[5 minute read]
Here’s the thing; most people don’t like to take out loans. The commitment can be scary, especially if you just started your business and things are rocky. What if you can’t make the payments? What if it doesn’t work out?
Apart from the commitment to the loan provider, a loan can be seen as somewhat imprisoning. It’s not as easy to walk away from your business if you have a loan tied to it. In the era of online entrepreneurship, where you can start a business in a few hours, a loan can take away the flexibility of walking away from a business.
Then also come the interest rates. Nothing is free. Your loan comes at a cost, sometimes very large (if you have bad credit or miss a payment). Every business owner is trying to minimize costs.
Sometimes though, you have to take a loan out to help your business out. In that case, it’s good to do your research and find the best deal—that’s probably why you’re here, reading this post.
So, keep reading because we summed up the best business loans of 2022.
Why Take Out a Business Loan?
Most businesses end up needing a helping hand at some point, usually at the beginning.
Most businesses don’t survive very long, so if you’re at the point where you can continue running your business and all you need is a business loan, that’s not so bad. You’re already further than most people get.
This is meant to give you some encouragement, but also make you aware of the reality of running a business.
It can be challenging and doesn’t have to work out. That’s why it’s important to register an LLC and protect yourself from liability.
A business loan can help you get the equipment necessary to bring you profit, cover expenses while you wait for clients to pay you, get a new space, among many other things.
Usually, a loan is taken out not to keep a dying business afloat for a little longer, but with the understanding of how it will either help make a profit or how it will be paid back.
How do Business Loans Work?
Business loans operate just like personal loans, with a few small differences.
First of all, you should register your business as an LLC or a Corporation, depending on your business plan. This is because you want there to be a divide between you and your business.
When you register your business as a separate entity, it operates like one. So, the loan is not yours to pay—it’s the business’ loan. The expenses aren’t yours, they are incurred by your business. This also means that if your business gets into financial trouble, your personal assets will not be pursued for repayment.
The good thing is that you can literally register your business as an LLC online, in minutes, in any state.
Moving on, there are different types of small business loans available to you, each one with a different purpose. Take a look at the terminology below, it’ll come in handy when you’re dealing with providers.
Business Line of Credit
A line of credit is more like a credit card as opposed to a loan, but it’s worth mentioning here.
A line of credit for your business will be limited up to a certain amount, this will be pre-arranged when you’re signing the contract. You can borrow whenever you need and repay whenever you want. Of course, with interest.
This is a flexible option and is used by many businesses to cover things like payroll or expenses while waiting for customer payments to come in. It’s also great as a backup for unexpected expenses like repairs.
A line of credit gives you immediate access to funds. You don’t have to go through a lengthy application process and a waiting period, at the same time it builds your business credit rating.
A good credit rating gives you access to lower interest rates, more trust with suppliers and clients, and just access to services at better rates.
Factoring (Accounts Receivable Financing)
This is not a loan either, but another type of financing available to businesses. Factoring works on the premise that a company gives you the money you’re owed by a client, and then they take over the outstanding debt/invoice.
This is used by many businesses that are starting out and don’t have a big reserve of cash to get them through the first months.
Invoices aren’t usually paid straight away. Depends on the accounting processes on the other side. Sometimes they can get lost or forgotten. This leaves you stranded and unable to keep things flowing.
Factoring removes that problem by giving you what you’re owed right away in exchange for a fee—of course.
Essentially, you’re losing part of your profit for the sake of speeding up the process of getting paid.
The better your business credit rating, the lower your rates for factoring will be. This is because the service provider will feel more secure, knowing that they aren’t likely to have problems with getting paid by your clients.
Small Business Term Loans
Now, this is what you imagine a business loan would be. A nice lump of cash in your bank account that you pay back in regular instalments with the interest rate added.
This loan usually requires an application process with a provider. You might need to also give a business plan or show how you’re going to pay back. You might also need to provide a guarantee if your business credit is not very good.
These loans are usually a means of financing long term projects, investments or assets for your business.
Working Capital Loans
Think payday loans. Short-term. High interest. Small amounts. Working capital loans are the same but for your business. Sometimes they might be tied to your personal credit so be careful when you’re applying for one of those.
These are good for everyday expenses when you need quick cash. Just like payday loans, you’re probably better avoiding them and arranging a line of credit in advance.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans
SBA is very keen on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and get a head start. In that spirit, they can guarantee your loan. So, in case you can’t pay it back, they will. They probably won’t cover the whole amount of your loan, but a certain proportion of it.
Usually, they can guarantee 85% or 75% of your loan, depending on the amount you want to borrow. It’s a pretty good deal that gives entrepreneurs the confidence to try.
As you can imagine, this isn’t something SBA will just give to anyone. You have to give them a good business plan and show them that you’re serious and they’re not likely to have to pay back the loan on your behalf.
Best Business Loan Providers of 2022
Let’s get to the point. Now that you know what financing is available to you and how to protect yourself from liability, we can help you explore some of the best options for business loans.
Kabbage is one of the most popular business financing providers because they are modern, transparent and offer good rates. Kabbage offers you many financing options, not just the standard long term loan. We like that because it shows that Kabbage understands businesses are different and need flexibility.
Kabbage is very tech-oriented, they give you access to electronic tools that help you manage your business’ finances.
They offer big and smaller loans and different repayment terms.
If Kabbage had a motto, it would be something about flexibility.
The only downside to Kabbage is that you have to be in business for over a year and monthly revenue of over $4k.
If you’re looking to borrow just a small amount, up to $15k, Kiva is your place to go. They offer you 0% interest rates and the possibility to get your business out in front of the community of lenders.
It’s a peer-to-peer lending platform, Kiva is the middleman between you and the person lending the money to you.
The upside of Kiva is the 0% interest rate, and the ability to repay over as long as 36 months. The downside is that you might have to wait over 30 days to receive the money.
Kiva is perfect if you want to start a small business and need some cash for the upfront expenses.
Do you just want a line of credit for your business to keep as a backup option, or cover you when you’re waiting for customers to pay you?
Fundbox is a great provider that focuses on exactly that.
Fundbox is known for its speed, you can have your line of credit approved in minutes! You can have your funds ready the next day. That’s what we like to see—speed.
Fundbox’s system works smooth, you can get pre-approved online without leaving a hard print on your credit file. They offer financing up to $100k, plenty to play with for most businesses.
This is another speedy and reliable option. You can get a line of credit or a small business loan approved in a day.
OnDeck’s limits are up to $250k in a loan or up to $100k in a line of credit.
If you want to get financing from OnDeck, you’ll have to show that you’ve been in business for over a year and your annual revenue is at least $100k. They also ask that your personal credit score is decent (above 600).
Lendio isn’t a financing provider, but it is a comparison platform.
If you want the best deal and to see what’s available to you then you need to learn to shop around. Rather than calling or researching individual platforms, you can get a clear comparison through Lendio.
They let you compare loans from providers that offer up to $500k in funding with terms as long as five years.
You have to go through a quick application process with Lendio so that they can provide you with the most accurate information on the offers available to you.
There are many more providers out there, we just mentioned a few to get you started.
Getting financing for your business can help you get started, keep on going through challenges, or grow and expand.
As we mentioned during the post, it’s important to keep yourself protected by registering your business as an LLC or a corporation.