12 Oct 2017

What You Need to Know Before You Borrow Money for Your Small Business Startup

Deciding to borrow money to launch your small business startup is a big decision. It’s the second biggest decision after deciding to start the business. Since it is a big decision, it requires much thought and research before taking the leap. There are multiple ways to fund a small business startup, and it’s important to know and understand all of them before making a final decision.
Not only can you borrow money to launch your small business startup, you can also invest your own personal savings or give up a percentage of ownership in the company to investors in return for funding. Before making the final decision to borrow money for your small business startup, here are a few things you should know:

Types of Financing

There are a number of different ways you can finance your small business startup. Depending on the amount of revenue the business is generating, how many years the company has been in business, and the business industry, you may or may not qualify for certain types of financing.

Pay Back & Defaulting

When you borrow money to launch your small business startup, you will be required to make monthly payments. You will also have a set “term” to pay back the financing. The term is the period of time you will have to make monthly payments toward the total financing amount you borrowed. This is important because you need to be comfortable making the monthly payments. It has to be something you can afford. I suggest developing a business plan with at least three years of financial projections to estimate what your expenses will be and the amount of revenue the business will generate. This will help you determine if there will be enough money to go around (to cover business expenses and paying back a business financing).
If you default on a financing for any reason it can ruin your personal and business credit. Having a good understanding of how much it will cost you to borrow money to build the business will enable you to plan better and avoid defaulting. It’s good practice to ask a lender what their average interest rates and terms are before you apply so you can estimate what your monthly payments will be. The bottom line is that paying back financing has to be something you are ready for and capable of handling.

Maximum Amount of Debt

Your debt to income ratio and the amount of outstanding debt you have on the business is important in the lender’s decision to give you a small business loan. If your company is a small business startup with no revenue, lenders will pay close attention to your debt to income ratio. As a rule of thumb, your outstanding debts should equal no more than 28% of your total income. (Depending on who you talk to, some people will say it should be no more than 32% to 36% of your total income however, 28% is playing it safe). If you have a high debt to income ratio, you may not be able to borrow money to launch your small business startup.
If your small business startup has some revenue, and you’ve already borrowed money for the business, if you apply for additional financing, the lender may also look at outstanding business debt. As a rule of thumb, you usually can’t borrow more than 15% of your total annual revenue. This all depends on the lender, but keep that in mind if you decide to take out multiple business loans from different lending sources for the business.

How You Will Spend the Money

Some types of financing are restricted to certain business expenses. For example, equipment financing must be spent only on equipment purchases. This includes computers, office furniture, etc. However, financing such as unsecured business lines of credit can be spent on any business expense. This is why it is important to develop a business plan and at least three years of financial projections. Financial projections outline what the money will be spent on. Knowing what the money will be spent on will help you determine what type of business financing will work best for you.

Need Expert Help? Let Us Assist You

If you still need helping figuring out if borrowing money will be right for your small business startup, Dominion Lending Centres Leasing can help. Our team can advise you and will help you analyze your situation to determine whether or not borrowing money to launch your small business startup makes sense. They will also help you figure out what type of financing will work best for you.

Jennifer Okkerse

Jennifer Okkerse

Dominion Lending Centres - Director of Operations, Leasing Division
Jennifer is part of Dominion Lending Centres Leasing Division based in Port Coquitlam, BC.

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