Getting a Working Capital Loan for Your Business
January 2, 2024 •Oak Street Funding
As a registered investment advisor (RIA), a certified public accountant (CPA), or an insurance agent, you may need working capital loans to grow your practice, hire staff, invest in technology, or cover seasonal fluctuations. In this blog post, we will explore some of the working capital loan options for your industry and how to apply for them. After all, the more working capital you have, the better you’re able to make the investments you need to grow your business.
Types of working capital loans
Commercial loans to support the working capital needs of businesses like yours fall into two types: loan vs line of credit. With a working capital loan, you borrow an amount of money for a period of time at an interest rate, and you typically make monthly payments. A working capital line of credit is different. It’s an agreement between you and the lender that they will lend you up to a certain limit immediately, anytime you ask. The money is there, but only when you need it.
How to determine which financing option you need
Working capital loans are often the right choice for a single large expenditure, such as for an acquisition of another business or a major technology upgrade. Working capital lines of credit allow you to access extra capital when needs arise or when you need capital quickly to take advantage of short-term opportunities. You've already been approved, so the lender will make the funding available quickly.
Advantages of working capital loans
Obtaining working capital financing for business owners provides several advantages:
- Quick access. Working capital loans are typically more straightforward than with many other types of loans, so it takes less time from applying to receiving the capital you need.
- Flexible use. You can use the proceeds of your working capital financing in nearly any way you choose. Share your objectives, and we’ll help you determine the best approach.
- Boost cash flow. Profit may be the target, but cash flow is the lifeblood that gets you there, and working capital credit can provide a healthy boost to yours.
How to apply for working capital loan
Many financial companies are eager to provide working capital loans, but few have the familiarity with your industry’s unique needs to help them structure the best working capital funding plan.
Finding potential lenders
Most traditional commercial banks aren’t completely comfortable making working capital loans that aren’t protected by physical collateral. That’s why you may prefer to work with a specialized lender who focuses on companies like yours.
Partner with your lender
Lenders need to understand your business and business plan and review your current and future financial situation to decide if your request is creditworthy. By working as a partner with your lender, you'll be able to shorten the time it takes for an approval decision. They'll need basic information about your plans and the following documents:
- Financial statements for the past 2-3 years;
- Company tax returns for the past two years;
- Pro-forma financials that forecast the expected future revenue; and
- Personal financial statements that establish the financial character of stakeholders.
What to look for in a lender
As mentioned earlier, there are advantages to working with a lender who focuses on the needs of RIAs, CPAs, and insurance agency owners. For example, Oak Street Funding specializes in providing working capital loans and other types of credit to companies like yours, with loans and lines of credit created around the realities of your industry. Because we know you'll use the funding to grow your business, our lending is based on your future cash flows.
With recent news of bank failures, it’s also important to make sure your lender is financially stable. Well-managed companies maintain diversified portfolios and sound management practices so they're able to lend during both booming and challenging economic times. That's how they can keep their liquidity and borrowing capacity high.
Look for a financial partner with a higher-than-average capital-to-asset ratio (the national average is 8.62%) and the ability to keep their existing portfolio stable because of prudent underwriting and due diligence. Finally, well-managed lenders also emphasize customer service, because any kind of business loan involves a long-term working relationship.
Oak Street Funding can make loans of up to $50 million without requiring a lien on personal assets or a spousal guarantee. In addition, Oak Street Funding will own and service the loan throughout its term and will not sell it to another organization. Clients will be assigned an account manager, who will work with them for the life of their loan. Learn more at oakstreetservicing.com.
Disclaimer: Please note, Oak Street Funding does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not a statement of fact or recommendation, does not constitute an offer for a loan, professional or legal or tax advice or legal opinion and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining valuation services or professional, legal or tax advice.