NerdWallet’s Small-Business Guide


Starting a small business? Looking for advice on running your small business?

NerdWallet’s Small-Business Guide, which includes tips from national experts and business thought leaders, will help you navigate the process of starting your small business and then taking that next big step forward. You’ll find what you need to get going and keep growing!

Biz credit cards

Business credit cards

Compare the options across all
small-business credit cards.

Compare credit cards

Business loans

Business loans

Compare loans to help start or grow
your business or to manage cash flow.

Compare business loans

Mortgage broker advice

Payment processing

Accept credit card and debit card payments at your business.

Compare POS systems


Additional resources


Business loan and financing options

Loan Amount APR Term length Time to funding Collateral This loan is best if …
Bank loan $200K+ < 10% 7+ years 2-6 months Required Your business is established with strong cash flow, in operation two years and you have sterling credit.
Microloan (from a CDFI bank or microfinance institution) $500 – $100K 8%-15% 1-5 years 1-3 months Preferred, but not always required You don’t qualify for a bank loan and need less than $100,000 in funding.
Online term loan $15K – $500K 5.99% – 25.99% 1-5 years 2-14 days Personal guarantee You have excellent personal credit, your business doesn’t qualify for a bank loan and you’re willing to pay a slight premium over traditional loans for faster financing.
Factoring (accounts receivable financing) 85% of accounts receivable Fee equivalent to 12% – 60% APR 1-3 months A few days Accounts receivable Your business is established and you have reliable customers.
Revenue loan $10K – $1M 15%-40% 1-3 years About a month None required You can show strong expected future revenue, your business doesn’t qualify for bank loans or online term loans and you prefer to retain ownership and control of your company.
Cash flow loan $200 – $100K 25%-90% 6-12 months 3 days Personal guarantee You’re a borrower with less than perfect credit and can pay the high interest rates.
Other financing
Equipment financing $5K – $5M 8%-25% 2-10 years 1-4 weeks Equipment You’re a business owner with good credit.
Merchant cash advance $200 – $250K 70% – 350% 3-12 months A week None required You’re a high-risk borrower, have tried all other options and came up empty.
Crowdfunding (No debt
component)
Equity crowdfunding $50K – $5M Equity 5+ years 3+ months None required Your business has the potential for strong growth and you can pitch the idea to would-be investors.
Reward crowdfunding $1K – $100K Reward < 1.5 years 1-3 months None required Similar to equity crowdfunding.