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Key takeaways

  • Businesses must submit a variety of documents when applying for business loans
  • Lender and loan type determine the type of documentation needed
  • LLC business loan document requirements are similar to those of other types of business loans

Limited liability companies (LLCs) are companies that operate under a specific kind of business structure in the United States. Organized in the owner’s primary state of residence, an LLC is relatively straightforward to set up. Because the documents needed for LLC establishment are limited and managing the company is fairly simple, it’s a popular choice for small business owners.

Those owners often seek out loans to support their companies. As they start the LLC loan shopping process, business owners can also start gathering the documentation they’ll need to apply for loans. Be aware that different types of LLC loans and different lenders often have differing documentation requirements. There are still some requirements that broadly apply, though.

So, what documents are needed for LLC loans? We’ve gathered up LLC required documents into general categories to help you prepare.

We’re talking about the documents needed for LLC loans here but be advised that these don’t really differ depending on your entity type. The documentation to get a loan as a C-corp or S-corp, for example, won’t necessarily be different from an LLC’s required documents.

For any small business loan — including alternative options like business lines of credit — you’ll generally need to provide documentation in three different categories:

Documents about yourself

Because small business owners’s personal and business finances are so often intertwined — even with LLCs — lenders often want to see substantial information about your personal finances before approving you for a loan. Be prepared to provide:

  • Your name
  • Your address (and, if different, your business address)
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • Personal bank statements
  • Personal tax returns

Documents about your business

Lenders want to know if your business can afford to repay your loan and is stable. They also want to make sure you’re actually the owner. To prove all of that, collect:

  • Business tax returns for the last three years, if available
  • Receipts from quarterly tax payments
  • Profit and loss statements, plus other cash flow documentation
  • Business tax ID number or EIN, which acts much like a Social Security number for businesses. (if you don’t already have one, you can apply for one online through the IRS).
  • Business licenses and permits, if applicable
  • Foundational documents, including articles of organization
  • Outstanding invoices, especially if you’re applying for invoice factoring or financing
  • Business debt schedule

U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans are designed to improve access to capital, supporting growth and recovery for small businesses and startups. The SBA works with approved lenders to back the loans. As a result, these loans typically require additional documentation not required with conventional loans, including SBA-issued forms. In addition to the documents needed for LLC loans that we’ve already outlined, borrowers should also be prepared to provide:

  • A summary of the business history and its challenges, as well as information about how an SBA loan will help the business
  • Business lease information, if this applies
  • Projected financial statements and/or a financial plan for the future
  • SBA forms, which vary by loan type (for example, 7(a) loans require Form 1919, Form 1920 and Form 413) and can be downloaded from the SBA’s website

You may not have to submit all the documents we’re outlining here — check with your lender if you’re unsure. But depending on the type of business loan you apply for, your lender may add to the list of documents needed for an LLC seeking financing.  Those add-on LLC required documents could include:

  • Details on any business collateral: If you’re applying for a secured loan, you’ll need to provide documentation about the collateral you’re putting up. These may include vehicle titles, real estate documents, equipment information and bank account statements. Be prepared to provide appraisal information to substantiate the value of your assets.
  • Your business plan: Lenders may or may not ask for this document, but it’s helpful to have prepared and on hand.
  • Your loan proposal: It’s risky to finance a small business, so lenders may want to better understand your business’s place in the market, chances of survival and ability to repay the loan.

Now that you have a handle on the documents needed for LLC business loan applications, you can start the application process. Experts recommend choosing at least a few lenders and applying with each of them. This lets you see the details of your potential loan options so you can make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Again, you won’t be seeking out LLC loans specifically. Instead, you should look at small business loans in general. Getting an LLC loan means choosing the right small business lender that offers the loan type you need with a competitive interest rate.

You can explore traditional banks and credit unions, online business lenders and lenders who offer loans backed by the SBA.

As you narrow down your lender options, make sure you’re doing so with a long-term plan in mind. You should only take out an LLC loan if you’re confident you can manage it. That means talking with potential lenders not just about repayment timelines and interest rates but also about any fees they charge that can drive up the cost of your LLC loan.

Bankrate insight

The best LLC lenders offer competitive interest rates paired with good customer service and plenty of loan options. Compare your choices from at least three to ensure you’re choosing the right financing option for your LLC.

Bottom line

In many cases, LLC loans will require the same documentation as other business loans. Your LLC’s required documents will vary depending on your lender — traditional lenders often have more extensive requirements than online ones, for example.

Regardless, having as much information as possible prepared before you apply can help the process move as efficiently as it can.

Frequently asked questions

  • Common documents to include with a business loan request are your business plan, financial statements, tax returns, personal financial information and collateral details.

  • An LLC can get a business loan by reviewing its qualifications and needs to determine the best loan type and find a lender. Next, an application and documentation can be submitted, and then the lender can evaluate the application and approve or deny the loan request.

  • Yes, an LLC has its own credit score, which is a business credit score.

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