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About Business Loan Strategies

This is usually especially difficult if there is no commercial real estate as collateral for buying a business opportunity. Commercial borrowers should anticipate that business financing choices will be substantially different in comparison to a business acquisition that can be financed with a commercial real estate loan when buying a business opportunity that does not involve commercial property.

The suggestions and advice in this commentary build upon commercial loan covenants that are commonly provided by commercial lenders willing to offer commercial financing throughout much of the United States for buying a business opportunity. There will often be various private financing scenarios in which the seller might be willing to wholly finance a business opportunity acquisition, and we will not attempt to discuss those commercial loan possibilities in this commentary.

Length of Business Loan to Expect When Buying a Business Opportunity

Business loan terms to buy a business will typically include a shorter amortization period than commercial real estate financing. A ten-year maximum term is common, and even that length of business financing is likely to require a commercial lease of at least ten years.

Likely Interest Rates to Buy a Business Opportunity

In the current business loan interest rate environment, the likely range for buying a business opportunity is 11 to 12 percent. To put this in perspective, it is not unusual for a commercial mortgage to be in the 10 to 11 percent range. The cost of business financing to buy a business is routinely higher than the cost of a commercial mortgage due to the lack of commercial property for lender collateral in a business opportunity transaction.

Down Payment Requirements for Buying a Business Opportunity

A typical down payment for business financing to buy a business opportunity is 20 to 25 percent depending on the type of business and other relevant issues. Some financing from the seller will be viewed as helpful by a commercial lender, and seller financing might also decrease the business opportunity down payment requirement.

Refinancing Alternatives After Buying a Business Opportunity

A critical commercial loan term to expect when acquiring a business opportunity is that refinancing business opportunity financing will routinely be more problematic than the acquisition business loan. There are presently a few business financing programs being developed that are likely to improve future business refinancing alternatives. It is of critical importance to arrange the best terms when buying the business and not rely upon business opportunity refinancing possibilities until these new commercial financing options are finalized.

Avoiding Problem Lenders When Buying a Business Opportunity

Most commercial borrowers are likely to consider the most important part of the commercial loan process for buying a business to be the choice of a business lender. Not to be overlooked is the importance of avoiding lenders that are not generally successful in finalizing business opportunity financing.

Commercial borrowers are likely to avoid many other commercial financing difficulties usually involved with buying a business opportunity by eliminating problem lenders from consideration. Eliminating problematic lenders will be critical to the immediate success of the business financing efforts as well as to the future financial condition of the business being purchased.