Best Business Acquisition Loans to Consider in 2023
Business acquisition loans are used to buy a business that’s already established and generating income. These loans allow you to avoid the expensive and time-consuming startup phase, and instead, you can enjoy the benefits of owning a business that has already proven to be successful.
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A business acquisition loan allows you to skip the business startup costs and buy a business that’s already established. Business acquisition loans vary in interest rates, terms, fees, and more, so it’s important to find the loan that’s best for your needs. That’s why our team of financial experts reviewed and ranked the top online business lenders to help you get funded.
In this review our experts highlight the terms, rates and fees of each lender and explain what makes them a good option. We also share potential downsides of each lender, and provide a rating methodology you can use to select the best option for your needs.
Best Business Acquisition Loans in 2023 - Full Overview
GoKapital was founded in 2013 and is one of the best online lenders out there for business acquisition loans. A business acquisition loan is used to acquire an existing business or franchise, so it often requires a substantial loan amount. GoKapital offers small business loans up to $5 million and commercial real estate loans up to $50 million, both of which can be used to purchase an existing business.
Main Features GoKapital small business loans range from $5,000 to $5 million with terms up to 25 years. You’ll see the best interest rates on SBA loans (as low as 4%), but those loans do take longer to fund than other types of financing. For faster financing, GoKapital offers equipment financing loans and business lines of credit. If you are looking to purchase a building, GoKapital offers commercial mortgages up to $50 million to qualified borrowers. To qualify for small business funding from GoKapital, you need to have a minimum credit score of 500, at least one year of business history, and $240,000 or more in annual revenues. Commercial property loans do not have an annual income requirement, but do require a stronger credit score (650 or higher) and additional documentation.
GoKapital offers many types of small business loans that can be used to acquire a new business or franchise. If you have questions along the way, a helpful representative is available via phone, email, or chat.
SBA commercial real estate loans up to $5 million.
Loan Repayment 10 - 25 years
SBA 7(a) loan rates: 8.25-9.25%
SBA Commercial real estate loan rates: 5.50-6.75%
Receive multiple loan offers
Pros & Cons
Only 1 application: For SBA and term loans
Multiple loan options
Upfront, clear loan terms
Loan calculator: Easily see your terms
Large application fees: For SBA loans
Closing costs vary: For SBA loans
SmartBiz offers term loans and SBA loans that you can use for business acquisition. The term loans feature amounts from $30,000 to $500,000 and carry repayment terms of two to five years. The SBA loans are available for amounts from $30,000 to $5 million and feature repayment terms from 10 to 25 years. With SmartBiz, you only need to fill out one application, regardless of whether you’re interested in the term loan, SBA loan, or both. SmartBiz professionals are available by phone and online to help you explore your financing options.
Main Features SmartBiz term loans feature fixed interest rates from 6.99% to 24.99%, and there are no prepayment penalties. Term loan qualifications include being in business for at least two years, having a personal credit score over 660, and having cash flow to support the loan payments. With longer loan terms up to 25 years, the SBA loans have lower interest rates from 4.75% to 7.00%. SBA loan application requirements vary depending on the loan size, but include a credit score of at least 650 and having been in business for at least two years.
With the ability to complete one application for both term loans and SBA loans, SmartBiz is a practical option if you’re undecided about which type of loan is right for you. You can easily compare your loan terms and interest rates to determine which option is best for your business acquisition.
Biz2Credit - Best for a simple application process
Biz2Credit offers term loans for small business acquisition. These term loans are available in amounts from $25,000 to $500,000. The application process is easy and takes about four minutes. Biz2Credit processes most applications in 24 hours and often issues funding within 72 hours. Funding specialists are available to help you determine which loan terms are best for your business, and they also offer help during your online application process. In addition to business acquisition, term loans can be used for business growth, and they can help to free up cash flow.
Main Features Most approved applicants have been in business for at least 18 months, have an annual revenue of more than $250,000, and have a 660 credit score or higher. Loan repayment plans range from 12 to 36 months, and you can choose from weekly and biweekly payment options. Interest rates start at 7.99%, but can vary depending on your credit score. If you authorize an online connection to your company’s bank account, you may be eligible for a discount.
Biz2Credit is a good choice for business acquisition loans for small businesses. The fast application and funding process is ideal when you’re buying a new business, and the easy loan application is user-friendly and takes less than five minutes.
Fundbox offers term loans for small businesses that provide a lump sum payout. You can use that lump sum to purchase a business. Loans are available in amounts up to $150,000, and there are no application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties. Whether you’re approved for funding or not, you’ll have free access to Insights once you connect your business bank accounts. Insights help to predict cash flow so you can make better-informed funding decisions. Loan terms are 24 or 52 weeks, and loans feature variable interest rates.
Main Features Applying for a Fundbox loan is a two-part process, but it won’t affect your credit score. You’ll need to share basic information about your business and then connect your accounting software and/or business checking account. Fundbox may approve your loan in minutes, and may transfer funds as soon as the next business day. The funding offer is good for 30 days. While interest rates are variable, Fundbox offers you the ability to repay the loan in equal installments over the duration of the term.
Fundbox offers efficient loan processing and may transfer funds into your bank account as soon as the next business day, ideal when you’re trying to quickly get financing for your business purchase. Because Fundbox only offers term loans up to $150,000, this company is only the right choice if you’re looking to buy a small business or need minimal funding. Fundbox has no application fees, original fees, or prepayment penalties, which could save you money compared to what you would pay to take out a loan elsewhere.
Loans available to companies with bad credit rates
Pros & Cons
Apply online or over the phone
Simple application is easy to complete
SMART Box: Outlines loan details
Same day funding: Get funds fast
Automatic payments: Daily or weekly
Lower credit score requirement: 600 or higher
Prepayment option: Waives remaining interest
High APR: Interest rates start at 35%
Origination fees aren’t waived
OnDeck offers short term loans with repayment terms up to 24 months, and funding amounts range from $5,000 to $250,000. OnDeck offers transparent pricing and competitive loan terms. Predictable, fixed payments mean you’ll know exactly what you’ll be paying back during the entire life of the loan, making it easier to budget for your loan payments. OnDeck also offers a free SMART Box comparison tool that helps you to understand all of your loan details, including your origination fee, APR, and payment amounts.
Main Features The application is easy and can be completed online or over the phone. Minimum eligibility requirements include having been in business for at least one year, a personal FICO score of at least 600, an annual gross revenue of at least $100,000, and a business checking account. Once your application is approved, you could receive your funds that same day at no additional cost. While interest rates are high and start at 35%, if you qualify for the prepayment benefit option, you can have your remaining interest waived without any additional fee.
OnDeck is a good option for a business acquisition loan if you’re looking for a shorter loan repayment option. Keep in mind that the 35% and up interest rates are high, but if you anticipate being able to pay off the loan early, you could qualify to have any remaining interest waived.
Funding Circle offers business term loans and SBA 7(a) loans. The SBA 7(a) loans range from $50,000 to more than $500,000, and you can use them for equipment purchases. With a term loan, you can borrow from $25,000 to $500,000 and can use that money for nearly any business purpose, including acquisition. Term loans are processed in as few as three days, ideal when you want to quickly move forward with an acquisition. The SBA application process takes more time and requires a conversation with an assigned loan specialist, and then you can expect to receive a decision within three weeks.
Main Features The term loan application process is simple, and term lengths run from six months to five years. You’ll enjoy set monthly payments for easier budgeting, and there’s no prepayment fee. SBA loans have several application requirements, including three years of business tax returns, a balance sheet and profit and loss statement, a business debt schedule, three years of personal tax returns, and a personal financial statement. SBA loans for larger amounts may also require collateral.
Since Funding Circle offers multiple types of loans that can be used for business acquisition, it can be a good source for applicants with varying funding needs. The larger loan amount limits make Funding Circle a practical choice for small business acquisition.
Loan Features: What are the loan terms, and how long is the loan for? What are the minimum and maximum loan amounts, and do they fit within your funding needs? What are the repayment options, and are there penalties for prepayment?
Application process: How involved is the application, and does it involve a soft-pull or hard-pull credit score impact? Once you’re approved, how quickly will you receive funding? If you’re working on a short timeframe, you’ll need a loan that’s quickly processed and funded.
Interest rates and fees: What are the minimum and maximum interest rates, and are they competitive with current industry interest rates? Be sure to pay attention to extra fees and penalties, like loan origination fees and prepayment penalties. You’ll need to consider how quickly you want to pay back your loan and how much cash flow you’re likely to have when deciding which interest rate options are best.
Qualification process: Understanding the qualification process can help you to determine if you might qualify for a loan. Common requirements include a minimum credit score, annual revenue range, financial projections and business plan, and details about the business’ history.
Customer support: When you have questions about or issues with your loan, can you easily and quickly contact a lender, especially during the application review process? Consider whether you’ll have access to a live customer service representative and what the lender’s hours are.
Online user reviews: Consider what other customers are saying about the lender on sites like Trustpilot. Every lender will have some negative reviews, but look for warning signs like multiple customers complaining about the same issue.
Perks and Bonuses: Consider any additional perks and advantages to choosing the lender. Do they offer advanced technology, payment flexibility, or advertising transparency?
Main Features of The Best Business Acquisition Loans
Min. Credit Score
Min. Time in Business
Min. Annual Revenue
$25,000 to $500,000
$5,000 to $200,000
Max 35.99% APR
$5,000 to $5,000,000
5.5% and up
Up to $150,000
$5,000 to $250,000
3 years for SBA loans
$25K-$500K for term loans, $50K- $500K for SBA loans
660 for term loans, 650 for SBA loans
2 years for term loans, 3 years for SBA loans
$30K-$500K for term loans, $30K-$5M for SBA loans
6.99% and up for term loans, 4.75% to 7.00% for SBA loans
How Do Business Acquisition Loans Work?
Business acquisition loans give you the financing you need to buy an established business. Loans can vary in amount from $5,000 to $5,000,000 or more, and they help an applicant purchase a business that they wouldn’t otherwise have the money to afford. By buying an established business, a business owner can avoid the expenses and challenges that come with the startup process, and can step into running an already functional business.
Applications for business acquisition loans generally review information about both the applicant and the business to be purchased. Applicants may need to meet requirements such as a minimum credit score rating, proof of previous experience that could help them to run the business, and proof of citizenship. Lenders may have strict requirements for the minimum number of years the business has been in operation and its annual income.
Types of Business Acquisition Loans
Multiple types of loans can function as business acquisition loans.
SBA loans are backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which reduces the risk that lenders assume by issuing the loans. SBA loans tend to make it easier for small business owners to get the funding they need for multiple purposes, including business acquisition. Some lenders do restrict how their SBA loans can be used, so it’s important to find a lender who allows those loans to be used for business acquisition.
An SBA loan can vary in size from $500 to $5.5 million, and the loans offer several advantages over other types of financing. Low down payments are common, and some loans don’t require collateral. SBA loans typically have rates and fees that are competitive, and these loans often have a wide range of repayment term options.
Startup loans are designed to help cover the initial expenses that come with starting a new business. These loans can cover costs like leasing space, buying equipment, and paying for monthly expenses. Startup loans allow business owners to retain their equity in their business while still having the funding they need to be able to operate the business as it gains traction.
Since these loans are for new businesses, most startup loan applications focus heavily on the business owner’s personal credit rating, rather than on the business’ history and finances. The SBA loan program can be considered a startup loan, though there are many other options, too.
Short-term loans are intended to help business owners cover temporary business financing needs, like the purchase of a new business. These loans have shorter repayment periods than traditional loans, often lasting just six to 18 months. These loans are typically for smaller amounts up to about $100,000 that a business owner can promptly repay.
Because short-term loans are to be repaid quickly, business owners may need to make weekly or even daily payments. The APR for short-term loans is usually higher than the APR of longer-term loans. It’s also important to ensure that the repayment schedule is practical when buying a new business, since missed payment fees can quickly add up.
Equipment Financing Loans
Equipment financing loans give business owners funding that they need to purchase equipment for their business, like an oven, furniture, medical equipment, or vehicle. This type of loan lets business owners spread the cost of an expensive equipment purchase across multiple years, while also ensuring the business has access to the equipment that it needs to operate and drive income.
Equipment loans often use the equipment that’s purchased as collateral. As a result, applicants don’t usually need to have the highest credit rating or the strongest business financial history. Business equipment loans tend to require minimal paperwork and feature fixed interest rates, which makes for predictable payments throughout the loan’s entire term.
Banks and Credit Unions
Most banks and credit unions offer small business financing options, but these loans can vary significantly in amount, term limits, and interest rate. Because federal credit unions are exempt from federal taxes, they’re often able to offer lower interest fees and loan fees, like origination fees.
Bank and credit union business loan applicant requirements can also vary. Credit unions will require that applicants are members, while banks tend to offer loans to anyone, regardless of whether they have an account at the bank. Qualifying for a loan through a bank may be more difficult than getting a loan from a credit union, so applicants need to consider which option is best for their needs.
Other Business Acquisition Financing Options
In addition to securing a business acquisition loan, it’s also possible to buy a business through seller financing. In this instance, a business owner acts like the lender, agrees to a deal with the buyer, and then allows the buyer to gradually pay back the price of the business. The buyer will pay a certain amount of the cost upfront with cash, and then, just like with a traditional loan, the buyer will need to pay back the rest of the balance with interest and over a specified term.
If a business owner wants to acquire a second business to merge it into their existing business, then it might be possible to use equity to acquire that second business. The business owner could offer owners of that second business equity in the merged business. This can be an appealing offer, since it would let those owners retain some control. Their equity could also increase if that business thrives, giving them better value than if they had accepted an initial cash offer.
Tips for Getting Business Acquisition Loans
If you’re planning to apply for business acquisition financing, these four simple steps can increase your chances of being approved.
Write a detailed business plan. Your business plan can help you to understand how the business operates, the income opportunities available, and how much money you’ll need to run the business. That plan is also important for your funding application, and it demonstrates that you have an understanding of the business and that you’ve put the necessary research and thought into making the business a success.
Carefully review your finances. It’s important to identify how much cash you have available to put toward the business acquisition so you can determine exactly how much you need to borrow. Take time to review the business’ finances, too. Previous business financial reports as well as financial projections can help you to determine how much income you’re likely to have. With this income information, you’ll have a better sense of the loan payment size that you can best handle.
Improve your credit score. Most business acquisition loan applications partially depend on your credit score, and the higher your score is, the more likely you are to get a lower interest rate. If your credit score is too low, you might not be able to secure funding. Pay down existing debts and focus on making payments on time to boost your credit score.
Compare your loan options. Spend time exploring the different loan types available, and consider applying for multiple loans so you can find the best option. Compare not only interest rates, but other factors like origination fees, loan terms, and prepayment penalties to decide which loan is right for you.
With a business acquisition loan, you can buy a business that’s already established and generating income. These loans allow you to avoid the expensive and time-consuming startup phase, and instead, you can enjoy the benefits of owning a business that has already proven to be successful. Business acquisition loan amounts, terms, and eligibility requirements vary, so when choosing a loan, it’s important to consider the loan amount you need and what repayment terms will work well for you.