Frequently Asked Questions
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Most Popular Questions
What do I need to open a business bank account?
*Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
*Personal identification (Drivers License or Passport)
*Certificate of assumed name (DBA)
*Partnership agreement with name of business and its partners (if applicable)
*Organizing documents filed with the State business is registered
*Monthly credit card revenue (for merchant accounts)
Why is developing a relationship with my bank/banker important?
Because bankers play a vital role in helping businesses obtain financing, maximizing
businesses’ funds and helping companies achieve their goals.
Why do banks look at my personal credit score for a business loan?
To determine your business’ creditworthiness. In most cases the business owner is the sponsor of the loan. How she manages her personal finances impacts her capacity and the
banker’s trust in the likelihood that the business loan will be cared for properly.
Your credit score will benefit if you can demonstrate your ability to manage different types of credit—revolving, instalment, and mortgage, for example.
What is the minimum credit score I need to get approved for a business loan?
640 to 700: Business loan providers generally consider a credit score that falls somewhere between 640 and 700 to be good—but not excellent. Generally, the minimum credit score for SBA and term loans is around 680.
What do I need to have prepared before applying for a business loan?
Before applying for a business loan make sure to discuss your plans with your banker.
Your banker can help you identify if a loan is what you really need, the type of loan, and the minimum requirements needed to qualify. Before applying, make sure to check and clean up your personal and business credit profiles. You will also need to prepare a Business Plan that details what you need the loan for, how much you need and how you intend to pay it back.
You will need to prepare your Financial Statements including:
*Current Profit and Loss Statement (last 3 yrs.)
*Cash Flow Statement
*Bank Statements (last 3 mo.)
*Personal and Business Tax Returns (last 3 yrs.)
You will need the following legal documents:
*Business License & Registration
*Articles of Incorporation
*Copies of contracts with third parties
When a loan defaults, how do banks recover their investment?
Primary Source of Repayment: cash flow from operations
Secondary Source of Repayment: liquidation of collateral
Tertiary Source of Repayment: loan sponsor or guarantor (generally the business owner)
What services should a small business look for in a bank?
Business banking services should be customized for your specific needs. This will require some due diligence and research on your part. When looking for banking services it is important to think about your current and future needs. A good banker will educate you on
the services you need and help you plan as your business grows.
Some general services include:
*Online and mobile banking access
*Bill payment services
*Wire transfer services
*Debit card access
*Safe deposit boxes
Additional services include:
*Accounting software integration
*Health Savings accounts
What types of collateral do banks accept for small business loans?
For secured business loans, lenders will accept a wide variety of assets as collatera.
Some of the more common assets are:
*Unpaid invoices and credit card sales
What is an SBA Loan?
SBA loans are government-backed loans available through commercial lenders who follow SBA guidelines. SBA works with lenders to provide a partial guarantee for loans, reducing lenders’ risk, increasing small business lending, and helping expand small business economic activity.
Based on the amount of revenue my company generates, who should I expect to work with at the bank?
Branch Manager ($0 - $5 million) = individual who leads the retail staff to include bank tellers, customer service representatives, and retail loan officers (if any). Banks have different strategies regarding their Branch Managers. Some are sales leaders on the retail side as well as small business. Others stick primarily to retail sales, and finally, there is a group of banks that use the Branch Managers as operational team leads.
Business Banker ($5 - $25 million) = individual who tends to work with “small business owners.” For the most part, a Business Banker’s largest client from an annual revenue perspective is around: $10MM. These individuals are know to have expertise in the Small Business Administration (SBA) space.
Commercial Banker ($25 - $100 million) = from a sports reference or medical vernacular, this individual is compared to a Quarterback in football and a Generalist or Primary Care Physician in medicine. A Commercial Banker works with business owners as small as $3-$5MM and up to $100MM in annual revenue. As the banker builds her book of business, she tends to specialize in industries that her bank has a strong appetite for. For example, you may ask your Commercial Banker: “What areas do you specialize in?,” and hear the following in response: (Medical - Real Estate, Equipment, and Working Capital, Real Estate Development - Medical Office and Retail, Logistics and Transportation, and Retail: Fast Food Restaurant and Hospitality). This banker is answering the question based on the clients in his portfolio. It can also provide insight into that banks appetite from an industry perspective.
Middle Market Banker (100 million - $1 billion) = a banker who tends to call on businesses with $100MM up to $1B in annual revenue, or company that are pre-publicly traded. As you get in this space, “the air gets thinner,” and your banker becomes very specialized. The pool of clients are smaller and they are equipped with CFOs (Chief Financial Officers). These companies tend to know precisely what they want from a bank and the job of the banker is to truly delineate his service capacity and provide nuance to the relationship.