Kody Wirth is a content writer and SEO specialist for Palo Alto Software—the creator's of Bplans and LivePlan. He has 3+ years experience covering small business topics and runs a part-time content writing service in his spare time.
4 min. read
Updated January 4, 2024
When looking at your small business funding options, you’ll typically do one of two things—take on business debt or offer up a portion of your business in the form of equity.
While that may sound simple, there is, unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all funding method. Each option will have unique requirements, benefits, and drawbacks that you’ll need to consider.
Finding the right business financing really comes down to understanding your business needs.
Why you need funding, how much you need, and how quickly are just the basics. The specific terms, type of debt, and potential requirements from lenders or investors should also guide your decision.
As you consider all of that, the best thing to do now is start exploring your options. And this guide will help you do just that.
While there are seemingly endless options for funding your business, they can all be categorized within these eight categories.
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Dig Deeper: Friends and family financing guide
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Dig Deeper: How to self-fund your business
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Applying for a small business loan from a bank or credit union is one of the most common and accessible funding options.
Here, we’ll cover how to apply, what to expect when pursuing a loan, and answer some common questions that come up when applying.
Dig Deeper: How to get a small business loan
Despite the name, these are not direct loans from the SBA. Instead, they are more accessible loans from traditional banking institutions backed by the SBA.
We’ll walk you through this program and how to rework your business plan to work for this type of loan.
Dig Deeper: How to get an SBA loan
This type of funding is often reserved for high-growth companies that display a promising potential return for the investor.
In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of outside investment as well as specific tips for approaching investors and VC firms.
Crowdfunding platforms are a great way to test out your business idea and see if there is real interest in what you have to offer.
We’ll go over the basics of crowdfunding, along with insights on how to use a few popular platforms.
Dig Deeper: Crowdfunding basics for small businesses
A small business grant is money awarded to a business with no repayment or portion of equity required. While often rare, unless you’re in the agriculture or medical industries, they are more common for nonprofits.
Business credit is an often misunderstood aspect of starting and running a business. While yes, your business can build credit, the more important part is your own personal credit score and history.
Dig Deeper: Small business credit guide
Looking for a quick way to explore multiple funding and financing options within the eight categories listed above?
Check out these guides, where we list some of the top traditional and alternative funding options.
With so many potential ways to fund your business which is the best for you? Check out this guide comparing the pros and cons of the core funding categories.
Check out our growing list of funding options for small businesses. This guide is updated regularly to account for new funding opportunities that may be valuable for small businesses.
Learn about the more unconventional funding methods available to small business owners. This guide is updated regularly to account for any emerging and nontraditional funding options.
While there are multiple funding and financing options out there they can all be categorized under four distinct tiers based on availability, risk, and what they can be used for.
Free resources to help you prepare to pursue multiple funding options.
Free business plan template
Be prepared to pursue any type of funding with an investor-ready and SBA-approved business plan.
Use LivePlan to prepare for any type of funding
Create and share your investor-ready plan, pitch, and financial forecasts with a single powerful tool.