One of the most common reasons small business funding is delayed is an incomplete application. There’s a lot that goes into a small business loan application, and if you want your financing to get approved as quickly as possible, you should ensure that you’ve done everything on your part.

Decide What Loan Works for You

Not every loan is worth applying for, nor will every loan be applicable to your situation. For example, some loans may be specific for startups, and some may exclude new businesses from eligibility. You’ll want to first decide what type of funding you need, whether it be for equipment or working capital, because that will determine what agencies you can seek out. Then, decide the right balance between how much money you need and how quickly you need it. Some online lenders have fast application and approval processes in place, but if you need a larger sum from a bank or the SBA, you might have a much longer wait time.

Organize Your Documentation

It’s good practice to have your financial records organized because the list for applications can be quite extensive. Lenders will assess your eligibility based on the financial health of your company, using credit reports and tax and accounting records. Save everything, and organize it in a streamlined way. It’d be good practice to hire a bookkeeper or accountant to regularly manage all your financial documents so that when the time comes, you can easily access anything you need. You’ll also want to have a business plan in order and ready to go, as lenders almost always require an outlined proposal of your business structure and your plans for the funds.

Follow the Instructions

This seems fairly straightforward, but be sure to include everything the lender has requested when submitting a small business loan application. Not all loans require the same sort of documentation. Each lender will have specific requirements for eligibility and a specific way you can apply. For example, you may have to apply in person or over the phone rather than online.

Boost Your Credit

If possible, boost your credit as much as you can before you start applying for financing. Your credit score will determine eligibility as well as your interest rates, so be sure to pay off excess debts and keep your credit utilization under 30% in order to increase your score. Keep in mind that lenders will do hard inquiries into credit, lowering your score by a few points. Try only applying for one loan at a time to minimize damage.