Securing the Best Small Business Loans for Startups

Securing the Best Small Business Loans for Startups

Securing the Best Small Business Loans for Startups

Getting the financing you need to launch and grow your business is one of the biggest challenges new business owners face In order to proudly turn on your physical or metaphorical “open for business” sign, you may need to find startup business loans.. That can be challenging, but entrepreneurs are often used to challenges. 

Here we’ll explore what types of startup small business loans and funding may be available to your new business and how to qualify.

What Is a Startup Business Loan?

A business startup loan is financing meant to help with the startup costs of a new business. Startup small business loans can go towards things like working capital; the purchase of equipment, machinery, supplies, inventory, and furniture; and the purchase of construction equipment or real estate. 

How Can a Startup Loan Help Your Small Business Grow?

New employer small businesses are the primary source of U.S. job growth but are much more likely than larger firms to face financial challenges accessing borrowed capital. 

Beyond getting you the funding you need to start your business, a startup loan can also help you expand your business. If you’re looking to grow your business, a loan can help you pay for things like:

  • Fees to form your business entity
  • Inventory to expand your sales
  • Equipment like laptops or cell phones
  • Consultants
  • Paid advertising
  • Office utilities, including wifi, electricity, etc. 
  • Machinery to expand operations
  • Business vehicle

Basically, anything that may require more funding to expand your business could be covered by business loans for startups, if your business qualifies. 

Ready to grow your small business? Explore our list of the best business loans and find the financing you need.

The Best Types of Startup Business Loans

If you’ve already started your hunt for a loan, you’re well aware that there is a seemingly infinite amount of small business lines of credit and loans available from banks and online lenders. New businesses are considered high risk, though, so their options will be more limited. But there are options, so don’t give up too quickly.

Here are the best business loans for startups:

1. Business credit cards

This is one of the top choices for new businesses. Why? Because most small business credit card issuers don’t care how long you’ve been in business, As long as you meet their minimum requirements — typically that means good or excellent personal credit scores and sufficient income from all sources, not just the business — you may qualify. 

And while you may think of a credit card as a convenient way to pay for purchases or earn perks like cash back, at its core, a credit card offers a credit line. In the Federal Reserve Small Business Credit survey, 53% of small businesses reported using credit cards to help fund their operations.

That means business credit cards can be a viable alternative to new business start up loans when you need immediate access to a credit line.   

They can also help you get off on the right foot by separating business and personal finances and establishing business credit

To qualify for a business credit card, issuers will generally look at your personal credit scores and combined income (personal and business). While they may not require collateral, they typically do require a personal guarantee. Most business credit cards have the added bonus of great rewards programs and sign-up bonuses.

2. SBA 7(a) loans

For the most part, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) doesn’t make loans — it guarantees them. Individual lenders are approved by the SBA to make loans under SBA programs, and these generally offer lower interest rates. The exception is Disaster Loans which are made by the SBA.

There are roughly ten different types of SBA loans, and among the most popular is the 7(a) program, which offers loans up to $5 million. If you’re wondering if you can get an SBA loan to start a business, keep in mind that in the 2023 fiscal year, 15% of the money lent to small businesses through the 7(a) loan program went to startup businesses. 

Getting an SBA loan isn’t a super-fast or easy process, though the SBA Express loan program (which generally offers loans of up to $500,000) aims to speed it up somewhat. 

There are a number of qualifications required, including acceptable credit. There is no minimum personal credit score required, but for 7(a) Small Loans of $350,000 or less, the SBA requires a minimum FICO SBSS credit score of 155 to avoid a manual credit review. (This commercial credit score can take into account the personal credit of multiple owners along with the business credit of the business. The score ranges from 0-300.) 

If you are going to use an SBA loan to start or acquire a business, you’ll also need to meet equity injection requirements. Most SBA loans used for startups less than two years old, or to buy a business, require 10% owner equity injection. You need to document where those funds came from and how you spend them.

SBA 7(a) loans for startups are more likely to go to business owners with experience in their industry (a veterinarian opening her own practice, for example) or those purchasing an existing business. Because the terms are favorable, it is a financing option worth exploring. 

In addition, SBA 504 loans may be helpful for businesses looking to acquire real estate or equipment, while SBA Export Loan programs may be available to businesses that will be participating in international trade. Learn more about SBA loans here.

3. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms allow anyone with a vision, including entrepreneurs, to raise money for their project or venture.

There are three main types of crowdfunding that may be available to startups: 

  • Rewards (e.g. Kickstarter, Indiegogo)
  • Debt (e.g. Kiva)
  • Investment (e.g. Wefunder) 

A business startup seeking capital through crowdfunding will require the business owner to share their business goals and objectives with a large group of people in hopes that multiple people (the crowd) will help fund their request. 

These campaigns take lots of marketing effort, but the end reward, should you raise the needed funds, is startup funding and validation of your business idea by many potential future customers for your business. It’s worth noting that equity (investment) crowdfunding may be a more accessible funding option than finding investors via angel funding or venture capital for businesses that need to raise up to $5 million.

4. SBA microloans

SBA microloans are made by approved intermediaries, often community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and other non-profit organizations. While the total maximum loan amount is $50,000, the average loan is closer to $14,000. An SBA microloan is a term loan, with a maximum term of 72 months; the average is about 40 months. Funds may be used for working capital or the purchase of inventory or supplies, machinery or equipment, or fixtures and furniture.

5. Other microloans

The SBA is not the only microlending option. Microlenders offer small businesses the opportunity to secure financing in smaller amounts. When it comes to microlenders, be sure to check out these options:

Ascendus (formerly Accion): Loans are available from $5,000 to $100,000 through CDFI partners. These tend to be more flexible on credit requirements and lenders provide technical assistance to applicants. 

Kiva: Kiva operates on a largely community-based, trust-driven platform. Entrepreneurs can crowdfund business loans from philanthropic-minded individuals up to $15,000. These loans carry a 0% APR and no fees.

Local microlenders: You can find microlenders in many communities across the US. Because they are often smaller nonprofit organizations, they don’t advertise widely so you may have to look for them. They often make smaller loans to borrowers who have trouble accessing capital otherwise. Find a CDFI here

6. Equipment financing

Specifically designed to pay for the purchase of equipment and machinery, equipment loans are similar in structure to conventional loans, with monthly repayment terms over a set period of time. However, the proceeds are used to purchase equipment or machinery. 

The lending standards on equipment financing can be less strict because your equipment will be used as collateral for the loan—in other words, if you default, the bank has the right to seize your equipment to cover the cost of their lost money. (Note that some SBA loans may be used to finance equipment. In particular, the SBA 504 loan is helpful for financing larger equipment and real estate purchases.)

Equipment leasing is another option that you should consider. Keep in mind that many different assets you use in your business may be leased, including computers, a pizza oven, or even the furniture in your restaurant.  

7. Bank loans 

While a traditional loan from a bank or credit union may be your first choice, for many startups, bank loans will be out of reach. Banks have strict small business lending standards, and what they offer is not always available to brand new businesses. 

For banks to make ​​small business loans for startups,, they need to make sure the loan is not too risky. They will usually look for strong personal qualifications, including experience in your industry or starting other businesses, excellent credit, a down payment, and will likely require a personal guarantee. Also consider SBA loans made by banks.

8. Line of credit

Business lines of credit work a little differently than business loans: rather than you getting a lump sum of cash up front, you are approved for a certain amount of capital that you can borrow from at any time. 

Pay back what you borrow, and it’s available again. Unlike a loan, a line of credit can be open long-term, whereas a loan closes once it’s paid off.

9. Short-term financing

Working capital loans are short-term loans used for day-to-day expenses as needed. As you may have already guessed, these loans have short repayment periods, typically a few months to a couple of years. They may have higher interest rates than other options listed here, but also less stringent requirements to qualify.

10. Vendor financing

Vendors or suppliers may offer payment terms that allow you to purchase supplies for your business and pay for them later; hopefully out of cash flow. Vendors that report to business credit reporting agencies can also help your business build business credit.

Ask your suppliers if they offer payment terms or use this list to find net-30 vendors that report.

While vendor credit won’t provide a lot of money upfront, it can help you improve cash flow so you don’t have to borrow quite as much as you would otherwise.

11. Invoice financing

If you will get paid by business customers via invoices, invoice financing (which is different from invoice factoring) is a convenient, albeit more expensive way to avoid cash flow issues caused by long invoice cycles. This is a speedy option—you can get your financing in as little as a day—that requires little paperwork. However, it will only be available to businesses that have invoiced business clients for goods or services, and are waiting to get paid so brand-new startups aren’t likely to use this option.

12. Small business grants

Small business grants are not easy to land, especially for startups, but if you are successful, this funding will not have to be repaid. (You will likely have to pay taxes, however, so make sure you factor that in.) 

Grants are available from several sources:

  • Federal government
  • State and local governments
  • Private foundations
  • Businesses supporting entrepreneurship

You can search for grants in various places. Three great resources include:

  • (federal grants)
  • (free and paid searches)
  • GrantWatch (paid search) 

Keep in mind the federal government does not make grants to start a small business.

13. Friends, family, and personal funding

Yes, personal funding is a viable option and is one of the most popular ways many small business owners access capital. But using personal funds or personal loans does involve risk, and you’ll need to do a solid job of calculating all of your costs so that you don’t run out of money before the business can support itself. 

Even if you use personal funds to start, we advise you to start taking steps to establish business credit right away. That way you can start to leverage business credit and access more capital in the future. The business should be able to stand on its own without commingling personal assets and credit. 

Other Short Term Loans and Financing for Startups

As we just mentioned, personal funding is a popular source of capital for new businesses. Here are a few different options when it comes to personal funding:

Personal credit cards: if you can’t secure a business credit card (our preference over a personal card), a personal credit card (or two) with a reasonably high limit can help you get those first few purchases and your business underway. Keep a close eye on your credit utilization and pay your bills on time, because putting business expenses on personal credit cards can hurt your personal credit scores.

Savings/home equity: Dipping into your savings is an even riskier business, but if you have a good amount set aside this could be the cheapest option for you. Borrowing against your home equity is a cheap option but very risky. 

401K/IRA savings: You may be able to withdraw funds from your retirement plans, borrow against a 401(k), or use a ROBS plan to shift retirement funds to your business.  Keep in mind that it may not be wise to bet your whole retirement savings on your brand new business.

Friends and family: Many businesses have been funded with the help of family members. In fact, it’s one of the biggest sources of startup capital available to early-stage businesses. Tread carefully, and don’t apply pressure, but if they’re willing, family can be a good, positive backing for your new venture. (Another way to approach it is to ask them to be the first backers in your crowdfunding campaign.)

Pros and Cons of Small Business Loans

It’s important to consider both sides of taking out any kind of financing for your startup.

How Can I Get a Business Loan to Start a Business?

You have the end in mind, but where do you start? A good place to start is with your personal credit scores. As you’d probably guess, good credit scores can make it much easier to qualify for various loan options than a bad credit score.

Note that while some business loans involve a business credit check, as a new business you’re not likely to have strong business credit scores. (You can learn more about how to build business credit scores here.) 

That means lenders are likely to review personal credit scores when making a loan decision, and many will require a personal guarantee as well.

It’s also important to look at it your business from the lender’s perspective:

  • How risky is the type of business you’re starting? 
  • What is your experience or expertise?
  • What are your credit scores?
  • How quickly will the business become profitable? 
  • If the business were to fail, is there equipment or assets that can be liquidated? 

A well-thought-out business plan can answer many of these questions. 

Some lenders will not lend to sole proprietorships. Forming a business structure such as an LLC or corporation may help open up the door to more loan offers.

You’ll then need to identify which type of startup financing you’d like, and for which you qualify. Before gathering documentation for your business, you need to know what the lender will be looking for; the application for a microloan will likely be very different from that for a business credit card. Knowing what you can afford for monthly payments can help you best narrow down what financing products you’re interested in applying for. 

When you’ve pinned down a loan type and lender, you can then begin to fill out your business loan application. If you’ve done the legwork ahead of time, this won’t take as long. 

Determine How Much Funding You Need

Start the process by asking yourself, “What do I need the money for?”

Lenders call your answer your “loan purpose.” Calculate what it will cost to meet your loan purpose and that is the amount to look for. If you can clearly articulate your loan purpose to a lender, your crowdfunding campaign, the SBA, or your uncle Fred, you are more likely to get the money you need as opposed to simply looking for, “As much as I can get.” What’s more, you’ll avoid the financial stress and repercussions of borrowing more than you really need.

How to Qualify for a Startup Business Loan

Qualifying for startup financing may vary from one lender to another, but generally, you can expect a few factors to be considered for eligibility.

First, credit. Established businesses may have a business credit history, but your startup may not. In that case, lenders may look at your personal credit history and scores, so make sure you know your credit scores and that they are as strong as possible. 

Most lenders also look at time in business. As a new business, that won’t apply. However, the sooner you can get your business officially started by incorporating or at least getting a business license and EIN, the better. 

What Is Required to Get a Small Business Loan? 

Requirements vary significantly by lender, but you should be prepared for the following types of information:

  • Personal credit reports and scores from all three major credit bureaus. (Lenders will obtain their own copies of your credit reports, but check yours first to know where you stand.)
  • Business forecast with details on future cash flow and costs.
  • Tax returns and supporting IRS documents for both your business (if available) and personal tax accounts (including personal documents for all owners or registered agents of the business).
  • Any applicable licenses and registrations for doing business in your state.
  • All financial documents that would be deemed relevant (including bank statements, credit card sales, unpaid invoices, and accounts receivable due to you, if available).
  • Any legal contracts that would be relevant (franchise, incorporation, leasing).
  • Business checking account info to deposit loan proceeds.
  • Updated business plan with details on your growth and marketing strategies. Not all lenders will require a business plan, but the information in the business plan will be essential to helping you find and apply successfully for financing. 

As a startup business, you probably won’t have business credit reports or business tax returns. In that case, the lender may rely on your personal credit, tax returns and/or a personal financial statement. If, however, you are purchasing an existing business, the lender will likely require information about that business.

Once you’ve submitted the application, you may have to be patient. Some financing options can be approved in minutes; some may take weeks or even months. Be sure that you’re aware of the wait time before you begin the application process. You don’t want your urgent business needs to be on hold or miss an obligation waiting for a loan to be approved. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Applying for Small Business Loans

Here are three of the most common mistakes business owners make when applying for small business loans: 

Failing to understand qualifications

Banks and other lenders aren’t going to get excited about your business idea unless you can clearly demonstrate how your business will generate more money to repay the loan. You need to think from a lender’s perspective, and understand that they want to make loans that aren’t too risky. Look at your qualifications—credit, revenue, industry etc— from their perspective. 


You’ll have to provide various types of documentation when you apply, and the more organized your information is, the easier it will be to fulfill the lenders requirements. Specifically you’ll want to be organized with:

  • Up-to-date bookkeeping so you can supply financial information
  • Business bank account statements for the past six months to demonstrate monthly revenues
  • Easy access to key documents like articles of organization or articles of incorporation, personal information about key owners/shareholders
  • List of business assets and liabilities

Waiting too long to find financing

If you wait until your business desperately needs financing, you’re likely to settle for financing that’s available fast, even if it’s not best for your business. Look for financing proactively—before you’re in a cash crunch. At a minimum, lining up a line of credit can give your business flexibility and access to short-term financing when needed.

How to Choose a Small Business Loan

When it comes to choosing a startup business loan, you have to start from the reality that your options are much more limited than if you have an established business that is making money. 

The most important factors to consider are how you’ll use the funding to help your business make money, whether you can make payments on time until your business earns money, and what happens if your business does not succeed. 

Entrepreneurs are often optimistic and excited about starting their businesses, but must also be realistic, especially when debt is involved.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Small Business Loan (Interest Rates, Loan Terms, Repayment Options)

If you have found potential financing and you decide you want to proceed, here are some of the factors you’ll need to consider: 

  • How much debt are you willing and able to handle?
  • How quickly will you receive funding?
  • What is the repayment schedule?
  • How much are the payments?
  • What is the interest rate?
  • How much will you pay in fees?
  • Do you need to pledge collateral?
  • Is a personal guarantee required?

All of these questions can help you decide whether a new business loan is affordable for your business, as well as to you personally since you’ll likely be the one making payments until your business can afford to do so. Watch out for advertisements for “guaranteed approval” loans that require an upfront fee. It could be a loan scam.

Average New Business Loan Rates

Interest rates for startup loans will vary significantly depending on the type of financing you get. Among the lower-cost options, for example: 

Business credit card interest rates can vary from 0% intro APR business credit cards to 21%+ on purchases. Your interest rate will  depend in part on your credit score and other qualifications. 

Microloans often carry lower interest rates, in the 10—18% APR range. And, as we’ve mentioned, charges 0% for its crowdfunded microloans. 

SBA loan rates vary by type of loan and lender but most are currently in the low double digits (less than 10—15%).

Crowdfunding is often available with no interest, though the platform itself will charge fees, plus there will be a cost for the incentives you provide for a rewards crowdfunding campaign, or the equity you give for an investment crowdfunding campaign.

Maximum Loan Amounts For Startup Businesses

There’s no set maximum amount for startup small business loans. Individual lenders and loan programs typically have maximum amounts that can be borrowed, though. For example: 

  • SBA microloans are available for up to $50,000.
  • SBA 7(a) loans are available up to $5 million.
  • Kiva loans go up to $15,000 in the US.
  • Reward-based crowdfunding has no limits.
  • Investment crowdfunding currently allows businesses to raise up to $5 million annually.
  • Business credit cards may offer limits as low as $1000 or as high as $50,000 or more.

It’s rare for startup founders to get a single loan that meets all their needs. Instead, they will often piece together different types of financing to get the money they need to get to the next stage.

How To Get a Startup Business Loan With No Credit or Revenue

It is challenging to get a startup business loan if you have no credit or revenue. Options that may be available in this situation are:

  • Friends and family funding
  • Crowdfunding
  • Angel funding or venture capital

How Do I Get a Startup Business Loan with Bad Credit?

Even when a business has at least two years’ time in business and strong annual revenues, business lenders still often check personal credit scores to understand the borrower’s creditworthiness. A business owner with bad credit (or low credit scores) will find it tough to qualify for many types of financing, though there are a few startup business loans for bad credit that may be an option.

Among them, microloans and crowdfunding may be worth exploring, as they may be available to business owners with less than perfect credit or no credit. Vendor credit may also help improve cash flow.

What To Do if You Are Denied a Startup Business Loan

Being turned down for a small business loan is discouraging but it’s not uncommon. If you are turned down your goal should be to find out why, and see what steps you can take next to get financing. 

Small business lenders aren’t always required to tell you specifically why you were turned down for a loan. (Find out here what lenders must tell you when you’re denied a business loan.) However it never hurts to ask for specific reasons, and to be persistent if you can’t get that information right away. 

Look at the reasons supplied and see whether there is additional information you can supply the lender, or if there are other loan products that would be a better fit.

Do Banks Give Loans to Startups?

Banks do give loans to startups, but you’ll usually need to meet stringent requirements to qualify. Banks will almost certainly want to understand the founder’s experience in the industry, and will require the owner to have good to excellent credit scores. Banks typically require a personal guarantee for business startup loans and may require collateral in the form of home equity, for example. 

That doesn’t mean bank loans aren’t worth exploring. Rates and terms can be very favorable if you qualify.

Can You Get a SBA Loan To Start a Business?

As mentioned earlier,  SBA loans may be used as new business start up loans. But you must meet both SBA requirements as well as the lender’s requirements which could be stricter. 

The main types of SBA loans for startups are 7(a) loans, 7(a) Express Loans and 7(a) Small Loans, as well as microloans. 504 loans may be used for startups, but the borrower may be required to contribute more upfront. 

Each individual lender that makes SBA loans will decide whether it will make loans to startups, so just because one lender won’t offer your business a loan that doesn’t necessarily mean there is no lender that will. Your ability to qualify for an SBA startup loan will depend in large part on your qualifications and how comfortable the lender is with your qualifications and the level of risk involved.

Final Word: Startup Business Loans

Running your own business can be difficult, and starting a business might be the toughest part for entrepreneurs. While it can be challenging to find a lender from whom to borrow, don’t assume it’s impossible to obtain a startup business loan.

Don’t be afraid to consider alternative lending options. Nonprofit lenders offering microloan programs may be the right choice for some businesses, or tapping a business credit card may sometimes be worth the risk, if your plan is solid and the interest rate is affordable. Business credit cards for startups can help build good business credit for your business and could help bridge gaps in cash flow if absolutely necessary. 

Again, think this through carefully. You will sign a personal guarantee so if your business doesn’t make it, you will be personally responsible for paying it back.

While starting a small business loan can be exciting, take your time here and be prepared to do your research and due diligence when you’re looking to borrow. Be realistic with your business and your ability to repay the loan, even if you’re approved for a high credit limit. 

Above all, keep your motivation for starting the business in mind. It can be a rough process finding and being approved for a startup business loan, but the right motivation and the right business can push through it and get the job done.

FAQs Startup Business Loans


This article was originally written on November 13, 2019 and updated on January 8, 2024.

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143 responses to “Securing the Best Small Business Loans for Startups

  1. hello our company has a contact with a major oil company to supply freshwater how and where can we obtain financing for a commercial ship the funds required are 350k we have 150K of our own money. any advice? the ship will be working in a foreign country. I have a credit score of 750 banks are of no use. can anyone advise me where to go for funding.

    thank you
    Russell Rothe
    Ready to Go International

  2. I have been in the HVAC business for over 30 years, I am state licensed and owned my own company for 20 years but sold it in 2019 right before the pandemic, it was profitable for many years. Now I want to start up another small HVAC business name is already incorporated but my bank who I have done business with for the last 16 years will not lend me the money to start another business even though my credit score is close to 790 and personal debt is very low. Guess they don’t like to lend.
    I am trying very hard to find someone to help me with financing to start another small HVAC business in Florida. I am not asking for too much, and already have a client base.

    Can someone please help me or at least send me to someone who could help me. Thank you so much.

    BTW—Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy new years to all

  3. morning, i am a new LLC owner and I am looking for business loans to help support vending supplies needed for clinical rotations.. I am a licensed instructor and i am very passionate about my field of expertise.. i have invested my own finances and now i am at a point where more equipment is needed to compete in this growing industry of medicine…please reach out to me with information u may have to steer me in the right direction so that I may continue my teaching dreams…..

  4. We have a restaurant but the owner sold the property to a construction company who is going to build apartments on the property we did very good here now we found a place to move but they are only selling the restaurant property but we don’t have much capital we spent it here remodeling this place thinking we were going to buy here is there any lines to buy a business? Please advise thank you

  5. Hello there.
    I am in need of some help putting my plan together.
    I need to buy at least 5 to 10 acres of land to start the business. I would also need to improve the land (stabilization, fencing and lighting ) I’m estimating the cost to be about $150k for improvements and $700k. To $850k for land (metropolitan area) So the total amount would be around $850k to 1 million.
    I have a very good credit rating of 740 to750 an annual income of $180k and about $120k in savings to start
    But with land prices that would probably only get me as far as the down payment for the land and no money for improvements to get the business up and running.
    I don’t know if this is even possible to do or what do I need to do to make it happen. Thank you in advance for your help.

  6. I am a new business owner here in Arlington, Texas starting a fitness center. I do not have any gross revenue for this year so far because I have had to work on my full – time job to raise money for my business. I also made a profit last year in 2021 but the issue is I am trying to get funding to occupy a building. The landlord is all set to sign over lease to me but needs me to show I have the funding. I have tried so many companies online but many of them require a monthly revenue that I am not able to provide. I am just trying to get some help or advised how I can get funding.

    1. Clifton – start up funding is more challenging. If you don’t have personal resources to get started you may need to try finding investors. I’d also highly recommend you connect with your local SCORE chapter and/or Small Business Development Center as they may have ideas for local resources. (Their services are free. Find your local SBA Resource partner here.)

  7. I am looking for startup funding for my new companies
    Black Economic Improvement corporation; And Black Economic Improvement Enterprise LLC

  8. I have been bootstrapping my startup since 2020.
    It’s a product development company, specializing in fighting covid-19 and all variants in public environments. I am looking for my final prototyping costs to demo for investors and customers. Having no customer base or past invoices at this time, has been a huge challenge.
    There are over 200 million people who will be protected by my product. I only need $10,000 to get moving forward.. and stop the spread!

  9. Hello I want start a trucking dispatcher company what are the chances I can get loan to help me with that ?!

      1. Good afternoon I want to start my own trucking business but I need money to buy a truck and trailer to start. I have a business plan and contract for the truck and trailer.

  10. Hi, I am a makeup artist and I would love to have my makeup studio and also sell cosmetics but I don’t have capital to get started please I need help

  11. This is a good article. Thank you for writing. It would be nice to see Nav offer a section of resources for startups ventures. 0-Months of revenue Just starting. The lending industry has a chicken and egg conundrum involving new businesses. Lenders require trades lines and revenues to qualify but new businesses require financing to get equipment, products, IP, etc to show the trade lines with revenues.

    There are, unfortunately, a sea of criminals and loan sharks preying on would-be new businesses. Trustpilot is full of horror stories of individuals who have been scammed $1,000s sometimes $10,000s and had their credit ruined because they felt pray. Many of the stories are very sad because the individuals knew better but felt there was nowhere else to go for startup funding.

    Personally, I’ve looked at CDFI’s, SBA, Traditional, and non-bank lenders to get a business started. One important fact emerged across all lender types. A well-written business plan and financial projections of a launching business are not significant. Lenders have similar internal Hard lending criteria and existing cash flow and time in the industry are very important. They each have different Soft criteria such as they support businesses with social, community, or global impacts. They many have mandates with no “sin” industries, no oil/gas exploration, or medical MJ etc. However, when crunching the numbers in the committee meetings to make a decision, they too are looking for cash flow. I’m speaking from personal experience. A reader’s mileage may vary… I would love to hear in the comments the bank name, address, and telephone number you found that funded your business at 0 revenue to help you specifically get started. I predict there will be many people calling that number myself…

    Would be nice to see Nav provide reputable companies with a proven track record of lending to new business 0-Months revenue just launching. Thanks

  12. How would i go about getting funds for a startup real estate business, 700 credit score, and i have 1 business credit card with a $2000 limit from capital one. personal credit cards of $5200 with a card for $2500 being the highest limit (my business credit card limit is included in the $5200) i just set up a DUNS number a few days ago. i want to look for more business credit cards, but i just applied for one through citibank and they denied me. I dont want to keep applying if im going to get denied all the time AND have it impact my score.

    1. Jose – Startup funding is more challenging for sure. If you have a Nav account, I’d recommend reaching out to our Credit & Lending team at 844-636-2445 so they can review your situation and provide suggestions.

  13. I want to buy a business that has been in business for 12 years and I have been in this same trade of business for 10 years and I need a loan to be able to buy the business and start out. All banks I have called will not loan money since this will be a new business for me. I have excellent credit but I don’t have the cash to buy the business. Do you have any suggestions and can you recommend a company?

    1. Dylan – please call our Credit & Lending team so they can review options with you: 844-636-2445. No pressure! It helps to set up a free Nav account before you do so they have the information they need, but it’s not required.

      1. I am in the same Page I want to buy a business that my boss are ready to retirer. And I want to take over but I need the Cash to lease the place and later want to buy from them. I have been working for them for 19 yrs and they started the same way by asking 100000 grant loan but I don’t need that much I believe if I get 50000 loans I can make it happen.

  14. I am starting a commercial loan broker LLC. What are the chances that I can partnership/affiliate with NAV?

  15. Hi…I like to start a T shirt sticker printing Company in my own Garage. Is it possible to get loan for DTG Printer and T Shirt’s…? My Credit is good, Thank you

  16. Lillian Onas,
    I am a startup business. I have been catering for parties for few years now. I have a partner and want to open a restaurant. We have business plan writing out and we need help to get a startup loan. How can you help? We’ve talked to banks, but they couldn’t help.
    Thank you.

    1. Lillian – Financing options are more limited for startups. However, that doesn’t mean it’s out of the question. If you set up a free Nav account you can then talk with our credit & lending specialists to see what may be available. No pressure. You may also want to watch our youtube video.

  17. Looking for a small business loan to start a trucking company. I dont have alot of credit history. Which route would be the best way to proceed?

      1. Looking forward to starting a long distance coach/bus service inSouth Africa but am a bit sceptical as my credit status not good but not that bad.Business plan one other challenge for me.Plz assist.

      1. Hello, am looking to start up a logistics and shipping company. Is it possible to get a start up capital to purchase the equipment. My credit score is 730+

        1. Dancan – Startup funding is more challenging but your excellent credit may be helpful here. Feel free to reach out to Nav’s Credit & Lending team at 844-636-2445 to find out what options we may be able to help with.

  18. Hello my name is Anita. I recently started a disinfecting and cleaning service. I’ve always enjoy cleaning and my background is that of service. I recently partnered with coworker to start a cleaning crew that features a “Covid Clean Team”. We don’t just do commercial cleaning but have incorporated fogging disinfecting with ULV and Electrostatic Foggers to our cleaning regimen. We’re cleaning for healthy living. Only needed small amount of funding for floor cleaners and more supplies. Please advise. Thank you

    1. Anita – I’d recommend you sign up for a free Nav account to be matched to lenders offering financing for borrowers with your qualifications. It can help narrow your search. And you are always welcome to reach out to our Credit & Lending Team to review your options – no charge. You’ll see their contact information in your Nav account.

    1. Hello My name is Isaac I’m 20 year old I’m from poor family bad background so I didn’t have a good Credit score to take a loan , I have a good planing to build my own business so I need lender for start-up for my business withthou credit check , thankyou

  19. Hello NAV, Lenders, Business Owners like myself, and just anyone checking this out. I am James and I started RamRod and Company L.L.C. out of Leicester, North Carolina came to life 7-29-2020. I worked at a rental company for 12 years and I first got laid off because of the Coronavirus in march and I new that things was all around bad and it was because it put the Rental company down for months . I as a profession of a job where a machine Called TEECO 5000 was only like 5 or 6 in the nation a really rare way of washing the big festival tents was over. I took all that I had saved up for a vacation that I had planed and all the money for 2 months I did not get paid (unemployment back pay) and invested into why I am going to American Intercontinental University, a Handyman service. I got a company out of California to get my documents straight in April but was not all legal till July due to the first name for the business I chose was taken. I started out good and now that the corona is back, I have lost customers and with the labor signs I am having to pay for now for the 3rd time and old equipment that I have to work on every night and the 4-5 hours of school it is taking its toll on me, my relationships, my wallet, and credit I am spending more than I make and need help. The Company can be profitable but I need help. I have put everything I have into this business and can not get help. I am on my last hope and I am begging please save RamRod and Company L.L.C. and thanks for your time because time is money.

    1. I am starting a new business like Liqeor store and last 12 months I don’t have job I lose everything so how I get a s b a loan for business and inventory and how much down payment i need like 10 percent or more. Thanks

  20. Hello I’m looking to start up anything that will help my family since the pandemic started I’ve lost everything my job all my money had to sell alot just to stay afloat now I’m living in a motor home and I’m done with that struggling for long enough I would like to get startup loan for business idea iv had for while nows the time its a roofing and repair anything gos nothing I can’t handle handyman business if u call we do it all garenteed plz me and my family need a break thanks

    1. I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through this year. If you want to start a business, a great place to start is with your local Small Business Development Center or SCORE office. They can help you understand what you need to do to get your business off the ground – and it’s free. Find your local office at

  21. Hello, my name is Jose and I” am currently looking into starting a ice cream shop but have don’t have much money to put into everything. I live in Texas, any help on getting me on the right track would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

  22. My name is Davey. I currently stay in columbus ohio where i started my own company and got a tow truck and i started buying junk vehicles for really cheap prices and then cored the vehicles out and sold everything seperately for a good profit throughout multiple vehicles everyday. Everything was becoming profits and was making amazing money after awhile and then my truck got stolen. I havent been able to continue my company without the truck and over the convid 19 situation, made everything million times worse and i blew through everything i had i earned previously to keep bills paid and motivated as possible. Im at a loss and dont want to give up on my dream and career i started. What can i or what should i do for help. I cant afford to buy another truck and almost completely broke now? Any advice or help i would appreciate so much.

    1. Hi I are wanting to start a restaurant and don’t really know how to start. I’ve got okay credit (around 650) and he doesn’t have much

  23. Hi my husband and I are wanting to start a restaurant and don’t really know how to start. I’ve got okay credit (around 650) and he doesn’t have much credit history. We definitely would need help with start up costs to get things rolling. Any advice is much appreciated.

    1. My company sent miners to another country mining for precious metals. I’ve used over 200k of my own money and the pandemic hit. The SBA gave me a small grant due to the lockdown but then ran out of funds. I’ve paid for everything including taxes, shipping and leasing a plane to fly the mined gold to the U.S. However, during the pandemic a shipping document expired and must be repaid. My company is out of funds but the worth is in excess of several million USD.. all I need is a small loan for the shipping document. Very short term and less than $8,000 USD.

  24. Greetings to you all i appreciate the services your are providing to the world. i have a business dealing in agriculture produce that is buying maize, beans, millet, soya beans, Milk, eggs ground nuts e.t.c from villages, selling them in urban centers in Uganda. how can i be helped to acquire a loan of $10,000, what is the interest rate and grace period?

  25. My Dream of Owning and Upgrading the Parking Lot for 18 wheeler , and Commercial Trucks, plus Contracts from Local Tire Repair Services Men to fix and Replace Tires is Forthcoming, and Determined

  26. Hello.
    I have been wanting to open a business for years and I have a whole business plan with everything needed in it and I have two buildings to choose from and I am more than ready to start it up— but money is my problem. I don’t have any previous business credit or anything like that, I’ve never owned a business but I have a very good personal credit score and I’m looking for a start up loan— there are many banks and places that offer it but it’s kind of a struggle with banks primarily focusing on PPP loans at this time. I was wondering if you had any tips or maybe could point me in the right direction because I feel stuck and I’ve put an endless amount of work into this. Anything can help!!!

  27. The same stuff that everyone is saying. Do you have a list of lenders that furnish these loans…loans for people with OK credit?

  28. Hello there my name is micheal .
    My grandfather was a small business owner for 20 years . When he passed away last year in aug.2019 his business partner which was his brother gave me the machine used for the company , which is a 5″ gutter machine .
    I’ve worked in the gutter business for 4 years three with his company and over a year with my current company. My boss at the moment knows my goals in starting up a business with the machine I have.
    The issue is I’m 29 it hasn’t been easy finding the funds to start the business.
    I’ve come up with a business plan and made it not just about running gutter.
    I have done several fields since I was 14 working in fence installing and construction operating skid steers and man lifts.
    So my business will involve brush removal tree service gutter installment and minor landscaping.
    So my thing is how do I go upon finding the right funding. My brother and mother agreed to get into the business once I get the gutter part running so the funding I need now in 20k that covers a 6″ gutter machine and work truck and 1 more trailer.

    1. Michael – Getting funding for a start up is more challenging as you know. It may depend on your credit scores and other factors. I’d suggest you do a couple of things. First, I’d recommend you meet with your local SBDC and/or SCORE office to get their assistance (it’s free) putting together your business plan. You can find your local office at – use the locator tool. They may also be able to refer you to local microlenders who may be a good fit for what you are trying to accomplish.

      Secondly, I’d suggest you set up a free Nav account and see what financing matches come up for your profile. You can always talk with our Credit & Lending specialists to see what options you may have. (Just reach out through the financing section of your Nav account.)

    2. The same stuff that everyone is saying. Do you have a list of lenders that furnish these loans…loans for people with OK credit?

  29. Hi,
    I would like to open up a laundromat business. I will need a startup loan for equipment and renovating the building space. I have twenty thousands saved and in two years I will use thirty thousands of retirement for collateral. I written out my business plan. My personal credit is good. I don’t know where to go from here or how to approach a lender please help.

  30. Hi I’m in the process of starting light duty roadside assistance company I have 6 of the top 10 motor clubs such as nationwide Geico Allstate Agero AAA .. they wanting me to contact for them ASAP I have a proven work ethic and veteran background.. unfortunately I have made my name working for a local tow company and I decided it’s time for a change .. I’m not asking for much I have everything I need accept the insurance it runs about 450$ every 6 months and to fix my service vehicle that’s about 350$ My credit is not the best due to me co singing for a x Girlfreind who unfortunately had the vehicle reposed .. if anyone has any advice or knows of anyone who might be able to help me start my business please I would be truly grateful more then you will ever know thank you for you’re time

    1. Me and a friend wanted to start our own business but don’t know how to acquire a business loan and my credit not good cause of me not buying anything for years and we did a test trail run of our cooking and it went great but we was doing everything out of pocket and out of our kitchen and we need help getting a loan to get us a small food truck

  31. I have many years experience in my industry , but have NO credit do to low income. I am looking to open my own business but need a little help.

  32. I am trying to open a Christian based childcare in Texas. I have all necessary credential they only thing I am lacking is the financial backing. I have already established a client base.

    1. Eunice,

      You are welcome to reach out to the Nav Credit & Lending Team at 844-636-2445 to find out what options may be available. In addition, if you already have a solid customer base you may want to consider crowdfunding if you can’t get traditional financing.

  33. I am going to start a food catering business and food truck. I work in full service restaurant and catering and have for thirty years. I know the ins and outs of the business. I’m confident in the products I prepare and serve. and I understand needs of the community’s in the area.

  34. This is a poorly written article. The topic calls our “Small Business Starup Loans” and then you write about lending sources that require months of use. If you actually wrote about small business artip loans rather than your adveritising partners who don’t give a F about startups, then maybe you’d have a piece. Remove this worthless article

    1. Ben, I beg to differ. All major small business credit cards for example make the decision based on the owner’s personal credit score, so time in business is irrelevant. Crowdfunding doesn’t require a specific time in business. And there are a number of microloans (including SBA microloans through certain lenders) available to young businesses. Not every startup will qualify but many have.

  35. I’m trying to start a welding and fabrication shop. I have some of the equipment and tools I need to start but there are a few larger items that I need to start but I’m in debt up to my eyeballs already. Who or what can help? There are only 4 thing’s I need to start: truck-mounted welding machine, lathe, drillpress or milling press and materials to put together for advertising the basics to the complex work I can do.

  36. I am looking for a start up loan to purchase a medical billing software for medical billing company. I have been working in healthcare for many years and believe this is a good investment. 20.000. I have some cash in the bank but don’t want to use it for the start up.

  37. Hi there! My husband and I both have FT jobs. I’m a Nurse, he is a manager. We want to purchase a commercial property to renovate into a wedding chapel. We live in Greenville SC. We are looking at a property listed for 215k and we have 20% down. What kind of loans would be best for us as a start up company? Thank you!


  39. Thanks for sharing. Great work!
    If you try to appeal to everybody, you’ll end up appealing to nobody. keep posting such a knowledgeable blog.

  40. I experienced the same kind of issues with my new business. Building business credit requires time, patience and know how.. A great way to start is by getting Net 30 terms from suppliers that will report to your business credit.
    I used,, and These will get your business credit profile going and help you further your business credit. All with a Personal Guarantee !

    1. Hi i want to my chicken farming business but need help and support.lam live in Western Cape I will start with 2000 layers

  41. I am starting a new printing company. I have purchased my first 2 machines, 1 million each, and own free and clear. How can I use these as collateral for a load of $750,000 -$1million for other expenses. I really do not want to use a bank. Who is left?

  42. Hello,
    I’m looking at starting a business just an idea now. It would be a franchise business and they are wanting almost 900,000 in liquid accounts. How do people that don’t have that kind of money go to for help?

    1. Robert,

      I get that frustration! Not all franchises have such steep requirements though. In addition, there are many people wanting to sell their business who may be willing to offer seller financing. If you are purchasing an existing business, you may be able to get an SBA loan or other type of financing based in part on the current success of the business. You may want to consider casting a wider net in your search for a business to start.

    2. I have obtained I tax licenses and I want to start my own business us that considered qualify for SBA or microloan?

  43. I have lousy credit. I am just starting my business but I need at least 400 dollars to register my company name.I have lousy credit because I have been working at low paying jobs for 18 years. I got tired of it and I opened my own business. I need to register my name of my company and EIN but I don’t have the money to do it yet. I am looking for a credit line or small grant min of 400 dollars

  44. Hello:
    I am in need startup money of approximately $20k-$50k for my new school bus business. I have been in this business 11 years and have much experience.

  45. Overall some really good comments. One additional resource that was not mention is the Community Advantage loan guaranteed by the SBA. Most are only offered by Government Chartered non-profit lenders called a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and approved by the SBA to offer it. The normal 2 years in business does not apply and personal assets are not liened on loans up to $150,000. This is a huge break for fairly new businesses or start-ups.

  46. Hi I am in need of start up money to open my real estate office in Maryland. The amount I will be requesting will cover the cost of office space at a local firm in the DMV area. This amount will be approximately $5,000.00. I did start my business credit profile through Nav as well as my personal credit profile and combined it. My personal credit score is very low but I was informed that your business work with all credit types. Based on the information I just provided. Would your company be a good fit for me?

    April Dent

    1. April,

      Now that you have created your Nav account you can use MatchFactor to see what options may be available to you. If you are unclear about your options you can reach out to our Credit & Lending team (you’ll see that in the financing tab) – they will be more than happy to talk with you (no pressure).

  47. You can find this information on any web-site pertaining to obtain a business loan. Nothing new, like company’s that help build credit, lender that lend to risky statup business owners. Same old stuff.

  48. I’m seeking 150,000
    Or less I’ve been in business for myself for 7 years and brought my income from 0 to 3000. I’m wanting to go commercial I’m finding it very difficult in my position to find funding. I have an EIN number now, but I have not filed taxes as of yet with it yet, any thoughts or ideas would be very appreciated.