How to Finance a Business: Assets

Welcome back to the How to Finance a Business series! This series explores different ways to get the financing for your business, regardless if you’re financing your own startup or buying a business already on the market. For many people, money is the only thing standing between them and their goal. You’ve got the business plan to make it work and the drive to see it to the end: all you need is someone who shares your entrepreneurial spirit.


Part Three: Assets

Last time we talked about loans from the Small Business Administration, the sought-after SBA Loan. While these are a great way of getting your business up and running (or maintaining it), there are a lot of restrictions and requirements. If these loans don’t seem right for you (and you’re looking capital needs larger than a credit card could get you), you might want to think about borrowing against your assets. These are resources you might not even think you have.


When Should I Use My Assets to Fund My Business?

According to a survey done by Consumer Reports, an average of 68 percent of the start-up financing for a business comes out of the pocket of the business owner. If the lack of liquid assets is the only thing between you and your dream business, it’s time to start looking at leveraging your other assets to finance it. Talk to your local banks and business brokers for options, and what will work best for you to extend your purchase power.


Types of Assets

This list isn’t exhaustive, but is a starting point to looking over your assets.

  • Home Equity: If you own your home, you can use it as collateral for a loan, such as with a home equity loan or line of credit. If you’re already paying a mortgage, talk to that lending institution first about refinancing. It might also be worth looking at ways to increase your home’s equity, as it will increase the size of the loan you can take out.
  • Liquidating Assets: This isn’t about selling the shirt off you back, but looking at the high-price items you own that you’re willing to part with to help finance your business. This includes selling your car, selling your home and downsizing to a new one, or selling other big-ticket items you can live without. The key is looking at what your expenses will be, and if liquidating some of your assets could make the difference.
  • Life Insurance Policy: If you have a life insurance policy, you may be able to borrow from the account if it is a permanent or “whole” life insurance policy. You can borrow cash value minus the “surrender charges,” also known as the surrender value. This surrender value can be borrowed at a low interest rate, and should be repaid as soon as possible for your beneficiaries.
  • Retirement Accounts: You can also borrow from your retirement accounts, such as your 401(k)s and IRA savings accounts. We’ll be going into depth about this in our next piece.

At George & Company we’ve seen and made a lot of businesses happen, including help getting people the financing they need to succeed. If you’re interested in buying or selling a business, or getting the assistance you need to make that happen, please contact us and we’ll put our skills in M&A, brokerage, and appraising to work for you.