Whether during the startup or growth phase, sooner or later most businesses need to borrow money. While every loan process may be different, there are several things you can do to make the loan process easier. Most importantly, remember loan officers are looking at many things, not just your financial record. There is an old adage – banks lend based on credit not just against collateral. Above all, please keep in mind, a community bank, such as The Bank of Missouri, is here to help you and wants to see your business succeed. Let’s get started.
Consider the type of loan
A good lender will get to know your business and your goals and review the available loan types and terms with you.
1. Have you investigated all the alternative types of capital sources?
2. Does the term of the loan you are seeking match up with the purpose for which it is being taken out?
3. Does the amount of the loan you are seeking match up with your projected cash flow?
Documentation you may need
Your lender will keep you informed of what documentation is needed. Some common forms of documentation are listed below.
1. Tax returns – company and potentially, personal tax returns.
2. Financial statements – last couple of years and year-to-date.
3. Cash flow history and projection.
You will discuss the future plans for your business with your lender. In some cases, you’ll also need a formal business plan.
1. Do you have an overall business plan and is it current?
2. Does it include important information like major customers, suppliers, and key employees?
3. Do you have a current marketing plan and are you following it?
It’s a great time to review some common business practices as you prepare for a business loan.
1. Do you have a credit policy and is it enforced?
2. Does your accounting system adequately show the condition and results of the business?
3. What is your accounts payable policy? How current are the receivables? Do you take advantage of any discounts for prompt payment?
4. What type of insurance coverage do you have? Is there adequate insurance for liability and property damage?
And last, ensure you’re good-to-go regarding taxes.
1. Are all your tax filings current (payroll, property, income)?
2. Are your returns prepared by a qualified professional to help you ensure your tax benefits are maximized?
Applying for a loan can sometimes be a stressful experience, but at The Bank of Missouri our loan officers make it a point to see that your experience is as convenient and stress free as possible. We pride ourselves on fast, local loan approval. Our business loan experts will become familiar with your business and your industry and help find the best fit for you. Find out more about our SBA Loan Program.