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Retail Business Loans: Best Financing Options in 2022

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

Retail Business Loan
Anna Baluch
Freelance Copywriter

Reviewed by: Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, Finance Content Writer and Editor

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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 inventory levels.

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 small business loans available so you can choose the best options for your unique venture.

Retail Business Loans: Best Financing Options in 2022

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. In this review, we 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 methodology you can use to select the best option for your needs.

 

Best Retail Business Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

Fora Financial: Best for Merchant Cash Advance

banner_Fora Financial

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.

Pros
Leninant requirements
Quick application
Fast funding in as little as 72 hours
Cons
Rates might be high: If you have bad credit, you can expect higher than average interest rates.
Fees may include origination fees and, late fees

To get a Fora merchant cash advance for your retail business, you’ll need $12,000 minimum in earnings and 6 months of business under your belt. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $750,000. The lender places no restrictions on how the cash advance is used. This means that you use funds to meet payroll, buy new or finance used equipment, make repairs, or for any other business need.

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.

National Funding: Best for Equipment Financing

banner_ National Funding

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.

Pros
Fast funding
Bad credit accepted
Early payment discount
Cons
National Funding may charge you an origination fee.
Daily or weekly payments
Rates can be expensive

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 600, 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.

Fundbox: Best for Short Term Loans

Banner Fundbox

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.

Pros
Fast approvals in minutes
No extra fees
Convenient repayments via automatic debit
Cons
High rates
Small maximum amount

Fundbox short-term loans range from $1,000 to $150,000 with APRs that start around 8.33% with terms of 24 or 52 weeks. Structured as a line of credit, these loans offer fast approval and flexible repayment terms. For a chance at approval, you must have a credit score of a least 600, minimum annual revenue of $100,000, and a track record of 6 months in business or more.

The Bottom Line

If you have to cover startup costs or emergency expenses for your retail business, Fundbox’s line of credit should be on your radar. Just be aware that you may not qualify for the lowest possible interest rate.

Bluevine: Best for Lines of Credit

banner blu vine

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.

Pros
Lenient credit requirements
Competitive rates
Fast funding
Cons
Not available in every state
Short repayment terms

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 6 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

OnDeck: Best for Term Loans

Banner Ondeck

OnDeck specializes in fast small-business loans for borrowers with fair to good credit. Its term loans start at $5,000. You can repay them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Pros
Easy application process via mobile device
Fast funding as soon as the same day as approval
Discounts for repeat customers
Cons
No benefit for paying off your loan early
You may be on the hook for additional fees
Daily or weekly payments

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 1 year of business under your belt. You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000 and choose from terms up to 24 months. APRS start at 29.9%.

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

Credibly: Best for Working Capital Loans

Banner Credibly

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.

Pros
Apply online quickly in about 10 minutes
Bad credit accepted
High borrowing limits
Cons
High interest rates
You may owe origination fees
Daily or weekly payments

Credibly requires you to have a minimum credit score of 500, $180,000 in annual revenue, and a business history of at least 6 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.

What Are Retail Business Loans?

A retail business loan provides you with cash to pay for a wide array of expenses for your retail business. Expenses such as equipment, inventory, marketing, and more.There are several different loans available, each with its pros and cons. Most of these loans are offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders and are available to most retail ventures, regardless of the types of goods served.

 

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 lines of credit.

 

How to Choose The Best Retail Business Loan

  • 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 that 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.

 

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 always 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 To Qualify for Retail Business Loan?

Each lender has its 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 financial history. The longer you’ve been around, the more comfortable a lender will be with lending you money.

 

Best Retail Business Loans - Main Features

Company Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate 
Fora FinancialNot disclosed6 months$144,000$5,000 to $750,000.Not disclosed 
Fundbox6006 months$100,000$1,000 to $150,000Starts at 8.33%
OnDeck60012 months$100,000$5,000 to $250,000Starts at 29.9%
Bluevine6006 months$120,000$5,000 to $250,000 Starts at 4.8%
Credibly5006 months$180,000Up to $400,000Factor rate starts at 1.15
National Funding60012 months$100,000Up to $150,000

Not disclosed 

 

 

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 Improve Your Chances of Getting a Retail Business Loan?

There are many 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.

 

Conclusion

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.

Anna Baluch

Written by: 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.

More about me
Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

Reviewed by: Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

Finance Content Writer and Editor

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt is an editor, writer, and content strategist with a focus on personal finance, careers, and DEI. A small business owner for over a decade, Jen helps publications and brands create and optimize B2B and B2C content.

More about me

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