Thursday, August 16, 2018

Denied for an SBA Loan? The 3 Next Steps to Take

SBA loans are among the best financing options for small business owners. They come with low interest rates, long repayment terms, and manageable monthly payments. SBA loans are designed to offer a path to affordable financing when an entrepreneur’s other options haven’t panned out.

The problem for small business owners is that SBA loans are actually highly selective—lenders end up denying hundreds of applications. At large banks, the approval rate for business loans, including SBA loans, is only around 25%. At small banks, the approval rate is  higher—sitting around 49%—but more than half of borrowers still get turned away. So if you have been denied for an SBA loan, you’re certainly not alone.

Receiving that denial letter from the lender can sting, but you can quickly get back on track. The first step is to find out why you were denied for an SBA loan and use that to your advantage as you continue your search for business financing. Learn how to do that, plus whether your best bet is to reapply for SBA financing or try other alternatives.

Step 1: Find Out Why Your Application Was Denied

The first step you should take when you’re denied for an SBA loan is to find out why. Understanding why the lender couldn’t extend you a loan puts you in a stronger position, whether you choose to reapply for an SBA loan later or apply for other types of financing.

If your application for an SBA loan gets denied, you’re legally entitled to a written letter of explanation. According to the federal law that regulates SBA business loans:

Applicants receive notice of approval or denial by the Lender, CDC, Intermediary, or SBA, as appropriate. Notice of denial will include the reasons. If a loan is approved, an Authorization will be issued.”

Depending on which SBA loan program you applied for and which type of lender you worked with, your denial letter will come either from the lender or from the SBA directly.

If you work with a leading SBA lender, like Wells Fargo or Chase, the lender will be your main point of contact for everything related to approval or denial. This is because most large banks are part of the SBA’s Preferred Lender Program (PLP). Preferred Lenders have the authority to process, underwrite, approve, or deny SBA loans. If your lender is not a Preferred Lender, the SBA will take a much more active role in underwriting your application and will likely be the one to send your denial letter.

Maria San Luis, an SBA Relationship Manager at Fundera, says that denial letters are typically pretty vague, whether coming from the lender or the SBA. According to San Luis, this can be frustrating for the applicant:

“Different lenders have different denial procedures, but in most cases, you won’t see a very specific reason for denial. It will be something vague like ‘application doesn’t meet SBA credit standards.’ This doesn’t give too much information for the applicant.

However, working with a platform like Fundera can help. Our loan specialists work closely with SBA lenders and have a good understanding of why an applicant got declined. We can help them figure out what happened and next steps to take.”

A loan specialist can also help ensure that your SBA loan application doesn’t get delayed or denied for completely avoidable reasons, such as missing documentation.

Common Reasons SBA Loan Applications Get Denied

Every SBA lender has their own eligibility standards for SBA loans and their own underwriting process. That said, most lenders are looking for the “5 Cs of lending.” As a result, most SBA loan applications get denied for one of those same five reasons:

  • Credit score is too low or not long enough, or credit history contains other red flags like a recent bankruptcy
  • Issues of character (e.g. a criminal record)
  • Not enough collateral
  • Not enough business revenues or capital to repay the debt
  • Low capacity to repay the debt (e.g. maybe because you have an existing loan)

Although the reasons for denial can be vague, the best place to start is by hearing straight from the lender or the SBA why they couldn’t work with you. If possible, have an honest conversation with the lender or the SBA about what went wrong, so you can plan your next move.

→Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR): If you’re denied for an SBA loan, you will receive a letter of explanation from the SBA or from the lender. Have an honest conversation with them about why you were denied, so you can plan your next move.

sba-loan-denied

Step 2: Strengthen Your Application and Reapply

In many ways, qualifying for an SBA loan is a numbers game. For example, lenders might have specific credit score minimums, or they might require a specific amount of collateral. Although you might view these rigid requirements as a bad thing, they also make loans predictable. There are clear ways to strengthen your application and reapply.

Reapplying isn’t a good option for all business owners, however. Under SBA guidelines, says Fundera’s San Luis, a borrower has to wait 90 days after receiving a notice of denial to reapply for an SBA loan.

The reason is that SBA lenders check credit using a system called E-Tran. The E-Tran credit pull stays active for 90 days, after which it can change to reflect changes in your application. If you need funding more quickly than 90 days, finding an alternative to an SBA loan is better than reapplying.

Likewise, there are some situations where reapplying won’t help. For example, businesses in certain industries have a tougher time obtaining financing. Lenders have strict policies against lending to certain industries. If a lender declined you because of your industry, then SBA funding just might not be available to you, and you’d be better off seeking an alternative.

If reapplying for an SBA loan makes sense for your company, there are specific steps you can take to strengthen your loan application the second time around. Here are some ways to switch an SBA loan denial into an approval:

Improve Personal and Business Credit

Credit is the number one factor that affects your chances of getting approved for an SBA loan. Lenders assess the personal credit of the owner and the business credit of the company.

Personal credit scores, which you might already be familiar with, follow a 300 to 850 range. The higher the score is, the better your chances at approval, but the cutoff for SBA loans is typically around a 620. And most lenders want to see a score much better than that, in the 700+ range.

Business credit scores also impact your application. The business credit score that the SBA uses is called the Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS). This follows a 0 to 300 range, and the higher the score the better. The SBA uses this score as a prescreening tool for their most popular loan program, the SBA 7(a) loan. The SBA’s cutoff is 140, but banks typically have their own cutoffs, which are higher.

Credit scores work in tandem with the rest of your application. For instance, if you have a well-established business with strong revenues and lots to offer in the way of collateral, then you might be able to get approved with an average credit score. But if you have a new business or are still working to increase revenues, then stellar credit scores are a necessity.

The best way to build credit is simply by paying bills on time, both on the personal side and to business suppliers and vendors. Beyond that, lowering credit utilization—how much credit you use relative to what’s available—can quickly amp up your credit score, as well. So if possible, pay down excess debt such as credit card debt, that could be dragging your credit score down. These strategies can help you increase your score by several points in less than one month. That difference could be the key to getting an SBA loan.

Improve Your Business’s Financials

Along with credit, your business’s finances are key to getting approved for an SBA loan. The SBA and lenders want to make sure that the borrower will be able to pay the loan back, on time and in full. To make that determination, they look to your business’s finances—your revenue, profits, and existing debt.

This is a case-by-case evaluation, just like credit. Some lenders require businesses to be profitable to qualify for an SBA loan. Others don’t require profitability but do want to see an upward revenue trend.

There’s a formula called debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) which lenders use to figure out your capacity to pay back the SBA loan. Your DSCR tells whether your business is generating enough income to pay off existing debts and obligations. Your DSCR should ideally be greater than one because this indicates positive cash flow.

To improve your business’s financial standing, you can brainstorm ways to increase revenues, reduce expenses, and pay down existing debt. Small tweaks can pay off in a big way. For example, if you have a retail business and can increase your profit margin by just a few percentage points, that can tip your DSCR in the right direction. Similarly, cutting back on non-essential expenses can boost profits and help you qualify for an SBA loan.

While you’re working on improving your business’s revenues and expenses, it also helps to evaluate your asset position. For instance, if you acquire new equipment or inventory, those are assets that you can leverage as collateral for an SBA loan.

Wait a Few Months

Another way to strengthen your SBA loan application is simply by waiting. Technically, SBA loans are open to new businesses, but startups also face the largest share of denials. In any given year, more than 65% of recipients of SBA 7(a) loans are established businesses (over two years old). Only about 35% of recipients are new businesses.

Startups often get denied for SBA loans because they haven’t been around long enough to prove that they can pay the loan back on time. Startups are still “figuring out” how to generate profits and establish business credit. Lenders and the SBA prefer to work with more established businesses that have shown a record of financial success.

Waiting just six months or a year can help turn an SBA loan denial into an approval. Make sure to spend those extra months increasing revenues, building credit, and implementing your business plan.

→TL;DR: Reapplying for an SBA loan can be a good option if you’re not in urgent need of cash. You have to wait at least 90 days. Use the time as an opportunity to improve credit, increase revenues, or otherwise strengthen your application.

Step 3: Consider Alternative Financing Options

As a busy entrepreneur with a growing business, you might not be willing to wait 90 days to reapply for an SBA loan, or you might not want to go through the rigorous application process again.

The SBA loan process can take hours of paperwork, and when you reapply, you have to submit updated documentation, such as the latest bank account statements and financial statements.

Fortunately, there are faster, easier financing options on the table. The best alternatives for your company depend on which SBA program you applied for in the first place. Broken down by type of loan, here are some good alternatives to SBA financing:

If You Were Denied for an SBA 7(a) Loan, Try…

… Online Lenders

sba-loan-deniedA multitude of online lenders provide business loans, offering up to as much as $500,000 in capital. Many business owners use these loans as a source of working capital, making them a good substitute for SBA 7(a) loans.

SBA 7(a) loans are general purpose business loans that you can use as working capital for your company. The bar for qualifying for a 7(a) loan is really high, and that’s where an online lender can help. Many online lenders work with borrowers who have FICO scores as low as 500. They also can work with businesses that have just a few months of operating history.

The downside is that online lenders have shorter periods of repayment compared to SBA loans and charge higher interest rates. The repayment term for 7(a) loans ranges between 5 to 25 years, whereas online lenders typically offer 6-month to 5-year terms. Shorter repayment terms means larger monthly payments, which can put stress on your cash flow.

Online loans also have interest rates—sometimes 10 times higher than SBA loans! But since you’re holding onto the loan for a shorter time, you’re also paying less in total interest over the life of the loan. The best way to evaluate cost is to use a business loan calculator, which will show you the APR of your loan and the estimated installment payments.

… or Invoice Financing

B2B businesses that were denied for an SBA 7(a) loan can also try invoice financing as an alternative. Invoice financing allows your business to access working capital by trading in unpaid invoices for cash.

If you have invoices that are due in 30 to 90 days, the lender will let you access that money now in exchange for a fee. The invoice acts as collateral on the loan, so the interest rates are usually pretty reasonable. Low credit and short time in business usually aren’t bars to qualifying.

Invoice financing can help you keep up with day-to-day expenses like buying inventory and supplies. The downside is that only B2B businesses are eligible, and even with low interest rates, the rates aren’t quite as low as SBA loan rates.

If You Were Denied for an SBA 504 Loan, Try Hard Money Loans

SBA 504 loans are a great way to finance the purchase of real estate, equipment, and other fixed assets. If were denied for an SBA loan, you can try other asset-based loans like hard money loans.

As with a 504 loan, real estate or equipment typically serve as the collateral for a hard money loan. But hard money lenders are much more open to working with newer businesses and business owners with lower credit.

The downside is that hard money lenders charge higher interest rates, more fees, and require an extensive down payment. The major selling point of SBA 504 loans is that they offer 90% financing (only a 10% down payment is required). In contrast, hard money lenders often finance only 60% to 70% of a project. But if you’re able to come to the table with a good share of your own resources, then consider applying for a hard money loan.

If You Were Denied for an SBA Microloan, Try Business Credit Cards

Some entrepreneurs need just a little bit of money to move the needle for their business. The SBA Microloan Program fits this need. Through this program, the SBA works with lending partners to get small loans—under $50,000—into the hands of business owners.

Although a smaller amount of capital is in play here, SBA microloans are still difficult to qualify for. If you were denied for an SBA microloan, business credit cards might be a good alternative.

Business credit cards often have credit limits going up to $50,000 or more. And they offer other perks, such as rewards points for purchases. Some cards even offer 0% APR for several months, which allows you to borrow interest free.

The highest credit limit cards and cards with the best rewards programs are reserved for business owners with the best credit. But even with decent credit, you can get a business credit card that offers rewards points, cash back, and other perks.

For instance, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business offers 1% cash back on all purchases and only requires a credit score of 580 or greater.

→TL;DR: If you were denied for an SBA loan, alternatives offer a faster application process and easier qualification requirements. Some alternatives to consider are online short-term loans, invoice financing, hard money loans, and business credit cards.

If You’re Denied for an SBA Loan, Reapply or Consider Alternatives

Getting denied for an SBA loan can feel like a huge setback for your business. But think of it as an opportunity to regroup and strengthen weak points in your business.

Here are some things to think through if you’re denied for an SBA loan:

  • Have a conversation with the lender or with your SBA contact about why you were denied for the loan. They might offer up some pointers on how you can strengthen your application.
  • You can reapply for an SBA loan after 90 days. This is a good option if you’re not in urgent need of cash and can take steps to improve your credit or business’s financial standing.
  • Online loans, invoice financing, hard money loans, and business credit cards are just some of the alternatives to SBA loans. If you’re in urgent need of money, these are also faster routes to capital.

Although getting denied for a loan can be discouraging, try to see this as an opportunity to improve your business. Eventually, whether through an SBA loan or another option, you’ll get the capital necessary to take your company to the next level.

The post Denied for an SBA Loan? The 3 Next Steps to Take appeared first on Fundera Ledger.



from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/sba-loan-denied/

The Best SunTrust Business Credit Card Review, Plus Top Alternatives

If you live in the southeastern United States or Washington, D.C., you might have come across one of SunTrust Bank’s 1,288 branches or thousands of ATMs. And if you’re already a SunTrust customer—or if you’re on the hunt for a place to call your small business bank account home—you might be wondering about the SunTrust Small Business Credit Card.    

Simply put, signing up for the SunTrust Small Business Credit Card makes the most sense for pre-existing bank customers, mostly because SunTrust loyalists reap the greatest rewards (more on that later). But small business owners who don’t bank with SunTrust might still be intrigued by this Mastercard’s cash back earning potential, no annual fee, free employee cards, and access to SunTrust Business Credit Card Online—which, just as the name suggests, is the bank’s online banking portal.   

Learn all about those features and more, and some comparable business credit cards to consider as an alternative in this comprehensive review of the SunTrust Business Credit Card.

Everything You Need to Know About the SunTrust Small Business Credit Card

Fees

If you’re on the fence about signing up for the SunTrust Small Business Credit Card, its first major feature might tip you over the edge: This card has no annual fee. That’s a huge point in its favor (and yours, potentially).

However, SunTrust does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, so if you often travel abroad, you might want to look for a travel-friendly alternative. Like most other credit cards, the SunTrust card charges a cash advance fee and a balance transfer fee, too.

One thing to look out for is SunTrust’s research fee. This little-known fee kicks in if you request to see a specific document in your account history, such as a bank statement, check, or deposit; or if you dispute a transaction with the bank. Your fee will either be $3 per statement copy, or $20 per hour of research time. (SunTrust is far from the only bank that charges a research fee; they’re just more upfront about it in their terms.)  

Rewards

When you spend with the SunTrust Small Business Credit Card, you’ll have the opportunity to earn cash back at varying rates through the tiered rewards structure.

With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $2,000 spent monthly on office supplies and gas within the first 12 months of account opening. After those first 12 months, you’ll earn 3% cash back on the first $2,000 spent monthly on office supplies and gas. You’ll also earn a flat 1% cash back on other qualifying purchases. You can choose to redeem your cash back either as a statement credit, a check, or as a direct transfer into your SunTrust bank account.

SunTrust banking customers will enjoy extra rewards, as customers will earn either a 10% or 25% cash deposit bonus, depending on the type of accounts they hold with the bank.

On top of those rewards, new cardholders will benefit from a generous, 12-month 0% intro APR period—so, over the first 12 months after you activate your account, you can carry a balance without incurring added interest. Just make sure you can ultimately pay off your balance in full—after these 12 months are up, your APR will set in at a rate that will vary with the market prime rate, so be sure to see the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR information.    

Benefits

The SunTrust Small Business Credit Card is a Mastercard, so cardholders have access to the network’s major benefits. Some of those benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase assurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • ID theft resolution

You can also take advantage of SunTrust Business Card Online, which allows you to monitor and track your spending, view your transaction history, dispute transactions, easily separate your business and personal expenses, schedule payments ahead of time so you never fall behind (and risk damaging your credit score)—essentially, take care of all your basic banking needs remotely or on-the-go.

This card can work well for business owners who delegate spending to employees, since you can add additional employee cards at no extra cost, and also set a spending limit on each card. You can easily order, activate, and monitor all additional cards via SunTrust Business Card Online.     

Top Alternatives to the SunTrust Business Credit Card

Although you might be sold on the SunTrust business credit card, especially if you’re already a SunTrust customer, it’s always in your best interest to look into other cards on the market. Your business credit card will be your business’s go-to financing tool, so make sure you’re choosing that card wisely.  

The Best Alternative for Cash Back Rewards: Chase Ink Business Cash

One potential drawback of the SunTrust Business Credit Card is that its cash back earning potential is fairly limited, since extra earnings cap out at $2,000. If your business runs on a larger budget, you might consider setting your sights on a card that’s better aligned with your spending habits.

For instance, the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card also features a tiered rewards program but allows users much more space to reap the benefits—these rewards top out at the first $25,000 annually (as opposed to SunTrust’s $2,000 limit), and the 5% category doesn’t end after the first 12 months of card ownership.

More specifically, you’ll earn:

  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on purchases from office supply stores and cell, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants.
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases, with no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn.   

Like the SunTrust business credit card, the Chase Ink Business Cash card has no annual fee and a 12-month 0% intro APR period. And just like the SunTrust card, after your intro period is up, your APR will set in at a rate that will depend on your creditworthiness and the market prime rate, so be sure to check the issuer’s terms and conditions to get the latest APR information. (Also like SunTrust, Chase charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.)

This card’s signup bonus just might beat out SunTrust’s, though—if you spend $3,000 during the first three months of card ownership, Chase gives you $500 cash back.

In all, the Chase Ink Business Cash card might be a better pick for business owners with higher spending thresholds, and who want even more opportunity to be rewarded for their expenses.

The Best Alternative for a Long 0% Intro APR Period: American Express Blue Business Plus

Arguably one of the SunTrust business credit card’s best features is its 12-month 0% intro APR period—a full year to take advantage of an interest-free balance is a long time! But nothing beats out the American Express Blue Business Plus, which carries a super-long 0% intro APR period of 15 months (and no annual fee). Of course, that interest-free period doesn’t extend over the life of your card; after 15 months, your APR will be a variable rate, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.

What will last throughout the life of your card, however, is the Blue Business Plus’s ongoing rewards offer of 2x points on your first $50,000 spent annually, then 1x on every dollar thereafter. Obviously, that’s a much higher threshold than SunTrust’s $2,000, so this card best suits big spenders.

So, if a long 0% intro APR period is important to you—maybe you’re planning on making a large expense, and want to buy yourself some time to pay it off without incurring added interest—you might consider the American Express Blue Business Plus card over SunTrust’s card (or any other business credit card on the market, for that matter).  

The Best Alternative for an Accessible Rewards Program: Capital One Spark Cash for Business  

If you don’t want to track rewards caps, as you would with any other card on this list, consider a cash back card with a flat-rate rewards program. You might find a better fit in the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card, which earns you a consistent 2% cash back on every dollar you spend, regardless of where you spend.

Unlike the no-fee SunTrust card, though, the Spark Cash card does carry a $95 annual fee, though that fee is waived the first year. And if you access the card’s signup bonus of $500, that fee pays for itself for six years of card ownership. Plus, this card has no foreign transaction fee—a major plus if you often travel abroad for business.

Who Should Get the SunTrust Small Business Credit Card?

Small business owners who already bank with SunTrust can’t go wrong by signing up for the institution’s business credit card. Some of its best features are its free employee cards, no annual fee, and extra rewards potential for pre-existing clients. It’ll work especially well for entrepreneurs who spend a lot on office supplies and gas, and who don’t often travel abroad for business.

If you’re not already a SunTrust client, but there’s a local branch near you, signing up for this card is worth your consideration. Banks reward loyalty, so developing a strong relationship with your local financial institution now could help your odds of securing a small business loan from them in the future.

But even SunTrust customers might find the bank’s small business credit card rewards program lacking, at least in comparison to other business credit cards on the market. If you don’t want your rewards potential to cap out at $2,000 annually, look toward the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card. If you want an even longer 0% intro APR period, the American Express Blue Business Plus—and its 15-month interest-free grace period—is the card for you. And the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card takes all the guesswork out of your rewards program, so you can spend safe in the knowledge that know you’re earning whenever, and wherever, you go.

The post The Best SunTrust Business Credit Card Review, Plus Top Alternatives appeared first on Fundera Ledger.



from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/suntrust-business-credit-card-online/

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

10 Best Ways to Establish Business Credit as a Startup

If you’ve ever been on the market for a consumer loan, such as a home loan, you’ve probably got a handle on your personal finances. You know where your personal credit score stands month-to-month and how personal credit impacts your ability to qualify for financial products.

But as a new business owner, you might not know anything about your startup’s business credit rating—why this is important, what your rating is, or how to establish and build a business credit history.

If you’ll ever need credit for your business in the future—with a small business loan or business credit card, for example—then your business can’t just get by with a strong personal credit score. That definitely will help, but you also need to establish a positive business credit history.

Fortunately, building business credit is more of a science than an art. There are some predictable, tried-and-true methods for getting the ball rolling. Find out how business credit works, how you can check your business credit file (for free), and the 10 best ways to establish business credit as a startup.

What is Business Credit?

Before we dive into how to establish business credit, let’s clear up what a business credit score actually is and why it matters.

Your personal credit rating is a number that captures your reliability as a borrower. In the same way, a business credit rating conveys whether your business is a trustworthy borrower.

The business credit reporting agencies—Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax are the three main ones—collect information from the vendors and creditors you do business with. That borrowing information gets processed through a credit reporting algorithm to establish your business credit.

The number that a business credit reporting agency spits out, however, is on a different scale than your personal credit. Whereas personal credit scores range from 300 to 850, the most popular business credit score ranges from 1 to 100. Higher scores indicate that a business is trustworthy and likely to pay a bill or loan back on time.

Why Should You Care to Establish Business Credit?

Just as the strength of your personal credit score determines what types of credit products you qualify for and the rates and terms you get, your business credit score is a key factor in a lender, vendor, or supplier’s decision to work with you.

A business lender or supplier wants to see that your business has a good track record of paying your accounts on time, and in full.

These entities will use your business credit score to make informed decisions about whether to qualify your business for certain products, and what terms and interest rates to extend to your business.

Building a strong business credit score will open up the doors to affordable, long-term credit for your business.

What’s In Your Business Credit File?

Before setting out to establish business credit, it’s helpful to know if you already have a business credit file and what’s in there. That way, you know where you stand currently and can figure out the best ways to improve your credit rating.

Many business owners are surprised to know that they already have a business credit report in their company’s name. Some business credit bureaus, including Experian and Equifax, pull public record information, such as collection data and court records, to create your business credit file and generate your score. So even if you haven’t actively created an account with a business credit agency, they might already have enough information about you to compile a business credit report.

There are several places online that let you check your business’s credit history for free. And if there is a report under your company’s name, you can get a free copy of your business credit report. At Fundera, we offer a free summary of your business and personal credit scores and send you alerts to changes in your credit reports. This helps you become an informed borrower and get access to the best financial products for your company.

Sample business credit report from Experian

10 Steps to Establishing Business Credit

For many small business owners, establishing business credit can seem like a mystery. But once you take control over your business’s credit history, you’ll start to understand it more and see how different actions affect your business credit rating.

One thing to keep in mind is that your business credit rating can vary across the bureaus. This is because the different bureaus have different rules for opening a business credit file. Dun & Bradstreet, for example, requires you to apply for an account before they open a business credit file in your  name. However, Experian and Equifax pull public record data, such as court documents, business filings, and collection data, to create a company’s file.

To further complicate matters, each bureau has different scoring systems. And not all vendors and creditors report to all of the bureaus, so your score will differ between each bureau.

While all these details might make it seem complicated to build business credit as a startup, there are some tried and true methods for establishing business credit.

Here are 10 steps to make sure you’re establishing business credit as a startup.

1. Establish a Business Entity

As we mentioned before, your business credit history is separate from your personal credit history. To keep these two things separate, you need to set up a business entity and incorporate your startup.

Unincorporated business entities—a partnership and a sole proprietorship—are the easiest to work with in terms of starting up and managing paperwork. But with these structures, there’s no legal or financial separation between the owner and the business. When you choose to work with a vendor or apply for a loan, you’ll have to provide your personal social security number. As a result, your activity on your business accounts will be reflected on your personal credit report.

If you’re concerned with establishing business credit, then you’ll want to choose one of the following structures:

  • C Corporation. A C corporation gives you and your business the most legal and financial separation. This makes it much easier to quickly establish and build business credit. A Corporation is ideal for a business that’s planning to issue stock or go public in the future.
  • S Corporation. Many businesses avoid a C corporation structure because a C corporation is subject to a double tax. S corporations are a “pass-through” entity that avoids this double taxation, and the business’s profits are only taxed at the individual level. Beyond this, an S corporation has the same business credit building benefits of C corporations—establishing clear separation between you and your business.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC is another type of incorporated business entity with liability protection and financial separation between you and your business. An LLC makes it easy to establish business credit, but it’s easier and less expensive to manage than a corporation.

While it’s important to keep your ability to build business credit in mind while making your decision on how to structure your business, it’s not the only thing you should be thinking about.

If you’re unsure what exactly you should be focusing on, consult a business lawyer or an accountant to determine how you should structure your startup.

You can apply for an EIN for free at IRS.gov.

2. Get a Federal Tax Identification Number

The IRS uses an employer identification number (EIN) to track businesses for income tax and payroll tax purposes. While your social security number serves as your identification number for personal taxes, your EIN serves the same purpose for your business.

Not all businesses are required to get an EIN. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and  single-owner LLCs can just use the owner’s social security number for tax purposes (as long as they don’t have any employees). But if you have employees or are a registered business entity, then you have to get an EIN.

And even if you’re not required to, it’s a good idea to get an EIN anyway. One of the benefits is an EIN can help you establish business credit. And an EIN is free and easy to apply for on the IRS’s website.

When you eventually apply for a loan or a credit card for your business, you’ll usually be asked to either provide your social security number or EIN on the application. If you only have your social security number to offer, then you can rely only on your personal credit to help you qualify and get a good rate. But if you have an EIN, then you can rely on your business credit history as well.

3. Open a Business Bank Account

As a business owner, keeping your business and personal finances separate. This is an important practice for many reasons, but is especially crucial in regards to establishing business credit.

Opening a business bank account is the first step to drawing a line between business and personal expenses. Business credit bureaus will easily be able to see what money you’re taking out of and putting into your business, and will use that information to calculate your business credit score.

Once you have an EIN, head to a bank for a checking account. There are many local and national banks that offer free business checking accounts to consider.

Having a business bank account is a crucial step to establishing business credit. It will not only provide a bank reference for the three credit reporting agencies, but will open doors for better credit accounts in the future—the best small business lenders look for borrowers with business bank accounts that have been established for at least a couple years.

4. Establish a Dedicated Business Address and Phone Number

While this next tip might seem like a simple step, getting a dedicated business address and phone number will solidify your business’s separate existence. Having this is a small, but important step towards establishing business credit because it will allow you to register with business directories.

Directories like the Better Business Bureau, YelpYP.com, and Angie’s List require businesses to have an address and phone number to sign up. Business credit reporting agencies collect information from these directories, so it’s important to have correct and consistent contact information listed on all of the popular directories.

Also, when you set up a dedicated phone line for your business, you’re establishing your first, simple trade credit relationship with the phone company. This gets reported to credit agencies and helps in building business credit.

5. Apply for a Business DUNS Number

Dun & Bradstreet is probably the most well-known business credit reporting agency. Their Paydex business credit score is commonly used by suppliers and creditors. So if you want to establish business credit, it’s a good idea to open a credit file with this agency.

To do that, you’ll need to register for a DUNS—a Data Universal Number System. The DUNS system is a numerical identification process for business entities. When you apply for one, you’ll receive a unique nine digit code. The process is completely free, but takes up to 30 days.

Having a DUNS isn’t a requirement for businesses, unless you’re applying for a federal government contract, grant, or SBA loan, and it’s not a system that’s managed by the government. But suppliers and lenders all over the US and internationally use D&B business credit scores, so if you’re interested in establishing business credit for your startup, applying for a DUNS is a good idea.

6. Establish Trade Lines With Your Suppliers

If you’ve followed step one through five, then you have already laid a solid foundation upon which to build business credit. If you want to keep establishing business credit, there are some more best practices.

One is to maintain and establish good relationships with vendors and suppliers. Just as with your personal credit rating, your business credit score will build as you bring on a variety of different suppliers, vendors, and lenders—given that you maintain a good relationship with them.

As you buy more supplies, inventory, or other materials from third-party suppliers, those purchases can become relationships—and help you establish business credit. Especially if those suppliers and vendors extend trade credit, meaning they allow you to pay several days or weeks after you receive the items you ordered.

While this credit isn’t coming from a traditional lender, it is similar to a loan. Paying your vendor or supplier on time and in full (maybe even early) will help you build your business credit—just like paying consumer credit cards on time helps you build your personal credit.

Lucas Horton, a gemologist and owner of Valeria Fine Jewelry, said trade lines helped his business credit:

“I opened four memo accounts with diamond sellers who reported to business credit bureaus. According to Experian, my business now has a B rating (up from a D) due to lack to information. I am not large enough to engage in things that would build my credit [even further] like taking out a loan, so that is probably as high as I will ever get. However, for my needs, it is high enough to get me the credit I require.

A memo account is when they send you diamonds and you have a certain amount of time to pay for it rather than paying for it upfront. Most of the larger companies I have accounts with at least report to Dun and Bradstreet or Experian.”

The key is to choose suppliers, like Horton did, who will report your payments to the business credit bureau. Not all do, and if your supplier doesn’t report to the business credit agencies, then your on-time (or early) payments won’t help you build your credit. Popular suppliers like Uline, Quill, and Grainger report to business credit bureaus. As long as you pay on time and in full, you’ll boost your business credit score.

7. Get a Business Credit Card or Line of Credit

Many startups and small businesses use loans and credit lines to finance the operation and growth of their business. Not only is this type of credit crucial for keeping a business running smoothly, but using it will also help with establishing and building business credit.

If you’re truly a startup—with only a few months under your belt—then you might not qualify for the variety of business credit products that are available to small business owners. Business loans like term loans, SBA loans, or longer-term lines of credit  typically require at least 2 years in business for eligible borrowers.

If you’re not quite there yet, consider applying for a business credit card to cover day-to-day purchases for your business. This will this help solidify the separation between your personal and business finances, further establishing business credit.

A business credit card gives you access to a revolving credit account—you borrow money when you swipe the card, and you pay the credit card issuer back before each statement. When you repay the amount you borrowed, your available credit limit gets replenished to the original amount.

Nate Masterson, CEO of beauty company Maple Holistics, said he relied on business credit cards to improve his company’s business credit standing:

We decided to use business credit cards because … they play an essential role in building your company credit profile. This is particularly useful for small businesses who rely on loans and grants. Furthermore, because there are several major card issuers which report your business activity to your personal credit report, this can be a great way to boost your personal credit, if you are responsible.

Pay your bills early, or at the very least on time. This is the number one, most important rule that will get your business a perfect credit score with business credit bureau. We made sure to only use our business card on purchases we were confident we could pay off in full by the end of each month.

A business line of credit works in much the same way as a credit card, minus the physical card. Rather, the funds live in your business bank account, and you can withdraw money on as needed basis. You then pay back what you borrow to reset your balance.

The act of borrowing and repaying money on a business credit card or line of credit will help establish business credit—given that you’re paying on time (or early, if possible) and in full.

Secured Business Credit Cards Are a Stepping Stone to Building Credit

Pro tip: If you’re having a hard time qualifying for a regular business credit cards, try secured business credit cards. A secured business credit card is “secured” by a funds deposit that you make against your card.

For instance, if you make a deposit of $500, you can use your secured business credit card up to the credit limit of $500. If you’re unable to repay your business credit card bill, the issuer deducts your deposit to recoup their losses. This makes the act of lending to you a lot less risky for the issuer, so they might be more likely to extend you credit in the form of a business credit card.

Once you’ve made progress towards establishing business credit—using business credit cards and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers and vendors—you’ll become more eligible for better business credit products.

8. Borrow From Lenders That Report to the Business Credit Bureaus

If you’re repaying your credit cards and loans on time and in full, you can be proud of your stellar payment history. However, you’ll want to be sure that you’re actually getting recognized for this good behavior.

Some lenders don’t report to the business credit bureaus. If this is the case for one or all of your accounts, you won’t be establishing your business credit score with good borrowing behavior.

Most banks and traditional financing institutions will routinely report borrowers’ repayment histories to business credit reporting bureaus.

Some alternative online lenders, however, don’t file reports to these bureaus. If you’re looking to establish business credit, then it’s a good idea to work with lenders that report to the business credit bureaus. Check into a lender’s policy on this before you apply!

9. Keep Your Information Current With the Bureaus

Dun & Bradstreet is the most popular business credit reporting agency, but Equifax and Experian collect business credit history as well.

And unlike the personal credit reporting process—guided by the standardized FICO score—business credit reporting doesn’t have the same streamlined process. Each business credit bureau collects different information and has different scoring models. Plus, different suppliers and different lenders report different kinds of data.

Because a lender or supplier could pull your business credit report from any of the three popular bureaus, it’s important that you keep an eye on each of your reports—maintaining all three of them.

These bureaus allow you to update basic information about your business (like number of employees or years in business) and upload financial documents. The more complete your profile is at each of the business credit reporting bureaus, the better.

10. Borrow Responsibly

When it comes to establishing and building business credit, your mantra should be exactly the same as it is with building personal credit: borrow responsibly.

Your score isn’t going to skyrocket overnight. But with steady, responsible borrowing habits—drawing from a mix of business credit accounts, and paying those accounts on time and in full—you’ll see your business credit score improve.

As with a personal credit rating, your business credit rating will suffer if you apply for too many credit accounts over a short period of time. Make sure to space out your business credit card or business loan applications.

And just like your personal credit score can get dinged by too much debt, so can your business credit score. If you’re feeling cash flow crunches or are having trouble paying your bills as a result of too much debt, consider options like refinancing or debt consolidation to make payments more manageable.

Borrowing responsibly improves your business credit

Establishing Business Credit Takes Time, But is Worth the Effort

In the end, there are several factors that impact your business credit. The length of your business credit history, your mix of credit accounts, and your credit utilization all matter for building your score—but your payment history is the most important factor.

By paying lenders and suppliers on time, or early, whenever possible, you can establish business credit for a startup and build your business credit score over time.

Once you’ve established business credit, keeping building business credit by being the most responsible borrower you can be over your business’s lifetime! You’ll thank yourself later when you qualify for the best financial products, at the lowest rates and the most favorable terms.

The post 10 Best Ways to Establish Business Credit as a Startup appeared first on Fundera Ledger.



from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/establish-business-credit/

The Best Freelancer Accounting Software Pick, Above All

Like many freelancers, your business might have seemed to happen spontaneously—in fact, your freelance work may not seem like work at all to you. But no matter how much you love what you do, make no mistake about it: If you are being paid for your services, you have a business. That means you must keep accounting records to make sure you’re correctly reporting your income and tracking your deductible business expenses. In other words, you need freelancer accounting software.

The best business accounting software for freelancers is easy to use, yet powerful enough to provide you with the functionality you need to run your business efficiently. Especially if your business is a side gig, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on freelance bookkeeping software, either. So, how do you choose the best freelancer accounting software for you? We’ll show you how, plus our picks for the three best out there.  

What Freelancers Need from Their Accounting Software

Freelancers need to go through many of the same processes as other small businesses, like setting up an LLC and purchasing liability insurance for themselves and their businesses. But freelancers also have needs that many other small businesses don’t—and they need accounting software with capabilities to match.

As a freelancer, look out for an accounting software with at least the following capabilities:

1. Billable expenses: Although freelancers do have some overhead costs, many of a freelancer’s expenses are billable to their clients. This means your freelance bookkeeping software must be able to not only record expenses but also easily pull them into invoices you can send to your clients. It must also allow you to markup those expenses to ensure your profitability.

2. Mileage tracking: All small businesses can benefit from keeping a mileage log if the owner uses a personal vehicle for business. But—like with billable expenses—freelancers might need to track their mileage for billing. Your freelance accounting software should have a built-in mileage tracker, or be able to easily integrate with one.

3. Customer billing: Many small, service-based businesses have moved away from billing on a per-job basis in favor of flat pricing or a subscription model. Freelancers are the exception to this rule. You want to make sure your accounting software supports customer billing, as well as an easy way for your clients to pay you.

4. Commingled bank accounts: It’s best practice to separate your business and personal finances. But if your freelance business is very small, a side hustle, or if you’re just getting started with it, you might not want to open separate banking and credit card accounts right away. Regardless of its size, though, you’re still responsible for your freelance business’s taxes—so you need a way to clearly delineate between your business and personal expenses. The right accounting software for your freelance business will help you do this with ease.

freelancer-accounting-software

What Freelancers Don’t Need from Their Accounting Software

Most small businesses require balance sheets and profit and loss statements to accurately track their finances and project their growth. The first document shows the business’s assets, liabilities, and equity. The second shows the business’s income and expenses, and can be used for tax preparation purposes.

But this is where freelancers stray from the norm. Strictly speaking, freelancers don’t need to maintain a balance sheet. That’s because, in most cases, freelancers don’t have fixed assets to track, and any business debt is minimal. Freelancers typically aren’t trying to build equity in their businesses, either, choosing instead to use all of their freelance income to support their lifestyle or provide “extra” income for their household.

So, most freelancers are just fine operating their business with a profit and loss statement only, and they don’t necessarily need an accounting software that tracks balance sheets.

There is a big caveat to the line of thinking that says freelancers don’t need to maintain a balance sheet, however. We’ll take a look at that in a minute.

Freelancer Accounting Software: The Good, the Better, and the Best

There are numerous good accounting software options on the market for freelancers. Out of all the tools available, though, three stand above the rest in terms of functionality, ease of use, and affordability.

The Good: FreshBooks

FreshBooks was made for freelancers. Literally. The company started out as an invoicing- and time-tracking software for self-employed individuals, and has since evolved into a powerhouse accounting software for freelancers, sole proprietors, and even some larger small businesses, too.

FreshBooks lets you track your expenses and mark them as billable, invoice and collect payments from your clients, and—with the MileIQ integration—easily track and import your mileage expenses. Since FreshBooks connects directly to your bank and credit card accounts, you won’t have to waste time with data entry, and you can be reasonably certain of the accuracy of your data if you monitor your bank feeds closely.

Busy freelancers don’t have time to get stuck on technical issues or wade through pages of online FAQs to figure out how to use their accounting software. FreshBooks realizes this, and they have an excellent customer service team that responds quickly to users’ questions. Even though support is provided via email, you won’t have to wait days for an answer—you can often get an answer to your question within an hour.

Like the next option on this list, FreshBooks does not provide a balance sheet, though they do provide a template if you need to create one. Actually, FreshBooks recommends seeking the help of an accountant if you find yourself needing a balance sheet. But, as we mentioned, chances are you won’t need this document unless your business grows beyond the freelancing stage.

As for price, FreshBooks starts at $15 per month, though you’ll likely soon need to move up to the $25/month plan. Any additional apps you need, like MileIQ, will increase your monthly investment.

The Better: QuickBooks Self-Employed

With more than 2 million users worldwide, QuickBooks Online is the household name in small business accounting. Intuit’s QuickBooks Self-Employed product has steadily gained momentum since it was first introduced in 2015, offering a simple accounting solution for freelancers and other very small businesses.

QuickBooks Self-Employed (QBSE) has many useful features, including:

  • An easy-to-use and phone app.
  • The ability to separate business and personal expenses right on the app.
  • Automatic mileage tracking.
  • Simple invoicing, including the ability to turn on online payments.
  • A receipt capture feature, so you can ditch the paper receipts.
  • Estimated quarterly tax calculations.
  • The ability to collaborate with your accountant.

QBSE has two pricing options. Their core option—which includes all the features listed above—costs $10/month. For an additional $7/month, you can add the TurboTax bundle. This bundle allows you to pay your estimated quarterly taxes online, export your Schedule C information to TurboTax, and file one state and one federal tax return through TurboTax each year.

As wonderful as QBSE is, it has one major shortcoming: You can’t upgrade to QuickBooks Online if your business outgrows the freelance business model. If you need to move to a more robust QuickBooks solution, you’ll have to start a completely new QuickBooks subscription and start your accounting file from scratch.

freelancer-accounting-software

The Best: QuickBooks Online Simple Start

Earlier, we mentioned that freelancers don’t really need a balance sheet. And this is true from a business management and tax standpoint. However, most accountants and bookkeepers will disagree on this, and for a very good reason.

Although you may not have much in the way of fixed assets or liabilities, and you may not be building equity in your business, a balance sheet is still critical to staying on top of your finances—without one, there’s no way to ensure your books are accurate. But you’re covered with QuickBooks Online Simple Start, which does provide a balance sheet.

This software pick provides freelancers with the ease of use of QBSE, and the power of QuickBooks Online (QBO), for the very affordable investment of $20/month.

True, QBO Simple Start is lacking the tax bundle option available in QBSE, and it doesn’t have an onboard mileage tracking feature. However, it more than makes up for these “shortcomings” in overall functionality and its ability to grow with your business—with QBO Simple Start, freelancers get a complete bookkeeping and accounting solution with a bank reconciliation feature, which is something lacking in both FreshBooks and QBSE.

Why is the reconciliation feature so important?

Reconciling your accounts monthly helps you make certain your books are accurate, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars per year in taxes and penalties. This is why a balance sheet is important for all businesses, regardless of size and structure. Without it, there is no true way to reconcile, leaving your bookkeeping open to potentially costly errors.

Plus, QBO Simple Start can evolve with your business if you outgrow the freelancer business model, since you can easily upgrade from QBO Simple Start to QBO Essentials or Plus. And, as is the case with QBSE, you can easily collaborate with your accountant or a bookkeeper.

How to Choose Your Best Freelancer Accounting Software

Above all, you want the accounting software for your freelance business to fit your needs. FreshBooks, QuickBooks Self-Employed, and QuickBooks Online Simple Start are all excellent choices for freelancers. But it’s important to do your research; you might find that another accounting software for sole proprietors and self-employed individuals actually works better for you.

Whatever you choose, keeping your freelancer accounting software up to date on a regular basis—along with careful consultation with your accountant—will help ensure that your freelance business is profitable for many years to come.

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from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/freelancer-accounting-software/

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Social Media Influencer Campaign Is Legal (and Doesn’t Raise Red Flags)

Fixed Rate Business Loans: What They Are and How to Get One

There’s no shortage of financing options for small business owners. Some give you fast cash but come with daily repayment terms, others might take months or years to pay off. That’s not to mention all of the different loans out there for purchasing equipment, financing payroll, or turning outstanding invoices into cash. And that’s not even touching the loan application process, which is a whole different issue entirely.

If you feel like you’re up to your eyeballs in information, you’re not alone. The best place to begin is with the fundamental details behind how fixed rate business loans work, how you can get one, and what your lender will expect of you in terms of repayment.

Why are fixed rate business loans so important to understand? Basically, these business loans serve as a baseline upon which almost all small business loans are built. They allow borrowers to take out funds from a lender, and to repay the base loan amount—plus a steady (or fixed) interest rate—in daily, weekly, or monthly installments. Just about every kind of small business loan is a fixed rate loan. Since you’ll usually need to repay your loan shortly after obtaining it, it’s just not practical for lenders to offer loans with fluctuating, or variable, interest rates.

There’s a lot to learn about fixed rate business loans (and interest rates in general). Let’s get to it.

What Are Fixed Rate Business Loans, Really?

To understand how fixed rate business loans work, we first need to break down what interest rates are, and how they impact what borrowers pay their lenders.

A Quick Refresher on Interest Rates

In most cases, interest rates for business loans fluctuate with the general health of the economy. When the economy is thriving, interest rates tend to increase, since the value of money increases as well. On the flip side, when the economy is sluggish, interest rates often decrease. Affordable loans at low interest rates kickstart more lending activity, since they’re accessible for more businesses to secure.

So, how are interest rates determined? Essentially, that’s up to the government. The Federal Reserve sets prime interest rates—the baseline interest rate that lenders can offer borrowers. Then, lenders will add percentage points to this prime interest rate based on several factors. These factors can include (but are not limited to) the credit history of the company or individual applying for a loan, the industry the lender is in, the amount of money requested—basically, everything included on the borrower’s loan application.

Why Lenders Need Interest Rates

Just about any loan you’d get for your business requires you to pay an interest rate. It serves as the lender’s incentive for letting you borrow money, as that extra cash ensures that the lender makes a profit off the loan deal. The fixed interest rate they offer you is the amount you pay on top of the portion of the loan you’re paying back to your lender.

Interest rates (literally) protect the lender’s interests. So, riskier borrowers—or, the businesses that are more likely to default on their loan payments—get stuck with higher interest rates, and the businesses with the strongest loan applications can often secure more affordable interest rates.  

The primary reason that fixed rate business loans are the go-to form of lending available is the repayment terms that usually come with business loans. Most business loans require quick repayment—usually too fast for major interest rate hikes to go into effect during the course of the loan. That, and banks prefer to structure steady loan repayments with lenders and incorporate terms that dictate daily, weekly, or monthly payments depending on the kind of loan at play.

What Can You Do With Fixed Rate Business Loans?

The short answer is, anything—within reason.

Fixed rate business loans are best thought of as a broad classification of lending products. There are a slew of loans available to small business owners, and most fall under the umbrella of a fixed rate business loan. Term loans, SBA loans, business lines of credit, and equipment financing—just to name a few—are all fixed rate business loans. (Just as a reminder, variable rate interest loans do exist, but they’re pretty rare.)

Although all of these loans come with fixed interest rates, their use cases differ. If you’re applying for a kind of Small Business Association (SBA) loan, for instance, you can only use those funds as the SBA sees fit. For instance, 504/CDC loans only allow you to purchase equipment, machinery, or commercial real estate, while SBA 7(a) loans can be used for a wider range of purposes. The same goes for other use-specific loans, such as invoice financing or equipment loans.

When you’re shopping around for a business loan, you’ll need to know exactly what you intend to use your funds for, and choose the loan that aligns with your needs. That way, you’ll ensure that you’re not overpaying for money you’re not actually using.

fixed-rate-business-loan

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Fixed Rate Business Loans

As we mentioned above, fixed rate business loans are the standard with regard to financing options for entrepreneurs. Variable rate business loans do exist, but they’re not as common.

Fixed Rate Business Loans: The Good

There are plenty of advantages to fixed rate business loans, chief among them being that you’ll receive a steady, predictable invoice from your lender when you need to repay.

Your interest rate won’t increase over time, and the amount you need to repay in each installment won’t rise, either. (The exception is if you’ve explicitly taken out a loan that requires higher payments toward the end of your term, such as a balloon loan.)

You can rest easy knowing that your obligations to your lender won’t fluctuate between payments. And if your business takes off, your payments will hurt a bit less as your liquidity increases.

Fixed Rate Business Loans: The Not-So-Good

For all of the perks of a fixed rate business loan, there are a few downsides as well. The biggest is the interest rate itself—unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a free loan. And if your lender deems your business “risky”—maybe your personal credit score is challenged, or your cash flow is stalled—then your interest rate may get pretty high.

And if you’re in the earliest stages of your business, you’ll likely pay a higher interest rate than you would if your company had a few years under its belt. Newer companies pose a bigger risk to lenders, since you have less of a track record of making money and paying off debts. So, most lenders will charge new businesses greater interest to recoup their expenses, in case you can’t make payments or your business goes under.

But if you’re stuck in a loan whose interest rates you can’t satisfy, you can consider refinancing your loans to take advantage of lower interest rates. You’ll have to make sure your personal credit is good (or has improved since you first took out the loan), that your company’s repayment history is strong, and that you can show an increase in revenue since you first borrowed money.

So, although you’re not able to lower your fixed rate business loan interest, you can find other ways of lowering your monthly payments.

How to Qualify for a Fixed Rate Business Loan

Fixed rate business loans are the standard for most small business lending options, so you can expect a pretty standard fare on your business loan application.

Documents like your business tax returns, bank statements, profit & loss statement, and cash flow forecast (among others) help lenders determine your eligibility for the loan, and, if so, the interest rate they’ll attach to that loan.

Good personal credit, strong financials, a positive track record of your business’ profits and losses, and a demonstrated history of paying back loans on time all go a long way toward qualifying for a fixed rate business loan with good terms.

That said, the qualifications for fixed rate business loans vary depending on the kind you’re looking for. SBA loans are usually the best option for small business owners with great credit, since these loans carry the lowest interest rates on the market. Other borrowers might qualify for a bank loan without the guarantee of the SBA, which allows for a broader range of credit histories from their applicants.

Basically, your qualifications for fixed rate business loans will depend on what you’re applying for, so it’s important to know your financial history and loan purpose ahead of time.

Need to Finance Your Business? A Fixed Rate Business Loan Might be Right for You

Fixed rate business loans provide a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to finance the next big idea, or the exciting next step for their company. There are tons of options with regard to how much money you want to borrow, when you’re required to pay it back, and how much interest you can expect to pay.

But with any loan, you’ll need to know your company’s financial figures from top to bottom. Arming yourself with this information will help you pick the best fixed rate business loan for you.

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from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/fixed-rate-business-loan/