finance a startup business:

  1. SBA Loans
  2. Business Credit Cards
  3. Friends and Family
  4. Angel Investors
  5. 401k Rollovers
  6. Equipment Financing
  7. Crowdfunding

Any good startup business funding plan will use a combination of these different funding methods. For example, if your primary method of funding is going to be friends and family, you should also use credit cards. Maybe your friends and family are going to give you cash to put in the bank to run the business, but how else are you going to get all the amazing free perks and benefits that come with the credit cards. You can get free flights, hotel upgrades and even 0% interest on large purchases for 20 months with some cards.

Do Banks Give Loans to a Startup?

It is very difficult to get a loan from a bank or any other type of traditional business loan for a new business.The banks have very strict criteria for getting approved for a traditional loan. Foremost, the banks require time in business to usually be at least 6 months but usually 2 years or more. This means if you have not yet started your business, there is little to no chance that you will qualify for a traditional bank loan. This also means that even if you have started a business but it has been operating for less than 2 years, you are also very unlikely to get a traditional bank loan.

The most you are likely to get from a bank at a pre-revenue stage are credit cards. You can get approved for credit cards quickly as long as you have a 680+ FICO score. The documentation to get approved for credit cards is also very simple. You will just need business registration documents and an EIN number. As long as you have good credit you will be able to qualify for some business credit cards.

So the answer to the question above -- whether banks give start up business loans - is no. However, if you look more closely, you may actually be able to get some money out of the bank in the form of an unsecured line of credit. If you are going to carry a balance you are going to want a 0% interest credit card. With these types of cards, you only pay back the principal balance until the 0% period is over. Suppose you need to finance a $20,000 purchase and you get a 20 month 0% interest credit card. You will only need to pay $1,000 principal a month and nothing in interest as long as you make the payment of $1,000 per month for all 20 months.

The flexibility is also amazing though. You could also make the minimum payment on the credit card for 3 months in a row and then when you make some more money in the 4th month pay off a much larger portion of the balance. When all is said and done, if you do not want to pay any interest, in 20 months you would need to pay off the entire balance.

How do I qualify for a startup business loan?

The best way to qualify for a startup business loan is to have and to maintain good credit. With a FICO score of 680+, you should be able to qualify for between $5,000 and up to $100,000 based on just your personal credit.

Let’s break down how to qualify for each type of startup business loan.

When you are trying to raise start up business funding through friends and family, it does not take much more than trust to qualify. However, even though you are getting the money from friends or family, you will still usually want a well thought out business plan. You will also want an agreement so the terms under which you are required to pay back the money are very clear.

To qualify for an SBA startup loan it is much more difficult, but worth it if you can do it. The documentation alone is significant. You will need a business plan, financial projections, a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, personal financial statement and business financial statements. The process usually takes more than 6 months also. However, if you have 20 to 30 percent to contribute, you can indeed get approved for an SBA startup loan if you have all of this documentation ready to go.

Business credit cards should be a big part of any startup business funding plan because qualifying is the easiest and you can get 0% interest for up to 20 months, depending on the credit card for which you apply. In order to qualify for business credit cards you will just need business registration documents, an EIN number and articles of incorporation. WIth these documents, the only other thing that you need to qualify for business credit cards is a FICO score of 680+. With a FICO of 680+ you can qualify for multiple 0% interest credit cards. This means you can make purchases for the business and just pay back the principal amount, without interest, over the 0% period of time. This is amazing and shouldn be at least a part, if not the entire, startup business financing plan.

In order to qualify for crowdfunding you will need a lot of documentation as well as sales material to get people to invest in your campaign. In particular you will need a business plan, an amazing video pitch deck and business registration documents. You do not need any time required in business to do a crowdfunding campaign. This means you can literally qualify for crowd fundraising to start a business without even operating for a single day yet. You just need to put together a strong marketing plan to get people to invest in your campaign. Social media marketing should be a strong focus of any successful crowdfunding campaign.

In order to qualify for a 401k rollover in order to use your money as a startup business loan you must first have money in a 401k or other qualifying savings account. If you do indeed have a well-funded 401k, then you qualify right off the bat but you just need to do everything by the book or you can get in big trouble. The documents you will need to qualify include a business plan, financial projections, a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet and personal financial statement. Again, the big thing here is that you indeed have money saved away in a 401k. As long s you have the money and follow all of the laws, you should be able to start your business with that money.

In order to qualify for equipment financing it is a little bit different than qualifying for, say, business credit cards. In terms of the documentation needed, you will need bank statements, financial projections, balance sheets, and an approved purchase order. The key is the approved purchase order. This allows the company providing the equipment financing to understand exactly where their money is going to be spent and what they will get back in the event that you default on the loan. In order to qualify for equipment financing you also have to be operating for more than 6 months. This options is not the best for brand new startups.

In order to qualify for angel investors, the documentation is a little easier but finding the prospects can be very difficult. In order to qualify once you find the right angel investor you will need a business plan, financial projections, a profit and loss statement and personal financial statements. As long as you have all of this documentation, there is no minimum time in business requirement.

What documentation do I need to get a startup business loan?

For most small business startup loans you will need the following documentation: EIN number, articles of incorporation, personal finances, business finances (if available), profit and loss statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, tax returns and personal credit information. Which of these documents you are required depends on what type of loan you are looking to get. For example, for credit cards you only need your EIN and other personal information for the bank to run your credit score. For equipment financing, on the other hand, you would need to present a lot more documentation.

With respect to start up business funding through friends and family, the documentation is not that stringent because a lot of whether or not they will give you the funds has to do with general trust. An agreement is necessary, but this is the risk you are taking when you mix friends and family. Normally the documentation to get startup loans from friends and family include a business plan and a simple agreement. In the agreement it should clearly explain what the friends and family members will get in exchange for the money they are lending.

With respect to start up business funding through SBA loans, the documentation required is a little more intensive. For starters you will need to have a thorough business plan outlining exactly how the funds will be used. In addition, you will need to have financial projections in the plan as well as a profit and loss statement. You will also need a personal and business financial statements. They will want to see that your personal finances are in good shape before lending you money. If you can come up with all of this documentation, the next big thing is that you need to make owners contribution. That means if you are getting $1 million from the SBA, you will need to come up with around $200k yourself to match.

One of the main reasons why we recommend using business credit cards as part of any startup business funding plan is because the documentation to apply for the credit cards are not as stringent as other forms of startup financing. In order to get business credit cards you will need business registration documents, such as your articles of incorporation and an EIN number, which is also known as a federal tax id number. Besides for those documents, you don’t really need to show that the company has been operating or has any prior income. As long as your FICO score is a 680+, you should be able to qualify for most credit cards. The next big question you need to ask yourself, then, is what do you need most for your business. An extended 0% apr period or travel rewards points? The answer to that question will determine which credit card you ultimately choose.

The documentation for raising startup business financing through crowdfunding is super important. In order to raise money through crowdfunding you are going to need a business plan that explains everything you are doing. In addition, you are going to need financial projections for the company demonstrating how you plan to grow the company. The most important documentation, however, is going to be the sales materials. You are going to need a strong pitch deck and a sales video to get people to want to invest in your campaign.

The documentation required for a 401k rollover to startup a business is a little gruesome. First, you are going to need a business plan just like you need with most other startup business financing avenues. However, in addition to a business plan, you are going to need financial projections, a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet. Finally, you will need personal and business financial statements if the company has already been started. In addition to these documents, we strongly suggest that you consult with an accountant and a lawyer before moving money from a retirement account to start a business. There are very strict legal procedures and policies that must be followed.

Equipment financing is another great way to get the money you need to start the business of your dreams. But what documents do you need to get this type of funding? First, you are going to need bank statements. The lender is going to want to verify the cash flow is legit. Next you are going to want financial projections and a balance sheet. The most important document that you are going to need to show, however, is going to be an approved purchase order. The reason why equipment loans work is because if you default on the loan, the lender can just take the equipment from you. Therefore, it makes sense that the lender wants to see exactly what equipment you have been approved to purchase before lending you money against that specific piece of equipment. In other words the lender wants to know exactly what they are going to get in the event that the loan is not paid back.

Angel investors is the last viable way to attract startup business loans to launch a new company. Let’s look a the documentation needed if you are looking to signup angel investors. First you are going to need a business plan. The angels are going to want to see that everything is well thought out. This business plan should definitely include a financial model. You are also going to need financial projections in the business plan. The investors want to see that if everything scales perfectly, how much money could they make off of their investment. You are also going to need a balance sheet and profit and loss statement if the business has already been operating. Finally, you are going to need personal and business financial statements. After all, most of the time investors are investing in you and not the idea. They want to see that you are financially sound enough. If everything goes right and you are managing millions of dollars, can they trust you?

How much money do I have to put down to get a startup business loan?

The amount of money that you have to put down in order to get a startup business loan all depends on the type of loan you are getting, where it is coming from and the agreement that accompanies the money.

When you get a startup business loan through friends and family you do not have to put any money down. This is because you are lending money from your friends and your family. There are also not any specific payback terms. You can come up with any pay back terms you want. However, to keep things as clean as possible we would suggest making sure this is all settled in an agreement before you take the money.

When you get startup funding through SBA startup loans, you are required to put a lot of money down. The usual amount is 20-30% of the total loan. So, if you are taking $1 million from an SBA loan, you are going to have to put down $200,000 to $300,000. The logic behind putting down so much money for these loans in simple: skin in the game. People are not going to get government backed loans with attractive interest rates unless they are very serious about the business.

One of the best parts about getting startup financing through business credit cards is that you literally do not have to put anything down. Instead of putting money down you should just make the minimum credit card payment per month so that your credit score stays strong. You can use up to the full line of credit for which you have been approved, which is absolutely amazing. Suppose you are approved for $50,000 in credit cards. You can literally get all of that money without putting a single dollar down. If you get 0% interest credit cards, you will also never pay a dollar more than the amount which you are using so long as you pay back the money within the 0% interest period. Note that there are also not any origination fees with credit cards.

Crowdfunding also does not require putting any money down. However, in order to do a strong crowdfunding campaign you will need to do a lot of work upfront before the campaign can gain any attraction. For example, you will need very strong sales materials in the form of a sales video and a pitch deck. You might also have to put some money down to do crowdfunding in that you may invest money into Facebook or Google advertising in order to get people over to your campaign. There are also not any origination fees with crowdfunding.