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Small Business Loans Checklist - Getting Ready for Financing

11.  Personal bank & securities account statements:
While this does not happen very often, many times when a business owner / partner gives a personal collateral or offers up other personal assets up as collateral for a business loan, the lender will require recent bank statements and / or statements of retirement funds, IRA’s etc to verify the assets available for collateralization.  Banks also get a chance to use this information to sell you other personal banking products like investments and insurance.  When submitting personal bank statements and securities accounts, please make sure that you include all pages of the statements for the lender to review.

12.  Business bank statements:
If you have an existing business and are applying for a business loan or line of credit, most lenders would like to have the opportunity to have your entire banking business which includes the business checking account, savings account, money market accounts – in other words the entire banking relationship.  When evaluating a loan, many regional and smaller banks tend to look at the entire banking relationship and will ask you for copies of your business bank statements to see if could bring more to the table than just get a loan from them.  Very often even if you have some weakness in your application, if you have a substantial cash flow and decent deposits in your business checking accounts, the lender may approve your business loan as long as you bring your entire banking relationship to them.  If you are submitting business bank statements make sure that you include all pages of each month being submitted.

13.  Copies of Drivers’ License, Passport (if applicable) and other ID:
In order to comply with the Patriot Act, all lenders now require you to provide an acceptable from or identification – the most common one used is the State Drivers License.  As described in our section entitled The Business Loan Application, please make sure that the name, address and date of birth on your drives license is the same as that on your business loan application.

14.  Deed, Homeowners Insurance, Tax Bill, Mortgage Statement:
On almost all SBA loans the guarantors have to provide as much collateral as they can and their primary residence is often also used as collateral.  The lender puts a second or third lien on the property to secure themselves.  You will need to show the lender these documents at some point and we recommend that you include this information in your package if your feel your loan may not be very strong.  On the other hand if you think that your business loan application is very strong then you can consider waiting to see if the bank actually requests additional collateral.

15.  Bankruptcy Discharge / Divorce or separation agreement:
In the event the guarantor of the business has filed bankruptcy in the past, the discharge documents will be required.  Also if the guarantor business owner / partner is divorced or separated we highly recommend that court decree denoting the divorce or separation agreement be kept ready in the event the bank requests it during the application.

16.  CPA letter and Business Licenses:
Many times if you have been self-employed it may be a good idea to get a letter from your CPA denoting that you have been self-employed and have been filing taxes as a self-employed individual.  In the event your business requires a business license we highly recommend that you include a copy of the business license with your loan package. 

17.  Articles of Incorporation and filing receipt from Secretary of State:
In the event your business is an incorporated entity then the lender will want to see your articles of incorporation and the filing receipt from the Secretary of State – this shows them that you are a bona-fide incorporated entity.  In the event you have not yet incorporated of course you will not have to provide these items.  We highly recommend however that you set up the business entity before you apply for a business loan – lenders and their underwriters tend to view your application as having a lot more merit when they see your commitment to your business.

18.  Paystubs and W-2:
In the event you happen to derive additional income from a job, in addition to your taxes lenders will also want to see your paystubs and W-2’s especially if there has been a recent change in your income patterns.  It is important to note that this requirement is typical in a personal loan but in the event of a business loan where the business owner is providing guarantee but may only be a silent partner, his primary sources of income will have to be verified – we recommend that you keep these handy.

Small Business Owner Resource Center


Articles on the Small Business Financing Sources, the Small Business Loan Basics, small business loans Checklist and SBA Loans are incredible sources of knowledge for the small business owner.



Credit Report and Credit Score Analysis, how to Read a Personal Credit Report and all about Business Credit cover the intricacies of credit and are required reading for everybody.



The Foundation Grant Directory is a free listing of sources for grants by state. Why not look if there is some free money out there for your business. Hey - you never know!



The Business Loan Application covers every item you will need in your loan package and tells you how to get approved for business loans.



Fire your loan broker and use our Free Business Loans Bank / Lender Directory to find every bank in the country lending to small businesses.



If you are looking to start a business - look no further.  Check out the Free Incorporation Guide discussion and the State Incorporation Resource Directory.

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