Buying a business opportunity is likely to be an extremely challenging task when arranging the business loan. This is largely due to the usual lack of commercial property as collateral for the business financing to buy a business opportunity. When buying a business that does not include commercial real estate, business borrowers need to realize that business loan options will be greatly reduced in comparison to a business purchase that can be financed with a commercial mortgage.
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
When purchasing a business opportunity, commercial loan terms will almost always include a reduced amortization period in comparison to a commercial real estate loan. A business loan term of ten years is normal, and that length of loan is likely to be tied to a requirement that the commercial lease will not expire before the loan matures.
Likely Business Loan Interest Rates to Buy a Business Opportunity
The likely range to buy a business opportunity is 11 to 12 percent in the present commercial loan interest rate circumstances. This is a reasonable level for business opportunity borrowing since it is not unusual for a commercial real estate loan to be in the 10-11 percent area. Because of the lack of commercial property for lender collateral in a small business opportunity transaction, the cost of a business loan to acquire a business is routinely higher than the cost of a commercial property loan.
Business Loan Down Payment Requirements for Buying a Business Opportunity
Although there will be variations based on the type of business and several other factors, a common down payment requirement for a commercial loan to buy a small business opportunity is 20-25 percent. The presence of seller financing might lessen the down payment needed to acquire a small business opportunity.
Buying a Business Opportunity – Business Loan Refinancing Options
A related business loan issue to anticipate when buying a business is that refinancing the business opportunity loan terms will normally be even more difficult than the original business financing. There are currently some new business loan programs in the final stages of development that could dramatically improve future refinancing options. But until these new business financing options are finalized, it is important to arrange the best possible terms initially and not depend upon refinancing possibilities.
Avoiding Problem Lenders When Buying a Business Opportunity
The selection of a commercial lender might be the most important phase of the business financing process for buying a business. An equally important task is avoiding lenders that are unable to finalize a commercial loan for buying a business.
By avoiding such lenders, commercial borrowers are likely to avoid many other business financing problems frequently associated with buying a business opportunity. Avoiding problem lenders will be instrumental to the eventual success of both the business loan process and the long-term financial health of the business being acquired.