Startup Business Funding

1. Microlenders

Private and nonprofit lenders also offer microloans to startups that may not qualify for a standard business loan. These lenders tend to support minority or traditionally underserved small businesses. Microloans usually come with favorable terms, and making payments on time can help you build your credit — which, in turn, can make it easier to obtain more financing in the future.

2. Friends and family
If more traditional lenders aren’t an option, family loans may help fund your startup. While these loans may come with little (or no) interest, they can be costly if they begin to affect your personal relationships. Putting the terms in writing can help set clear expectations for both parties, as well as make sure everyone understands and accepts the risks involved.

3. Personal business loans
Personal business loans can be a solid option for those with strong personal finances. Loan amounts may be smaller and terms may be shorter than traditional business loans, but most are funded within a week of approval and, depending on your credit score, can have lower interest rates than other financing options. Just be sure that your lender has no restrictions against using a personal loan for business purposes.

4. Venture capital
Venture capitalists tend to invest only in high-growth companies, because there’s a significant amount of risk involved. If the startup doesn’t succeed, the investor won’t see a return on their investment. Most venture capitalists want, at minimum, a seat on the board of directors of any company they’re financing. However, some will want even more ownership.

5. Small-business grants
Startup business grants can be hard to get (competition is high), but if you can secure one, you’re looking at free money for your startup. You don’t need to pay grants back or pay interest on them like you would a loan. If you fall into a niche group —such as female, veteran or minority business owners — you may have better luck finding a grant for your startup.

6. Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs to raise money for their businesses, typically through an online campaign. To incentivize donations, you can offer gifts to those who donate to your campaign (such as a free product), but you can also design the campaign to fit your needs and budget.

7. Credit cards
When used responsibly, business credit cards can temporarily provide startup funding. If you need short-term financing for key purchases, a 0% introductory APR credit card can be especially useful. However, be sure you have a plan to pay off your balance before the introductory offer expires and the variable APR sets in.

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