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Where to Borrow Money for Your Business

By Phil Holland, Founder,

The most frequently asked question by start-up entrepreneurs is: Where can I get the money to start my business? The answer to that big problem lies in first knowing how much will be needed and then knowing where to go for it. To determine how much, summarize up all of your starting costs and then add the working capital required for one year as determined by a one-year cash flow projection. A free, easy cash flow format is available on the non-profit website Here are some money sources:

  • Personal savings should be considered the primary source. If you haven't started already, start now. Frugality is the cornerstone for starting a business.
  • Friends and family. A relatively easy and cheap source with usually reasonable payback terms.
  • Personal credit cards can provide readily available unsecured money. But it's an expensive source of funds.
  • The Small Business Administration's loan guarantee programs: The SBA is offering guarantee programs that will turn a banker's scowl upside down. Contact your closest SBA office or go to
  • Business relationships and vendors can offer all kinds of inexpensive financing and working capital. This includes landlords offering tenant improvements, vendors participating with advertising allowances and extended credit terms, and leasing rather than purchasing your furniture, signs and equipment.

Final advice: It's not a good idea for entrepreneurs to take out home equity loans to start a business. It's betting the farm which is not a good idea.

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