Basic SBA Loan Requirements

The Documentation You'll Need to Show a Lender

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According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) there are currently over 28 million small businesses up and running in the United States. At some point, nearly all of their owners sought funding from a lending institution. If you're one of those owners, an SBA-backed loan is a great way to either launch or grow your venture.

Even though the SBA-qualifying standards are more flexible than other types of loans, lenders will still ask for certain information before deciding whether to fund your business through an SBA loan program. According to the SBA, here is what you'll need to provide:

Business Plan

This document should not only describe the type of business you’re are starting or have started but should also include projected or actual annual sales numbers, number of employees, and how long you have owned the business. Including an analysis of the current market will also show you are savvy about the latest trends and projections for your business sector.

Loan Request 

Once you meet with a lender and determine which type or types of loans you qualify for, you’ll need to provide a detailed description of how your loan funds will be used. This should include the amount you are seeking as well as your specific goals for the money for the short and long term.

Collateral

Lenders need to know that you are a good credit risk. One of the ways to prove this is by showing you have enough assets available to weather the ups and downs of business and still meet your loan obligation. Collateral can take the form of equity in the business, other borrowed funds, and available cash.

Business Financial Statements

The strength and accuracy of your financial statements will be the primary basis for the lending decision, so be sure that yours are carefully prepared and up-to-date.

First and foremost, you’ll need to provide your lender with a complete set of financial statements, or balance sheets, for at least the past three years. If you are just getting started, your balance sheets should list current assets and projected liabilities. In either case, a lender will want to see what you have, what you owe, and how well you have managed these assets and liabilities.

You should also break up your accounts receivables and payables into 30-, 60-, 90-, and past 90-day categories, and prepare a statement outlining cash flow projections that indicate how much you expect to generate to repay the loan. Your lender will also want to see your business credit score.

Personal Financial Statements

The lender will also want to see your personal financial statements, as well as those of any other owners, partners, officers, and stockholders with a 20 percent or higher stake in the business. These statements should list all personal assets, liabilities, monthly obligations, and personal credit scores. The lender will also want to see personal tax returns for the previous three years.