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Small Business Loan Information

The Small Business Loans and Credit Process - Entrepreneurship has its problems, and a critical and sometimes fatal one for small businesses can be the lack of access to the financial resources to keep the dream going. Getting credit for a business can be a dilemma because until you've developed a good track record with business credit, many commercial banks and other traditional lenders will be reluctant to extend credit to you.

In order to identify the type of financial institution most likely to lend to your business, it's helpful to pinpoint which of the four early stages of development your business is in.
  • Stage one businesses are start-ups.
  • Stage two businesses have business plans and product samples but no revenues.
  • Stage three businesses have full business plans and pilot programs in place.
  • Stage four businesses have been in operation for some time and have documented revenues and expenses.
Lenders suggest that rather than approaching a bank, owners of businesses in stages one and two should seek financing from informal investors. Such sources of funding may include friends or relatives, partners, local development corporations, state and local governments offering low-interest micro loans, private foundations offering program-related investments, credit unions featuring small business lending, and universities with targeted research and development funds.

Lenders say that businesses in stage four, and some in stage three, are sufficiently developed to approach a commercial bank or another traditional lender for a loan.

If your business is in stage three or four and you intend to approach a commercial bank, lenders suggest that you first submit an application to a bank with which you have an established relationship. If you do not have an established relationship with a bank, lenders recommend that you ask an experienced accountant or lawyer to contact a bank and present your proposal.

Also, keep in mind that you must choose a legal designation sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation and execute the necessary documentation for your small business before approaching a bank or another lender.