Yes, there are other considerations, including your credit history, business plan and reputation as an entrepreneur. But in the hunt for capital, chances are your small-business sales will determine the type and amount of financing you’ll be able to get.
Revenue-based loans: Compare your options
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Why revenue matters
In most cases, revenue is a major criterion to qualify for a small-business loan. Each lender sets its own minimum annual revenue, which, in general, ranges from $25,000 to $150,000.
Banks typically have stringent criteria, including higher annual revenue requirements. If you don’t qualify for a traditional small-business loan or want financing fast, consider online revenue-based loans.
Your sales show the strength of your business. Steady and consistent sales, even if they’re not growing like gangbusters, show that you’re executing on your business plan. This demonstrates to would-be lenders that you know how to run a small business and makes it more likely that they’ll approve your loan application.
Some lenders give revenue more weight than a credit score. Your credit score can be important in applying for a small-business loan, but it’s not the determining factor. Many lenders will focus more on your sales, particularly those in the previous three months.
If your annual revenue is less than $50,000
Less than one year in business: Lighter Capital, a lender that focuses on tech businesses, doesn’t have hard-and-fast requirements on credit score or time in business, but it does focus on revenue. It will lend you up to a third of your annual revenue and bases the payments you make each month on your monthly sales.
That means that in a good month, the loan payment will be higher and vice versa. Once you reach an agreed-upon payment cap — a set multiple of the amount borrowed — the loan is paid in full.
- Loan amount: $50,000 to $2 million, depending on your revenue
- APR: 10% to 25%
- Loan term: 3, 4 or 5 years
- Funding time: 2 to 4 weeks
- Read our Lighter Capital review
Fundbox doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but you will need at least $25,000 annual revenue and at least six months in business to qualify for its line of credit product. It’s a suitable option for short-term financing, as borrowings on the line of credit are repaid weekly up to 12 weeks.
- Loan amount: $1,000 to $100,000.
- APR: 15% to 59%
- Loan term: Equal weekly repayments over 12 weeks.
- Funding time: As fast as the next business day
- Read our Fundbox review.
If you have at least one year in business: StreetShares offers a term loan or line of credit for entrepreneurs with annual revenue as low as $25,000.
It’s a good option for short-term working capital.
- Loan amount: $2,000 to $100,000 for term loans; $5,000 to $100,000 for lines of credit
- APR: 9% to 40%
- Loan term: 3 to 36 months
- Funding time: 1 to 5 days
- Read our StreetShares review
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If your annual revenue is $50,000 or more
If you have at least two years in business: Though its minimum annual revenue requirement is $50,000, many of SmartBiz’s borrowers often report higher sales. The lender offers Small Business Administration loans, which are your best bet if you’re looking for the lowest-cost financing.
- Loan amount: $30,000 to $350,000
- APR: 8.5% to 9.21%
- Loan term: 10 years
- Funding time: As quickly as 7 days but typically several weeks
- Read our SmartBiz review
If your annual revenue is $100,000 or more
If you have at least six months in business and at least $120,000 annual revenue: BlueVine offers a line of credit of $5,000 to $100,000.
This can be expensive, with APRs as high as 62%. But it’s a good option if you’re looking for quick access to cash for urgent business needs.
- Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
- APR: 16% to 62%
- Loan term: Repaid over 6 months
- Funding time: As fast as 24 hours
- Read our BlueVine review
At least one year in business: OnDeck has a line of credit of up to $100,000 with a minimum annual revenue requirement of $100,000.
The lender’s term loan of $5,000 to $500,000 also has a minimum annual revenue requirement of $100,000.
- Loan amount: $5,000 to $500,000 for term loans; up to $100,000 for lines of credit
- APR: 9% to 99% for term loans; 14% to 40% for lines of credit
- Loan term: Term loans repaid daily or weekly for 3 to 36 months; lines of credit are repaid weekly up to 6 months.
- Funding time: Fast as 24 hours but typically a few days
- Read our OnDeck review
At least two years in business: If you have sales of $200,000 or more and at least two years in business, Bond Street is an option.
Bond Street offers competitive APRs among online lenders for financing of up to $1 million.
- Loan amount: $10,000 to $1 million
- APR: 8% to 25%
- Loan term: One to three years
- Approval time: Average of three to four days
- Read our Bond Street review
Find and compare small-business loans
NerdWallet’s interactive small-business loans tool allows you to find financing that meets your goals. Sort by the age of your business, your credit score and the amount of money you need. Lenders were chosen based on factors including trustworthiness and user experience.
Updated July 11, 2017.