Financing a business purchase, or getting cash for a down payment can take many forms. Hopefully the options listed below will give you some ideas where you can find the money to buy a California small business!
Credit Cards - any buyers these days are tapping their credit cards for their down payment to buy a business. The downside of this option is that if you are getting an SBA loan to buy a business, they won’t let you use “a credit card/loan - borrowed money” for the down payment. Other than that this option works for many since there is no waiting for the money or cumbersome approval process.
SBA Loans - Businesses can also be purchased with 7(a) SBA loans. There are conditions however in getting one to buy a business. You still have to put down between 20%-30% depending on the lender, you must have good to excellent credit, and the business has to have PROVABLE cash flow to support the debt service of the loan. The loans are typically 10 years in duration and the loan interest rate tend to be 2-2.75 points above the prime interest rate. Assistance in obtaining an SBA loan is encouraged due to the complexities that can be involved in obtaining one for buying a business.
Home Equity - With home equity not where it once was in California many potential buyers of small businesses are not able to tap this form of financing. If you are able to borrow against your home equity it is a good idea to plan ahead before you get to the offer stage since the approval process can take some time.
Owner Financing - This is the most common form of financing. Usually the buyer will put down 20% - 50% (utilizing one of the methods above), and the owner will carry back a note for a duration of usually two to ten years. Interest rates vary but they usually will be higher than banks or commercial resources. Sometime there will be "combo" financing with the owner taking back a partial note and the rest of the financing will come from the above resources.
Retirement Plans - Many buyers have built up sizeable amounts in their work 401(k) plans. There is a way to tap this money tax free - put it into a "special trust" that then buys the business for you. Many corporate refuges/individuals coming out of corporate America are going this route.
Note Buy Out Firms - There are companies and individuals who buy notes sellers have taken back. Get your possible deal in front of these individuals to see if they would be interested in buying out the note after you have completed the deal - this may sway some sellers who want all cash for their deal and don’t know about this creative financing option!
They key to all this is to be creative - possible tapping several of these sources to get your deal done. With all these resources along with cash in the bank and possible some relatives who may want to invest in your new business - you should have no problems with the financing end of buying a business!
About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder of BizBen.com and the Director of the BizBen Network. A recognized author (3 books and a syndicated small business blog) and expert consultant on selling and buying California small businesses, he provides phone counseling to potential business buyers, business brokers, agents, and small business owners. Peter Siegel can be reached at 866-270-6278.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists
PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.
|Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area
McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.
|Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services
Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.
|Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services
California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.
|Ranvir S. Sandhu, Esq. - Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers
I've worked at top Bay Area law firms and have extensive experience with business entity formation, mergers, dissolutions, conversions, employment matters, including experience in reviewing and negotiating transactional documents such as leases and purchase agreements.
|Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses
Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.
|Joe Sandbank, Esq. - Legal Services
I have provided legal counsel to business buyers, sellers and brokers for over 17 years. With prior experience as a business broker and SBA loan officer, Joe brings both a practical and legal approach to all aspects of the business acquisition process.
|Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area
Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.
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