Kick-start your company with SBA financing

Launching and maintaining a small business is not an easy feat. Between organizing, managing and marketing, there's often little time and energy left for raising funds when the need arises. The U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, is a particularly good resource for small businesses, and not just for their financial programs—from helpful tips for an SBA business plan to business counseling, the SBA website may have the solutions you're looking for. Find out what the SBA does and learn about the best financial programs they offer; you may be able to gain welcome insight into your business endeavor as well as a helpful financial boost.

How the Small Business Administration Can Help

From the business plan to employee management, the SBA offers some good resources to keep your business on track and prepared for the competitive market. If you've not yet decided whether you're ready to pledge the time and effort that a small business demands, you can browse through some insightful articles on the SBA website; if you're committed to your idea and itching to get started, you'll likely be more interested in the financing options the association has to offer. For managers who are concerned with how laws may affect their business, take advantage of the comprehensive advocacy section.

Are You Eligible for SBA Financing?

Generally, small businesses need to draw on several resources for capital, though loans and grants can make up a large part of the financing. Whether you're starting up or expanding your company, the SBA may be able to help you reach your goal. However, don't expect to apply and obtain a grant directly from the SBA—instead, you typically need to go through another lender to access SBA financing.

SBA loan programs essentially offer a guarantee to lenders, making it less risky for them to loan you the money you need. Different programs are intended for different business needs: the popular 7(a) loan program is geared to those who need working capital and for asset purchases, while the 7(m) Microloan program is designed for a broad range of purposes. And while eligibility will vary for each SBA loan, all programs are generally targeted at small companies with at least a couple of years of financial statements showing their progress.

If you think an SBA program may be an option, begin by visiting a reputable lender with your questions and your business records—they'll be able to determine a good course of action and provide some insight into any SBA programs that may help your company.

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