Applying for a 504 Loan requires forms and documentation just like any commercial loan. The lender will have the same expectations and you should be prepared to describe your business, how you will use the loan proceeds, and establish an ability to repay the loan.

You can increase your chances of a successful application process by providing the following information to your chosen lender:

Business Plan

This document should describe your type of business, length of time in business, annual sales, and number of employees. This is where you explain why you need a loan and what you will do with the money. You should demonstrate your expertise in your field of business, and your ability to succeed. Need help? Read our guide on How to Create a Business Plan.

Business Financial Statements

This should include complete financial statements for the past three years, including balance sheets and profit and loss statements. You should also include current interim financial statements, as well as signed business federal income tax returns for the previous three years.

Cash Flow Projections

This is a detailed projection of income and finances for one year. You should explain how your business would achieve this projection. This will establish an ability to repay the loan and allows the lender to assess risk.

Credit Rating Report

You should be aware of your credit rating to be sure there are no surprises, and you can correct any mistakes or problems before the loan application. A proven loan repayment history works in your favor.

Personal Financial Statements

For all SBA loans, personal guaranties are required from everyone owning 20% or more of the business. Therefore, financial statements for these individuals must be included. They should list all personal assets, liabilities and monthly payments. They should also include personal federal income tax returns for the previous three years.


List all tangible assets that you are willing to put up to secure the loan. Collateral can be usable assets in the business as well as personal assets. Adequate collateral is required on all SBA loans if they are available.

Legal Documents

  • Business licenses and registrations required for you to conduct business
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Copies of contracts you have with any third parties
  • Franchise agreements
  • Commercial leases

Buying an Existing Business

You will need to provide the following for the business being purchased:

  • Current balance sheet and profit and loss statement
  • Previous two years federal income tax returns
  • Terms of the sale, including asking price and list of inventory, machinery or equipment, and furniture