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Florida Small Business Loans

Florida small business loans, along with additional state-backed measures, are designed to drive the local economic development and community's health. In this article, we are going to shed some light on how to get the support you need for your Florida-based small business.

Florida Small Business Loans
Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Reviewed by: Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, Content Writer and Editor

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According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are approximately 3 million small businesses in Florida, accounting for 99.8% of all state businesses. Most small business support systems offered by the state are in the form of tax relief, as opposed to loans. However, according to the latest figures, banks issued $7.9 billion in loans to Florida small businesses with revenues of $1 million or less.

 

Top 3 Florida Small Business Loan Options

If you are looking to obtain the necessary funding for your small business from a local source, consider one of the following options for Florida small business loans.

1. Florida Black Business Loan Program (BBLP)

An initiative of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (D.E.O.), the Florida Black Business Loan program is run by loan administrators that are certified for each fiscal year. The purpose of the program is to remove obstacles preventing black-owned businesses from otherwise competing successfully.

There are three possible loan administrators operating under the BBLP. In all cases, the business must be at least 51% owned by a black entrepreneur, but there are some specific differences between all of them:

Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union

  • Provides state-wide servicing
  • Offers loan amounts up to $250,000

Miami Bayside Foundation

  • Only for businesses based in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Monroe Counties
  • Special conditions for start-ups (firms less than 1 year old), where the business owner must provide a cash amount equal to 20% of the loan amount

Community Fund of North Miami Dade

  • Business must be domiciled in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach Counties
  • The owners of businesses that have been operating for less than 12 months must provide 20% capital

Loan amounts across the three administrators go up to $250,000, with repayment periods up to 5 years.

2. Florida SSBCI Loan Participation

In early 2022, Florida applied for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), an initiative aimed at improving existing small business support. As of this update, their application remains under review

Under the SSBCI, each state supports small businesses by providing loans or loan participation to third-party lenders. This support means that firms that would have ordinarily been considered uncreditworthy become less of a risk to the lender.

3. TD Bank

Even though TD Bank is not specific to the state of Florida, in recent years, it has become one of the top providers of Florida small business loans. As such, the bank is worth considering as a commercial option if none of the state-supported programs is suitable for your company. 

The latest annual update shows that TD Bank is still the top SBA lender to small businesses in Florida, having granted 445 loans, at an average of $144,500 per loan.

Summary of Top 4 Florida Small Business Loan Providers

 

ProgramAdministratorMinimum LoanMaximum LoanRepayment PeriodSpecial Conditions
      
BBLPVariousVaries$250,0005 yearsVarying domiciliary rules
SSBCIIndividual lendersTBDTBDTBDOnly for new financing
Commercial lenderTD BankNot specified$5 million25 yearsOne-time financing

 

Top Online Florida Small Business Loan Options

If none of Florida's local mall business loan options suits your company’s specific needs (or you don’t meet the eligibility criteria), an online business loan can present a viable alternative. There are many funding solutions available nationwide, and below you will find the four top online lenders and service providers to consider for your small business financing.

1. Kabbage - Best for Lines of Credit

Kabbage is an online fintech platform that offers business lines of credit ranging from $2,000 to $250,000. Lines of credit are unsecured loans, making them an appealing option to small business owners who need funds to cover expenses and plan to pay back the loan quickly.

Pros
Straightforward application process
Highly rated customer service
No prepayment penalties
Fair monthly revenue requirements
Cons
Complicated fee system
Monthly payments may be high
Hard credit inquiry during approval process

Kabbage’s commercial line of credit offers terms of 6, 12, or 18 months. Each draw on the line of credit is a separate installment loan. Unlike competitors who charge an APR, Kabbage charges a monthly fee for every month that you have a balance. The fee structure is as follows:

  • 2-9% for 6-month loans 
  • 7.5-18% for 12-month loans 
  • 15.75-27% for 18-month loans

To qualify, you’ll need a monthly revenue of at least $3,000 and a minimum credit score of 640, and a minimum time in business of 12 months.

The Bottom Line

Kabbage is a solid choice for Florida small business owners who are shopping for a line of credit to cover expenses. 

Try Kabbage

Learn more about Kabbage in our comprehensive review.

2. Fundbox - Best for Lines of Credit

Banner funbox

Fundbox is an online platform for loans and financial services that offers credit and payment solutions to small businesses. The lender’s line of credit product offers short-term loans up to $150,000, which Florida businesses can use to cover expenses like payroll, inventory, and repairs.

Pros
Minimum credit score requirement of 600+
Low time-in-business requirement of 6 months
Fast funding for approved borrowers
Cons
High interest rates
Weekly payments
Low loan limits

With Fundbox, you can borrow up to $150,000. Repayments can be based on either a 24- or 52-week plan. There’s no origination fee and no early repayment fees, so you won’t be punished if your business is successful enough to pay off the loan early.
 

The Bottom Line

Florida entrepreneurs who need a short-term small business loan to cover expenses should consider Fundbox’s line of credit offering. Just keep in mind that interest rates can be high, depending on your profile.

Try FundBox

Learn more about Fundbox in our comprehensive review.

3. OnDeck - Best for Term Loans

Banner Ondeck

OnDeck offers term loans and lines of credit for small businesses. Approval and fund dispersal are generally quick. OnDeck also offers an unusual amount of transparency into the loan process through its SMART Box tool. 

Pros
Excellent customer service
Smart Box tool provides transparency into costs
Prepayment bonus
Cons
Potentially high interest rates

OnDeck’s term loans range between $5,000 and $250,000. The maximum repayment period is 24 months, and there are daily or weekly payment options, offering a little more flexibility. OnDeck’s APR starts at 29.9%, which is a significantly higher entry point than some of its competitors. There’s also an origination fee, although this may be waived for repeat customers.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for fixed payments and transparent pricing, OnDeck is a great choice for a small business loan.

Try Ondeck

Learn more about Ondeck in our comprehensive review.

4. Fora Financial - Best for Merchant Cash Advances

banner_Fora Financial

Fora Financial is a fintech company offering short-term small business loans and merchant cash advances to small business owners. Its merchant cash advance product offers between $5,000 and $750,000 for Florida entrepreneurs looking to upgrade equipment, improve cash flow, or cover short-term expenses. 

Pros
Discounts for early repayment
Fast approval
Flexible credit requirements
Cons
Additional fees may apply
Potentially high interest rates

Fora Financial places no restrictions on how merchant cash advances are used, making them an attractive option for small businesses that need flexibility. Qualified borrowers receive a lump sum of up to $750,000 and pay off their loan through a percentage of business receipts. Fora Financial requires no collateral for its merchant cash advance. The lender offers early payment discounts.

To qualify for a merchant cash advance, applicants must be in business for at least 6 months, have $5,000 in credit card sales, and have no open bankruptcies. 

The Bottom Line

Business owners who need a loan for short-term expenses and want to remit payment through receipts should consider Fora Financial’s merchant cash advance product.

Try Fora Financial

How to Start a Small Business in Florida

Florida led the United States in newly formed businesses in 2021, according to census data. The state offers several advantages to prospective small business owners. Florida does not levy personal income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, or tax on the receipt of monetary gifts. Depending on your situation, this may mean keeping more of your profits–or being able to funnel them back into your business. 

In addition, the process of starting a small business in Florida is pretty straightforward:

  1. Choose your business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, S-corporation, or C-corporation)
  2. Register for a Florida business license
  3. Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  4. Register with the Florida Department of Revenue
  5. Apply for business licenses and permits
  6. Open a business bank account
  7. Fund your small business

Many of these steps are easy to complete online through state or federal websites. For more information, including the documents you’ll need to get started, see our step-by-step guide on how to start a business in Florida.

Final Words

While small business loans for Florida companies can provide valuable support in establishing and growing your company, they are only the first step in your venture’s success. 

In addition to loans from local or online lenders, you can take advantage of the vast array of support initiatives and incentives for small businesses offered by the state. Even if you operate in an industry that’s unattractive to major lenders, or you belong to a demographic that usually struggles to acquire loans, it’s still possible to get the financing you need for your Florida-based small business.

About the Author

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Independent writer, content strategist, and financial sector specialist. Tatiana has an extensive experience in working with financial institutions such as Bank of Canada and Risk Management unit at FinDev Canada. She holds an MA in Financial Risk Management from the University of Toronto.

More about me
Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

Reviewed by: Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

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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