If you’re like most small business owners, you’re always on the lookout for new small business financing options. In this article, we’ll explore 20 different financing options for small businesses such as traditional bank loans. So whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking for something new, read on to find the perfect financing option for your small business.
What is Business Financing?
Business financing is the process of securing funding for business-related costs. This can include both short-term and long-term loans, as well as equity funding. A business owner will often seek financing to cover the cost of start-up expenses, expand their business, or cover the cost of unexpected expenses. Repayment terms for business financing can vary depending on the type of loan and the lender. However, repayment terms typically range from one to five years.
Three Main Types of Financing for Businesses
In the business world, there are three types of financing available:
- Debt financing. This is the most common type of small business financing. It includes taking out a loan, which must be repaid in monthly payments with interest.
- Equity financing. This business funding option occurs when an owner of a business sells a portion of their business in exchange for funding. The investor will then own a percentage of the business and will be entitled to a portion of the profits.
- Mezzanine financing. This type of business funding is a combination of debt and equity financing. In this case, the lender will receive a portion of the business in addition to interest payments on the loan.
20 Best Financing Options for Small Businesses
Every business needs financing at some point to get started, grow, or maintain operations. To help you make the best decision for your business, we’ve compiled a list of 20 different financing options, including getting a business loan from a traditional financial institution and SBA loan programs.
1. Business Credit Cards
Business credit cards can be used to finance a variety of business-related costs, such as office supplies, travel, and marketing expenses. You can get up to $25,000, but your personal credit score will be factored in.
2. Merchant Cash Advances
A merchant cash advance is a type of short-term financing that is repaid through a portion of your daily credit card sales. The owner of a small business can receive an advance of up to $250,000, which must be repaid within 12 months.
3. Online Loans
If you’re looking to borrow money from online lenders, you can get up to $500,000. The repayment terms and interest rates on these small business loans will vary depending on the lender.
4. Traditional Bank Loan
Bank loans are a good option for businesses that have a strong business credit history and can offer collateral to secure the loan. Traditional lenders such as banks offer business lines of credit and business loans of $250,000 or more.
Crowdfunding is an alternative financing option available to business owners. In this type of funding, businesses solicit donations from the general public in exchange for equity or rewards.
6. Small Business Grants
If you have a business with bad credit, there are several options available to you. One such option is the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which helps you find grants and other funding opportunities.
7. Invoice financing
Invoice financing is short-term funding that allows businesses to borrow against outstanding invoices. This can be a good option for businesses that are waiting on payments from customers.
8. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans
SBA loans are a type of business financing provided by the federal government. These loans are available to businesses that meet the SBA’s eligibility requirements. Three loan programs available through the SBA include the:
SBA (7A) Loan Program
These loans are often used for working capital, equipment purchases, or real estate. Most 7(a) loans provide a maximum loan of $5 million, however, loans for equipment and real estate can extend to a 25-year repayment term.
SBA 504 Loan Program
This loan program from the SBA provides small businesses with fixed-rate, long-term financing of up to $5 million which can be used to acquire fixed assets for modernization or expansion.
SBA Express Loan Program
These are loans of up to $500,000 and have a faster turnaround for approval. These loans can be used for working capital and the same purposes as 7(a) loans.
Microloans are for up to $50,000 and can be used for working capital, inventory, or equipment. These loans have a shorter repayment period than traditional loans.
10. Term Loans
These loans are typically used for equipment purchases or to finance the expansion of a business, can be either secured or unsecured, and have repayment periods of up to 25 years.
11. Angel Investors
Small business owners can also seek funding from angel investors. These are usually wealthy individuals who invest in businesses in exchange for equity.
12. Venture Capital Firms
Venture capitalists are firms that invest in businesses in exchange for equity as well. These firms tend to invest in businesses that have high growth potential.
13. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
While these loans are no longer available for COVID-19 reasons, disaster-hit businesses can still apply for government aid under certain conditions.
14. Credit Unions
Credit unions are another financing option available to business owners. They typically offer lower interest rates than banks and other traditional lenders.
15. Equity Financing
Equity financing is when businesses sell a portion of their ownership stake in exchange for funding. This can be a good option for businesses that do not have the collateral required to secure a loan or that have a strong business credit history.
16. Trade Credit
Trade credit is when businesses extend terms to their suppliers in order to pay for goods or services over time. This can be a good option for businesses that need to conserve cash.
17. Cash Flow Loans
Cash flow loans are loans that are given based on the projected cash flow of a business. These loans are for up to $100,000 and can be used for working capital or to finance the purchase of inventory.
18. Commercial Real Estate Loans
These loans are used to finance the purchase or renovation of commercial real estate, such as office space or retail space. These loans typically have a repayment period of up to 25 years.
19. Business Line of credit
Lines of credit are loans that can be used as needed and repaid over time. This can be a good option for businesses that need flexibility in their financing.
20. Equipment Financing
Equipment financing is a type of loan that is used to finance the purchase of equipment. These loans typically have a repayment period of up to 10 years.
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