Compare retail business loans

Here's how to get a loan to help you start a new retail business or buy an existing one.

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Finding the right loan is crucial when it comes to starting your first business or expanding into new markets, and when it comes to running a retail business, there are plenty of financing options available. There are business loans for just about everything, from buying your retail space to solving short-term cash flow issues, stocking up on inventory during busy seasons or paying for advertising to attract new customers.

Our guide will help you narrow down your loan options so you can keep things running smoothly.

How can a loan help my business?

Finding the right type of financing can help you get your retail store off the ground or expand your operations. Here are some common expenses that you can fund with a loan:

  • Purchase equipment. The equipment your business needs can range from a laptop and bookkeeping software to industrial-grade restaurant equipment. If you need to purchase equipment, a business loan can cover the upfront cost and allow you to spread payments out over time.
  • Purchase inventory. Retail shops often need to buy inventory in bulk. A business loan can be used to stock your shelves and keep the racks full during a busy season.
  • Increase working capital. The day-to-day costs of a business can fluctuate rapidly depending on what your retail business handles. Whether you’re facing a dry spell and need extra inventory or you need to hire extra help during the busy season, a business loan can help you with your working capital.
  • Invest in marketing. The cost of new website design or a slick advertisement can add up quickly. A business loan can give you the money you need to hire the best talent so you can give your customers a reason to keep shopping with you.
  • Purchase real estate. If you’re ready to expand your retail business from online to a physical location, a loan can help you finance the purchase of real estate.

Compare loans for your retail business

Name Product Loan Interest Rate Min. Loan Amount Loan Term Minimum Income Min. Credit Score
5.90% - 26.50%
$1,000
3 months - 5 years
$100,000 in annual revenue
600
Lending Loop offers personalised loans up to $500,000 for small business owners.
7% - 29%
$5,000
3-18 months
$5,000/month

Compare up to 4 providers

8 types of business financing to consider

What type of financing does your retail business need to succeed? By considering how these companies typically generate revenue and common expenses specific to these businesses, we’ve listed eight types of financing that could most benefit a retail business.

Loan typeAmountsProsCons
Line of credit$5,000–$1.25 million
  • Access funds when you need them
  • Interest charged only on the money you spend
  • Less risk than with a term loan
  • Freedom to negotiate fixed or ongoing terms
  • Good credit history required
  • Doesn’t provide long-term business financing
  • Monthly interest and fees apply
Term loan$1,000–$1.25 million
  • Borrow a single sum that can be paid back over time
  • Regular repayments required
  • Can be used to fund major purchases and expenses
  • Terms of up to 10 years or more available
  • Borrowing a larger amount comes with a higher level of risk
  • You may need to offer an asset as security for the loan
  • Not as flexible as other financing options
Business credit cardCredit limits up to $20,000 or higher
  • Spend money when you need to
  • Pay down your debt through monthly payments
  • Great for managing your business day-to-day expenses
  • Can earn rewards points or miles on your spending
  • Good credit history required
  • Interest charges can quickly accrue
  • Keep track of your spending so you don’t exceed the card limit
  • Might pay an annual fee
Unsecured business loan$1,000–$100,000+
  • Easy application process and fast approval
  • Quick access to the funds you need
  • No security required
  • Short- and long-term financing available
  • Higher interest rate and fees
  • Penalties if you miss a payment
Merchant cash advanceUp to $300,000
  • Suitable for businesses that receive the majority of their payments by credit card
  • Quick and efficient access to funds
  • Don’t need to offer an asset as security
  • Sometimes available to borrowers with less than good credit history
  • Repayment amounts depend on your earnings
  • Can be more expensive than other business loan options
  • Plans usually only last for a maximum of 12 months
  • If sales figures don’t meet expectations, you may need to find money elsewhere to pay off the advance
Commercial loanGenerally up to 65% of the property’s value, but up to 80% in some circumstances
  • Helps you purchase a commercial property
  • Wide range of loans available
  • Flexible repayment options to suit your cash flow
  • Higher interest rates and fees than mortgages or HELOCs for homes
  • Security required
Equipment financeThe cost of the equipment you need to purchase, or a percentage of it
  • The equipment you buy is used to secure the loan
  • Flexible payments
  • Multiple fees apply
CSBFP loanUp to $1 million
  • Can be used to buy or fix equipment, renovate a space or outright purchase a building or land
  • Competitive rates since they’re backed by the Government
  • Must have an annual revenue of $10 million or less
  • Your bank or financial provider decides your approval – not the Government

What option is best for my business?

The right loan for your business depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Your needs. The loan you choose will vary depending on whether you want to buy a retail space, purchase equipment, manage cash flow fluctuations or satisfy a range of other financial requirements.
  • Your assets. If you have valuable assets you can use as collateral for a loan, you may be able to access a wider range of loan options or get a better rate.
  • Your credit history. While there are loan options available for borrowers with bad credit, having a good credit history improves your chances of finding a good loan at a low rate.

Expenses to consider when opening a new retail business

Starting a new business can be a huge undertaking that many people aren’t prepared for. To stand out, you need to have the capital to purchase everything you need. Understand the costs of setting up shop by factoring these common expenses into your loan decision:

  • Purchasing or leasing a retail space.
  • Buying fixtures like furniture, shelving and display cases.
  • Purchasing equipment like computers, cash registers and security cameras.
  • Hiring and paying staff.
  • Footing initial marketing and advertising costs.
  • Purchasing inventory.
  • Buying office supplies.
  • Paying for insurance coverage.
  • Covering Internet, phone and power connections.
  • Seeking professional legal and accounting services.

Even if you’re not running a brick-and-mortar storefront, many of these costs still apply. There are also some additional costs that online retailers need to consider that some physical locations don’t. These include web design, SEO optimization and finding suitable warehouse space to store your inventory.

The best way to wrap your head around the full cost of opening a new business is to put together a comprehensive business plan that outlines your startup costs and operating expenses. Include a realistic timeframe for how long it will take you to break even and start making a profit.

Expenses to consider when purchasing an existing business

If you’re buying an existing business, the good news is that the previous owners have already done some of the hard work for you. The bad news is that they may not have been running the business as successfully as possible. You may have some extra expenses to help your new retail store perform to its full potential that include:

  • The cost of buying the retail business.
  • The cost of purchasing or leasing retail space.
  • Improvements and upgrades to old equipment.
  • Upgrades to shop fixtures.
  • Purchasing new inventory.
  • Paying staff and hiring new team members.
  • Marketing and advertising costs.
  • Insurance coverage.
  • Professional legal and accounting services.

Do your due diligence before purchasing an existing business. Consider why the current owner is selling and look at the sales, operating costs, profits, assets and liabilities of the business before you decide to buy.

What types of retail businesses can get a loan?

No matter what your store sells or your inventory, there’s likely financing out there to help your business. The list below is a short overview of potential businesses that can find financing through a business loan.

  • Supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Fashion retailers
  • Footwear retailers
  • Toiletries and cosmetics stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Homewares retailers
  • Appliance retailers
  • Electronics retailers
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Gift shops
  • Book stores
  • Discount and variety stores
  • Health stores
  • Jewelry stores
  • Toy stores
  • Pet stores

4 tips to easily apply for a business loan

Keep these four tips in mind when prepping for your business loan application.

  • Know your finances. Your loan application depends partly on your financial history. By knowing your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, you’ll be in a better position to present your business as another part of your financial future.
  • Determine why you need a loan. Every business is unique, so know exactly what you need a loan for. This will help you to submit a strong application with the right lender.
  • Find the right lender. No matter what type of financial institution you apply with, it’s got to be the right fit for your business. Between large banks, smaller regional credit unions, crowdfunding, P2P and online lenders, you should be able to find something that works for your business.
  • Prepare your application. This should include your business plan, the financial history of you and your business, how much you need to borrow and how your loan money will be spent.

Compare business loans now

Bottom line

Finding a loan for your retail business doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you’re starting from scratch, expanding your current operations or purchasing an existing business, you have loan options available to help you finance the next part of your career.

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