When defining the term small business loan, it is important to understand the definitions of both a small business and a loan. In the United States, a small business is defined as a privately or independently owned and operated business that employs less than 100 people. And a loan is defined as something furnished on condition of being returned. Therefore, a small business loan is something furnished to a privately owned business with less than 100 employees that must be returned.
That being said, there are many different types of small business loans, various ways in which a small business loan can be acquired, and a small business loan does not have to be lent through a bank as many may have been be misled to believe.
One of the most popular types of small business loans are SBA loans, loans that are distributed through private lenders such as banks, credit unions, etc., and are backed by the Small Business Administration. Since banks are usually the lenders of these loans, they typically come with strict requirements including excellent credit scores, collateral, and fixed monthly payments. These requirements are to ensure that the borrower holds up his/her end of the deal, and repays the loan in a timely manner. A small business owner who has excellent credit, collateral, and a well thought-out and put together business plan and presentation may be able to receive a sufficient amount of money through an SBA loan.
The SBA also backs micro-loans which may be easier to obtain, but the maximum micro-loan amount is $ 35,000 and the average SBA micro-loan amount is only $ 13,000.
Another type of small business loan that many business owners may be unaware of is equipment leasing. As implied earlier, a loan does not have to be given and/or received in the form of money. Instead of providing small businesses with the funds to purchase equipment, equipment leasing companies actually supply the equipment. Small businesses can rent the equipment, and return it, and they may also be given the opportunity to eventually purchase the equipment.
As bank lending practices tighten and business owners move away from traditional forms of small business financing, business cash advances are becoming an increasingly popular form of small business loans.
Business cash advance lenders purchase a business’ future credit card sales. This allows merchant business owners to receive a sum of cash upfront in exchange for a small percentage of their business’ credit card sales until the business cash advance is completely repaid. Business cash advance lenders do not require borrowers to have excellent credit scores or collateral, making them easier to obtain than many other types of small business loans. The repayment procedures allow for flexibility unlike most small business loans that require a borrower to repay a specific amount on a specific date every month.
The aforementioned are only a few of the existing types of small business loans. As a small business owner seeking small business financing, be sure to look into the various types of small business loans before choosing one. Discovering which small business loan is best for you and your business could save you both time and money, and in the long run, can be more beneficial for your business.