Applying for a Small Business Loan
Written by: Rebecca Game
When you have ideas, plans, and desires in place, the
anticipation of moving forward in operation a small business is
extremely exciting. Only one thing can hold you back - money.
Working with a lender and applying for a small business loan can
be easy or difficult, depending on how much preparation you've
put into the process.
The lender will ask for a variety of items when applying for a
small business loan
1. Business Plan. If you don't already have one, write one.
Virtually no lender will consider you for a small business loan
without the organization, detail, and direction you have for
your business, and all of this is stated in a business plan. For
information on how to write a business plan, visit
Don't be afraid to hire a professional writer to write or
proofread the plan for you if you're not confident in doing it
2. Loan Proposal. Nearly all lenders require a loan proposal if
you are applying for a small business loan. After you've written
a detailed business plan, your loan proposal can be written. The
information in a loan proposal includes details on who you are,
including your experience and business desires; how much money
you need and what it will be used to purchase or fund; how you
intend to pay back the loan; and what your plans are if you
cannot pay the loan back in full.
3. Completed Lender's Application. Most lenders will also
require that you complete a business loan application when
applying for a small business loan. Your application should be
very organized and presented in a professional manner. Don't
omit any details, and be completely honest about your credit
history, even if you don't have an excellent credit rating, when
applying for a small business loan. Some lenders base their
loans on the character of the person applying for a small
business loan, and if you're "borderline" for qualifying for the
loan, your honest application can prove to the lender that you
are indeed trustworthy for receiving a small business loan.
4. Financial Statements. If your business is already in
existence, visit the lender for your interview with two years of
tax records, as well as two years of business and personal bank
statements when applying for a small business loan. Not all of
that information may be required immediately when applying for a
small business loan, but it's better to be prepared with the
information on hand, rather than have to tell them that you'll
have to bring that in at a later date. Your tax records will
show the profitability of the business, as well as detail its
expenditures. Your bank statements will prove that money is
coming in, and that the business is already established. If your
business is yet to be launched, you still need to go to the
meeting prepared with both two years of tax forms and two years
of personal bank statements when applying for a small business
loan. This will show the lender that you are a responsible,
reliable individual, that you pay your bills, and that you file
your taxes in an honest, timely, and fair manner.
5. Resume While not required for a meeting with a lender, it's
probably a good idea for you to have a current resume with you
for the interview with the lender when applying for a small
business loan. As mentioned, there will be some judgment of your
character made at your loan interview. If this should come into
play during the interview, you can easily present your resume to
show your work experience when applying for a small business
loan. This is especially important if you've worked in the field
in which your business will be based. It's also important in the
instance that you have experience in a business-related area,
such as management, marketing, or accounting, to show that you
are capable of succeeding in business due to your experience in
working with other businesses.
The bottom line is to be prepared when applying for a small
- Visit the lender with all files neatly presented and very
- Present information as requested during the application
process and interview when applying for a small business loan.
- Dress for success. Don't show up at your meeting in jeans and
a sweatshirt when applying for a small business loan.
- Don't worry if you've forgotten anything, and don't get
flustered. Offer to drop off or fax the requested information as
soon as you leave the meeting. Offer to provide any additional
information that could possibly play a role in your loan's
If your business loan is not approved, don't become frustrated.
Many small businesses are declined on small business loans. Look
into alternative loan sources, and don't give up.
About the author:
Rebecca Game is the founder of Digital Women ®, an online
community for women in business. A 30 year entrepreneur and
dedicated to helping other women find business loans. Visit her
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