In today’s competitive business environment, it’s important to secure the financial support your company needs to operate to its full potential. Luckily, there are many types of business loans out there for you, no matter what your specific needs are.
In our fast-moving modern business world, most types of business loans have online application forms. This is particularly true of bank loans and government loans. After you submit the application form, you may be required to send in additional documents, like your business plan or recent accounts. This can either be done via email or by post. The application process may also involve face-to-face meetings, especially if you’re trying to convince an investor to help fund your business.
No matter which types of business loans you use, you must repay it on time. Most loans will come with a repayment schedule or a time-frame within which you have to pay the full amount back. If you fail to comply with this, you’ll face additional interest charges and financial penalties.
Here are seven popular types of business loans and financing methods:
Type #1: Bank loans
One of the most common types of business loans is available at a bank. You can choose from a wide range of banks offering financial support to businesses, so it’s a good idea to compare several offers before selecting one. Once you find the bank that’s offering the best terms, you can arrange to have the loan paid directly into your bank account. You’ll also receive documentation explaining when repayments are due and what the interest rate on your loan is.
If you fail to repay a bank loan on time, this will make it harder for you to borrow money in the future. On the other hand, you’ll improve the reputation of your business tremendously if you pay your loan back punctually. In the future, you may be able to borrow larger amounts of money or secure business loans on more favourable terms.
Type #2: Business loans from investors
Investors in your company can also give you a loan. Usually, these types of business loans will be tied to specific conditions that your business has to meet. For example, an investor may request a share in your company’s profits in exchange for a loan.
Investors may also be prepared to loan you money in exchange for influence over how your company operates, including by participating in decisions about marketing, products, and other matters.
Type #3: Start-up business loans
When you’re trying to get your business off the ground, financing it can often be the biggest challenge. That’s where start-up business loans come in. These types of business loans are often offered at favorable interest rates and may include additional support services from the bank or organization that offers them.
For example, business development organizations may combine start-up loans to local companies with training programs on how to run a business or fill out business tax returns. Start-up loans may include an interest free period to help you get your company going.
Type #4: Loans from family members and friends
If you have a friend or family member who is interested in helping your business, you can ask them for a loan. These types of business loans tend to be less formal, but it’s a good idea for you to agree a repayment schedule to avoid conflicts further down the road.
One advantage of borrowing money in this way is that friends or relatives may not demand interest on the money they loan you.
Type #5: Fixed-interest loans
This type of business loan allows you to know in advance what the interest rate will be during the agreed repayment period. For example, you may take out a five-year loan at a fixed interest rate of 7 percent. Interest rates on other loans can vary over time depending on the policies pursued by the bank and broader economic factors.
Type #6: Short-term loans
Short-term loans are great if your business is looking to borrow money for its immediate needs. These types of business loans can come in useful if you’re having cash flow problems or if you know that you’ll be able to repay the borrowed money quickly, such as at the end of the month.
Short-term loans are typically for smaller amounts of money. However, they can also come with much higher rates of interest, especially if you fail to repay the amount in full by the agreed upon date.
Type #7: Government business loans
Local or federal governments will often offer different types of business loans and grants. These are sometimes directed towards start-up businesses or companies that create jobs in a particular region. Programs can vary widely, so you’ll need to review the relevant government websites to find out what’s on offer in your area.
Governments may attach extra conditions to your business loan, including how it is spent. Additionally, government loans tend to be provided at a lower rate of interest than you’d typically get from banks or other private providers.