Loan Application Checklist
You’re the CEO of your small business – the Chief Everything Officer. You understand that time = money, and being prepared can shorten the time it takes to get a small business loan. Even when you’re on the go, our mobile friendly, easy-to-use digital checklist can help you get prepared, and stay organized, during your loan application process.
If you need help creating any of the items in this checklist, visit our Resources page to find a business assistance organization in your area that can help you.
If you are applying for a Small Business Administration loan, you may need to prepare different documentation. Not sure if an SBA loan is right for you? Learn more about them.
Most loan programs will require you to submit a sound business plan with your loan application. Your business plan should include a complete set of projected financial statements, including profit and loss (P&L), cash flow and balance sheet. If you need help preparing your business plan, the Small Business Administration provides resources at the links below.
Community Centro Partners also offers an app to help you create and maintain a business plan using just your phone or tablet
Loan Application Form
After determining the loan types you qualify for, you may be able to find a loan application form online or from a lending institution. This form will ask for your business and personal financial information, and will outline all of the documents and supporting materials you will need to apply for a particular loan.
Personal Credit Report
If you’re already in business, be prepared to submit a business credit report as part of your loan application. As with the personal credit report, it is important to review your business’ credit report before beginning the application process.
- Our partners at Nav offer free options for monitoring your business and personal credit: www.nav.com
You may also be required to provide projected financial statements, either as part of or separate from your business plan. It’s good to have financial statements prepared and ready to go, in case you need to submit these documents individually. The following forms may be used to prepare your projected financial statements:
Many loan programs require one year of personal and business bank statements to be submitted as part of a loan package. If you have business partners with more than a 20 percent stake in your business, they may be asked to submit signed personal financial statements.
Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable
Most loans will require details of your business’ most current financial position. Before you begin the loan application process, make sure you have accounts receivable and accounts payable records available.
Collateral requirements can be different depending on the type of loan you are applying for, and strong business plans and financial statements can help you avoid putting up collateral. It’s a good idea to prepare a collateral document that describes cost/value of personal or business property that will be used to secure a loan.
Your lender may require you to submit one or more legal documents. Make sure you have the following items in order, if applicable:
- Business certificates and/or licenses and registrations required for you to conduct business (Note: If your business is a corporation, provide your corporate seal along with your application.)
- Articles of Incorporation
- Copies of contracts you have with any third parties
- Franchise agreements
- Commercial leases
Ownership and Affiliations
Include a list of names and addresses of any subsidiaries and affiliates, including concerns in which you hold a controlling interest and other concerns that may be affiliated by stock ownership, franchise, proposed merger or otherwise with you.
Loan Application History
Include records of any loans you may have applied for in the past.
Income Tax Returns
Include signed personal and business federal income tax returns of your business’ principals for the previous three years.
Include personal résumés for each principal, including yourself.
Business Overview and History
Provide a brief history of your business and its challenges. Include an explanation of why the loan is needed and how it will help your business.
Include a copy of your business lease, or note from your landlord, giving terms of the existing or proposed lease.
If You are Purchasing an Existing Business
The following information is needed for purchasing an existing business: Current balance sheet and P&L statement of business to be purchased Previous two years federal income tax returns for your business Proposed Bill of Sale including Terms of Sale Asking price with schedule of inventory, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures