Retail Business Loans: Best Financing Options in 2023
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.
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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, our experts dive deep into the various small business loans available so you can choose the best options for your unique venture.
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 rating methodology you can use to select the best option for your needs.
Best Retail Business Loans for 2023 - Full Overview
Industry best factor rate for MCA - as low as 1.10
APR for the Line of credit product starts at 35%
Flexible repayment terms up to 16 months
Get funding in as little as 24 hours
Check your rate with a soft credit pull
Pros & Cons
Fast lending decisions
Funds available in 24-48 hours of loan approval
Large loan amounts
Flexible payment options
No collateral required
Startups will not qualify
Rates not disclosed upfront
Retail businesses aren’t always consistent, and that’s where Backd comes in. Backd was created in 2018 to get small businesses more access to the funding they need. They tailor their loans to fit your business, not the other way around. Retail businesses are unique in that sales will ebb and flow depending on the season. You shouldn’t be disqualified for a loan because of that. If you’ve been denied elsewhere, see what Backd has to offer.
Backd offers two types of retail business loans - a working capital loan and a business line of credit. Working capital loans have terms up to 16 months and range from $10,000 to $2 million. Payments are flexible and can be made daily, weekly, or semi-monthly depending on your business needs. Business lines of credit have unlimited terms and range from $10,000 to $750,000. You draw on the line, pay it back, and can draw on it again. This type of loan works well for retail businesses since you can use them again and again.
To qualify for either type of loan, you need to be in business for one year and have a minimum of $100,000 in annual revenue.
If you’ve been denied for a loan elsewhere, look into Backd. The application takes a few minutes to fill out and won’t affect your credit. Once you receive a decision, you can review the rates and fees and decide if you want to move forward. The process is made simple so you can focus on your actual retail business rather than your finances.
Lendzi: Best for Retail Businesses With High Revenue
Excellent customer reviews on independent review sites
Pros & Cons
Easy online application
Multiple loans to choose from
Bad credit accepted
Fast funding times
Excellent customer satisfaction ratings
May require high annual income
May require high annual income
Lendzi was founded in 2020 and is both a direct lender and a lending marketplace. This gives you access to more than 75 lenders, increasing your chances of qualifying for a loan. Not only that, but Lendzi offers incredible customer service. They currently have 2,000 5-star reviews on sites like Google, TrustPilot, and Better Business Bureau.
Lendzi offers three different types of loans to retail business owners with bad credit: Merchant cash advances, working capital loans, and equipment financing. Merchant cash advances require a credit score of 525 and range from $5,000 to $400,000. Working capital loans require a credit score of 500 and go up to $400,000. Equipment financing requires a 550 or higher credit score, but those loans can go up to $2 million.
To increase your chances of qualifying, Lendzi recommends six months of business history and an annual income of $180,000 or more. Once you apply, a representative will be in touch to discuss your retail business and review your loan options.
Lendzi offers many different types of loans to both borrowers with poor credit and borrowers with excellent credit. Customer service is top-notch, rates are competitive, and borrowing amounts are high. If you are in need of a loan to help grow your retail business, we highly recommend giving Lendzi a chance to meet your funding needs.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
GoKapital does not exclude any type of industry when it comes to who they lend to. If you’re a retail business and in need of funds, we recommend GoKapital for their many loan types, including SBA loans. SBA loans are backed by the Small Business Administration and, because of this, come with much lower interest rates than other types of small business financing. It does take longer to receive funds with this type of loan, though, so if you need funds faster, GoKapital does offer five other types of products.
SBA loans by GoKapital range from $250,000 to $5 million and can be used for any retail business expense. Terms with SBA loans are longer, expanding out to 25 years. Rates start at just 5% for those with the strongest credit. To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 680, two years of business history, and $500,000 in annual revenue. If you don’t meet these requirements, GoKapital offers other retail business loans with less stringent qualifications.
If you meet the requirements for an SBA loan, this is by far the cheapest form of borrowing for small businesses. GoKapital can work with you to help you apply for this type of funding, and if you don’t meet the requirements, they have plenty of other products that you may be able to qualify for.
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.
Main Features of The Best Retail Business Loans
Min. Credit Score
Min. Time in Business
Min. Annual Revenue
$5,000 to $400,000
Factor rates starting at 1.15
$1,000 to $150,000
Starts at 8.33%
$250,000 to $5 million
Starts at 5%
$5,000 to $250,000
Starts at 4.8%
$5,000 to $200,000
Max 35.99% APR
Up to $150,000
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.
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.