If you’re a small business owner who is considering whether to register as a limited liability company, you might wonder if doing so will have an impact on your ability to get a small business loan. Fortunately, you can get a business loan with an LLC. The legal status of your business will not be a factor for lenders.
Small Business Loans
Understanding LLCs (Limited Liability Companies)
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a legal status for a small business that relieves the business owner or business owners of personal responsibility for their company debts. In other words, if you establish your business as an LLC, it becomes separate from you, and it can own property and have its own bank accounts. Then, if financial problems occur within the business, creditors can only seek money or other assets owned by the LLC rather than from your personal accounts. Two common alternative business structures to an LLC are sole proprietorships and corporations. If you register as an LLC, no other business in your state can use your LLC name, which can help you protect the brand of your small business.
Getting a Business Loan With an LLC: Overview
When it comes to loaning money to small businesses, banks, credit unions and online lenders care about getting repaid. As a result, they will be less concerned about the size of your business or how it’s registered than if you’re equipped to generate the revenue necessary to pay back what you owe.
Common Requirements For Getting a Business Loan with an LLC
Business owners might ask if it’s harder to get a loan as an LLC, and the answer is no. The common requirements for getting a business loan with an LLC are similar to most types of business loans offered to larger companies. However, some lenders give more weight to some requirements than others, so consider that when you are searching for a bank, credit union or online lender. Review these requirements and see if your LLC can satisfy them for the lender you choose to work with.
Use of Funds
Before you borrow money for your LLC, be sure you understand how you will use the funds. This exercise will help ensure that you don’t borrow too much and will better prepare you for questions your lender will ask before approving your loan. Whether you need to explain how you intend to use the funds will depend on the type of loan you are applying for and the requirements of the lender. For example, if you need equipment financing, you will be asked for proof of purchase so the lender is sure you used the financing for the equipment you need for your LLC.
Personal and Business Credit Score
Your personal credit score is a gauge that lenders use to determine whether you are a good credit risk. Your business credit score may not be established enough for lenders to use when deciding to offer your LLC a business loan. Therefore, do what you can to boost your personal credit score so that you qualify for lower interest rates and better loan terms. For a business loan, you may be expected to have a credit score above 670 on a scale of 300 to 850, depending on the lender.
Business and Financial Documents
Your lender will require certain business and financial documents to be submitted when you apply for a business loan. Your personal and business tax returns will be expected. You may also need to include annual revenue statements or profit and loss statements. If your LLC is fairly new, revenue projections may be acceptable. Some banks will need to see your business plan, which includes a description of your business and marketing strategy. Depending on the type of loan, you may need to submit accounts receivable and accounts payable reports.
Some business loans are only available if you can offer collateral in exchange for financial assistance. Collateral is assets you own that the lender can seize if you are unable to make payments on the loan. Some examples of collateral include cash, vehicles, property, equipment and intellectual property. Lenders generally prefer tangible assets they can resell if necessary.
Small Business Loans
Other Helpful Documentation
You can be prepared to supply lenders with other helpful documentation when you apply for a small business loan. These documents may include business licenses, operating permits for your LLC, the employer identification number (EIN) for your LLC, and any existing loan agreements, leases and contracts you may have with other businesses. The lender you are working with will have its requirements for documents during the application process.
What Type Of Business Loans Can You Get with an LLC?
There are many types of business loans you can get with an LLC. The key is to know how much money you need to borrow and apply for a business loan accordingly.
Your LLC can get a bank loan to finance your business, but traditional banks and credit unions oftentimes have requirements for loans you may not qualify for, such as being an established business with a good credit score. If you qualify for a bank loan, interest rates and other loan terms may be better. The application process may be time-consuming, however.
You can get an SBA loan as an LLC, but be prepared for a complicated approval process and long delays in receiving the funding. SBA loans are offered by approved lenders, and a big percentage of the amount you borrow is guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you meet the strict requirements to apply for an SBA loan, such as a good credit score and strong revenue, you might consider an SBA 7(a) loan, which is the most common type of SBA loan. With an SBA startup loan, you can borrow up to $50,000.
An unsecured loan is simply one that doesn’t require collateral. Rather than relying on your assets as a guarantee that you will repay the loan, lenders approve unsecured business loans based on your creditworthiness. It could be a business credit card with revolving credit you use and pay as needed. Expect to pay a high-interest rate on any amount you borrow with an unsecured loan.
Invoice factoring is not a loan, but it’s one way to get cash to cover urgent business expenses. With invoice factoring, you sell outstanding invoices to a factoring company in exchange for the money you need. Invoice factoring might work for you if your main customers are other businesses. It is easier to qualify for than some other types of small business loans, but expect to pay high fees.
Line of Credit
A business line of credit is similar in use to a credit card. Instead of borrowing a lump sum of money with a traditional business loan, you get a credit line that you can draw cash on as you need it. You only pay interest on the amount you borrow, and you may not be expected to offer collateral as a guarantee that you will repay the line of credit. You can usually get a line of credit in any amount between $1,000 and $250,000. It might be something to consider if you need money for your LLC but don’t have a good credit score.
Merchant Cash Advance
A merchant cash advance is an expensive alternative to more traditional business loans. In fact, a merchant cash advance, or MCA, is not a loan at all. Rather, an MCA provider buys your future credit card and debit card sales at a discount. You get cash upfront from a merchant cash advance company and repay it, plus a fee, using a percentage of your credit and debit card sales.
How To Apply for a Business Loan with an LLC
Business financing is easy when you partner with an online lender like Biz2Credit. Their application process is quick, and you can get funding approval in as little as 24 hours. Check out Biz2Credit for:
- Working capital loans to jumpstart your business growth.
- Term loans for access to full cash amount upfront.
- Commercial real estate loans if you’re looking to reinvest capital in your next business opportunity.
See for yourself how easy it is to partner with Biz2Credit and find out if you’re pre-qualified in seconds.