We’ve all had those pie-in-the-sky conversations at the dinner table over the holidays, when the discussion turns to entrepreneurial ambition and your uncle/grandmother/father says something along the lines of “Sure, I can help you buy a business!”
When considering borrowing money from family members (or from anyone with whom you have a personal relationship), there are a few things you should consider.
Buying a small business is a very expensive venture, where you will need working capital in addition to the amount you offer because of necessities like licensing fees, lease deposits, payroll and initial inventory – just to name a few. What your relative initially considered loaning you/investing in you will probably not be enough, so they will likely need to write a much bigger check then they had imagined.
They will also need to provide financial records to business brokers, sellers, landlords and property managers – even licensing agencies in some cases. This can be uncomfortably intrusive if the business in question isn’t even yours.
If these considerations have you possibly rethinking borrowing from family, just remember that you absolutely can borrow from family successfully – there just needs to be good communication between both parties and a contract of some kind to ensure everyone is happy in the end.
You can also ask your business broker about other financing options that may be available.
You and the business you are interested in may qualify for financing through the Small Business Administration (SBA), for example. Want to read more about this financing option? Click here to read Business Buyers: A Guide to Financing and the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration).
In most cases seller financing may also be an option, allowing you to purchase a business with help – but without the personal strings attached. Want to read more about this financing option? Click here to read The Business Buyer’s Guide to Seller Financing.
Were you considering family financial help, but now think a SBA loan or seller financing might be a better way to go? Do you have questions about what a family loan contract might look like? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here, and we will be happy to help.
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