Understanding Small Business Loans

What is a small business loan?

Generally speaking, a business loan is borrowed by a business owner or a company in order to finance and manage its operations including, but not limited to, purchasing equipment or inventory, investing in expansion, hiring new employees, and more. 

A business loan has terms and conditions directing how and where the money can be used, what the interest rate is, and what would be the repayment schedule. Every financial institution has its own criteria and requirements for lending and offering the best business cash advance loans; each will assess your credit rating differently in order to estimate how risky it is to lend you money and will offer you several lending options.  

A small business loan is fundamentally the same, where the money borrowed for small business needs to be used to purchase equipment or hire employees.

For entrepreneurs who are looking to get their venture off the ground, the small business start-up loans are a great alternative. New business owners say that the biggest challenge in starting a business is to get financing. In this case, private lenders and government programs offer financing options to help out new businesses. 

At the federal and provincial levels, Canada offers startups various financial aid programs within specific sectors and regions. For instance, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) offers loans to entrepreneurs to set up a new business, build or renovate facilities, buy equipment, develop new products, expand into new markets, improve IT infrastructure, and even sell the business.

Getting approved for your business loan

In order to get approval for small business loans in Canada, the owner has to provide a business plan as well as have all their documents in order. 

Firstly, you should ask yourself the following questions which will help you with your loan application: 

  • Why does your business need the money? 
  • What is the right type of loan for you? 
  • What type of lender should you approach?
  • Do you think you qualify? If unsure, how can you improve your situation?
  • Do you have all the documents required by the bank?

Financial institutions are reluctant to provide business loans unless there is sufficient security or collateral to guarantee the loan. Numbers show that less than 25% of small startup business loan applications are approved by major lenders.

That is why private lenders have become such a practical financing option in the last decade. Unlike venture capital or angel investors, they do not require you to put up a percentage of your business. Moreover, it is easier to obtain a business loan from private lenders as they are more flexible with the loan terms. The paperwork is not as difficult and loans approvals happen faster than in major financial institutions.  

Below are a few types of small business loans and financing options:

  1. Lines of credit
  2. Peer to peer (P2P) loans
  3. Merchant advances
  4. Investor loans
  5. Term loans
  6. Commercial Bank Loans
  7. Equipment Loans for Startup Businesses
  8. Online Invoice Financing
  9. Traditional Equity Financing
  10. Personal Loans

Types of startup business loans

Startup needs differ from established and even small business needs. Moreover, the startup most likely generates zero or negative revenue in the beginning. Entrepreneurs who are looking to borrow money for their business are usually asked for personal guarantees and collateral. This means that the business owner may put up his house or any other assets as collateral for the loan.

That said, start-up business loans may not be the best option – especially if there are not enough assets available. As mentioned above, small business start-up loans from private lenders are better alternatives. Whether obtained through crowd-funding, private lenders, or the government, small loans can help a business owner pave the way for his business. 

Currently, equipment loans for startups are very popular. These are relatively small loan amounts, so the equipment that is purchased can be put up as security. Merchant cash advances and peer to peer funding can help small businesses with their cash flow and managing operations. 

Business lines of credit (LOC), sometimes called corporate credit loans, are like credit cards but for businesses. It is a revolving credit system, where the business owner can withdraw the amount of money they need, up to the credit limit allowed by the lender. The borrower only pays interest on the amount that is borrowed. A business LOC can help a small business owner meet its cash flow requirements and manage their debt effectively.

A merchant cash advance for start-up businesses

Known as a “business cash advance”, merchant cash advances work on different terms compared to traditional loans. Unlike bank loans, a merchant cash advance does not evaluate credit score. Small business owners can typically receive up to $300,000 startup business Cash advance, without having to offer security for the loan!

Under a merchant cash advance, the business receives a lump sum of advanced cash with the condition that the lender will receive a percentage of your future sales. Therefore, the merchant cash advance is a simple and fast way of getting capital right away. A merchant cash advance for startup businesses is a great financing option, allowing flexibility in repayment. For instance, if your sales in one month are lower, then the repayment amount will be lower; similarly, if your business performs very well the next month, your loan repayment will be higher.

The private lender also takes care of repayments, ensuring there are no delays in payments from your end. Most of them have agreements with major payment processors, so private lenders can set up repayments based on your daily sales received by credit cards, which eliminates any headache of repayments on your end.   

For business borrowers who need the money as soon as possible, merchant cash advances are one of the fastest ways of getting cash flow. Once the business loan is approved the cash advance is directly deposited into your account within one or two days. If you think it might be a good solution for you, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.