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Franchise Loans 101
Posted on November 12, 2010 by My Franchise Law

When purchasing a new franchise, there are several expenses that you may need to obtain financing for. You will be required to pay an up-front franchise fee, and then you will need additional funds to build, purchase supplies, and market your business – all before you see a dime of revenue in return.  Trying to obtain a franchise loan is a good way to cover these initial expenses, and help keep you afloat until you become profitable.

There are two main types of franchise loans available: traditional loans and small business administration loans (SBA). Traditional loans are offered by specific lenders (such as banks or other financial institutions) through their individual programs and criteria, whereas SBA loans are offered by the rules established under the federally-run SBA agency.

Generally, traditional loans are more difficult to qualify for, and lenders will thoroughly examine a potential borrower’s credit history, business plan, experience, and collateral before they make their decision.  Because of the high failure rate of new businesses during the first two years of operation (approximately 30 percent), these lenders will fund only those businesses they believe will have a high chance of success.

Conversely, SBA loans can be easier to qualify for, but there are several steps borrowers must take in order to increase their chances of acceptance. A strong business plan will be weighted more heavily than personal experience, and if experience is lacking, having a team of advisors (including a franchise lawyer, accountant, and consultant) will show that you are armed with the experience of franchise professionals in order to succeed.  A borrower with a quality team of advisors and strong support system is more likely to be considered for the loan. In addition, to qualify for a SBA loan, the business franchise you are considering must meet certain criteria. It must be a for-profit business located within the United States, have earnings below $13.5 million in retail sales, and must adhere to human rights laws that disallow discrimination against employees or customers based on age, race, or sex.

 

External Resources

Small Business Administration

A government resource for finding information on planning, mentoring, and strategies for franchises and small businesses.
SBA Small Business Planner

USA.gov Business Gateway

Resources for every step in planning your business or non-profit, from getting your EIN to handling wages.  
USA.gov Business Gateway

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