In the past few months we have been running a series on banks’ loan packages for small businesses. We discussed available loan facilities in banks such as First Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Diamond Bank and recently, Skye Bank. But we shall now have a break from the series and digress into a few thoughts on what type of business outlook the banks favour whenever a loan application is brought to them from small businesses.
We shall then return to discussions on the individual bank’s loan offers afterwards. Business Name Registration: By now you should know that you cannot get a business loan from any bank in your personal name. You have to register a business name, at least, with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC. But if you have the money it is better you register a limited liability company for the loan purpose.
Some banks even provide business name registration as part of their support services to their MSME customers who do not have CAC registration. While some banks do it free a few others do it at a minimal cost and within a short period of time.
Business Seminar: Attend business trainings and seminars to upgrade your knowledge in entrepreneurship. This will come into play when you are preparing to present yourself and your business before a bank for a loan. The loan officer would be interested in your business know-how. The knowledge sessions could be in general entrepreneurship or industry-specific and addresses critical issues in that your area of focus. Some of these seminars are free while most of them attract a token fee, too minimal compared to the knowledge they impact.