For entrepreneurs, access to capital is essential when starting or growing a business. There are multiple types of small business loans available to help meet the needs of companies in different industries and stages of growth. Knowing the available options can help you determine which type of loan suits your situation.
1. SBA Loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several loan programs for small businesses. These loans may be used for working capital, equipment, inventory, real estate purchases, etc. The SBA does not provide direct funding but guarantees a portion of each loan, so lenders have added security and incentives for granting them.
2. Merchant Cash Advance: A merchant cash advance provides business owners with a lump sum payment in exchange for a portion of their future sales. This type of loan is ideal for businesses with a steady stream of credit card sales, as the repayment amount will be automatically deducted based on those sales.
3. Equipment Financing: Businesses that need to purchase equipment and other significant assets often turn to equipment financing. These loans provide the funds necessary to acquire these items with fixed payments over an agreed period. The lender may hold an interest in the asset until the loan is paid off, but ownership will eventually transfer to you once it’s fully repaid.
4. Invoice Factoring: Invoice factoring is used by companies that generate invoices for work or services but need cash on hand to keep their business running. The lender advances funds based on the value of your invoices and will then collect payment from customers after they’ve been issued.
5. Line of Credit: A flexible loan option lets you borrow up to a set limit whenever needed, paying back as much or as little as you choose within an agreed repayment schedule. This loan offers more flexibility than other types and can be used when cash flow is low or unexpected expenses arise.