Ask Stacy: Where Do I Find the Money to Start a Business?

Dream of being self-employed? As you finance your startup, here's one scam to avoid and some legitimate places to find the cash you'll need.

  • OnDeck: This business lender is similar to Kabbage, except you’ll need to show not only that you’ve been in business for at least nine months, but also that you have had $75,000 in revenue in the last 12 months. Loans range from three to 36 months and rates begin at 5.99 percent.
  • Prosper: Along with Lending Club, this is one of the first peer-to-peer lenders in the United States. Prosper offers loans from $2,000 to $35,000. Rates range from 5.99 to 36 percent.

Help from Uncle Sam

Whether you know it or not, your tax dollars support one of the best small-business sources on the planet: the Small Business Administration, or SBA.

I’ve done many stories over the years about the SBA and have also used it personally. It’s definitely your first stop on the road to self-employment, especially if you’ll be requiring funding. You won’t find free money, but you will get free information on finding funding, including government-guaranteed loans.

You’ll also find helpful people, including potential mentors who will take a personal interest in you and your business.

Here’s how the SBA can help every step of the way:

  • Thinking about a business: Here you’ll find articles and information covering things like forming a business, finding a mentor and hiring employees.
  • Making a business plan: Every business should have a business plan and any small business that’s even considering raising money will need one. These articles explain what a business plan is, how it’s used and how to build one, step by step.
  • Finding financing: This information is about the process of finding money to start your business, including SBA assistance eligibility, types of financing, venture capital and more.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You won’t find a more thorough source of critical information for small-business owners than the SBA site. And don’t stop with just online reading. If you have easy access to an SBA office, visit in person. You’ll find friendly people, encouragement, expert advice and even workshops designed just for you.

Keep in mind, however, that the SBA doesn’t loan money. What it will do in certain circumstances is guarantee a bank loan. That is, if you qualify. But as I mentioned, the SBA has tons of information on every type and source of funding out there.

You pay for it. Use it!

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About me

I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and over the years I’ve also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate. Got some time to kill? You can learn more about me here.

Got more money questions? Browse lots more Ask Stacy answers here.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Stacy Johnson
Stacy Johnson @moneytalksnews
I'm the founder of Money Talks News and have spent the last 40+ years in the personal finance trenches. I'm a CPA, author of a few books and multiple Emmy recipient. I'm ... More

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