A Closer Look at Small Business Loans in Oklahoma

Table of Contents:
What is the Small Business Administration?
Essentials for Oklahoma Small Business Owners
How Do You Determine Your Eligibility for Small Business Loans in Oklahoma?
What Should I Prepare to Apply for an Oklahoma Small Business Loan?
TEDC Creative Capital’s Personalized Assistance

There are many factors to consider when starting up (and maintaining) your very own small business. You might think, where do I even start? What’s my best option? Who can help me achieve my dreams? In this article, we’ll discuss the Small Business Administration, loan eligibility, application requirements, and customer service options so you can cease worrying and start planning for a thriving business venture. 

What is the Small Business Administration?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a United States government agency and financial institution that provides wrap-around loan services for small businesses. Its primary purpose is to assist, counsel, aid and protect the interests of entrepreneurs and small businesses in a variety of ways.

Providing access to capital is one of the foremost purposes of the SBA. By offering several loan programs, the SBA helps small businesses secure funding when they need it most. This funding can aid in crucial ways, such as purchasing equipment, refinancing debt, creating capital, and more. 

Options such as the SBA-504 loan and a microloan are available to small business owners in Oklahoma in need of capital to offset business expenses. The SBA-504 loan is a two-part loan program offered in partnership with the SBA to help small businesses purchase large capital assets like land, buildings, and long-life equipment. However, sometimes only a little bit is needed to propel the business in the right direction. That’s where microloans come into play by allowing business owners to purchase furniture for their new office space, acquire inventory and supplies, or pay employees. 

The SBA also offers business counseling and training services through an extensive network of Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE Chapters. Each of these divisions offers low-cost or free training, mentoring, and consulting services to help entrepreneurs start, manage, and grow their small businesses.

Essentials for Oklahoma Small Business Owners

In addition to the various loan options to consider for your small business, you should also understand what qualifies as a small business in the United States, including Oklahoma. Additionally, qualifications vary depending on the industry and criteria of a variety of metrics including the number of employees. 

As a small business owner in Oklahoma, it’s essential to be knowledgeable of the size standards set by the SBA. A size standard represents the largest a business can be to remain classified as a small business and qualify for SBA programs and assistance. 

Furthermore, the definition of “small” varies by industry. For example, industries such as manufacturing, mining, printing, and more can have anywhere from 100 employees to 1,500 employees and still be considered small businesses. On the other hand, certain wholesale trade businesses may only be allowed 100-250 employees at most. 

Size standards can change over time, and different programs and agencies may utilize different definitions of a small business. For the most accurate information regarding small business size standards, contact the SBA’s Oklahoma District Office.

In addition to size standards, it is also important to note the various kinds of insurance a small business should have to provide protection and promote smooth operation. Some common insurance options include general liability insurance, property insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, business interruption insurance, and more. Each of these plans works to ensure that the small business is covered in cases such as third-party bodily injury, property damage, disaster, theft, fire, employee injury, and so on. 

How Do You Determine Your Eligibility for Small Business Loans in Oklahoma?

So you’re thinking about taking that first step, but you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for small business loans. While the criteria can vary from lender to lender, here are just a few key points to consider in determining your eligibility for a small business loan: 

1. Credit score. Your personal and business credit history and score are important factors that lenders consider when assessing your eligibility for a small business loan. The higher the score, the more likely you are to secure the right loan for you and your business.

2. Payment history. The record of a borrower’s payments on their credit card accounts, previous or current loans, and any other debts accrued matters when it comes to creditworthiness. Late, missed, or delinquent payments can negatively impact credit scores and therefore impact the ability to acquire loan approval. 

3. Business plan. Lenders want to see a solid course of action before agreeing to provide funds for the project. Make sure your business plan accounts for everything–business goals, financial projections, target market–and demonstrates your ability to manage and grow your business successfully. 

4. Purpose of loan. Whether you’re starting a new project, expanding a current project, or refinancing debt, there are different kinds of loans tailored to your specific business needs. The purpose of the loan influences the lender’s judgment on finding the right loan for you, such as an SBA loan or a microloan. 

5. Collateral. Some loans may require collateral to back the loan in case of default. Business assets such as real estate, inventory, or equipment could be considered collateral. 

6. Business cash flow. Consistent and positive cash flow is an essential factor in determining loan eligibility. Lenders want to be sure that your business will be lucrative enough to repay the loan.

What Should I Prepare to Apply for an Oklahoma Small Business Loan?

There are, of course, more factors to consider outside of eligibility. The following documents support your small business loan application and determine your ability to repay a loan:

Statement of personal history. SBA Form 912 asks that small business loan applicants supply personal information which is then used to investigate background and evaluate character.

Personal financial statement. SBA Form 413 collects information about the applicant’s personal finances, like assets, liability, and sources of income. It also determines the applicant’s repayment ability and creditworthiness.

Business financial statements. These statements must be included to support your small business loan application and determine your ability to repay a loan: Year-end profit and loss, year-end balance sheet, projected financial statements, reconciliation of net worth, interim balance sheet, and interim profit and loss statements.

Your loan application history, income tax returns, resumés, business overview and history, and business lease are also required to determine your eligibility for a small business loan.

TEDC Creative Capital’s Personalized Assistance

Creating and/or maintaining your business is no small feat. That’s why it’s important to feel confident that you’re taking all the right steps to ensure the best outcome. Having someone to help you along the way, someone who is providing excellent customer service and personalized assistance makes the process even more manageable. 

TEDC Creative Capital, an organization charged with promoting and sustaining small business growth in Tulsa, navigates funding opportunities and offers education customized to small business needs. 

Funding opportunities with TEDC Creative Capital can help you recruit employees, attain essential equipment, and establish a commercial space for your business to thrive. TEDC Creative Capital offers personalized customer service with its dedicated team, ensuring you are well-prepared for every stage in your entrepreneurial journey.

If your small business needs financial backing to advance to the next level of growth, apply with TEDC Creative Capital today and get started on the most important journey of your life.