What Kind of Loan Do I Need to Buy an Existing Business?

Maryland couple in the bank with loan officerBuying an existing business is a fast-tracked way to become an entrepreneur. An established customer base and ongoing operations places you a step ahead. Loans can be a financial bridge to enable a seamless transition to business ownership.

Let's explore the different business loan options and how to choose the right one for your purchase.

Why Buy an Existing Business?

Acquiring an existing business allows you to sidestep many of the challenges new startups face. One benefit is lower risk. Instead of starting from scratch, you assume an operation with an established track record that likely provides an immediate cash flow.

Different Types of Loans for Buying a Business

When purchasing an existing business, there are several loan options:

  • SBA 7(a) Loans. These loans are backed, in part, by the government, giving banks greater confidence in lending. They offer flexible terms and are often used for buying businesses.
  • Conventional Bank Loans. These are standard loans obtained through a bank. They usually require strong credit and a significant down payment.
  • Business Lines of Credit. With this flexible loan, you can borrow a predetermined amount of money as needed.
  • Equipment Financing. Unlike other loans, this loan specifically covers the cost of business related machines and tools.
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit. If you own a home, you can borrow against its value to fund the business purchase.

Each loan type has benefits and drawbacks making it necessary to decide which one best aligns with your needs.

How to Determine the Right Loan Type for You

Purchasing an established business offers a fast track to entrepreneurship. Loans often play a central role in making business ownership a reality. Here's how to select the loan that's right for you.

  1. Evaluate the Business Cost. Determine the cost and value of the business you want to acquire. The actual cost includes the asking price plus extra expenses, including inventory and equipment.
  2. Assess Your Credit Score. A higher score can often mean better loan terms. However, if your score is low, consider improving it before applying for a loan.
  3. Consider Repayment Terms. Shorter terms often mean less interest but higher monthly payments. Choose a plan that reasonably accommodates your budget.

Application Process

Securing a loan requires several steps to make sure you're presenting yourself as a solid candidate for loan approval.

  1. Gather Documents. The first step is to collect required documentation. Prepare your business and personal tax returns, financial statements, and business plan.
  2. Consult a Financial Advisor. A financial expert can guide you through all loan options to help you understand which one best your needs.
  3. Reach Out to Lenders. Speak with representatives with multiple banks or loan agencies. Compare the terms they offer to find the best deal.
  4. Submit an Application. Once you've chosen a lender, complete the loan application. This often requires the documents you collected earlier.
  5. Wait and Review. After submitting, you'll wait for approval. If approved, be certain you understand the repayment terms before signing.

Risks and Mitigations

A business loan is a significant decision. Knowing the possible challenges and how to manage them can prevent future issues.

  • attractive beautiful female entrepreneur fund borrower crazy joyful ecstatic face gesture hand yes feeling amazedVariable Interest Rates. These rates may start low, making them tempting. But these can rise later, putting your business at financial risk. Know the terms before you choose.
  • Collateral Risk. Many loans require collateral, which could be surrendered if you default on the loan. To offset this risk, have a firm plan in place to avoid collateral loss. Use collateral you are willing to part with, or find a loan option that doesn't require collateral.
  • Long-Term Commitment. Loans usually require a long-term commitment, making it essential to understand the full cost of the loan. To handle this, carefully review the repayment terms and understand all fees. Additionally, make a strategic projection of future sales and costs to gauge how rate changes might impact your business.
  • Economic Factors. External factors, including market crashes or pandemics, could affect your ability to repay the loan. To protect yourself, have an emergency fund in place.
  • Credit Score Impact. Failure to repay will harm your credit score. Always make repayments on time to safeguard your financial reputation.
  • Equity. A certain percentage of equity will likely be required. Not only does this protect the lender, it also helps ensure that debt payments are in line with projected cash flow.

By paying close attention during the application process and being aware of potential risks, you're more likely to choose a loan that suits your needs while sidestepping potential pitfalls.

Take the Next Steps With a Partner Bank

This knowledge equips you to move forward in a thoughtful and confident manner. Now, the next steps await. For personalized financial guidance tailored to your situation, especially if you're based in Maryland, Woodsboro Bank is your go-to resource.

Speak with a local loan specialist to answer all of your questions about a business loan. Contact Woodsboro Bank today to learn more.

Skip to content