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Financing A Business Purchase - What Are Your Options?


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 AuthorPeter 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 925-785-3118.

Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Business Purchase Financing, Small Business Financing







  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Brad Steinberg, Business Broker: Laundromat Specialist

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.

Shalonda Chappel-Pilgram: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Janet Carrera: Escrow & Bulk Sale Service - 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.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - CA

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.

Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - San Francisco 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

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.


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