Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at October 6th, 2017
So, how fundable is your business? Fundability – or, not just the ability to be funded but how desirable an entity is for funding – means different things to banks, venture capitalists, angel investors, and informal investors. However, they all agree on a few basic principles when answering the question of: how fundable is your business?
So, what does it mean when we speak about fundability? What does it mean when we say a company is fundable? This fundable analysis ought to get you thinking of your corporation – and corporate credit in a whole new light.
Let’s get that fundable meaning out of the way from the very start.
Fundable: of or capable of being funded; deserving of being funded.
Yet what is the fundable meaning in our context?
Here, the meaning is just a little bit different.
While it’s still capable of being funded, it also indicates – able to be funded by a loan provider or a credit company.
With this fundable definition, we are looking more at what credit issuers and loan providers wish to see. But let’s go back for a moment.
You’re a business owner. And like every single other entrepreneur, since the beginning of time, your company needs cash.
There are a few means for companies to get cash. Without entering into the nitty gritty information, the main ways for companies to get money are to:
(1) Sell products or services
(2) Sell their assets such as land, vehicles, tools, or office space in buildings they have
(3) Acquire crowdfunding
(4) Get angel investing or venture capital payments, or
(5) Borrow cash.
For the purposes of our fundable investigation, we are just looking at # 5.
Loan providers and credit providers want to see if your company is a good credit risk. To firms which are fronting your corporation cash, they want to know that you can pay them back.
Complicating matters is the problem of scams. Per a 2009 Experian report, “fraud-related costs for U. S. businesses are more than $50 billion annually. This figure may understate the extent of the problem, as estimates show that up to 30 percent of all bad-debt commercial losses are due to ‘soft’ fraud, which primarily occurs from material misrepresentation on an application. Combined with the fact that business fraud is estimated to be three to 10 times more profitable than consumer fraud, business fraud has become a growing concern for organizations.”
As a result of so much fraud, lenders and credit providers inspect credit applications very thoroughly.
Essentially, they are trying to find all kinds of ways to tell you and your firm no when you come to them for cash. Their fundable meaning includes the component of fitting their requirements for not being scammers. For financial institutions and the like, business legitimacy makes all the difference in the world. No legitimacy, then no funds. It’s that simple.
As a result of their careful checks for fraud, lenders and credit providers are taking into consideration numerous different aspects of your credit or loan application. They are looking at many aspects of your company, as well, and even at facets of you, the owner’s existence.
Your mission is to ease their fears of frauds. And the way in which you do this is by eliminating every factor they can point to, to potentially say no to offering you money.
There’s another reason fundability matters. Your leads and customers likewise want to feel that your corporation is the real deal. They don’t want to do business with what they view to be a fly by night operation. And could you blame them?
Developing and improving fundability to lenders and credit providers will have the added reward of giving off a reliability vibe to individuals and corporations aiming to buy your goods or services.
Fundability starts with recognizing what lenders and credit issuers are looking for. Then we’ll have a look at exactly how to most effectively accomplish and supply what they want.
Fundability all begins with your industry.
Some industries are thought to be high risk or restricted. These industries, by definition, are most likely to have a harder time getting funding of any type. How fundable is your business should start with – how fundable is your industry?
Usually, restricted and high risk industries have some things in common. There may be high risks of injury at work. Or the industry might engage in a great deal of cash transactions. This is true regardless of the safety record of a particular firm, or the majority of its transaction types.
Per the SIC, the following industries are high risk: travel agencies. The NAICS concurs.
Per the SIC, the following are restricted industries: pawn shops. The NAICS agrees.
This is the idea of congruency, and it is going to show up again and again. Business credit reporting bureaus and lenders will examine your firm diligently. Among the major ways they do this is by strictly checking for matching records.
Due to this, if your records do not all match, it will show up as if they are missing. Missing records will trigger a rejection, as a loan provider will assume fraud on its face.
As a result, it is crucial to make sure that every record, everything, is identical.
It goes beyond your industry. It’s also your corporate name, address, phone and fax numbers –everything! These must look the same all over, such as in IRS records; your company’s records with Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax; all licenses needed to run your corporation; and incorporation documents.
Copy/paste this information; do not chance it with retyping.
You can be innovative when naming your business.
Beyond crafting the perfect unforgettable name which is easy to spell and say, and also evokes your corporation’s mission statement, there’s also the matter of risk. Including a risky business type in your company name will trigger funding denials.
There is nothing misleading, illegal, or underhanded in keeping the name of a high risk or restricted industry out of your business name.
Congruency counts here, too. Your listed company ownership must be the same anywhere you provide it.
All corresponding pages list uniform business data
It is best practices to maintain a record of every place where your business has a listing.
A professional web site is a must. A business needs a professional-looking internet site. And it must have website hosting from a provider like GoDaddy. Don’t use Weebly or Wix. It needs to be your domain, not domain.wix.com. Use Upwork to employ people who can help you get set up. Get a professional logo from Fiverr.
Consider the more successful competition you have in your market. What do they include? What do they leave out? And what do they highlight?
You do not need to copy another website, and it isn’t in your best interests to do so, anyway. But do not hesitate to crib from some of their better ideas. If those concepts benefit them, then they might help you, as well.
Just like on the documents of the business, you need to display the owners of your business.
Customers and potential customers want to know who they’re dealing with.
And do not forget to include your About Us web page on your checklist of locations with company details which must be consistent.
Congruency is a requirement here too.
It’s the exclamation point in Yahoo! or the like. Don’t do this, if you can at all help it.
There are going to be people inputting your business name right into internet browser address bars. By adding special characters, you’ve just made it harder for them to do that.
Is it better to place the name of your industry into your company name, or not?
If your industry isn’t high risk or restricted, then it may be a good idea. Making things clearer for your potential customers and clients is usually beneficial.
But don’t place the name of a high risk or restricted industry in your business name! There is absolutely nothing deceptive or misleading about this.
Is your corporate name available in your state? Check your name with your Secretary of State. They could require that a business name be unique.
Any web site must be searchable.
Because if you make your customers and prospects go to another web site, they may not return.
A corporate address must be an actual brick and mortar building. It must be a deliverable physical address. This can never be a home address or a PO Box. Do not use UPS mailing addresses. Some lenders will not approve and fund unless this criterion is met.
A PO Box PBSA stands for a PO Box Post Box Street Address. Lenders and credit providers understand that these are really post office boxes. They will see these as being non-legitimate ‘addresses’, just like post office boxes.
Many entrepreneurs, particularly startup owners, don’t have the cash for actual office space. But loan providers check USPS and places like Google Maps to see if you’re using a home address. If you are, you often get an immediate decline. Never use a home address on your application. Even if your business is only you.
Luckily, the good news is, virtual offices are available in all states and many cities.
Your virtual office, preferably, must be in the same state where your company is incorporated.
In the exact same vein as the caution against a PBSA, you need a real physical address versus a mailing address.
Your corporation must have its own phone number. Do not give a personal cell or residential phone as a business telephone number. But VOIP (voice over internet protocol) is fine.
Also, your company telephone number must be toll-free. This is 800 exchange or such.
Again, congruency is an absolute requirement. This includes using the area code anywhere the number is provided.
A cell number or home telephone number as your primary business line could get you flagged as un-established. Your company number must only be used for your corporation. It must not be an additional line for your family to use.
Your voicemail greeting should, at an absolute minimum, inform the customer who they have reached and when you can return their phone call.
You must list your corporate telephone number on 411. You can do so on ListYourself.net.
Your phone number needs to have a 411 listing for most credit issuers, lenders, vendors, and even insurance companies to approve you. Check your record to see if you’re listed. Make sure your info is accurate.
As always, congruency is crucial here.
Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.
The amount of time you have been in business is, of course, an indicator of reliability and as a result fundability to lenders and credit issuers.
But what is the day when a corporation starts? It’s the day of incorporation. This is one reason why, the quicker you incorporate, the better.
Does your company have every one of its necessary licenses to operate in your industry and area? When did you get your licenses? A lender or credit provider will not consider your business to genuinely be in business if you’re missing critical licenses. The faster you get licensing, the better.
With no license to work in your industry, your ability to attain fundability is cut off at the knees. The lender or credit provider will feel it’s more important to protect the public than to offer you money.
An essential piece of the fundability puzzle is having a separate business bank account. You need a business bank account, to keep funds separate from your personal accounts. Commingling personal and company funds and expenses is a recipe for an audit from the IRS. The simplest way to keep these two universes distinct is to have separate bank accounts.
The date you open your business bank account is a crucial one in the life of your corporation. The account opening date is the business’s opening date, far as lenders are concerned. A longer history is better.
It’s also the business’s opening day, so far as the business CRAs see it. This is because the business CRAs have seen some firms attempt to do an end-run around time in business requirements by buying shelf corporations.
A shelf corporation is a corporation with value just in its age and nothing else. CRAs see the practice of buying them as deceptive. As a result, entrepreneurs can end up spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a shelf corporation, only to see their money squandered when the age of the shelf corporation isn’t considered by the CRAs at all.
There are some similarities between personal and business bank accounts. But to open a business bank account, the business owner must submit added documentation. This includes business registration paperwork. It can often (though not always) include proof of having an EIN.