Business Credit Center

Financial documents necessary for your credit application

When you're getting ready to apply, understand what business documents you'll need and why.

Published: August 08, 2016
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Financial documents necessary for your credit application

While preparing to apply for credit, you’ll need to gather key information and required business documents to support your application. The requirements will vary greatly depending on the type and amount of credit, from basic information for a credit card to full financials for a major term loan. For more complex loans, you may need to provide additional information. For example, in the case of a commercial real estate loan you will need to provide some property related documentation.

Here’s a list of common information needed when applying for business credit:

What you'll need: Business and personal information

Why: You’ll need to have all relevant names, dates and numbers handy to complete an application — including bank account numbers and balances for business and personal accounts, as well as annual revenues for the business.

What you'll need: Business entity paperwork and permits

Why: Whether your business is a limited partnership, corporation or some other type of entity, you may need to include the entity documents, as well as any important licenses or permits.

What you'll need: Business Financials

Why: Your balance sheet provides information on your assets and liabilities at a point in time, while your cash flow statement provides a critical metric for a lender in terms of your cash flow over time. If your finances aren’t well organized and you find it difficult to generate this information then it may be a good time to re-examine your accounting practices.

What you'll need: Personal income statement

Why: Even for a well-established business, the owner’s personal finances still play an important role. Your W-2, a recent paystub, personal tax return, and a statement of your annual household income reassures the lender that personal financial needs aren’t likely to affect the business, and conversely, that you could help support it with your own resources if necessary.

What you'll need: Tax returns

Why: For larger loans, you’ll need to provide both personal and business tax returns for the last two years. This record is important to ensure the business has the income claimed and the ability to service all debt, including the new financing.

To present a strong credit application, be sure to avoid these common application mistakes.

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