Best Retail Business Loans

Whether you have an ecommerce retail business, a brick-and-mortar store, or both, there’s a good chance you have countless expenses. With retail business loans, you can receive the funds you need to cover them and stay ahead of the competition.

Retail Business Loan
Written by:Anna Baluch
Freelance Copywriter

No matter what types of goods you sell, you are prone to ebbs and flows in your cash flow. In addition, you likely have high overhead expenses and may find it a real challenge to maintain the correct levels of inventory.

Retail business loans can provide you with capital that will steer you toward success, even when the competition is fierce and business is slower than usual. Below, we’ll dive deep into the various retail business loans available so you can choose the best options for your unique venture.

Our Top Picks for Retail Business Loans

  • Ideal for plenty of industries
  • Approval not solely credit based
  • Early payoff discounts
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 550+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K-$750K
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 4-15 months
Fundbox review
  • No monthly fees or prepayment penalties
  • Same-day or next-day funding
  • Best for business lines of credit
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 600+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K - $150K
Loan Repayment 6-12 months
ondeck review
  • Discounts for repeat customers
  • Funding in 24 hours
  • Loans available to companies with bad credit rates
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 600+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $6K- $100K
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 3 - 18 months

How to Choose the Best Retail Business Loan

If you shop around, you’ll find plenty of retail business loans. That’s why it’s a good idea to explore all of your options. While ranking the best retail business loans in 2022, our experts focused on the following factors.

  • Loan Features: Loan features refer to loan amounts, terms, and repayment plans, which vary greatly. If you hope to run a retail store, large amounts, lengthy terms, and flexible repayments are ideal.
  • Application process: Fortunately, many lenders offer fast, online applications that you can complete within minutes. As the owner of a retail business, you may also benefit from a prequalification tool that lets you check your offers without hurting your credit.
  • Interest rates and fees: Since it’s expensive to launch and operate a retail business, loans with low interest rates and minimum to no fees are preferred as they can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  • Qualification process: Some loans are designed for retail startups who haven’t been around for very long while others are intended for more established ventures with strong credit and high revenue.
  • Customer support: High customer service ratings can give you the peace of mind you deserve. Depending on the lender, you may receive the loan assistance you need via phone, email, live chat, or resources on the lender’s website.
  • Online user reviews: Third-party reviews and ratings on sites like Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB) uncover the reputation of a lender, which should be important to you as a retail business owner.
  • Perks and Bonuses: Perks can make any retail business loan more attractive. These might include a robust mobile app, hardship assistance, and mentoring.

Best Retail Business Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

1. Fora Financial: Best for Merchant Cash Advance

Fora Financial is a fintech lender that offers loans to all types of borrowers, including those with bad credit. As the owner of a retail business, you can take advantage of its merchant cash advance, which lets you borrow against your future debit and credit card sales without the strict terms of short-term business loans.

Leninant requirements: Fora will look beyond your credit when reviewing your application.
Quick application: You can apply online within minutes.
Fast funding: Depending on when you apply, you may receive the funds in as little as 72 hours.
Rates might be high: If you have bad credit, you can expect higher than average interest rates.
Fees: You might be responsible for origination fees, late fees, and other fees in addition to interest.

To get a Fora merchant cash advance for your retail business, you’ll need a credit score of at least 500, $12,000 minimum in earnings, and six months of business under your belt. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $500,000.

The Bottom Line

If you’re having trouble qualifying for traditional financing, a merchant cash advance from Fora Financial might make sense. This is particularly true if most of your retail customers pay with debit and credit cards.

2. Fundbox: Best for Short Term Loans

Fundbox is an alternative lender that uses artificial intelligence to match borrowers to loans. Its short term loans offer a lump sum of money upfront, which you can pay back over 24 or 52 weeks. You can use them for one-time upgrades or investments.

Fast approvals: Once you fill out Fundbox’s simple application, you can get approved for retail financing in minutes.
No extra fees: Aside from interest, you won’t have to pay fees to borrow money with Fundbox.
Convenient repayments: Fundbox lets you automatically debit payments from your bank account.
High rates: Compared to similar lenders, Fundbox charges higher interest rates.
Small maximum amount: You’ll only be able to borrow up to $150,000 with Fundbox.

Fundbox short term loans range from $1,000 to $150,000 with APRs that start around 18% with terms of 24 or 52 weeks. For a chance at approval, you must have a credit score of at least 600, minimum annual revenue of $100,000, and a track record of six months in business or more.

The Bottom Line

If you have to cover startup costs or emergency expenses for your retail business, Fundbox short term loans should be on your radar.

3. OnDeck: Best for Term Loans

OnDeck specializes in fast small-business loans for borrowers with fair to good credit. Its term loans start at $5,000, making them ideal if you need to borrow a larger amount of money. You can repay them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Easy application process: You can apply online quickly, from your mobile device.
Fast funding: Upon approval, you may receive your funds in as quickly as 24 hours.
Discounts for repeat customers: If you borrow with OnDeck more than once, you can land an interest rate discount and save on origination fees.
No benefit for paying off your loan early: Since OnDeck requires you to pay a fixed amount of fees, you won’t save any money if you repay your loan early.
Fees: You may be on the hook for additional fees, like origination fees, which can increase your cost of borrowing.
Frequent payments: If you have cash flow issues, it can be tough to make the daily or weekly repayments.

To qualify for an OnDeck term loan, you need a credit score of at least 600, a minimum of $100,000 in annual revenue, and at least one year of business under your belt. You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000 and choose from terms that range from 3 to 18 months. APRS are from 11.98% to 46.06%.

The Bottom Line

If you’d like a term loan that offers a convenient online or mobile application and fast funding, you might want to explore OnDeck.

Try OnDeck

4. BlueVine: Best for Lines of Credit

BlueVine is a financial technology company with lines of credit. With a line of credit, you can pull funds as much or as little as you’d like up to a set credit limit. Compared to other loan options, it’s very flexible and convenient, especially if you’d like easy access to cash.

Leninant requirements: You might get approved for a BlueVine line of credit with a low credit score.
Competitive rates: Depending on your credit, you may lock in a lower interest rate that reduces the overall cost of the loan.
Fast funding: Upon approval, you can begin to withdraw funds immediately.
Limited availability: BlueVine is not available in every state.
Short repayment terms: Since terms are between 6 to 12 months, your payment may be high.

Lines of credit from BlueVine range from $5,000 to $250,000 with a starting APR of 4.8%. BlueVine eligibility criteria includes a minimum credit score of 600, at least $120,000 in annual revenue, and a business history of six months or more.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t know exactly how much money you need to borrow or want to reduce the risk of cash flow shortages in your retail business, a BlueVine line of credit can be a solid choice.

Try BlueVine

5. Credibly: Best for Working Capital Loans

Credibly is a Michigan-based online lender that provides working capital loans. These loans can help you cover the everyday expenses of your retail business, such as inventory and payroll. You can borrow up to $400,000 and repay your loan daily or weekly.

Simple application process: You can apply online quickly, in about 10 minutes.
Bad credit accepted: As long as you have a credit score above 500, you may get approved.
High borrowing limits: Credibly allows you to borrow up to $400,000, which should be enough to cover the working capital costs of your retail venture.
High interest rates: Since the starting factor rate is 1.15, your interest costs may get expensive.
Fees: You may owe additional fees, like origination fees.
Frequent payments: If you’re struggling with cash flow, it can be tough to make the mandatory daily or weekly repayments.

Credibly requires you to have a minimum credit score of 500, $180,000 in annual revenue, and a business history of at least six months. The factor rate starts at 1.15 and you can secure up to $400,000 in funding with repayment terms between 6 to 18 months. These requirements are lenient, compared to those of other lenders.

The Bottom Line

For a large working capital loan with flexible repayment terms, Credibly can be a strong option even if you don’t have the best credit.

6. National Funding: Best for Equipment Financing

National Funding provides small business loans for those with bad credit. If you need to buy or lease equipment for your retail business, you may benefit from its equipment financing. Since your loan will be secured to your equipment, you may be able to land a lower interest rate and more favorable terms.

Fast funding: Depending on when you apply, you can receive the funds you need for your equipment as quickly as one business day.
Bad credit accepted: You might get approved, even if you have poor or fair credit.
Early payment discount: If you pay off your loan early, you can save money on your factor rate.
Additional fees: National Funding may charge you an origination fee.
Frequent repayments: You’ll be required to repay what you borrow on a weekly or daily basis.
Rates can be expensive: Since rates are higher than average, you may pay more for your equipment loan overall.

With National Funding’s equipment financing, you borrow up to $150,000 with terms of 2 to 5 years. To take out this loan, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 500, at least $100,000 in annual revenue, and a business track record of one year or more.

The Bottom Line

Equipment financing from National Funding can come in handy if you need funds to pay for cash registers, shopping carts, computers, POS systems, and other equipment for your retail venture.

Best Retail Business Loans - Features Comparisons

Company Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate
Fora Financial 500
Six months $12,000 minimum in earnings $5,000 to $500,000 Not disclosed
Fundbox 600 Six months $100,000 $1,000 to $150,000 Starts at 18%
OnDeck 600 One year $100,000 $5,000 to $250,000 11.98% to 46.06%
BlueVine 600 Six months $120,000 $5,000 to $250,000 Starts at 4.8%
Credibly 500 Six months $180,000 Up to $400,000 Factor rate starts at 1.15
National Funding 500 One year
$100,000 Up to $150,000 Not disclosed

What are Retail Business Loans?

Put simply, a retail business loan provides you with cash to pay for a wide array of expenses for your retail business. There are a number of different loans available, each with their own pros and cons. Most of these loans are offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders and available to most retail ventures, regardless of the types of goods served.

How Can You Use Retail Business Loans?

Retail business loans are flexible so you can use them to cover virtually any expense to start or run your retail store, including:

  • Inventory: The right amount of inventory for your target audience is vital. Retail business loans can help you ensure you alway have enough on hand.
  • Expansion: If your retail store is a real hit and you’re pleased with your profits, you might want to open new locations. You can use a retail business loan to assist with your expansion costs.
  • Equipment: Even if you run your retail business loan online, you’ll need to invest in equipment, which is often very expensive. Equipment financing offers a great way to buy or lease equipment.
  • Technology: Advanced technology can help your store stand out from the crowd. You may want to take out a retail business loan to pay for an intuitive mobile app, cutting-edge CRM system, or payment services, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Interior Updates: If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you want to ensure it's inviting and attractive. A retail business loan may help you finance renovations.
  • Marketing: Even if you’ve been around for years and have a loyal customer base, you can’t go wrong with marketing. With a retail business loan, you can fund social media ads, direct mail, email marketing, radio spots, and other marketing initiatives that may take your retail store to the next level.

How Much Does It Cost To Finance a Retail Business?

The costs to open a retail business depend on the type of goods you sell, the size of your store, and your location. Whether it’s brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, or both will make a difference as well. On average, however, you can expect to pay around $48,000 for a brick-and-mortar store and a bit less for a solely online venture. You’ll likely have to pay these startup costs:

  • Permitting and licensing fees: These vary from state to state and must be obtained before you open your retail store.
  • Business entity formation: Once you decide what kind of entity you want to be, you’ll need to pay anywhere from $150 to $300.
  • Insurance: At the very least, you’ll need worker’s compensation, general business, and liability insurance, which may run you between $500 to $2,000 per year.
  • Commercial property: The amount it will cost you to lease or buy a storefront will depend on location.

How to Qualify for Retail Business Loan?

Each lender has their own unique qualification requirements. In most cases, however, they will consider the following factors:

  • Financial history: Most lenders like to see at least several months of financial history to prove that you can repay what you borrow. Rest assured if you’re a startup, they may still approve you.
  • Business plan: A well-written business plan can show lenders what you intend to do with the funds. It should include descriptions of all of your major expenses, including startup costs, working capital costs, and expansion costs.
  • Credit scores: Lenders will look at your personal and business credit scores to determine how creditworthy you are as a borrower. Of course, the higher your scores are, the more likely you are to get approved with favorable rates and terms.
  • Business history: A business history is often just as important as a financial history. The longer you’ve been around, the more comfortable a lender will be with lending you money.

How do Retail Business Loans Work?

Oftentimes, retail business loans provide you with large sums of money at one time. You then repay them plus interest and fees over an agreed upon term, which can range from several months to several years or even longer.

Other retail business loans, like business lines of credit and credit cards are revolving lines of credit, meaning you can withdraw funds whenever you’d like, up to a set credit limit, which is usually based on your credit score and other factors. You’ll only pay interest on the amount you borrow.

There are also loans like merchant cash advances and invoice factoring, which you’ll repay with a percentage of your future card sales or customer invoices. These typically offer quick approvals and fast funding.

When you do your research on various retail business loans, you’ll find that some of them are easier to qualify for than others. Merchant cash advances and equipment financing, for example, are more lenient than traditional term loans and line of credit.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Retail Business Loan?

There are a number of ways you can increase your likelihood of getting approved for a retail business loan, including:

  • Choose a realistic amount: Be sure to ask for the right amount of funding. While you don’t want to overestimate this figure, you also want to ensure it’s large enough to meet your needs. Consult a CPA or a financial professional for guidance.
  • Find the right type of loan: Not all retail business loans are created. Apply for the financing options that make sense for your unique situation.
  • Offer collateral: If you’re a startup or newer business, you may have greater success with secured loans that require collateral or an asset that you own. This may be commercial property, a company vehicle, or equipment.
  • Be professional: While this may seem obvious, it’s important to remember to be professional any time you communicate with a potential lender via phone or email. In addition, be honest and transparent.

Launch or Grow Your Retail Business

Retail business loans can make your life easier if your goal is to start or expand any type of retail store. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, make sure you understand the loan terms and feel confident that you’ll be able to repay what you borrow. Best of luck with your retail venture.

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About the Author

Anna Baluch

Freelance Copywriter

Freelance copywriter who enjoys writing for large publications as well as startups, small to medium sized businesses. Anna Baluch is a personal finance writer with over 7 years of experience covering topics related to mortgages, debt management, student loans, personal loans, and more.

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