What Are The SBA Loan Options for Startups?

The funding options for startups are limited, and they usually don’t include traditional business loans. That’s why the SBA exists—to provide a path to access those powerful financing tools for smaller companies, especially new companies. The SBA requires applicants to show how they will improve the economic health of their local economy as part of the loan application, which makes them a bit different from a traditional loan that only goes through your bank. The good news is that while this adds a couple steps to your application, their options for new companies make it very worthwhile.

The fastest loan approval time through the SBA is for express or microloans. Microloans are great for new companies with limited resources because they provide up to $50,000 to use as working capital, enough for many startups to get their operations going so cash starts coming in. If you need more, the 7a program can provide up to $5 million for working capital or equipment purchases.

Of course, many entrepreneurs don’t need working capital as much as they need to access the infrastructure assets that will set them up for success in the long term. If that’s the case for your company, you might want to look into the 504 loan program. These loans provide funding for real estate or equipment purchases, and they can be used to acquire existing businesses if you are revamping and relaunching a company you bought from someone else.

Regardless of the kind of loan you apply for, all SBA loans have a couple things in common. They are not given out by the SBA, for starters. Instead, the Administration guarantees the loans so lending institutions can grant them without the risk factors that normally hold them back. This means a lot of applications need to be approved twice, at the lender and at the SBA. If you want to streamline your approval time, search for a preferred lender. SBA preferred lenders are able to approve loans on their own because they have worked with the SBA to learn the criteria used for determinations.

Launching startups is both an art and a science. Your success is largely a matter of lining up the right resources, and when it comes to small business loans, you won’t find many options as generous as the ones offered by the Small Business Administration. The best part of all is that they don’t just service new companies, their programs are accessible to any small business that meets their income and asset criteria.