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Commercial Property Insurance for Small Businesses

December 22, 2020
By Susan Guillory –

As a business owner, one of the many important things you need to consider is business insurance. While there are several types of insurance coverage you might benefit from, one to certainly consider, if you own business property, is commercial property insurance.

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

Just like you might have homeowner’s insurance or coverage for personal assets, you can get commercial property insurance to protect any business property you own from things like theft, fire, vandalism, and storms.

What is Covered Under Commercial Property Insurance?

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of business property is probably the real estate you own or lease for your business. That certainly can be covered by a commercial property policy, but coverage can also include: (more…)

Doing Business As (DBA): What is a DBA, How to File as a DBA

December 15, 2020

By Ty Kiisel –

If you’ve ever asked, “What is a DBA?” this article is for you. The short answer is, a “Doing Business As” is when the name under which a business operates is different from its legal, registered name. A DBA may also be called a trade Name.

Why Would a Business Choose a DBA?

There are reasons why a business would choose a fictitious name (another term for a DBA). A sole proprietor or partner might choose a DBA so they can operate with a typical business name without the need to create a formal legal entity (like an LLC or a corporation). For example, John Smith, a plumber, might choose to operate under the name of Eveready Plumbing. He’d need a DBA to do that. If John wanted to run his business under the name of John Smith’s Plumbing, he wouldn’t need one.

If your business was a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC) and wanted to operate the business under a name that is different from the name of the corporation or LLC, you would need a DBA. For example if John Smith & Joe Bonanza LLC wanted to operate as Mount Olympus Real Estate Investment Company, they would need one. (more…)

The 5 C’s of Credit

December 8, 2020

By Ty Kiisel –

Small business owners looking for a loan need to understand the way their creditworthiness is evaluated to put their best foot forward — understanding the 5 C’s of Credit can help. As a general rule, there are three questions for which lenders need the answers:

1. Can you repay a loan?
2. Will you repay a loan?
3. What will you do if something unexpected happens?

Lenders might not ask them this way, but today I’d like to share with you the 5 metrics many lenders use to judge your answers.

Generally speaking, lenders are pretty risk averse (although some have a higher risk tolerance than others). I remember an economics class I attended many years ago where the instructor made it a point to make sure we understood the test questions, and the answers, before a big test. Our grade depended on how well we answered the questions, not simply if we got the answers right. He wanted us to be prepared and learn.

It might be a stretch to compare my economics class with applying for a small business loan, but understanding what the banker (or any other lender) is looking for, and judging your loan application against, might make it easier to answer the questions well and get your loan application approved. (more…)

4 Tips for Borrowing from Friends and Family

November 24, 2020

By Ty Kiisel –

It should be no secret in the post-coronavirus world that we should expect to see credit criteria tighten up as many lenders rethink their criteria or even step away from small business lending altogether. That’s what happened in the last economic crisis. Fortunately, that’s not true of all lenders, and there are still options available for creditworthy borrowers as well as options for small business owners with a less-than-perfect credit history. Borrowing from friends and family is one of those options.

Although borrowing from friends and family isn’t the first choice for most small business owners, it is perennially one of the best sources of financing for small businesses, from the smallest sole proprietorship to larger, more established small businesses. Although these loans are sometimes referred to as 3-F loans, referring to the friends, families, and fools who offer loans to small businesses, there are a handful of things you can do to successfully pull it off and still get invited to Thanksgiving Dinner. Here are the 4 things you can do to be successful at borrowing money from friends and family. Click To Tweet (more…)

Cost of Debt: How to Calculate Cost of Debt

November 17, 2020

By Susan Guillory –

When you take out a loan (also known as debt capital), your primary focus is probably on having working capital to grow your business or steady your cash flow. But there’s something else to consider: your cost of debt.

If you’re just focusing on your loan’s monthly payment and not diving deeper to analyze the true cost you’re paying, you might be spending more than necessary on your debt financing.

What is Cost of Debt?

There are two types of capital a business can use: equity financing and debt equity. With equity financing, an investor — usually a venture capitalist or angel investor — provides working capital in exchange for a percentage of equity, or ownership in the company.

With debt equity, a company takes out financing, which could be an SBA loan, merchant cash advance, invoice financing, or any other type of financing. The loan is repaid, along with an interest expense, over months or years. The term debt equity could be confusing, but is basically referring to a loan. (more…)