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Traditional loans can be broken into two categories: conventional bank loans and special development loans.
When an established company needs capital, a bank loan comes first to mind. Banks want to lend to companies that have a record of profitable operations, that generate cash flow sufficient to repay the loan, and that have enough collateral or assets to secure the loan. A clean credit record for both the company and the principals of the company is mandatory; few late payments, and no bankruptcies or foreclosures. Article continues below.
Most start-up companies do not quality for traditional bank financing unless the founder has the personal net worth and income to guarantee the loan. The loan then is a really a personal loan to the founder rather than a business loan.
Check with the bank that you have your business accounts with for the person who handles commercial or business loans. You will be asked to provide financial statements for both you and your company for the last several years as well as tax returns. You may also be asked to provide documentation as to the accounts you have, both personal and business. A business plan will be required and you will most likely have to complete the bank’s own loan package.
You will have to personally guarantee the business loan, which means any and all assets you have will be pledged to pay off the loan if your business doesn’t. If you live in a community property state, your spouse must also personally guarantee the loan.
First Tip: The acquisition of a bank loan takes time, as with any form of financing. Begin the process of finding a loan several months, at least, in advance of when your company needs the capital.
Second Tip: In looking for a bank loan, you are really approaching a vendor (the bank) to see if you want to buy his product (money). Don’t approach the situation like a starving peasant who desperately needs food (funds) to stay alive. The bank needs you or it has no revenue (except of course for the exorbitant amount of interest it earns on VISA cards).