In terms of arranging the business financing, efforts to buy a business opportunity are almost always described by commercial borrowers as excessively confusing and difficult. When buying a business opportunity that does not include commercial property, borrowers should realize that commercial loan options will be significantly different when compared to a business purchase that can be acquired with a commercial real estate loan.
The success of business opportunity investment strategies will depend heavily on the quality of business financing which is arranged. Business finance strategies for business opportunity investing are more difficult than most borrowers realize, particularly if prospective business investors are primarily familiar with residential or commercial real estate investment property. Buying a business opportunity is likely to be an extremely challenging task when arranging the business loan. This is largely due to the usual lack of commercial property as collateral for the business financing to buy a business opportunity. When buying a business that does not include commercial real estate, business borrowers need to realize that business loan options will be greatly reduced in comparison to a business purchase that can be financed with a commercial mortgage.Business Opportunity Investment Financing Guidelines -The guidelines and comments in this article are based upon business loan terms that are typically available from respected lenders willing to provide business financing for buying a business opportunity throughout the United States. There will always be occasional situations in which the seller is willing to privately finance the purchase of a business opportunity, and it is not practical to discuss those business financing possibilities in this article.Length of Business Loan to Expect When Buying a Business Opportunity -Business loan terms to buy a business will typically include a shorter amortization period than commercial real estate financing. A ten-year maximum term is common, and even that length of business financing is likely to require a commercial lease of at least ten years. Likely Interest Rates to Buy a Business Opportunity -In the current business loan interest rate environment, the likely range for buying a business opportunity is 11 to 12 percent. To put this in perspective, it is not unusual for a commercial mortgage to be in the 10 to 11 percent range. The cost of business financing to buy a business is routinely higher than the cost of a commercial mortgage due to the lack of commercial property for lender collateral in a business opportunity transaction.† Down Payment Requirements for Buying a Business Opportunity -Depending on the specific type of business and some other issues, a normal down payment for a business loan to buy a business is 20 to 25 percent. Some seller financing (such as 10 percent) is usually helpful and in some cases might reduce the down payment required from the buyer to buy a business.Buying a Business Opportunity - Refinancing Options -A related business loan issue to anticipate when buying a business is that refinancing the business opportunity loan terms will normally be even more difficult than the original business financing. There are currently some new business loan programs in the final stages of development that could dramatically improve future refinancing options. But until these new business financing options are finalized, it is important to arrange the best possible terms initially and not depend upon refinancing possibilities.Lenders to Avoid When Commercial Borrowers Buy a Business Opportunity -Perhaps the most important phase of the business loan process for buying a business opportunity is the selection of a commercial lender. In our view an even more critical stage of this process is avoiding certain lenders that are routinely unsuccessful in finalizing a business loan to buy a business. By avoiding such lenders, commercial borrowers are likely to avoid many other business financing problems frequently associated with buying a business opportunity. Avoiding problem lenders will be instrumental to the eventual success of both the business loan process and the long-term financial health of the business being acquired.