The ability to get the financing you need to launch your gas station or convenience store starts with the proper documentation to apply for the loan. Whether you're applying for an SBA loan or a conventional loan, there are a few documents you'll be required to provide to the lender.
Here, we've outlined the best place to start when creating your loan portfolio.
WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE NEEDED WHEN APPLYING FOR A BUSINESS LOAN?
You may not know exactly what each lender requires before starting the application process. Still, you can organize your paperwork now to make it easier to find later on. Then, when it's time to assemble your documents, everything you need will be close at hand.
Commercial lenders may have individual requirements, but you can generally expect to provide the following:
- Business plan: Your business plan should include project cost estimates and monthly projections for 36 months.
- Project-related documentation, including purchase agreement, lease, title report, bids, plans, etc.
- Formation and corporate documents
- Business tax returns for the past three years
- Interim financial statements: P&L and balance sheet from the past 90 days
- Personal financial statement
- Personal tax returns for the past three years
- Paperwork for other businesses if you own 20% or more, including tax returns, current interim financials, and a notes payable schedule for each business
PREPARE YOUR PAPERWORK FOR SBA LOANS
If you want to apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA), prepare for a paperwork-intensive application process. The SBA loan program makes financing a small business possible for many applicants that may have difficulty getting approved for a traditional commercial loan. While the process involves much paperwork, many entrepreneurs find the application process worth it for the terms and guarantees.
The SBA doesn't lend money directly, but they guarantee a portion of the loan so lenders can offer some of the lowest interest rates available. Depending on your project, you may also have access to longer commercial real estate repayment terms of up to 25 years with an SBA loan.
For some borrowers, the SBA may require you to provide an equity investment in the business or to provide collateral as protection.
They will also need a great deal of personal information like previous addresses, names you've used, and credit history.
SBA Form 912
Applicants must provide a completed SBA Form 912 (Statement of Personal History), a one-page form necessary to get approved for an SBA loan. The information included with Form 912 provides your potential lender and the SBA with information about your criminal history, indebtedness, and details about current or past government financing.
If you are in default on a government-backed loan (like student loans) or if you've been convicted of a felony, you may not be eligible for an SBA loan. This form facilitates background checks to help the SBA further evaluate you as an applicant.
SBA Form 1919
SBA Form 1919 is another document that the SBA requires to process your loan. This form provides information about the Small Business Applicant and its owners, the loan request, existing indebtedness, information about current or previous government financing, and certain other topics as part of an SBA 7(a) loan application.
Don't go it alone. Experts can help you with the complicated process of getting financing for your business. No matter which forms you file, it's crucial to double- and triple-check your work to make sure you didn't leave out information or make a mistake.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE LOAN PROCESS
Getting the loan you need to start your gas station or convenience store can take time. When you prepare by gathering your documents ahead of time, you help the lender move through their vetting process more efficiently.
Even if you do everything right, it may seem like the process takes a long time. Having a great broker on your side to walk you through each step of the loan process can help you get the money you need.
A broker can also help you avoid common mistakes that could cause a lender to deny your application. The volume of paperwork required to get a commercial loan or SBA loan can seem intimidating. An experienced loan expert on hand to help you can speed up the process and help you secure the financing you need.
USING A DEDICATED BROKER
Your lender may have in-house loan representatives that can also help you, but it's important to remember that these loan experts work on behalf of the bank. Their job is to minimize the lender's potential risk by deciding whether to lend you the money you need for your business. A dedicated broker, like PetroCal, works for you in pursuit of your financial goals.
A broker with gas station experience can help you by leveraging long-standing relationships with nationwide lender networks, making the process smoother for you.
If you are ready to start obtaining the financing you need for your next venture, download our checklist right away to guide you as you assemble the necessary documents and paperwork to begin applying for loans.