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The Excel Interview With deBanked’s, Sean Murray

Debanked

Merchant Cash Advance industry veteran, founder of deBanked, Sean Murray has been an influential part in funding over $100 million to small businesses through sales and underwriting efforts. As a Senior Account Executive at Bizfi (part of the Merchant Cash and Capital family), he grew one of the largest residual portfolios in the history of the company and become a well-respected expert in the industry. After his time at Bizfi, Murray founded Raharney Capital, providing advertising and consulting within the alternative lending industry, and also deBanked – the most popular magazine and resource in the industry where Murray also serves as the Editor-in-Chief. Excel Capital Management recently sat down with Mr. Murray to explore his vast knowledge of the Merchant Cash Advance and alternative finance industry and discuss the future of the business.

deBanked sean murray

Excel: Tell us a little more about your background and what made you get into the alternative finance industry.

Sean: I got into this industry almost immediately after college. That was 10 years ago. A friend of mine told me there was an opportunity to work at a fun financial startup. The job description entailed evaluating small businesses for working capital, ones that had mainly been declined already for a bank loan. Given that I double-majored in Accounting and Finance, I was definitely intrigued and took the job.


Excel:
You’ve been in this niche industry for quite some time. Over the years, how have you seen the industry change and grow?

Sean: In the beginning, the worst part for the small business owners I spoke to was that approval terms were tied entirely to their average monthly credit card processing volume. That meant if cash sales were 90% of their business, we couldn’t consider that, even if that cash was showing up in their bank statements and being declared on their tax return. Over time, funding providers became more creative and flexible. They found ways to better service clients without making it impossibly hard to qualify.

Excel: Did you ever expect the industry to become as popular and as competitive as it is?

Sean: Yes and no. Given that I started before the Great Recession, there was already a big need for non-bank alternatives. The industry already existed and was growing. It wasn’t a byproduct of an economic downturn, it just became more visible during one. People think that when the economy fully heals, that banks will start lending again and the non-bank alternatives will disappear. The truth is that banks never serviced this segment of small businesses. It was and remains to be too expensive, risky, and time consuming for them to underwrite a $20,000 business loan. Sure, they’ll issue you a business credit card, but that’s based on your personal credit, is personally guaranteed, and more often than not the limit is too low. So no, I am not surprised that the industry has become so popular but I am surprised the product mix available to business owners has diversified as much as it has. It’s truly incredible.

sean murray interview
Excel:
In the latest issue of your publication, deBanked, you provide a few predictions on the future of the industry. You specifically mention the fact that it is an election year and touch base on the current state of the stock market. Can you elaborate on these topics and how they relate to the industry?  Also, speaking of the election, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has stated that he will impose nationwide interest rate caps that would, in the long run, hurt marketplace lenders. What are your thoughts on this?

Sean: I think what I was trying to say was that a new President sets the regulatory and legislative “tone.” This year we have a colorful group of candidates, many of whom have big ideas on how to grow the economy. Bernie Sanders in particular has made some pretty controversial statements, one being that he is in favor of a 15% federal interest rate cap on consumer loans. I think many people when they hear that, assume that would mean that a lender that normally offered a borrower a 28% interest rate loan would instead offer a 15% interest rate loan to comply with the cap. That’s not what would happen at all. Instead the lender would just decline the application. In effect, a huge portion of the population would not be able to get a loan from anywhere, not even non-bank alternatives. You know the saying, “it takes money to make money?” That goes hand in hand  with the “rich get richer while the poor get poorer.” Borrowing can be used as leverage to grow and in essence become richer. It takes money to make money. If you’re locked out from borrowing, supposedly for your own good, how do you become richer if your risk profile makes it legally impossible to take money and make money? That’s obviously a larger debate but it all feeds back into the upcoming election and who will be running the country. What will their economic views be? And will that “tone” positively or negatively affect small businesses? Nobody likes the uncertainty in the meantime.

As for the stock market, the connections are easy. Declining stocks increases the allure of investing on peer-to-peer platforms where the returns are perceived as both steady and rather lucrative. It can be hard to stomach a 10% loss in your investment portfolio in a matter of weeks like the stock market did in the beginning of this year. Investors, even small retail investors are going to consider alternatives like this industry. A declining stock market also chips away at wealth and this can affect consumer buying behavior which would impact small businesses. It’s all related at the end of the day.

Excel: Along the same lines, what are your the thoughts on the alternative finance industry being regulated? Do you see this happening anytime soon? If so, how will these regulations affect business?

Sean: I think regulation, if any, will focus on disclosure and transparency. If this is indeed where it goes, I just hope the outcome is intelligent, well thought out and logical. It’s early days right now though so it’s hard to speculate. In business-to-business transactions such as the kind your company engages in, I’m a big believer in the invisible hand. It’s commercial finance, not consumer finance. Some of these businesses might be really small, but we’re still for the most part talking about corporations entering into contracts with other corporations. I think regulations should focus on consumer lending, where there is a much lower presumption of sophistication.

Excel: Moving forward, what impact do you believe the collaboration between OnDeck and Chase will have on the industry as whole?

Sean: From what I know about the partnership and from what I know about banks, I believe Chase is probably using this as an opportunity to fast track their online loan underwriting process while they figure out a longer term technological strategy. You have to remember, it’s not uncommon for banks to be using really old systems. I believe some are still using or have just moved away from Windows XP recently. That’s a 15 year old operating system. Between that, constant bank mergers where the acquired banks are using completely different systems, regulations, and the sheer size from a human resources perspective, all make it nearly impossible to catch up, let alone implement a modern underwriting platform that measures 10,000 data points with connections through all sorts of APIs. The easy solution for now is to use a company that can reliably provide that capability and I think it’s great that OnDeck’s platform instills a level of confidence that a famous bank like Chase would attach their brand to. I think OnDeck and others will score more of these partnerships and there is potentially a play for one to be ultimately acquired by a bank just for the technology.

Excel: As this industry continues to grow and more people are entering the market, what is one piece of advice you can share about the do’s and dont’s of our marketplace?

Sean: Do be responsible and act with integrity at all times. Don’t think you are too small or insignificant to make a difference. If you only help fund one small business and they hire new people as a result, there’s a chain reaction that occurs that affects the entire local economy. It’s a beautiful thing to play a role in that.

Best Unsecured Business Loans: Options, Rates, and How to Qualify For 2024

Unsecured Business Funding: At a Glance

Looking for capital? An unsecured business loan may be just what you need. 

When it comes to acquiring a business loan from a traditional bank, many business owners find themselves in a sticky situation due to:

  • Heavy approval requirements, and
  • Long time frames to obtain that funding

Unsecured business funding was created to help overcome these common issues with traditional business loans and make quick, small business funding possible.

Read on to learn more about your unsecured business loan options as well as everything there is to know about how they work, how to qualify, and which options are best for you. 

Apply for an unsecured business loan from Excel Capital

With no personal guarantees or collateral required as well as funding (and approval) in as little as 24 hours, an unsecured small business loan with Excel Capital can give your business the funds it needs to move forward.

Complete our online application and see how much you can be approved for: Apply Now


Types of Unsecured Business Loans: 5 Options

types of unsecured business loans

When it comes to unsecured business funding, you have four major options.

Excel offers competitive rates and lightning fast approval times on each unsecured option, offering both flexibility and convenience.

Here are the four main unsecured business funding options:

1. Split Funding (AKA Merchant Cash Advance)

merchant cash advance

Complete our short application to apply for a merchant cash advance: Get Started

In split funding, or a merchant cash advance, the lender applies a split to your receivables until the funding is paid in full.

The specifics of the split or percentage held back of your Visa, Master Card, or other credit card processor volume is based on the contract that is agreed upon prior to getting funded.

That agreement is generally underwritten based on your credit card processing volume coupled with your gross monthly revenue deposited into your business bank account.

All merchant cash advances utilize your future credit card sales to calculate the repayment pace of the advance and there are 3 ways to provide this type of unsecured business funding.

Click below to learn about each type of merchant cash advance:

1. Merchant Cash Advance: A Direct Split with Your Credit Card Process Provider

This is the most seamless type of merchant cash advance.

In a merchant cash advance, you utilize one of our friendly credit card processors to divert the agreed-upon percentage to us and applied to the outstanding balance whilst you receive the remainder of the credit card processing sales directly in your existing bank account like you normally did before receiving the business funding.

This split happens every time you batch out your terminal and you receive no delay in deposits and you repay at the pace of your business. This requires your process allow us to place as split on your credit cards sales.

The beauty of a direct split is that it gives a funding option to business owners who have a high amount of NSF’s (non-sufficient funds) or overdrafts or have a very volatile sales cycle.

2. Lockbox Funding: A Separate Account with Automatic ACH

This method is utilized when a business does not use one of our friendly credit processors and does not want to switch their existing merchant processing provider to facilitate the funding.

A lockbox is good because many merchant processors have early termination fee’s and this avoids paying them to get split funding. How a lockbox works is a bit more complex than a direct split on your credit card processor. We set up a lockbox account also known as a bridge account or you. This bridge account is an actual bank account where you receive online login credentials and a bank letter.

This account is solely used for splitting your credit batches between the funding institution and your business account. Once a batch is received into that account it is designed to automatically ACH the specified percentage to the corresponding accounts.

Due to the process associated with this type of funding, there is typically a 24–48-hour delay in the time it takes the money from your batch to hit your business bank account.

In order to set up a lockbox you need to follow these 3 steps:

  • Sign the lockbox form provided on the funding agreement authorizing the lockbox account
  • Receive the bank letter created upon receipt of the lockbox form.
  • Call your credit card provider and tell them you want to switch where your credit card processing activity is being deposited.

Usually, they can do this over the phone, online or will ask you to complete and sign a bank change form and have it return to them via email or fax which will require you to attach the copy of the bank letter to the executed bank change form.

This can take up to 48 hours depending on your credit card processor.

3. Variable ACH: A Manual Repayment Method

This method is used to collect payments when a business owner does not work with a “friendly” merchant processor and does not want to incur the 24–48-hour delay in deposits. The way this works is pretty straightforward.

Our collections department logs into your merchant processing portal on a daily basis to see what the last batch was and then collects the specified percentage via ACH from the business bank account. This type of split funding requires access to your merchant processing online account at all times or else it would constitute a default.

When a deal is in underwriting it will be determined if this option is available based on a formula that is heavily weighted on the average ledger balance in the bank account. Unlike direct split, if a business has many overdrafts in the account they will be declined for a variable ACH but can still get approved for a direct split or lockbox method.

What’s Needed to Qualify for Split Funding?

  • You must accept credit cards with a minimum of $5,000 per month in credit card sales.
  • You must be in business for at least 3 months
  • You must be a US citizen or have Visa

What Paperwork is Needed to Qualify for Revenue Based Factoring?

  • A signed and complete application
  • Four months of recent business credit card processing statements
  • Four months of recent bank statements

All varieties of split funding are derivatives of unsecured business loans since they are not technically loans and advances of future sales at a discount.


2. Revenue Based Factoring

revenue based factoring

Complete our short application to apply for an unsecured business loan:Get Started

This type of funding was created through the need for unsecured loans and other funding products for businesses that do not accept credit cards.

Prior to 2008, there was no solution to this problem and all unsecured products (other than split funding) were based on credit card sales. Due to the high funding demands for businesses that don’t accept credit cards, revenue-based factoring was created and ACH loans were born.

The way this type of funding is structured is more based on overall revenue or cash flow. According to the contracts most institutions purchase a set percentage of all your future sales which you as a business owner then sell at a discount.

This percentage of future sales is then estimated over the course of an anticipated term, generally three to 24 months. This future revenue is then collected in a variety of payment options generally on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly repayments.

In most instances, it will be daily or weekly and for better-qualified clients, it will be bi-weekly or Monthly. Within the language of the contracts, you have the right to adjust the payments based on your revenue. So if you have a drop in revenue you are allowed to reduce the payment obligations.

This type of funding is usually approved in 24 hours and can fund same day if the stipulations (see the list of items that may be needed) are met. According to the contract, it follows the same rule of thumb as split funding or a merchant cash advance.

A lien may be placed against your future receivables but most institutions do not require any personal guarantee or collateral and are considered unsecured business loans.

Revenue-based factoring will usually subordinate behind any other pre-existing funding you may have and will usually be the last creditor to collect in the case of a bankruptcy or liquidation.

What’s Needed to Qualify for Revenue Based Factoring?

  • You must accept credit cards with a minimum of $5,000 per month in credit card sales.
  • You must be in business for at least 3 months
  • You must be a US citizen or have Visa
  • A signed and complete application
  • Four months of recent business credit card processing statements
  • Four months of recent bank statements

What Paperwork is Needed to Qualify for Revenue Based Factoring?

  • A signed and complete application
  • Four months of recent business credit card processing statements
  • Four months of recent bank statements
  • Financial statements may be required from time to time.

3. Unsecured Business Line of Credit

unsecured business line of credit

Complete our short application to apply for an unsecured business line of credit:Get Started

An unsecured business line of credit revolves based on your outstanding invoices and receivables.

Unsecured business lines of credit are not technically unsecured business loans but a line of credit which were designed knowing that many merchants want to have the ability to prepay and draw down on capital as they desire instead of being obliged to take a full funding amount and have to repay it based on the receivables.

The way these products work is, they take into consideration what invoices and receivables a business has outstanding along with the cash flow and revenue to determine a sustainable business line of credit.

The process is relatively straightforward with approvals being issued in about 48 hours. In order to see if your company is eligible for an unsecured line of credit, you have to submit the same application and bank statements as listed with spilt funding and revenue base factoring, but you also must meet the criteria below.

What’s Needed To Qualify for Unsecured Lines of Credit?

  • You must have a business bank account
  • You must be a US citizen
  • Generally, you must maintain an average ledger balance of $1,000 in your business bank account
  • 50k + in Yearly Revenue
  • 1+ years in business
  • Can not be a non profit
  • 540+ FICO
  • Can not have more than 3 Negative days a month in your bank account

What Paperwork is Needed to Qualify for Revenue Based Factoring?

  • A signed and complete application
  • Six months of recent business credit card processing statements (if you accept them at your business)
  • Six months of recent bank statements
  • Financial statements may be required from time to time.

4. Short Term Loans

short-term loan

Complete our short application to apply for a short-term loan: Get Started

These types of unsecured small business loans are created to help business owners fill immediate, short-term needs or cash flow issues. This type of funding is structured as a loan with predetermined payment schedules and amounts. With this type of funding its very important to review the contract as the language varies from institution to institution.

Many bigger lenders may require a personal guarantee that can include assets. While some other lenders may include a limited personal guarantee that allows the lending institution to go after personal assets in cases where fraud is committed.

In many cases, it is very hard to prove fraud but in a business where the service is money the lenders use this language as a way to protect themselves against potential fraud.

What’s Needed to Qualify for a Short Term Business Loan?

  • Completed Application
  • 4 months of most recent bank statements
  • 4 months of most recent processing statements
  • Minimum of 2 months in business
  • Minimum of $7,500 in monthly revenue
  • Funding over $75,000 may require additional documentation

What Paperwork is Needed to Qualify for a Short Term Business Loan?

  • Most recent business tax return
  • P&L
  • Balance Sheet

This type of loan doesn’t require a lot of paperwork, funds quickly, and can be used for almost any business purpose. Short-term loans are perfect for purchasing inventory, filling gaps between accounts payable and receivable, as well as any emergency repair or maintenance expenses that may pop up. These loan products generally have repayment terms of 3 to 24 months.

As the alternative lending space is developing and expanding new unsecured business loans are constantly being created. This does not encompass all unsecured business finance products but covers a majority of what we see being utilized by small business owners as well as Excel Capital’s most popular unsecured business funding options.


Why Unsecured Business Funding?

Most banks will only approve you for a loan if your business is at least two years old, the loan is secured with collateral, and you can show positive cash flow and profit on your tax return.

The problem? Most business owners (over 70% in our experience) under 2 years in business show a loss due to startup costs and investments.

Not to mention, your business needs to have great to excellent credit.

This can be problematic for new businesses who have yet to establish themselves (and even seasoned business owners during difficult times).

Many business owners have one or more of the below issues:

  • They haven’t been in business long enough
  • No collateral to offer
  • Low credit scores

So, what do you do? That’s where unsecured business loans can be invaluable.

How Do Unsecured Business Loans Work?

secured vs unsecured business loans

Unsecured business loan amounts typically range anywhere from $10,000 to $2,000,000 depending on the cash flow of the business being underwritten.

They don’t require you to put down any form of collateral. Hence, making them unsecured for the lender. However, you still need to meet certain basic requirements.

The amount of the loan is dependent upon your:

  • Business’ credit score
  • Average monthly bank balance, and
  • Annual revenue

Unsecured business loans will typically range between 75% to 150% of your last 3 months average gross monthly sales. That means if you deposited $100,000.00 on average for the past 3 months, your business can qualify for $75,000.00 to $150,000.00. Terms typically range between 6 and 18 months.

Keep in mind that if a cash amount is not approved, you as a business owner may instead be offered a line of (unsecured) credit.

In addition, while secured business loans require collateral, such as your house, car, 401k, inventory or account receivables, unsecured loans only require you to pledge limited collateral such as your future sales that only apply to your business.

In fact, funding contracts explicitly state that if you stop having receivables and you go out of business, you’re not entitled to pay back the business loan.

This is one of the primary benefits of an unsecured small business loan. If your business hits a rough patch and you has trouble making payments, or default on the loan, there’s no collateral to lose.

In fact, we’ve found this process to be largely ineffective for ourselves as a lender as well.

It’s our goal to work with you, not against you. So, if you do struggle to make loan payments, we’ll help find you a solution to correct the problem, improve your working capital, and get current once again.

Unsecured Business Loans: Pros and Cons

So far, we’ve touched on some of the benefits of unsecured business loans. Now, let’s cover both the pros and cons of this powerful financing vehicle. 

There is no perfect type of loan for all businesses, and as we discussed earlier there are several different types of unsecured business loans. However, there are some overarching qualities to all unsecured business loans, pros and cons, that you should be aware of. 

Here are the pros and cons of unsecured business loans. 

Pro: Funding is fast and simple

The approval process for traditional bank loans is notoriously long and difficult. When all is said and done, it can take well over a month from start of application to finally get an approval, and longer still to get funded. 

With unsecured business loans, the process is quite the opposite. Assuming your documents are all in order, you can not only be approved within 24 hours, you can also receive the funds in your bank account within another 24 hours. 

That’s a total of 48 hours, lightning-fast compared to the traditional bank lending process. 

Pro: Loan amounts are large

Secured business loans amounts are typically tied to the collateral you use to secure the loan. That means you’ll rarely receive a loan for greater than the value of the asset. 

With unsecured business loans, that’s not necessarily the case. You can be approved for much more than you would have been approved for with a traditional bank loan in some cases. 

Pro: No hard collateral

One of the greatest benefits of unsecured business loans is the fact that they don’t require the kind of hard collateral that traditional bank loans require.

It’s important to keep in mind that a kind of soft collateral may still be required, typically in the form of a promise of future business earnings in the case that you default on your loan. 

However, you’re not required to pay this back in the case that you go out of business, so it doesn’t function the same way that hard asset-based collateral does. 

Con: Higher interest rates

There are several pros to unsecured business loans, and they can be used for virtually any business purpose. However, like all business funding vehicles, they have their downsides as well.

With unsecured business loans, that really comes down to their higher interest rates.

Lenders need some sort of way to ensure they can get their loan back. To that end, they use things like collateral, personal guarantees, and interest. 

Because unsecured business loans don’t have collateral, lenders need another way to make sure they can at least make their loan amount back.


Unsecured Business Loan Rates and Payment Terms

Unsecured business loans rates are distinctly different when compared to traditional bank loans.

Clearly, the lack of a personal guarantee or collateral is a huge upside, however, as you might imagine, this upside comes with some downsides.

The unsecured business loan rates and terms can be up to 18 months with payments being due either monthly, weekly, or daily depending on the loan terms.

In addition, unsecured business loan rates vary depending on risk. They can be as low as 14% on unsecured business loans but they can also go much higher as well. A big upside to this, however, is that we can get you approved even if you have a bad credit score and have delinquent or even maxed out tradelines.


How to Qualify for an Unsecured Business Loan

how to qualify for an unsecured business loan

Requiring both 2 years of business history and a stellar credit rating, traditional bank loans are out of reach for many business owners.

However, if you find yourself in that boat, an unsecured business loan may just be the perfect solution to your funding needs.

According to the Mission Asset Fund, business loans are declined most often due to “having no credit history or a low credit score.”

Despite this, banks still prioritize credit scores and use an outdated credit-first model for approving (or denying) you for a business loan of any kind.

Rather than dwelling on factors that truthfully have little to do with the state of your business now, we like to focus on the present by looking at the business’ current conditions.

With Excel Capital, there’s no minimum credit score required to qualify for one of our unsecured loans.

When determining if your business is right for an unsecured business loan, our underwriters analyze a variety of metrics such as big data, historical risk models, and trade line distribution to determine its unique growth potential instead of just looking at your credit score.

Having said that, before we can qualify you for a loan, there are 2 qualifications that you must meet:

  1. Records showing at least $10,000 of monthly gross revenue
  2. Proof that you’ve been in business for at least six months

Get an Unsecured Business Loan from Excel Capital

A whopping 82 percent of small businesses fail from running out of cash. Is your business in danger of running out of cash flow?

Until recently with the introduction of unsecured business finance, obtaining unsecured business loans was a long, cumbersome process that required trails of paperwork and inconvenienced your day-to-day business operations.

So, we decided to fix that by creating an expedited process to allow small business owners to get through the application process as quickly as possible so you can get back to focusing on what matters– your business.

With Excel Capital, getting the cash your business needs to maintain growth– or simply get through a rough season– has never been easier.

You’ll get an approval decision from us in less than 24 hours and, pending approval, funds will be deposited within your account in as early as 24 hours as well.

Imagine what a surge of cash could do for your business, from providing the funds you need to purchase much-needed equipment to paying off past-due vendors, and virtually anything else in between.

Complete our online application and see how much you can be approved for: Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can you use an unsecured business loan for?

An unsecured business loan can be used for a variety of purposes, from paying for payroll, emergency expenses, supplies to prep for a seasonal surge, and more. 

Do banks provide unsecured business loans?

Banks don’t typically provide unsecured business funding of any kind. To obtain a loan from a bank, you’ll generally need a credit score of 680+ as well as something to guarantee or “secure” the loan via collateral such as a business vehicle or cash reserve. 

What happens if you default on an unsecured business loan?

If you default on your loan, a late payment fee may be charged and your interest rate may increase, depending on your agreement. 

However, with no hard collateral requirements, your property and other hard assets such as vehicles or cash savings can’t be taken. That’s one of the major benefits of an unsecured business loan. 

Alternatively, with a traditional bank loan, collateral such as business property is required to secure the loan. That means if you default on your loan the property can be seized to collect on the defaulted debt. 

What is the interest rate on an unsecured business loan?

With no collateral requirements on unsecured business loans, interest rates tend to be higher compared to traditional bank loans. 

Unsecured business loans can go as low as 14% but can be higher, all depending the level of risk factors involved, with terms up to 18 months. 

Can I get a business loan without a personal guarantee?

Yes, you can obtain an unsecured business loan without a personal guarantee. It all depends on your agreement. Depending on your terms, a personal guarantee may or may not be required. 

Can I qualify for a business loan?

Anyone can be approved for an unsecured business loan provided their business is in good standing and they meet the basic credit requirements (500+ score). 

With Excel, you can be approved for an unsecured business loan even with bad credit, as we take a more balanced approach to determining your eligibility for funding by reviewing your entire business’ health. 

What credit score is needed for an unsecured business loan?

Traditional bank loans require very high credit requirements (680+) and have a long and tiresome approval process. 

However, just a 500 minimum credit score is required for our unsecured business loans, making them far easier to be approved for than a traditional loan.

Tax Filing Guide for Restaurant Owners

Tax Filing Tips for Restaurant Owners

It’s that time of year again! Time to prepare for tax filing, or get a head start and file now.  This time around, we will take a look at tax filing for restaurant owners. Just like any other business, restaurants are required to pay certain taxes on income, property, payroll, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of taxes restaurant owners pay, along with some tips for doing so.

Types of Taxes Restaurant Owners Must Pay

Tips: Cash and tips charged by credit cards that restaurant owners receive from customers are subject to being taxed. Employees should report all tips to their employers, which should then also be reported on a Form 4070 as tip income. This form is usually filed to the IRS on every tenth day of the month once the tips are received.

Payroll: Like any other business, payroll taxes are a percentage of employee income paid to social security and Medicare. Restaurant owners must collect these taxes from all employees, full-time and part-time.

Property: Property taxes are imposed by the city in which the restaurant is located. Restaurant owners and those who lease are responsible for these taxes.

Sales: Sales taxes must be collected by restaurant owners on all food and beverages they sell. Whether the tax is included into the price of the item or added to the subtotal of the bill, sales taxes must collect even if the state in which the restaurant operates doesn’t charge taxes on food.

Liquor License: If restaurants hold a liquor license, owners are responsible for paying taxes on all alcoholic beverages sold.

Franchise: Some states charge franchise taxes. If a restaurant is part of a franchise, they are responsible for this payment. Franchise taxes are based on the net worth of the entity.

How To Prepare For Filing:

Organize All Of Your Files & Receipts: Restaurant owners can make their lives easier by having all of their files already organized. Organize receipts by date and category (ex: travel expenses, food, supplies, etc.), print copies of previous state and federal tax returns, have any necessary tax records and employee records available, and provide all important corporate and ownership documents. The more information you have the better, and the more organized you are, the easier the process will be.

Get statements for your restaurant business loans  Let your accountant know about any restaurant business loans you have taken out this year since you can deduct the fee’s and interest from these to help reduce your tax obligation. Call the funding company and ask for an account statement and ship that over to your accountant. This can save you a lot of money if done properly.

Decide How You Are Going To File Your Taxes:  Different methods work for different people. Decide whether you’d like to do your taxes on your own via e-filing software, file them manually on your own, or hire a tax preparer or CPA. All methods are sufficient; however, be sure that you are confident in whichever you choose. It is, however, recommended that restaurants with a significant staff or larger company as a whole incorporate the help of a CPA or tax preparer.

Fill Out The Proper Forms:  Just like choosing a filing method, filling out the proper forms is extremely important. If you are unsure, consult with a tax preparer or CPA. The types of tax forms you fill out will be determined by how you run your business.  For example, if you run an LLC, you would need to fill out Form 1020. If you run a sole proprietorship, you may file a Schedule C.  As mentioned earlier, to file taxes on tips received by employees, you would fill out a Form 4070. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any confusion.

Save Your Records:  After your taxes have been completed and filed, it is best practice to keep your records for at least 7 years in case audits were to occur. Having all the necessary documents will keep you safe and save you from a huge headache.


Consequences of Not Filing:

Liens on Your Business and Personal Assets: Tax liens are imposed by the law on personal and business assets, such as property, as a result of failing to pay your taxes.

Levy and Garnishments  on Accounts:  A levy allows the IRS to garnish your wages or take money from your accounts and seize personal property such as vehicles or real estate.

Negative Impact on Credit Scores:  Depending on how much you fail to pay in taxes, the IRS can file a lien which can negatively impact your credit score by as much as 100 points.

Prevents Institutions From Extending Credit: Failure to pay your taxes can result in financial institutions being unable to either extend or provide you with lines of credit.

Penalties and Interest: Late filing or failing to pay taxes can cause you to accumulate penalty fees and interest on top of the initial amount owed.

 

For a full tax filing tip guide check out our Guide below

Small Business Taxes: Last Minute Tips Before Filing Your Business Tax Returns


Don’t let a heavy tax bill affect your business! Excel Capital Management can provide you with the capital you need to pay your taxes and avoid the severe consequences of not filing.
All of our funding products are tax deductible!