Business Loan Agreement

Free Business Loan Agreement Template

Use our business loan agreement template to clarify terms whether you're borrowing or lending, benefiting both parties.

Securing a business loan is a pivotal step for businesses aiming to propel their ventures forward. However, this financial commitment necessitates a clear and comprehensive understanding between the lender and borrower. Enter the Business Loan Agreement – a legal contract that delineates the terms of the loan, encompassing repayment plans, interest rates, and critical guidelines to ensure a smooth financial collaboration.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Business Loan Agreement

A Business Loan Agreement serves as the compass navigating the logistical, financial, and legal obligations of both parties involved. It’s more than just a document; it’s the backbone of a financial partnership, stipulating a repayment schedule and conditions for early payment or default.

While each business loan is unique, leveraging a business loan agreement template provides a solid foundation. It streamlines the document's structure, allowing customization to meet specific needs.

When to Employ a Business Loan Agreement

Regardless of the loan size or the nature of the relationship, putting pen to paper is crucial when lending money to a business. Even seemingly minor transactions with a friend's business should be documented. This preventive measure mitigates the risk of potential disputes over repayment, safeguarding your interests.

A Business Loan Agreement is essential for various scenarios, including major asset purchases, business acquisitions, loans from financial institutions, funding startups, or acquiring inventory, land, or buildings.

Minimum Requirements for Business Loans

Securing a business loan necessitates meeting specific criteria set by lenders. The key factors typically considered include:

1. Credit Scores: A robust personal and business credit score enhances your eligibility.

2. Annual Revenue: Demonstrating a reliable revenue stream is imperative.

3. Business History: A longer business history improves approval prospects.

4. Business Proposal Strength: A compelling business plan instills confidence in lenders.

5. Collateral: Lenders often require assets as collateral for the loan.

6. Financial Documentation: Thorough documentation, including tax returns, financial statements, and business plans, strengthens your application.

Sections of a Business Loan Agreement

A well-rounded business loan agreement comprises key sections, including:

  • Effective Date: The agreement's commencement date.
  • Parties, Relationship, and Loan Amount: Demographic information about involved parties and loan details.
  • Promissory Note or Mortgage: The borrower's commitment to repay the loan.
  • Collateral: Specification of assets used as collateral.
  • Terms and Conditions: In-depth details about loan amount, interest rate, and repayment duration.
  • Penalties for Nonpayment: Clear guidelines on repercussions for missed payments.
  • Defaults and Acceleration Clause: Outlining fines, penalties, and the possibility of accelerated repayment.
  • Jurisdiction and Governing Law: Specifying applicable laws and jurisdiction in case of disputes.
  • Representations of the Borrower: Assurance of legal business operations and accurate financial information.
  • Covenants: Agreements and promises made by both parties.

Business Loan Agreement: Terms to Know

Familiarize yourself with crucial terms integral to a business loan agreement:

  • Amortization: Division of loan repayment into fixed payments.
  • APR (Annual Percentage Rate): Annual interest rate on the loan.
  • ACH (Automated Clearing House): Mechanism for automated loan payments.
  • Balloon Payment: A lump-sum payment at the end of the loan term.
  • Co-signer: Additional party supporting the borrower.
  • Default: Inability to repay the loan, triggering legal processes.
  • Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio: Percentage of the asset’s value covered by the loan.
  • Prepayment Penalty: Charges for early loan repayment.
  • Refinancing: Replacing an existing loan with a new one.

Tips for Crafting an Effective Business Loan Agreement

Crafting a business loan agreement demands meticulous attention. Follow these best practices:

  • Understand Key Terms: Grasp every term used in the agreement.
  • Consider Co-signers: Especially beneficial for startups, co-signers enhance loan approval chances.
  • Use Appropriate Attachments: Incorporate supplementary documents to support the agreement.

Disadvantages of Neglecting a Business Loan Agreement

Failure to implement a business loan agreement can result in significant drawbacks for both lenders and borrowers. Lenders may face challenges in enforcing loans, dealing with unclear repayment terms, and encountering inconsistent lending standards. On the other hand, borrowers risk facing uncertainty about owed amounts, potential litigation, and the possibility of higher-than-agreed interest rates or fees.

How to Write a Business Loan Agreement

When you need a business loan agreement, you may feel nervous about starting one from scratch. With a simple business loan agreement, you can make one yourself and modify it to make any changes you need. Here’s some of the key information you should ensure is included in every business loan agreement:

Step 1 – Set an Effective Date

This is the date that money is provided to the borrower. This date is crucial, as it sets the repayment schedule which will follow. Typically, the effective date is the same date the document is signed. However, the contract loan agreement can choose a different effective date.

business loan agreement date part

An example where to include an effective date in a business loan agreement

Step 2 – Identify the Parties

The two (or more) parties to the loan agreement should be identified in the agreement near the beginning. This should be information about both the lender and the borrower. Information should at a minimum include:

  • The names of the parties, including business names
  • Names of officers and signatories to the agreement
  • Business and personal addresses as applicable
  • Contact information, including a phone number and email
  • Service of process information for business entities
  • Any co-signer and their information

business loan agreement parties part

An example of where to include information about the parties involved in a business loan agreement

Step 3 – Include the Loan Amount

When you make or receive a loan, you should clearly identify the amount early in the document. The total amount will help determine how the payments are made in the future and how interest may affect the total loan. At the beginning, this is the principal amount of the loan, prior to the imposition of any interest.

business loan agreement loan amount

An example of where to include the loan amount in our business loan agreement template

Step 4 – Create a Repayment Schedule

The loan should include when repayment starts and the periods at which each payment must be made. This could be monthly, quarterly, yearly, or any other time period. Repayment may start right away on the loan, or at a later date.

A schedule, often an amortization schedule, is included or attached to the business loan contract to clearly identify the repayment timeline.

business loan agreement repayment of loan

An example of where to include information about repayment in our business loan agreement template

Step 5 – Define Security Interests or Collateral

Many loans will help secure repayment by using collateral. This is some type of personal property or secured interest in real property that may be collected upon in the case of a default. This is especially common in mortgage agreements but is common in many other kinds of agreements as well.

business loan agreement security part

An example of where to include information regarding collateral in our business loan agreement template

Step 6 – Set an Interest Rate

The interest rate is the amount the lender charges, in a percentage, of the principal for the loan amount. This amount is important and is often subject to significant dispute when it is not set down in writing.

Most types of loans require interest for repayment. It is how the lender makes money on the loan. Interest rates are often determined by the current market, the risk of giving the loan to this particular borrower, and many other factors. This section should also identify the type of interest rate, such as a fixed or variable interest rate.

business loan agreement interest rate

An example of where to include the interest rate in our business loan agreement template

Step 7 – Late Payment Fees

Nearly every loan agreement, especially for business entities, comes with penalties for late payment. This can cause late fees or charges, increases in interest rates, or other methods to deter late payments by the borrower.

Late payment, or continued nonpayment, may result in a default on the loan. A default should be fully considered in its own section of the loan agreement.

business loan agreement late payment fee

An example of where to include late payment fees in a business loan agreement

Step 8 – Determine Prepayment Options

The loan may or may not include a prepayment penalty. This creates a fee if the borrower pays off the loan ahead of schedule. Not every loan comes with prepayment penalties. It is up to the lender whether to include this provision or not. On the other hand, if the borrower pays all of the loan before a certain date, they could receive a discount.

business loan agreement prepayment

An example of where to include prepayment information in our business loan agreement template

Step 9 – Define Conditions of a Default

A borrower defaults on a loan when they fail to pay it back as required by the business loan agreement. It is crucial to define how a default will be determined. Some loan agreements state that one missed payment may result in a default. Others are much more forgiving.

A default can result in the acceleration of the loan if that provision is included. This means that default makes the entire amount due and owing right away. It also gives the lender a legal right of action against the borrower in most cases.

business loan agreement acceleration

An example of where to include acceleration details in our business loan agreement template

Step 10 – Have a Well-Defined Signature Section

The parties to the loan need to sign the agreement to be bound to it. Not only should the business officer sign on behalf of the business, but any personal guarantors or co-signers must also sign at this time. The signature lines should make clear whether the signatory is signing in their individual capacity or on behalf of the business.

business loan agreement signatures

An example of where to sign in our business loan agreement template

In conclusion, a well-crafted business loan agreement serves as a robust shield against potential disputes and ensures a transparent and harmonious financial collaboration. Understanding its intricacies and employing best practices in its creation can safeguard the interests of both parties involved. Always clarify any ambiguous terms before signing, ensuring a secure and well-informed financial partnership.

Frequently Asked Questions

In which situations should a Business Loan Agreement be employed?

It should be used whenever money is lent to a business, be it for major asset purchases, business acquisitions, startup funding, or other financial transactions.

What are the minimum requirements for obtaining a business loan?

Lenders typically consider factors such as credit scores, annual revenue, business history, the strength of your business proposal, collateral, and financial documentation.

Business Loan Agreement Sample

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