In this day
and age, more people that have found themselves out of work are going into
entrepreneurship, specifically buying an already existing business. What you
may not know is that obtaining the necessary funds is easier than you think; you
just need to be aware of the options that you have available.
Stay Clear of the Bank
cases, you won’t be able to find funding from traditional lenders such as banks.
They are not business or client friendly, no matter how much they may advertise
decision on their end has nothing to do with the amount of experience that you
may have or your current relationship with them. Unless you’re willing to
collateralize the loan 100% with non-business and personal liquid assets, you
will never see one dollar from them. They will always issue unacceptable terms.
Seller Financing the Norm
acquisitions of small businesses involve seller financing today. Probably over
80% of all deals include some form of financial aid from the previous owner,
where the seller will put down 30-40% of the total purchase price. By providing
backing, the seller validates the viability of the business itself; and is able
to obtain the highest price possible by funding part of the acquisition.
the buyer, you are reassured that the seller is also at risk in the transaction
because of their agreeing to finance. It helps ensure that what you’ve been
told by the seller is true and accurate. It also serves as a mechanism to deal
with situations that may arise later on that come as a result of your actions
where you may need the ability to offset their financing.
as a buyer, you can expect to pay about 6-8% over four to five years. Seller
financing also provides the freedom to be more creative with payment options
than if you were even able to get backing from a bank. You can negotiate a
holiday from any payments for three to six months after closing. You have the
right to make lump sum payments several times a year toward the principal. You
can also arrange for lower payments throughout the loan with a balloon payment
down the road. Finally, while you will have to personally sign the loan
agreement with the seller, you will not have to personally collateralize the
loan. Your lien is against the assets of the business.
Exploring the SBA Option
Small Business Administration (SBA) does is guarantee loans that are made up by
lenders up to a certain amount for small business acquisitions. There are
advantages and disadvantages to obtaining a SBA loan:
- Currently, there’s up to $1.3
million plus additional funding available should it include real estate;
- You have favorable terms for
repayment up to 10 years and higher when real estate is involved;
- You’ll know that the business your
purchasing is solid in condition if it passes SBA qualifications;
- You may not have to fully
collateralize the loan if you have at least 25% equity in your home;
- The loan will finance 70-80% of the
- Most small businesses won’t pass
the SBA requirements;
- The financial review is based upon
the weakest of the past three year’s tax return;
- You have to have demonstrative
experience in the industry that’s similar to the one that you are considering;
- You will have use your home, life
insurance policy (possibly) and your first-born as collateral;
- To complete the entire process can
take up to 90 days.
everything being said, you should explore the option of obtaining a SBA loan.
You’ll want to approach a bank that’s a “preferred SBA lender” – most of whom
have this status. This allows for the banks to approve the loan on their own
without having to submit everything to the SBA. If you choose this route, make
sure that you are precise in asking the lender for timelines to complete the
Best Financing Route to Take
90% of all transactions involve some financing. Only 10% are actual all cash
deals. Even if you’re willing to pay all cash for a business that’s priced for
under $100,000 or receiving a major price reduction of at least 20%, we wouldn’t
advise that route.
a SBA-approved loan does have strict guidelines that will help to confirm the
viability of a business; however, we would only recommend this if you’re buying
a business where you cannot finance the down payment.
Out of all
the options, seller financing is the most popular for obvious reasons – the
flexibility. Most of you’ll be able to obtain favorable terms, and it forces
the seller to share in the risk; something that you won’t find with anywhere