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  • Your Business Loan: What Banks Need

    Game Plan

    In-Depth

    Get Organized

    You’ll be creating, assembling, and compiling many documents to submit to your lender as you move from loan application to loan decision. The sooner you start organizing these documents, the less likely it is that there will be significant delays in the loan application process.

    You can find a comprehensive list of documents you’ll likely need to provide from the Small Business Administration. You should also check with the bank to see if any additional documents will be required.

    Some of documents you will need to provide include:

    • Personal background statement including previous addresses and names you have used, your educational background, and criminal record, if any.
    • Resumes that demonstrate your business experience and those of your partners.
    • Business plan including projected profits and losses, cash flow, and balance sheet, among other content. For more information on creating a business plan, SCORE has a set of templates that might be useful.
    • Tax returns, both personal and business returns for the last three years.
    • Personal financial statements including information on your assets (both liquid and illiquid), debts, and income along with bank records for at least one year.
    • Collateral if you’re required to put up assets to obtain financing. Prepare reasonable estimates of the value of any personal or business property that may be used to secure a loan.
    • Legal documents including any existing business leases, articles of incorporation, contracts you may have with suppliers or customers, and franchise agreements.

    You can expect many questions from your banker about the content in these documents. These may include why you’re applying for a loan, specific details how you will use the money, the qualifications of your management team, and others.
     

    Game PlanGame Plan

    Game Plan

    • Begin assembling the documents on the list above to prevent any delays in processing your loan application.
    • Review the actual loan application to find out if there’s additional information that will be required.
    • Write a business plan. If you need help, get advice from an organization such as SCORE, or read this guide from the Small Business Administration.
    • Expect plenty of questions from your banker. This isn’t necessarily a negative sign. To the contrary, it could indicate that lenders are very interested in lending money to your business.