The Best Funding For Women Owned Businesses
We scoured the internet for the very best funding for women owned businesses. There are a number of fantastic choices which women can make use of today.
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: Collateral-Based Financing
Collateral-based financing offers low rate financing. Personal credit quality and profits don’t determine your approval. Some accepted collateral includes:
- Account receivables and purchase orders
- 401k, IRA, stocks, and bonds
The idea behind collateral-based funding is that a lender needs an assurance. For the creditor, a great assurance that you will pay back funding is when your property is at risk if you don’t.
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: Cash Flow and Unsecured Financing
Cash flow financing is another great loan program for women, if you’ve been in business one year or more and have $10,000 in monthly revenue.
Unsecured financing is readily available for female small business owners, for up to $150,000. You can get an approval if you have good personal credit, and get 0% intro rates for 6-18 months … even as a startup.
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: The Small Business Administration
The SBA offers some terrific loan programs including their 7( a) loan for working capital. To get approved you’ll have to have:.
- 3 years of company and personal tax returns
- Good personal, business, and bank credit
- Collateral for 50-70% of what you’re borrowing
The SBA Express program is a great loan program for women. You can get approved for a loan up to $350,000. Get rates of 4.5-6.5%. Get a line-of-credit good for 7 years. No collateral is required for up to $25,000. There is a turn-around in 36 hours.
SBA’s Women’s Business Centers
They can help you get access to capital. See: https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/wbc
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)
For women who are also military veterans, the Veterans Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) is an SBA funded program offered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families which includes online training, a conference that utilizes the unique team spirit of women veterans and female military spouses, and follow-on mentoring through a community of partners.
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: Amber Grants
$1,000 to a different women-owned business each month. At the end of the year, one of the monthly grant winners gets $10,000 more. See: https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/get-an-amber-grant/
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: Alternative Lenders
If you have decent personal credit and tax returns for 2 years that show a profit, alternative lenders have programs that could work. You could be approved with rates of 7% or lower. Lenders will need to see some kind of profit on your tax returns.
There’s also business credit building!
Learn more here and get started toward building business credit.
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: Small Business Credit Building
Business credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t attach to an entrepreneur’s consumer credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the only employee of the company.
Accordingly, a business owner’s business and personal credit scores can be very different.
Considering that company credit is distinct from individual, it helps to secure a business owner’s personal assets, in the event of court action or business insolvency.
Also, with two distinct credit scores, an entrepreneur can get two different cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles purchasing power.
Another benefit is that even startup companies can do this. Heading to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for frustration. But building business credit, when done properly, is a plan for success.
Individual credit scores rely on payments but also various other considerations like credit usage percentages.
But for small business credit, the scores actually merely hinge on if a company pays its bills promptly. It is a terrific source of funding for women owned businesses.
Growing small business credit is a process, and it does not occur automatically. A business has to proactively work to establish company credit.
Nonetheless, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much speedier than developing individual credit scores.
Vendors are a big aspect of this process.
Carrying out the steps out of order will cause repetitive rejections. Nobody can start at the top with small business credit. For instance, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a denial 100% of the time.
A small business needs to be fundable to lenders and merchants.
Hence, a company will need a professional-looking website and email address. And it needs to have website hosting from a merchant like GoDaddy.
And also, business telephone and fax numbers need to have a listing on ListYourself.net.
Also, the company phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or similar).
A business will also need a bank account devoted solely to it, and it must have every one of the licenses essential for running.
These licenses all must be in the correct, appropriate name of the company. And they must have the same small business address and telephone numbers.
So keep in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.
Learn more here and get started toward building business credit.
Dealing with the IRS
Visit the IRS website and get an EIN for the small business. They’re free of charge. Pick a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.
A business can start off as a sole proprietor. But they will more than likely want to change to a form of corporation or an LLC.
This is in order to decrease risk. And it will make best use of tax benefits.
A business entity will matter when it involves tax obligations and liability in case of a lawsuit. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.
Sole Proprietors Take Note
If you operate a business as a sole proprietor, then at least be sure to file for a DBA. This is ‘doing business as’ status.
If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the company name. Because of this, you can wind up being directly accountable for all small business financial obligations.
Plus, per the IRS, by having this structure there is a 1 in 7 chance of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 probability for corporations! Prevent confusion and noticeably decrease the odds of an IRS audit as well.
Kicking Off the Business Credit Reporting Process
Start at the D&B website and obtain a totally free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a business into their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s sites for the company. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.
This way, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.
Vendor Credit Tier
First you must build trade lines that report. This is also called the vendor credit tier. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.
And with an established business credit profile and score you can start to get credit in the retail and cash credit tiers.
These kinds of accounts often tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are in most cases Net 30, instead of revolving.
So, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you need to pay that money back in a set term, like within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts need to be paid fully within 60 days. In contrast to with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you have to pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.
To launch your business credit profile properly, you ought to get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting agencies. Once that’s done, you can then use the credit.
Then repay what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.
Vendor Credit Tier – It Helps
Not every vendor can help in the same way true starter credit can. These are merchants that will grant an approval with minimal effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
You want 5 to 8 of these to move onto the next step, which is the retail credit tier. But you may have to apply more than one time to these vendors. So, this is to demonstrate you are dependable and will pay promptly. Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/
Retail Credit Tier
Once there are 5 to 8 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then progress to the retail credit tier. These are service providers which include Office Depot and Staples.
Just use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the business’s EIN on these credit applications.
One example is Lowe’s. They report to D&B, Equifax and Business Experian. They need to see a D-U-N-S and a PAYDEX score of 78 or more.
Fleet Credit Tier
Are there 8 to 10 accounts reporting? Then move to the fleet credit tier. These are companies like BP and Conoco. Use this credit to buy fuel, and to repair, and maintain vehicles. Just use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make certain to apply using the small business’s EIN.
One such example is Shell. They report to D&B and Business Experian. They want to see a PAYDEX Score of 78 or more and a 411 small business telephone listing.
Shell may say they want a certain amount of time in business or profits. But if you already have adequate vendor accounts, that won’t be necessary. And you can still get an approval.
Learn more here and get started toward building business credit.
Cash Credit Tier
Have you been responsibly handling the credit you’ve up to this point? Then progress to the cash credit tier. These are service providers like Visa and MasterCard. Only use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.
One example is the Fuelman MasterCard. They report to D&B and Equifax Business. They want to see a PAYDEX Score of 78 or higher. And they also want you to have 10 trade lines reporting on your D&B report.
Plus, they want to see a $10,000 high credit limit reporting on your D&B report (other account reporting).
In addition, they want you to have an established small business.
These are companies such as Walmart and Dell, and also Home Depot, BP, and Racetrac. These are usually MasterCard credit cards. If you have 14 trade accounts reporting, then these are in reach.
Monitor Your Business Credit
Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the habit of taking a look at credit reports and digging into the details, and not just the scores.
We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less than it would cost you at the CRAs. See: www.creditsuite.com/monitoring.
At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business. Equifax will cost about $19.99.
Update Your Data
Update the information if there are inaccuracies or the info is incomplete.
Fix Your Business Credit
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to contest any mistakes in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs generally want you to dispute in a particular way.
Disputing credit report errors commonly means you send a paper letter with copies of any proofs of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the original copies. Always send copies and keep the originals.
Fixing credit report errors also means you precisely detail any charges you contest. Make your dispute letter as understandable as possible. Be specific about the issues with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.
A Word about Building Business Credit
Always use credit smartly! Never borrow beyond what you can pay off. Keep track of balances and deadlines for payments. Paying off on time and fully will do more to boost business credit scores than pretty much anything else.
Growing company credit pays. Excellent business credit scores help a small business get loans. Your lending institution knows the company can pay its financial obligations. They know the business is for real.
The small business’s EIN connects to high scores and lenders won’t feel the need to call for a personal guarantee.
Funding for Women Owned Businesses: Takeaways
Get creative and grab the best funding for women owned businesses around!