SBA loan approval process and loan guidelines

Learn about SBA loan guidelines and approval process before applying to ensure fast turnaround of your application

$5 million
6.25% - 8.50%*
10 - 25 years

SBA Loan Guidelines

Contrary to what many people think, the Small Business Administration (SBA) does not make loans directly to small business borrowers. Instead, it guarantees up to 90% of these loans to the lending banks that make them in order to reduce the bank’s risk in providing low-cost capital to small businesses. In turn, the SBA requires small businesses to provide a comprehensive application package to demonstrate their ability to repay the loan.

The SBA provides an 11-item checklist of documentation required to package the application for an SBA loan. It includes statements of personal history and financials, business financials, ownership and affiliations, business licenses, as well as several other documents. For the full list, head to the SBA’s website to learn more. Also, each individual lender adds its own requirements on top of the SBA requirements.

SmartBiz is the #1 online marketplace for SBA loans. Its intelligent technology platform streamlines the application process and matches each eligible small business with the preferred SBA lending bank partner most likely to approve their particular application. To secure an SBA-guaranteed loan, the best strategy in approaching the application is to be well-prepared. The more readily available your relevant documentation is, the faster you can complete the application.

To simplify and expedite the application process, SmartBiz uses intelligent automation to request only those documents that are relevant based on your specific application. The system lets you pre-qualify in only 5 minutes so you know if you are a good candidate for an SBA loan from a SmartBiz marketplace bank before most of the paperwork must be submitted. That means you won’t waste time gathering and uploading unnecessary documents.

Following are some of the most commonly requested documents:

  • Personal & Business Tax Returns
  • Personal Financial Statements, required from each individual owning 20% or more of the company
  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Balance Sheet
  • Collateral

Other documents, such as business licenses, Articles of Incorporation, commercial leases, or franchise agreements, may be requested depending on the particular loan application. An accountant or tax preparer may be able to help gather and file the relevant information.

SBA Loan Approval Process

SmartBiz packages and “stress tests” your SBA loan application before it is sent to one of our preferred SBA lending bank partners for funding. Approximately 90% of all loans referred to our partner banks get funded. Throughout the application process, your dedicated Relationship Manager is available to guide you as you upload the required documentation and provide ongoing feedback on your progress.

Once your application is approved by one of our trusted bank partners, funds can be deposited into your bank account in as fast as 7 days.

The traditional SBA loan application process can take several months of hard work and still end up with a “no”. Instead, we reduce the application time and difficulty significantly while increasing the likelihood of getting to a “yes”. Find out more information on small business loans and apply today.

SBA loans are the best deal going

SmartBiz marketplace banks offer the gold standard for business owners who want to grow their small business.


SmartBiz Loans
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