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Compare business acquisition loans

Narrow down your best loan options for buying an established business.

We’ve reviewed over 130 business loans — including SBA loans, term loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances and more – to help you find the best loan for your needs. Use our table to compare lenders, and then select Learn more to visit the lender’s site or More info to read our review.

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Filter Values Min. Amount Max. Amount APR Requirements
SMB Compass
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
SMB Compass
Starting at 5.99%
2 years in business, $25,000 monthly revenue, business bank account
Enjoy personalized solutions and a consultative approach to business lending.
ROK Financial business loans
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
ROK Financial business loans
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 1+ year in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
Apply for up to $5 million with a 15-second online application. Choose your best offer and get funded as soon as the same day.
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
1 year in business, $100K annual revenue, business bank account, US based business
Get pre-approved for a business loan in minutes with no impact to your credit score.
Bluevine business lines of credit
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bluevine business lines of credit
Estimated 8% to 86%
24+ months in business, $40,000+ in monthly revenue, 625+ credit score
Get approved for a revolving credit line in as fast as 5 minutes.

What is a business acquisition loan?

Business acquisition loans are loans used to purchase an existing business or franchise. There’s no specific type of business acquisition loan. Rather, you can finance a business acquisition with a term loan, the SBA 7(a) loan, startup loans and equipment financing.

SBA (7a) loans have the advantage of not requiring collateral like real estate or inventory, but they can take a while to approve. You may get a faster turnaround with a term loan from an online lender.

How to get a loan to buy a small business

Business loans are an ideal way to fund a new business and get it off the ground. While taking on debt carries a certain level of risk, a business acquisition loan can help you expand to the next level. According to the SBA, over 61,000 loans were extended to small business owners in 2021.

Here are the six basic steps to get a business loan:

  1. Determine how much money you need. Sit down and calculate exactly how much you’ll need to fund your new business venture. Then use a business loan calculator to determine the cost of your loan to make sure you can afford it.
  2. Write a solid business plan. Many lenders require a solid business plan detailing the company leadership, products or services offered, and how you will earn money. It should also outline how long it will take to pay off the loan.
  3. Determine the type of loan you need. SBA loans allow you to borrow up to $5 million over 25 years and tend to have competitive rates. Term loans can be short or long term with short-term loans typically having higher rates.
  4. Consider your repayment timeline. Determine how long it will take you to pay back the loan and how much you’ll be able to afford to repay per month. Will it be a consistent amount or can you pay back more as the business grows?
  5. Get prequalified. Once you’ve narrowed down your loan options, get prequalified with multiple lenders to see how much you could potentially borrow and your rates based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  6. Apply for the loan. Apply with your chosen lender, supplying all required documentation. Make sure the application is filled out completely and accurately to avoid delays or a loan rejection.

There are many different types of business loans. Rather than applying for loans everywhere, your time is better spent figuring out what type of loan best suits your needs and honing in on specific lenders whose eligibility criteria you meet.

What if I have bad credit?

Getting a loan with bad credit may be more challenging, but it’s not impossible – especially if your business financials are strong. If you can’t get a loan from a traditional bank or an online lender has turned you down, these bad credit business loan options may be easier to qualify for.

11 ways to finance a business acquisition

When you’re ready to make an investment and buy a new business, you can use one or more of these loans to finance your purchase.

1. Business term loans

Business term loans let you borrow a lump sum, fixed-rate loan that you repay over a set period – usually from three to 20 years. Term loans are available from banks, credit unions and online lenders. They’re often used to fund a business acquisition or to pay for fixed assets like real estate, facilities and equipment.

2. SBA loans

An SBA loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a small business loan partially backed by the government. They’re designed to help small businesses get funding at competitive rates and higher loan amounts than a typical bank loan.

SBA loans are usually secured with collateral, although it’s not required with an SBA (7a) loan. However, there’s a minimum 10% down payment, aka “equity injection,” on SBA (7a) loans.

3. Vendor financing

This arrangement lets you purchase a business directly from the seller with a loan built into the terms of the sale. Repayments are often a percentage of the business’s future profits, though terms and conditions vary depending on what you negotiate with the seller.

4. Rollover for business startups (ROBS)

This option is for people with over $50,000 in a 401(k), IRA account or another retirement account. The benefit of ROBS is that you can invest a portion of your investment account funds into a new business without having to pay extra taxes or early withdrawal fees.

5. Investor financing

Venture capitalists are groups or individuals that aggressively look for big returns on investment and have a particular interest in new startups. They typically offer money in exchange for equity or a share of the company ownership.

Angel investors are a specific type of venture capitalist and are typically individuals. They also want to acquire equity but often take a more active role in the success of the company and offer money as well as advice, experience and connections.

6. Government grants

Most small business assistance from the government comes in the form of free or inexpensive advisory and guidance services. There are also small business grants that offer funds to businesses that meet certain requirements. See how business grants compare to business loans and which might be better for you.

7. Crowdfunding

​​Crowdfunding involves setting up an online campaign to raise small amounts of money from the public. Your success here is largely down to luck and the size of your social network, but your odds improve by being skilled in marketing. Offering your supporters gifts and freebies and having a promising, well-thought-out business plan help.

8. Government grants

The majority of small business assistance from the government comes in the form of free or inexpensive advisory and guidance services.

There are also small business grants that offer funds to businesses that meet certain requirements. Here’s information on where you can find small business grants.

9. Family and friends

Many successful enterprises got their start with loans from family and friends. However, if you choose the route, it’s best to keep everything professional by writing a formal loan agreement with interest rates and repayment terms.

10. Your own savings

If you believe in your business plan, keep loans down by using as much of your personal savings as possible. Some lenders, particularly angel investors and venture capitalists, look upon this favorably and will be more likely to invest in your business if you have a personal stake.

11. HELOCs

If you have over 20% equity in your home, you may be able to borrow against it to finance a new business. Home equity loans typically have a 10-year draw period with interest-only payments and a 20-year repayment period. But you risk losing your home if you can’t pay it back.

How to qualify for a business loan

Lenders are interested in six key factors when considering you for a business loan.

  1. Business and personal credit scores. While not everything, credit scores indicate to a lender your overall credit risk. The higher your scores, the better your chance of being approved and the better the rates and terms you can receive.
    • For personal credit scores, anything above 670 is considered good, with scores above 740 considered very good to excellent.
    • For business credit scores, 80 to 100 is considered low risk and 50 to 79 is considered medium risk. Below 50 is considered high risk.
  2. Collateral and/or personal guarantee. To back your loan, some lenders require collateral in the form of real estate, property or equipment. Loans that aren’t collateralized often require a personal guarantee from the business owners.
  3. Annual revenue. Most lenders have a minimum annual revenue requirement, which starts at around $100,000. However, some lenders will go much lower for smaller loans, requiring as little as $3,000 per month in revenue.
  4. Years in business. Traditional banks like to see that a business has been operating for at least two years, while online lenders may accept one year in business, and in some cases, as little as six months.
  5. Your industry. Some industries are considered riskier to lenders than others, like gambling, adult entertainment, cannabis, crypto and anything subject to a high degree of regulation or fraud. However, specialized loans are available for child care centers, RV park businesses and even gas stations.
  6. Your business plan. Lenders want to know you know how to manage your business. A solid business plan should cover your business financials, what you plan on doing with the loan proceeds and how you will pay them back.

How to get a loan to buy a startup

If the business you want to purchase has been operating for less than a year, the lender will likely consider it a startup. Because startups don’t have the track record of an established business, you may not be eligible for a traditional business loan from a bank or online lender.

If you don’t qualify, you can consider these options instead:

  • A personal loan. Regardless of your credit score, you may qualify for a personal loan as long as you can prove you have steady income.
  • Microloans from the SBA. These are smaller loans up to $50,000 from the SBA which are typically backed by collateral and a personal guarantee.
  • Credit cards. A form of self-funding, credit cards can provide the capital you need – but watch out for high rates.

You can also consider crowdfunding, asking friends and family for a loan or applying for a small business grant.

Bottom line

When securing financing for a new venture, first determine the type of loan you need and are most likely to qualify for based on your credit score and time in business. Then, compare and prequalify with different lenders – including traditional banks, credit unions or online lenders – to find the best deal for your situation. Compare the best business loans in 2023.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    FelixJune 10, 2019

    Right now I have assets and I want to grow my business so I am kindly asking you if you can offer me a loan.

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoJune 13, 2019

      Hi Felix,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      It’s good to know that you have assets and you’re wanting to grow your business! To know if you can be approved a loan. review the eligibility criteria of the loan before applying to increase your chances of approval. Read up on the terms and conditions and product disclosure statement and contact the bank should you need any clarifications about the policy.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.


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