Cash needs arise frequently in a small business environment, whether you’re just starting out or have built an established business. It’s important to be acquainted with a variety of lending options, to help you access cash when it’s needed — both to keep your business afloat, if necessary, and to expand. Here are three lending options that may be useful for a small business.
1. Lines of Credit
Lines of credit are an extremely beneficial asset for many small businesses. Credit lines offer flexible borrowing, allowing you to draw money as you need it — whether for emergency repairs, to pay suppliers, or simply for more everyday reasons.
A line of credit may be either secured (backed by collateral) or unsecured (not backed by collateral), and allows you as a borrower to draw funds up to a given limit. Once the limit is reached, you are unable to continue borrowing until it’s repaid — at which point you can once again draw funds up to the given limit.
Lines of credit may also help improve your credit score, through consistent and regular repayment.
2. Commercial Term Loans
Commercial term loans are quite common for small businesses, and typically involve borrowing a substantial lump sum that is repaid according to a set repayment schedule. Term loans are often useful when starting a business, or when undertaking a major expansion.
However, it can be difficult to access a term loan without a high credit score, and in some cases, considerable business history. Notably, a term loan is particularly useful for large, defined purposes; for more flexible needs, a line of credit may be more sensible.
3. SBA Loans
An SBA loan is similar to a term loan but is partially backed by the Small Business Administration, potentially offering more flexibility to borrowers with subpar credit histories. SBA lending encompasses a wide suite of loans, including 7(a) loans, microloans, CDC/504 loans, and others — all tailored to unique operational needs.
The process of obtaining an SBA loan can be lengthy, because extensive documentation is generally required. But once secured, an SBA loan can often be highly favorable for a small business, with low rates and long terms.
These are only a few methods of borrowing that can be employed by a small business. If you’re a small business owner, it’s a good idea to speak with a financial professional to assess your fiscal needs, and determine which lending options are most appropriate for you.