The Ultimate Guide To Small Business Loans in Florida

Camino Financial30 Jan 2024
The Ultimate Guide To Small Business Loans in Florida
Obtaining business loans in Florida could be your stepping stone to success. Anyone can use them, from startups eager to make their mark to established companies aiming to expand, a well-chosen loan can fuel your ambitions and foster growth. This comprehensive guide will illuminate your path to the right financing options in the Sunshine State.

Top 7 Business Loans In Florida

Camino Financial

Camino Financial's logo Camino Financial is an excellent choice for Florida small business owners. As an online lender, we can help you finance your small business. We offer loans with competitive rates and easy-to-understand terms. Plus, you can use our loans for most types of business investments. If you're a small business in Florida looking for a loan with an easy application process, Camino Financial could be the perfect match.
  • Amount:$10,000 to $50,000
  • Terms: 24 months
  • Rates:32% to 45%
  • Min credit score: 670
To access the capital you need, you must meet these requirements:
  • have been active and registered for at least 12 months
  • earn $30,000 in annual sales
  • own at least 50% of the business
Contrary to banks and other lenders, it is easier to get a small business loan at Camino Financial:
  • We don't require collateral. Other lenders will ask you to put up your house or other assets as collateral in case you cannot pay them back; we don't.
  • The online application process is simple and secure. You'll know, in no time, if you qualify for a small business loan.
Apply For A Business Loan!

Florida Credit Union

florida credit union logo The Florida Credit Union is a non-profit owned by its members. They offer a range of business loans you can access, this includes:
  • lines of credit
  • equipment financing
  • commercial real estate loans
  • vehicle loans
Their commitment is to help Florida's business community with good loan deals and personal service. Here is more info on their line of credit:
  • Amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Terms: 1 to 5+ years
  • Rates: starting at 6%
  • Min credit score: 660

Bank Of America

bank of america logo Bank of America is a big name in the financial world, and it can help your small business. They are one of the best banks for small business loans in Florida. They offer easy payment terms and reasonable rates. They offer a wide range of loan solutions. One of the most popular ones is their unsecured business loan:
  • Amount: $10,000 to $300,000
  • Terms: 1 to 5 years
  • Rates: starting at 6.99% APR
  • Min credit score: 680

Enterprise Florida

Enterprise Florida logo Enterprise Florida helps grow the State's economy through their programs, which allow small businesses to get the financial assistance they need to grow and create jobs. The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)is a federal-state partnership that provides funding to states to help them create or expand capital access programs for small businesses.
  • Amount: up to $5 million
  • Terms: up to 10 years
  • Rates: based on the lender's cost of funds
  • Min credit score: 650
The Microfinance Guarantee Program is a loan guarantee program that provides up to 50% guarantees on loans.
  • Amount: $50,000 to $250,000
  • Terms: 5 to 10 years
  • Rates: Set by the lender
  • Min credit score: Varies, but typically in the 600s

Accion Opportunity Fund

Accion Opportunity Fund logo Accion Opportunity Fund is a lender that offers competitive interest rates and flexible terms, and it is committed to helping underserved entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
  • Amount:$5,000 to $150,000
  • Terms: 12, 24, 36, or 60 months
  • Rates: 5.99% to 16.99%
  • Min credit score: 580


LiftFund logo LiftFund helps businesses that have trouble getting access to capital. This non-profit lender focuses on helping communities that don't usually get help. They offer SBA 7(a) loans:
  • Amount: up to $500,000
  • Terms: 5 to 10 years
  • Rates: 6% to 8%
  • Min credit score: 640

Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union logo Suncoast Credit Union is a well-respected name for Florida business loans. They offer a wide range of loans with competitive rates and terms. Here are the details of their microloans:
  • Amount: up to $50,000
  • Terms: up to 6 years
  • Rates: variable and based on the prime rate
  • Min credit score: 620

Types Of Commercial Loans In Florida

To help you navigate the sea of financial products, we'll dive into some common business loan types offered in Florida.

Term Loan

A term loan is a classic loan structure where a lender provides a lump sum of cash upfront, which is repaid over a specified period with interest. If your business requires significant capital investment for things like expansion, then a term loan might be your go-to solution. Apply For A Term Loan!

Small Business Administration Loans

The SBA is a federal agency that provides support to small businesses. One of the ways it does this is by guaranteeing loans made by lenders, making it easier for small businesses to qualify. SBA loans are popular in Florida due to their favorable terms and lower interest rates.

Line Of Credit

Just like a credit card, a revolving line of credit gives you a specific amount of money, you can draw from whenever you need. This option is great for managing cash flow or dealing with unexpected expenses. Unlike traditional loans, you only pay interest on the amount you use, providing business flexibility.

Equipment Finance

Starting or expanding a business often involves procuring new equipment, which is where equipment financing comes into play. Under this type of loan, the equipment itself acts as collateral, making it a popular choice among businesses requiring expensive machinery or technology.

Accounts Receivable Financing

This type of financing, also known as invoice financing, allows businesses to get an advance on unpaid invoices. It's a great option for businesses that struggle with cash flow due to slow-paying customers. The lender will typically provide funds equal to a certain percentage of the outstanding invoices.

Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance (MCA) is a financing option that provides fast access to cash. Here, the lender provides funds in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. If your business generates significant sales through credit card transactions, this could be a feasible option. The downside, though, is that they have very high-interest rates.

Small Business Loans In Florida: Main Requirements

  1. Business Plan. A comprehensive business plan that outlines your business's goals, strategies, market analysis, financial forecasts, and management structure is crucial.
  2. Financial Statements. Lenders want to know about your financial standing, which includes balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.
  3. Credit Score Report. Your personal and business credit scores can impact your loan approval and the terms you receive.
  4. Legal Documents. These might include business licenses and registrations, articles of incorporation, contracts with third parties, and commercial leases.
  5. Collateral. Some loans might require you to provide collateral. The collateral can be business or personal assets that you're willing to put at risk.

How To Get A Business Loan In Florida

If you have been looking for a Florida business loan, just follow three simple steps to apply:
  1. Complete an application. Fill out an application form. You must complete it with personal, business, and financial information.
  2. Continue the process. If you pre-qualify, you'll need to submit some business documents, like financial records or proof of ID, among others.
  3. Accept your offer and receive your capital. You will receive a final offer with the terms of your loan. After signing it, you'll receive the funds directly into your bank account.
Apply For A Business Loan!

Tips To Receive Approval

  • Prepare a detailed business plan. Lenders want to see that you have a clear, thorough, and viable business plan that includes:
    • purpose of the loan & how you plan to repay it
    • target market
    • products or services
    • sales and marketing strategy
    • cash flow forecast
  • Maintain good credit history. Personal and business credit scores significantly affect loan approval. Make sure you have a good credit history by making timely payments and keeping your credit balances low.
  • Provide financial statements. Lenders will need to see your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement to assess your ability to repay the loan. Make sure they are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Have some skin in the game. Lenders prefer businesses where the owner has personally invested in the business. It shows your commitment and increases their confidence in you.
  • Keep your business information updated. Keeping your business registration, licenses, permits, and financial information updated is crucial.
  • Professionalism. When you present your business to the lender, ensure you come across as professional, prepared, and knowledgeable about your company and industry.

The Reality Of Small Businesses In Florida

Florida's business landscape hAS A vibrant small business community. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office Of Advocacy:
  • Florida was home to over 3 million small businesses, making up 99.8% of all businesses in the State.
  • These businesses employed 3.6 million people, accounting for 40.5% of the State's workforce.
  • The largest industries for small businesses were "Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services," followed by "Construction."
  • Despite the challenges, there were 103,868 new businesses in Florida between March 2020 and March 2021, displaying the State's entrepreneurial spirit.
These numbers speak volumes about the entrepreneurial spirit in Florida, making it an excellent place for both startups and established businesses.

Owners Have Difficulty Obtaining Small Business Loans

But even though their importance to the economy, a significant part of small businesses in Florida cannot get the external financing they need. This creates difficulties in growing and staying afloat. According to 2016's Small Business Credit Survey by the Federal Reserve Bank that compares small and large companies, small businesses:
  • face more financial problems
  • make more use of their personal finances (instead of their business ones)
  • are more likely to have financial deficiencies
  • are less likely to obtain financing from large banks
The problem is that traditional lenders sometimes make it challenging to obtain it, particularly for smaller and minority-owned businesses. Long application processes, collateral, high credit scores, high fees… countless requirements end up being obstacles standing between small business owners and the financing they desperately need for their projects. Or, if we consider SBA loans, they are tough to get, and they take several months: this does not allow businesses to have the necessary working capital to grow.

Small Business Grants In Florida

  1. Florida High Tech Corridor grant
  2. Florida Prospera Small Business Grants
  3. Enterprise Florida Trade Grants
  4. Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network
  5. Florida Trade Show Grants
  6. Orlando Business Assistance Program
  7. North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency grants
  8. Seminole County's Small Business Assistance Program
  9. Mom & Pop Small Business Grant
  10. Microgrants for Technology or Equipment
#DidYouKnow Unlike loans, grants don't need to be repaid, making them a highly sought-after form of funding.

Guide To Having A Small Business In Florida

Ever thought about owning a small business in Florida? The State's strong economy and friendly policies make it a good choice. But you might be wondering about the cost, how to sign up your business, and the permits you need. Let's look into these questions to give you a clear picture of doing business in Florida.

How Much Does It Cost

The bare minimum cost of starting a business in Florida is around $400, and the average is $1,400. Keep in mind that this cost can vary depending on:
  • the type of business entity you choose
  • the services you need
  • where it's located
  • how big it is.
Here are some costs you should think about:
  • Filing fees. The filing fees for different types of business entities in Florida are:
    • Limited liability company (LLC): $125
    • Corporation: $35
    • Limited partnership: $965
    • Fictitious name: $50
  • Registered agent. You must have a registered agent in Florida who will accept legal documents on your behalf. The cost of a registered agent ranges from $50 to $200 per year.
  • Business licenses. The cost of business licenses varies depending on your business type and location.
  • Startup costs. It might include buying equipment, getting stock, renting or buying a building, and promoting your business.
  • Operational costs. These are the ongoing costs of keeping your business running. This can include paying wages, bills, insurance, rent, and maintenance.
  • Legal and licensing costs. You might also need to pay for legal advice.
  • Promotion costs. This could be setting up a website, online marketing, or traditional ads.

How Do You Register Your Business

  • Pick a Name. Your business name must be unique and cannot be the same as any other business name already registered in Florida. You can check the availability of business names on the Florida Department of State website.
  • Choose a Business Structure. The main types of businesses are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.
  • File the Right Paperwork. Depending on your business type, you might need to file certain documents with the Florida Division of Corporations.
  • File the Articles of Organization. If you are forming an LLC or corporation, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State.
  • Get an EIN. The IRS requires this Employer Identification Number for tax purposes.
  • Obtain a registered agent. Every business entity in Florida must have a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your business. You can appoint yourself as your own registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service.
Remember, you must sign up your business correctly to legally operate and apply for business loans in Florida.

What Business Licenses And Permits Do You Need

Here are some common licenses:
  • Professional Licenses. Some jobs, like doctors and accountants, need special licenses.
  • Sales Tax License. If you're selling goods or specific services, you might need this license.
  • County or City Permits. Depending on where your business is, you may need specific permits from your county or city.
Getting through the licensing process can be tricky, but ensuring your business follows all the rules is essential. Remember that the type of business you run decides the specific licenses and permits you need.

A Loan From Camino Financial Is The Right Option For Your Business

At Camino Financial, we are different from other lenders. We understand the challenges small businesses face and know that their survival and growth depend on getting the capital they need when they need it.
Camino Financial's accessible loans are an alternative you should consider, especially if you are a small business owner going through difficult times.
We have unique extras that stand us out from the competition:
  • We offer customer support in your preferred language: English or Spanish
  • One of our loan specialists will make sure your business is receiving the best customer service
  • You'll receive our member's newsletter with amazing educational resources to further your business
Apply For A Business Loan!


How hard is it to get a business loan in Florida?

Obtaining a business loan in Florida depends on several factors, including:
  • your credit score,
  • business plan,
  • financial records,
  • and the type of loan you're applying for.
Securing a loan can be relatively straightforward if these are in good standing.

Is it hard for small businesses to get a loan?

While small businesses sometimes face challenges securing loans due to limited credit history or lack of collateral, many lenders and programs, like the SBA programs, help small businesses. Products like startup loans support smaller enterprises.

Do SBA loans have to be for a business?

Yes, SBA loans are specifically designed for business expenses. You cannot use them for personal expenses.

What is an SBA business loan?

An SBA business loan is a product backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA guarantees a portion of these loans, reducing the risk for lenders and making it easier for small businesses to secure financing. You can use these loans for various business needs, and often come with favorable terms and lower interest rates.

How do entrepreneurs in Florida use small business loans?

If you have a business in the Sunshine State and you apply for a loan, you can invest it in many ways.
  • pay wages
  • renew machinery and equipment
  • buy inventory
  • hire more employees during high seasonal tourism periods
  • open a new location
  • to use as working capital
With capital, you can take advantage of all of Florida's tourism, especially if you have a restaurant or a hotel business. With your hard work and our help, the opportunities for your business to thrive are enormous.

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