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Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) are a specific kind of business structure in the United States. Organized in the owner’s primary state of residence, an LLC is relatively straightforward to establish and a popular choice for small business owners.
As they complete the LLC loan shopping process, business owners can start gathering the documentation they’ll need to apply for loans. Be aware that different types of LLC loans and different lenders may have differing documentation requirements.
Documents about yourself
Because small business owners’ personal and business finances are so often intertwined — even with LLCs — lenders may want to see substantial information about your personal finances before approving you for a loan. Be prepared to provide:
- Your name
- Your address (and, if different, your business address)
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Personal bank statements
- Personal tax returns
Documents about your business
Lenders want to know if your business can afford to repay your loan and is stable. They also want to make sure you’re actually the owner. Collect:
- Business tax returns for the last three years, if available
- Receipts from quarterly tax payments
- Profit and loss statements, plus other cash flow documentation
- Business tax ID number or EIN: This acts much like a Social Security number for payments and tax documents. You can apply for one online through the IRS.
- Business licenses and permits, if applicable
- Foundational documents, including articles of organization
- Outstanding invoices, especially if you’re applying for invoice factoring or financing
Documents for SBA LLC loans
U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans typically require additional documentation, including SBA-issued forms. Borrowers should also be prepared to provide:
- A summary of the business history and its challenges, as well as information about how an SBA loan will help the business.
- Business lease information, if this applies.
- Projected financial statements and/or a financial plan for the future.
- SBA forms: The SBA has its own application forms you must complete, depending on the loan. For example, 7(a) loans require form 1919 and form 1920. You can download these from the SBA’s website.
You may not need these documents — check with your lender if you’re unsure.
- Documents supporting information about business collateral, if you’re applying for a secured loan. These may include vehicle titles, real estate documents, equipment information, and bank account statements. Be prepared to provide appraisal information to substantiate the value of your assets.
- Your business plan: Lenders may or may not ask for this document, but it is helpful to have prepared and on hand.
The bottom line
In many cases, LLC loans will require the same documentation as other business loans. The documentation required for a loan will vary depending on your lender — traditional lenders often have more extensive requirements than online ones, for example.
Regardless, having as much information as possible prepared before you apply can help the process to move as efficiently as it can.