How Do I Get a Small Business Loan?

Documentation requirements may vary; contact your lender for information you must supply. Common requirements include: purpose of the loan, history of the business, financial statements for three years (existing businesses), schedule of term debts (existing businesses), aging of accounts receivable and payable (existing businesses), projected opening-day balance sheet (new businesses), lease details, amount of investment in the business by the owner(s), projections of income, expenses and cash flow, signed personal financial statements and personal resume(s).

You should take the information, including your loan proposal and submit it to a local lender. If the lender is unable to approve your loan, you may ask if the lender can consider your request under the SBA loan guaranty program. Under this program, the SBA can guaranty up to 85% of a small business loan; however, the lender must agree to loaning the money with the SBA guarantee. The lender will then forward your loan application and a credit analysis to the nearest SBA District Office. After receiving all documentation, the SBA analyzes the entire application, then makes its decision.

The process may take up to 10 days to complete. If the lender needs SBA applications and/or guidance it may contact the nearest SBA District Office by visiting
http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html. Upon SBA approval, the lending institution closes the loan and disburses the funds.  To be eligible, a business must be operated for profit and not exceed SBA's size standards. For further information and eligibility requirements, visit Contracting Opportunities.

Source: Small Business Administration