Financing Options for Your MA or RI Business or Startup

You have a knock-out idea and you’re ready to start a business. But how will you fund it? You have plenty of options, but you need the proper approach. Even if you’re asking your mom for help, you need to determine how much money you need and how long that amount will last. Creating a robust business plan, while not required for all financing options, is always a good exercise for testing the viability of your idea.

When you need money to launch a new business or a startup, consider these business financing options.

Business financing money from family & friends

Friends and family are a logical and popular financial resource for new entrepreneurs—but tread carefully. Loan repayments can be a tremendous source of stress if terms aren’t laid out clearly. If you’re thinking of going this route, read up on the Small Business Administration’s list of six tips for borrowing from friends and family. Be sure to do your homework before making a small business startup financing pitch. Document everything as you would with a more traditional investor or lender to avoid future conflict.

Use a credit card

Credit cards are an easy way to get money fast, but they usually come with higher interest rates, and debt accumulates quickly if you don’t pay your balance in full every month. If you have the cash and are enticed by bonus rewards, credit cards can be a great way to float a larger purchase for the month. Bristol County Savings Bank offers a variety of Business Credit Card options to suit your needs, including: Get a bank loan

If you’re interested in taking out a traditional MA or RI bank loan, a comprehensive business plan is an absolute must. Bank loans can be difficult for new businesses to obtain because they usually require several years of profit-and-loss statements. For this reason, many banks don’t accept startup loan requests.  

Bristol County Savings Bank’s experienced staff of local lenders work closely with business owners to offer custom-tailored lending solutions for your Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island small or complex business lending needs. Contact a Commercial Lender or a Small Business Lender to find out if a commercial or small business loan from Bristol County Savings Bank is the right choice for you.

Leverage a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan

A loan backed by the Small Business Administration, a division of the federal government, can be a viable alternative to a traditional bank loan. The SBA doesn’t lend directly to small businesses, but instead provides a partial guarantee for loans you’d get from an SBA-approved lender, such as Bristol County Savings Bank. Regardless of your funding status, the SBA can serve as a great resource for education and mentoring at any stage of your business journey. Bristol County Savings Bank’s MA or RI SBA Loans provide the non-conventional flexibility your business may need. As a preferred Small Business Administration lender, we can streamline the process for your SBA Loan application, as we have the ability and authority to approve loan requests in-house without requesting approval from the SBA.

Turn to crowdfunding

Crowdfunding started as a way to raise money for nonprofits and charity projects and quickly morphed into an option for business funding, especially after federal legislation was passed to encourage alternatives to traditional funding. Crowdfunding can be effective for small, community businesses that can receive monetary support from the people they serve.

Setting up a crowdfunding account for your business requires a strong marketing campaign, because that’s how you pitch your idea and encourage investment. Be sure to read the fine print when comparing platforms since not all crowdfunding systems are created equal in terms of fees, which can differ based on your industry.

Find an “angel investor”

Angel investors are usually affluent individuals who invest in startups in the earliest stages in exchange for an equity ownership (typically 20-25%). They are different from venture capitalists in that they provide seed funding, less than $1 million, whereas venture capitalists invest larger amounts in more established growing companies.

To find an angel investor, search investor networks that may exist in your niche, industry or community. Angel investors are looking for strong returns on investment, so showing them how their investment can make a difference will strengthen your position. Angel Investors Network and AngelList are both good places to start.

Borrow from your 401(k)

Rollovers for Business Startups (ROBS) provide a way to bring over some money from your 401(k) for debt-free funding. Consider this option if you plan to use more than $50,000 from your account.

Partnering with a ROBS expert is the best way to ensure you follow the rollover’s specific rules. For example, there can be fewer tax penalties if you set up your company as a C corporation and follow the requirements that your new company must sponsor a 401(k) plan. As with all tax-related matters, consult your accountant for complete details.

Take out a microloan

Microloans, ranging from $500 to $35,000, are typically short term loans with low-interest rates available specifically to self-employed people, new startups with low capital, and small businesses with small staffs. They can be easier to qualify for as a small business startup than a traditional bank loan and can help bridge any gaps between the money you have and the money you need.

Next steps

The best place to start researching options is the SBA website. Resources are also available through your local Small Business Development Center, Women's Business Center, Veteran's Business Center and the business mentoring experts at SCORE

Feel free to stop by one of our Bristol County Savings Bank branches and speak with our Commercial Lending team, or contact us to learn more. We would be happy to answer your questions and see how we can help.
Our team of small business lending professionals is ready to help you.
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Disclosure: This article is for educational purposes only and doesn’t constitute tax, legal or accounting advice or a promise to lend. Please consult with an attorney or tax professional for guidance. All applications are subject to credit approval.