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SBA Loan Requirements

Learn which types of businesses can be
eligible for an SBA Loan

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Only takes 5 minutes and doesn't impact your credit score1

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SBA Loan Requirements

Many small businesses from a broad range of industries can successfully apply for an SBA 7(a) loan. Rather than listing what businesses are considered for approval, the Small Business Administration lists those industries that are excluded.

Excluded Businesses:

  • Gambling
  • Life insurance
  • Religious teaching
  • Primarily political and lobbying activities
  • Oil wildcatting
  • Mining
  • Mortgage servicing
  • Real estate development
  • Bail bond
  • Pawn or private clubs

For the detailed list of ineligible businesses, head to the SBA's website to learn more.

SBA eligibility requirements

If your business does not fall under one of the excluded categories, the next step is to meet the following common eligibility requirements for an SBA loan from banks in the SmartBiz network.

$30,000 to $500,000 SBA 7(a) Working Capital or Debt Refinance

  • Time in business must be above two years
  • The business owner's personal credit score must be above 650
  • Business must be U.S. based and owned by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is at least 21-years old
  • No outstanding tax liens
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past 3 years
  • No recent charge-offs or settlements
  • Up-to-date on government-related loans

Typically, businesses approved for an SBA loan from banks that participate in the SmartBiz lending network have $50,000 to $5 million in annual revenues and 1 to 40 employees. Most are profitable and have a positive cash flow. All can provide proof that they are able to make the monthly loan payment.

SBA 7(a) Loan - Use of proceeds

Depending on the amount you want to borrow, you can use the funds from an SBA 7(a) loan for a variety of purposes like refinancing high-cost debt, hiring, inventory, marketing, or purchasing commercial real estate.

Debt Refinancing / Working Capital $30,000 - $500,000 

Loans of this amount can be used for working capital (operational expenses, marketing, hiring, etc.), new equipment purchases, and refinancing existing business debt not secured by real estate (such as cash advances, business loans, and equipment leases) and subject to the original use of proceeds from the business debt.

Not eligible for an SBA Loan

Don't meet the requirements to qualify for an SBA loan right now? Banks in the SmartBiz network offer Bank Term loan options as well. We help you apply for the right financing for your business.

Learn more about SBA loans

SBA Loan Overview

Start here and discover more about SBA loans and how they help small businesses.

SBA Loan Approval

Learn about SBA loan guidelines and the approval process before applying to ensure a fast turnaround of your application.

SBA Loan Rates & Fees

Current interest rates, how they work, and other fees and costs associated with SBA loans.

SBA Use of Funds

How you can use SBA loan proceeds to save money and grow your small business.

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1. We conduct a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, in processing your loan application, the lenders with whom we work will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and happens after your application is in the funding process and matched with a lender who is likely to fund your loan.