Small Business Loans Vs. Merchant Cash Advances: Which One is Right for Your Business?

Small Business Loans Vs. Merchant Cash Advances: Which One is Right for Your Business?

As a small business owner, there will probably come a time in which you’ll require additional financing to remain operational or grow. Having more working capital on hand can enable you to purchase equipment, hire more employees, or pay bills, just to name a few common uses. Unfortunately, choosing the right type of business financing and then applying for it can be challenging, especially if you don’t have previous knowledge of financing options.

To get you started, we’re going to focus on two popular business financing options: small business loans and merchant cash advances. Both products can be beneficial to business owners, but have some differences in their perquisites and repayment processes. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between small business loans and cash advances, so that you can determine which one is right for you!

Before we review the differences in the small business loan and merchant cash advance financing processes, let’s start with the definitions of both products.

Small Business Loans: A small business loan is a financing option available to business owners. These loans come with a set amount, and must be repaid in the lender’s terms. Depending on the lender that you’re applying to, this could require daily, weekly, or monthly payments. In addition, it’s important to note that some lenders will require collateral to supply the loan, which we’ll explain later in the post.

Merchant Cash Advance: A merchant cash advance is a purchase of your business’s future credit card receivables. You’ll receive a lump sum, and a percentage of your incoming credit card sales will be used to fulfill your obligations to the funder. Because of this, business owners that receive frequent credit card transactions are best suited for this financing option.

Application Process and Requirements:
To receive a business loan or cash advance, there are a few common requirements that you’ll need to meet. For both products, your credit score will probably be considered. In addition, some financing providers will have requirements regarding how long your business has been operational, want to see a business plan or

In addition to these common qualifications that both products have, there are certain prerequisites that are specific to business loans and cash advances.

Merchant Cash Advances: To qualify for a merchant cash advance, your business will need to make a certain amount of money in credit card sales each month. Ideally, you’ll make many credit card transactions in small amounts, as this is the most conducive to remitting a cash advance. If you make a low amount in credit card sales, you won’t be approved for this product.

Small Business Loans: In comparison, to qualify for a business loan, your bank statements will be reviewed. The lender will likely have a monthly sales requirement, and if you don’t meet it, you likely won’t qualify for a loan.

Collateral is real estate, equipment, or other tangible items that are promised to your lender in the case that you’re unable to repay your debts. Typically, this collateral is equal to the amount of money that you’ve borrowed. Keep reading to find out if collateral is required to receive a business loan or cash advance.

Small Business Loans: When applying for a business loan, you’ll need to determine if the lender provides secured or unsecured loans. A secured business loan will require that you secure the loan with collateral, in case you are unable to repay your debts. In comparison, an unsecured loan won’t require any collateral. Usually, you’ll be more likely to have to apply for a secured loan if you have a low credit score or poor sales. This is because the lender will view your business as a larger liability than a business with strong credit, and they’ll want to protect themselves in case you don’t repay your full amount.

Merchant Cash Advances: Unlike secured business loans, collateral isn’t required to receive a merchant cash advance. As we previously mentioned, there are other requirements that your cash advance provider will have, but they won’t require you to submit collateral.

Which One is Right for Your Business?
Now that we’ve reviewed the differences between business loans and cash advances, you can probably determine which product is better suited for your company. It can be stressful to decide on and apply for financing, but once you have the additional funds, you’ll be able to invest in the future of your small business!

About our Guest Author

Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, ( a company that provides small business loans to businesses across the U.S.  Please feel free to contact Katie or the team at Flora Financial is you have any questions regarding the information contained within this blog article.

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Coral Capital Partners is an independent consulting and advisory firm focused on companies and participants in the lower and middle markets. We partner with our clients to provide cost effective solutions to real world issues and situations. Our experienced team brings a diverse set of skills that allows us to service a wide variety of needs.  Our area of services and expertise focuses on bringing services and solutions to our clients that are normally only available to much larger firms.  Coral Capital Partners, Inc.  provides services to Investment Banks,  Private Equity Funds, investors, and both privately held and publicly traded companies, as well as various stakeholders in those organizations.  This has included international public companies with operations on three (3) continents to smaller privately held domestic companies.  Our experience in the areas of corporate advisory, due diligence reviews, and regulatory compliance allows for a cost effective and efficient solution to the issues at hand.  Please feel free to contact our offices to see how we may be of assistance.