What Paperwork Do You Need for an SBA Loan Application?

When it comes to financing, loans that are backed by the Small Business Administration are some of the most sought after. Lenders can offer much higher values for SBA loans than traditional loans, with competitive rates and flexible terms. The application process can put off some applicants due to the extensive amount of paperwork, but it could be worth it in the end. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the major pieces of documentation you’ll need to complete your application.

A Business Plan

First and foremost, you need to have a robust business plan as part of your application. Not all business plans will look the same, but you want to make sure you at least include:

  • A description of your business structure, including management
  • Descriptions of any products or services you offer
  • An analysis of your industry and market
  • Any financial projections

Lenders use a company’s business plan to figure out what type of business you are and what your intention is. It’s also best to show exactly how you think an SBA loan will help your business.

A Credit Check

Lenders will typically check your credit on their own, but you should be proactive and check both your business credit score and your personal credit score prior to submitting your application. This includes boosting it as much as you can by correcting any errors on your report or lowering your credit utilization as much as possible. The higher your score is, the better rates you’ll be able to apply for.

A Business Debt Overlook

Your current debt situation is one of the most important things lenders look at. If you have excess debt that you’re unable to pay off, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get approved. Have documentation of all business debt, including how it’s being handled.

Various Financial Statements

Financial statements all include cash flow projections, detailed statements about income and expenses, tax returns, and bank statements. Be prepared to submit personal documents as well, particularly tax returns and bank statements. This will give the lender an overview of your financial capabilities as a business and as a manager.


If you have any appraisals, lease agreements, or business valuations, you should submit those as well. These detailed, binding documents show what other commitments you have as well as the value of any property you own. Some assets could even be used as collateral to increase your chances of approval.

There are many types of SBA loans, each with different eligibility requirements, so make sure you follow the directions carefully.