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Fast Small Business Loans: The Best Options for 2024


As a business owner, you know that a big part of your job description is putting out fires.

That could be:

  • A piece of equipment suddenly breaking
  • Damaged merchandise due a shipping mishap
  • Or an employee that just quit unexpectedly (whom you now need to pay to replace)

Sometimes, you’re put in a spot where no matter how hard you work you can’t fix the issue alone. You need extra funds and you need them fast.

Fortunately, thanks to alternative lending, fast small business loans are now a thing– and they can help with those very issues (and more).

The days of having one and only one lender you could go to (the bank) are long over.

No more waiting around for a month for your funding to come in. Or, worse, never being approved in the first place because your credit isn’t good enough.

Excel offers same day loan options that are easy to apply for. With one short online application, you could be funding in as little as 24-48 hours:

Apply for a fast business loan with Excel Capital: Apply Now

With that said, in this guide, we’ll break down the best fast business loan options as well as everything you need to know about qualification and approval. Including:

Table of Contents

What Is a Fast Business Loan?

The term ‘fast small business loan’ simply refers to any type of small business funding that can be obtained quickly (typically, this refers to 24-48 hours).

Each fast funding option is a little different from the next, and one may be better for you and your unique situation compared to the others.

So, let’s break down each major type of fast business loan so you can get a better idea of which may be a fit for you.

4 Types of Fast Small Business Loans


In the past, your only option was to walk into the bank and hope they’d approve you for a loan.

However, nowadays, thanks to alternative lenders you now have a diverse collection of options available to you no matter what your need.

Here are several fast small business loan options:

1. Unsecured business loans

Apply for an unsecured business loan with Excel Capital: Apply Now

Most fast unsecured business loan does not require hard collateral, such as property or savings, hence why it’s an unsecured loan (as in lenders take nothing to secure the loan’s repayment).

However, it’s important to keep in mind that because the loan isn’t secured, interest rates tend to be higher.

Learn more about unsecured business loans.

2. Business lines of credit

Apply for an unsecured business line of credit with Excel Capital: Apply Now

Quick business lines of credit offer a unique option if you need funds quickly.

As opposed to a single loan, a business line of credit– once approved– gives you recurring access to credit whenever you need it.

If your business is at all seasonal, this can be the perfect option to solve your short-term cash needs on a more consistent basis than getting a new loan every season.

Lines of credit don’t require collateral, however, because they’re not secured your credit score usually needs to be at least 540+.

Learn more about business lines of credit.

3. Split funding / Merchant cash advance

Apply for a merchant cash advance with Excel Capital: Apply Now

Split, funding, or a merchant cash advance, is a lump sum which is then paid back by deducting a percentage of your daily credit card sales.

The advantage of split funding is in the nature of the repayment plan. When business is good, repaying the loan is easy.

When business is down, the percentage-based nature of the repayment amount means your daily payment drops considerably and becomes easier to manage during those slow times.

Learn more about merchant cash advances.

4. Term loans

Apply for a term loan with Excel Capital: Apply Now

A term loan, either a short-term or medium-term loan, is straightforward: they’re designed to fill a need based on their description, a short-term loan taking care of a short-term need and so on.

Term loans are perfect when you need one lump sum to take care of a single purchase quickly.

Learn more about term loans.

How to Get Approved for a Fast Business Loan

So, you know the diverse range of uses for a fast working capital loans and you know your numerous options.

But how can you give yourself the best chance for approval?

First, let’s talk about what lenders look for when reviewing a loan application so you can be well-prepared when submitting your application.

Part I: What do lenders look for?


Here are the five primary factors that lenders look for when reviewing a loan application:

1. Credit score

As opposed to traditional banks, alternative lenders don’t base approval strictly on your credit score.

Being approved for a business loan was once much more difficult. Even now, traditional lenders such as banks use an old system that only takes your credit score into consideration.

However, having said that, there are some important items which you need to consider with regards to your credit:

  • Bankruptcies
  • Foreclosures
  • Tax liens
  • Negative items (NSF and overdraft) in your bank statements

The above factors, while not disqualifying, will show negatively with lenders.

Keep them in mind as you’re putting your things in order and take care of whatever you can before you apply (if possible). We do offer fast business loans bad credit and the rates may vary.

2. Annual revenue

How is your business’ revenue? Up year-to-year or has it been more of a rollercoaster?

Your annual revenue is an important sign of a healthy business, so it’s one of the more important factors to keep in mind.

3. Current debt obligation

Current debt obligation is important to lenders because they want to know how soon you’ll pay off the loan– and how likely they are to get it back without a fuss.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Do you already have a loan you’re currently paying off?
  • Is there collateral involved?
  • Have you had a loan in the past? Did you pay it on time?
  • What percentage of gross monthly revenue is being paid toward current loans
  • Have you had payment issues with other lenders?

Most importantly, lenders want to know that they’re not “second position”, meaning they’re second in place to be paid back.

4. Profitability

Beyond just revenue, lenders want to see how much your business is actually “bringing home” after you pay for all inventory costs, fees, marketing, payroll, and other expenses.

The reality is, you might have a large number of regular sales and a great looking annual revenue. However, if your profit margin is low and you’re struggling to make your bills, that doesn’t look good in the eyes of a lender.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that most business loan types under $100,000 do not require a review of your profitability or financial statements.

5. Cash flow

Similar to annual revenue and profitability, cash flow shows what is coming into the business.

However, far more than just money coming in, cash flow is a more exact indicator of how liquid you are and how much extra cash you have on hand.

Lenders want to see that you not only have money coming in but that you’re being good with that money and have the habit of retaining extra funds for handling unexpected drops in business that could threaten your ability to pay the loan back.

Most lenders look at your average daily balance, any NSF or Overdraft items in your bank accounts and your ability to keep your expenses in order

Part 2: What do I need to qualify for fast business financing?


Now that you know what lenders look for when reviewing your application and what you need to get in order to increase your chances of being approved, it’s time to talk about what you need to qualify.

For the most part, this all depends on the type of loan you decide is best for you. Two loans may require different paperwork and minimum qualifications compared to one another.

If that all sounds confusing, don’t let it overwhelm you.

When you submit your application, we’ll guide you through the entire process step-by-step so you know what is required to qualify.

Having said that, there are some universal minimum qualifications to keep in mind.

For most loan types, these three basic requirements exist:

  1. In business for 6+ months
  2. $10,000+ gross monthly revenue (for unsecured business loans)
  3. A business bank account

 our fast business capital options do not require:

  • A minimum credit score, or
  • Collateral

Now that we’ve covered the basic qualification requirements, let’s talk about the documents that will be required to apply.

Part 3: What documents are needed to apply for a fast business loan?


Now that we have the basics covered for what you need in place to get approved what you’ll need to apply, let’s get your documents in order.

Lucky for you, the documentation requirements for alternative lenders loans is simple and straightforward compared to traditional bank loans.

First, a very short, simple application is required to get your information in the system and get you started.

For that, all you’ll need is your last 3 months of business bank statements.

Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s important to keep in mind that one or more of these additional documents may be required after submitting your application:

  • Copy of photo identification (all owners)
  • Business license
  • Voided check
  • Proof of ownership
  • Property lease or landlord contact information along with last 3 month’s rent checks
  •  Last filed Tax Return and financial statements may be requested for funding over 150k

Try to have as many of these documents on hand before you apply so you can streamline the process as much as possible to reduce the time it takes to get an approval.

With that in mind, exactly how long does it take to get approved and have funds deposited into your account?

How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for a Fast Business Loan?

If you’re reading this, chances are you don’t just need a business loan– you need it fast.

Clearly, time is of the essence. So, exactly how long does it take to get approved?

Approval ultimately depends on how quickly you can provide the documents requested by the lender, as mentioned a moment ago.

However, in general, approval takes just 24-48 hours from the moment you submit your application.

And, once approved, it takes just 1-2 more days for the funds to be received into the account of your choice.

To see what you qualify for, simply complete our short one-page application by clicking here.

It’s never been easier to get the funds your business needs, whether it’s to buy new equipment, make new hires, pay bills, or expand into a new location.

When to Get a Fast Business Loan: 5 Reasons


There are countless reasons to apply for a small business loan, from business growth to cash flow for survival through a tough season.

As the applications for that funding continue to expand amid a quickly changing world economy and a growing diversity of alternative funding and loan programs become available, financing is becoming a more critical element to the success of every small business.

Fortunately, as technology adapts to the rising demands of small business owners, getting a small business loan is easier than ever.

As a result, you now have the ability to get approved and funded in less than 30 minutes. Talk about fast.

It’s no surprise that 73% of small firms have received some type of business financing in the last 12 months according to the SBA.

Without proper funding, most businesses can’t keep up with the need for a consistent flow of cash to maintain business growth, especially during rough times.

But what exactly can you use this type of new, alternative financing for? Surely, a quick small business loan has limitations?

Fortunately, the only limitation is your imagination, as alternative financing solutions now offer fast small business loans that can be used for anything your business needs.

If you’re looking for a few creative ideas as to how a little extra funding can help your business grow, look no further.

Here are the top 5 most common uses for quick business loans:

1. Unforeseen Business Emergencies

Over 30% of our applicants who are requesting a fast business financing need the capital for a curveball that was thrown at their business.

What this event exactly is varies widely by case but many requests are related to vehicle and equipment breakdowns or upgrades.

Unfortunately, most banks take between 30-60 days after all the paperwork has been received according to businessmoneytoday.com.

Clearly, waiting that long with a wonky oven if you’re a restaurant or a broken-down delivery van can be devastating to a business’s immediate cash flow.

2. Distributor or wholesaler flash sale

If you’re a retail or e-commerce business, you’ve likely offered a flash sale– a special deal for bulk purchases or simply a deep discount– at one point or another to great success.

However, with a limited amount of time available to apply for extra capital through traditional sources, a business owner is typically limited to whatever cash or inventory they have on hand to run said sale.

However, with a quick small business loan to give your business the funds it needs to run such a sale, this type of purchasing power can easily double or triple a business’ bottom line without hurting your cash flow or inventory.

3. Business debt consolidation

Businesses typically have a variety of different types of debt on their balance sheet.

This varies from credit card debt to secured debt that has balloon payments attached to it.

We see many businesses apply for quick business funding when the time frame to pay off debt is running short and they need a more manageable amount of time to repay their outstanding liabilities.

4. Hiring a new employee

During times of growth, a business often isn’t quite in a position to make additional hires, with cash flow not yet having caught up to the increased business.

So, you’re posed with a problem: stunt your growth to maintain your balance sheet or overstretch yourself and risk running behind so you can push forward.

But if adding a new employee can allow you to grow your business, why wait? Growth is rarely easy, but if you’ve got the cash you need to invest in that growth it makes the process so much simpler.

5. Investing in marketing

As a business owner, you know that marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a business.

How else do you expect to get customers to know about your special product or service?

But marketing isn’t cheap, so coming up with the cash to grow your business before you actually have it appears to be a catch 22.

According to Entrepreneur.com companies under 5 years in business should invest between 6-12% of their revenue in marketing.

If you’re not investing enough into marketing, it’s likely because you lack the cash to invest in the first place. And that’s exactly the kind of problem a quick small business loan can help you solve.

Steps to Follow When Applying for Quick Business Loans

Now that we’ve covered what you need to know to give yourself the best chance of being approved for an easy small business loan, let’s talk about the steps to follow when applying.

Follow these steps to apply for quick business funding:

1. Identify Your Business’ Needs

First things first, why does your business need a loan in the first place?

Sit down with your core staff members, financial advisors, or simply yourself to determine your business’ needs and how a quick business loan could help.

Do you need to purchase inventory, hire additional staff, catch up on bills?

Having a plan of execution once the loan is acquired is essential for success, as well as a plan for paying the loan back.

2. Do the Due Diligence

You may hear the phrase, “do the due diligence” a lot when researching quick business loans.

In simpler terms, this means doing the necessary research before applying and accepting an offer with a lender.

There are thousands of lenders and brokers out there – traditional and alternative.

Don’t take everything at face value. Learn as much as you can about each lender you are interested in, compare pricing, read reviews, ask questions, and follow your gut if something just doesn’t seem right.

You have the right to protect yourself and your business.

The last thing you want to do is put your business in more of a financial bind or have setbacks.

Research and knowledge are key. Do your due diligence.

3. Choose the Best Quick small Business Loans Option

Maybe you did this when identifying why your business needs a quick business loan, but it’s a good idea to confirm again the type of loan product your business truly needs.

Could your business benefit from an SBA Loan, Term Loan, Unsecured business loan, or something else?

Speak with your chosen lender to go over all of your options and get a better understanding of how everything works.

All lenders have different business loan qualification guidelines.

Depending on your business’ financial standing the amount of money you are looking to obtain, the documentation needed to be presented with an approval will vary.

It is a good idea to at least have your last six months of business bank and credit card processing statements available, as well as additional financial documents like P&L and Balance Sheets and tax returns easily accessible.

Apply for a Fast Business Loan with Excel Capital

Excel Capital makes applying for a fast business loan quick and easy.

Say goodbye to the convoluted applications and long approval times of banks or even the stringent credit requirements of many major lenders.

You could be approved in as little as 24-48 hours and, once approved, funds are typically issued within another 24-48 hours.

Get the capital your business needs– fast. Apply for a fast business loan with Excel Capital: Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest business loan to get?

Thanks to the digital tech revolution, several new business funding vehicles have become available. 

These options don’t require good credit (for some, even bad credit is acceptable), though your business does have to be in good standing. 

Here are some of the easiest and most accessible new small business financing tools:

  • Unsecured business loan: A lump sum of cash with no hard collateral requirements such as property or savings.
  • Split funding: Acquire a sum equal to a portion of future credit card sales. The advance is then repaid based on a percentage of credit card sales.
  • Term loan: A lump sum of cash designed to serve immediate, often smaller-scale cash needs. Predetermined payment schedules and amounts.
  • Business line of credit: This gives you access to a pool of capital you can draw from as you need it, allowing you to reuse given you repay your balance.

With each of the above options, you can be approved with less than stellar credit. No longer do you need to settle for one or two bank financing options. 

Now, you have several new and unique business financing options with more realistic qualification requirements, which you can use to get the funding your business needs– and get on with the important stuff, like growing your business. 

How can I get funding fast?

Nowadays, many quick business funding options exist. 

If your business is in need of funds fast, all you need to do is: 

  • Complete a short application, and 
  • Include 3 months of your recent business bank statements 

Most quick business loan options can fund in as little as 24-48 hours from application to approval. 

So, if you’re in need of funds fast, submit an application to see what you’re approved for.

Is getting a business loan easy?

Getting approved for a business loan is easier than ever, thanks to recent developments in the fintech (financial technology) space. 

In the past, acquiring a business loan from a traditional bank was tough. You either had the credit or you didn’t. 

And because acquiring financing was only available from friends, family, or your local bank, if you didn’t have someone who would lend to you and no bank would approve you, your luck was up. 

Today, getting a business loan from a traditional bank isn’t any easier. The typical credit requirement is often 720+, far above the average credit rating, and credit is the primary qualifying factor.

However, thanks to the fintech movement, new business funding options have become available that take your entire business’s health into consideration. 

That means you don’t need perfect credit. In fact, you can even be approved on bad credit if your business is in good standing.

MOO Business Card Review: Is MOO Printing Right For You?


Need new business cards? Check out this MOO business card review to learn whether this popular business card service is the right one for you. 

If you’re due for a new order of business cards, or are just starting a new business and are looking to get your very first, fresh set of cards to start representing you and your business, MOO business cards are one of the most well-known business card services available today. 

The business world might live largely online now, but your business card still serves as a useful tool you can use to represent yourself to those you meet and communicate with. 

MOO is known as one of the most stylish and modern business card services available, so if you’re in need of new business cards, read the MOO business card review below to get an idea if MOO printing, designs, and other options are a fit for what you’re looking for.

MOO Business Card Review

MOO business cards: Pros and cons

Here’s a 10,000-foot view of the pros and cons of MOO’s business card service:


  • Moo business card templates are some of the most stylish business card templates available online
  • Alternate card designs free of charge
  • Beautiful shipping construction
  • Easy-to-use ordering interface
  • Transparent pricing without annoying upsells


  • Higher price compared to other business card services
  • Few design options
  • MOO printing isn’t the most reliable: Errors are reported by some customers

MOO’s business card service is one of the easiest to use as it boasts a simple and straightforward interface that lets you customize options and complete your order within just a few short pages. 

However, MOO printing can sometimes be unreliable. Customers sometimes report small printing errors such as uneven margins and their design options are limited. They’re also just a bit pricier compared to other business card services, though MOO printing quality is some of the best in the industry. 

If MOO’s business card service sounds like a fit for you, read on to learn what it’s like to order your business cards with MOO as well as details on pricing, ordering, and quality. 

MOO Business Cards

Designing your card

When you start off designing your business cards, you’ll run through a few basic options with an easy one-click interface.

First, you’ll pick your size:

Moo business card template

Then, choose your finish (customers report the Matte finish being super high quality. If you’re not sure what to pick, go with that):

MOO Business Card Review

Next, you’ll choose your quantity, which offers a convenient pricing overview both on a per-card and package basis (this might change based on what options you select later on down the process, but it’s a helpful ballpark): 

Moo printing

Once you pick your quantity, the summary section will populate automatically for you to review:

MOO Business Card Review

Provided everything looks good, select continue to move on to designing your card (don’t worry, anything you select on this screen can be changed later if you need).

Next, you’ll be sent to a page to pick your preferred design style. 

Keep in mind, you can choose to upload a design of your own if you prefer, but for this tutorial, we’ll be going with a MOO business card template from their own library as most will go that route (it’s far easier to execute, and MOO has some great, simple designs).

Choose your design, like this one, then select next:

Moo printing

Once you’ve selected your design, it’s time to input your information into your card. 

The interface is pretty straightforward: just click on a relevant section to edit it and edit any other option such as font or other type options in the dark grey menu above it: 

MOO Business Card Review

Once this is complete, you’re ready to move on to your final review and checkout. 

So, let’s get into MOO’s pricing and shipping options to see what our final total ends up being. 


MOO’s pricing is higher than the average business card service, but they have one big pro when compared to a lot of other services like VistaPrint: they’re transparent and don’t bombard you with upsells.

It’s a part of the business card business model, so expect them with MOO as well, but you won’t feel like you’re being attacked as can often be the case with other business card service checkout processes. 

This is what the next page looks like, which offers a quick summary of our order so far:

MOO Business Card Review

We’ve selected to get 200 business cards as that’s a pretty standard order. However, you can order as few as 50 or 100 if you don’t quite need that many to drop the price down. 

Keep in mind that while MOO’s 50 business card order is $19.99, which would reduce this order total considerably, it’s still more than comparable services like GotPrint ($8.30 for 100 cards) and VistaPrint ($16.99 for 100 cards). 

Once you review your cart and hit checkout, you’ll select your shipping option:

MOO Business Card Review

Shipping prices are pretty standard, with Economy, Express, and Express AM options being available. 

How long does it take to get MOO business cards?

In this case, we were able to get Economy shipping, which added just $9.75 to our order and brought our total to $79.74 (same total as seen in the previous image, as that already had the basic shipping method calculated in). 

We received the order within the week, so the MOO printing and shipping process is relatively fast. 

Now, let’s finish by talking a bit about quality.


So, the order’s come in and it’s time to take a look! How’s the quality?

MOO business card orders come in some of the prettiest packaging that exists. You can tell MOO puts a great amount of care into thinking about the experience of opening your order. 

Our order looked great and matched what we had ordered online (as is often the case reported by customers).

However, many times customers have reported that their order was missing an element they originally included in their design or some design element was incorrect, such as an uneven outer margin.

Some customers report MOO offering a free reprint of their order to get it right, however, which is a big relief and largely fixes the hassle.

Is matte or glossy better for business cards?

MOO is known for its beautiful matte finish, with many customers reporting the finish being the highest quality in the industry.

On the other hand, MOO’s glossy coat is high quality, but highly reflective (even when not placed against a light source), which you may or may not like. 

For that reason, we’d suggest choosing MOO’s matte finish if you’re unsure of which to pick. 

Did this MOO business card review help?

Have a better idea of whether MOO business cards are a good fit for you now? 

Business cards might seem like a small detail, but those small details can make a big impression when you’re meeting a key business contact for the first time, so you should take some time to find not only a sharp design that communicates what you’re offering but a business card service you believe you can count on to deliver quality.

And check out some more of our helpful reviews to help get your business off the group:

How A Merchant Cash Advance Allowed This Canadian Business To Expand!

How A Merchant Cash Advance Allowed This Canadian Business To Expand!

Oren Fletcher, a 25 year-old car detailing business owner from Ontario, Canada was an up and coming entrepreneur. His car detailing shop, Fletcher’s Detailing, was the go-to spot in Cornwall, Ontario and showed no signs of slowing down. To keep up with the influx of customers, he decided to apply for merchant cash advance Canada to help with expanding the company.

Oren, as many young entrepreneurs do, started his company at his family home. He turned his mother’s two-car garage into a home-based business, but in recent months due to hundred of cars needing detailing, he needed to expand, hire a receptionist, train new employees, and purchase inventory. Although business was on the up and up, as fast as money was coming in, it was quickly going out to take care of overhead costs causing Oren to just break even at the end of each month. He needed working capital to put him ahead.

After seeing a news segment on TV about the growing popularity of the alternative lending industry in Canada, Oren decided to contact Excel Capital Management. After quickly learning about the alternative financing solutions offered at Excel, he sent over 4 months of recent bank and credit card processing statements to one of their funding specialists just to see what he qualified for. Within hours, Excel was able to offer a $150,000 Merchant Cash Advance. Oren quickly took the offer and was funded the very next day. Within weeks he was able to hire a contractor to start work on a new location, hire a receptionist, and train new employees on different car detailing techniques!

*All Case Studies are based on real businesses Excel Capital Management has funded. The names of our clients and their businesses have been changed to protect their privacy.*

1031 Exchange: How It Can Work for Your Properties

1031 Exchange

Wondering how to do a 1031 exchange with real estate? Read on to find out more about what a 1031 exchange is, specific rules to keep in mind, and the different types of exchanges. 


What is a 1031 exchange in real estate? 

A 1031 exchange, sometimes referred to as a “Like-kind” exchange and originating from IRS Code Section 1031, is a method of exchanging properties where you defer the payment of capital gains taxes on the sale of an investment property, so long as you purchase another like-kind property using the profit from the sale

Why might you want to use a 1031 exchange to sell your investment property? 

A 1031 exchange gives you the ability to shift investment properties without incurring tax penalties, which has several additional benefits baked into that. 

Let’s say market prices are picking up, as they have been for some time now, and you’re worried about another potential bubble. Using the 1031 exchange system, you could shift your investment from your current properties to other more stable high-priced real estate to weather the increased risk until the market cools down. 

In that case, you’re not just avoiding tax penalties, the 1031 exchange system allowed you to potentially save big time by shifting your investment to more secure real estate, the same way that a stock investor might move some of their money from live stocks over to the S&P or back again.

If that sounds like a tool that could help you maximize your real estate investment returns in 2020 and beyond, read on the learn everything you need to know to take advantage of 1031 exchanges.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

Table of Contents

  • How to do a 1031 exchange
  • 4 Types of 1031 exchanges
  • What qualifies as a 1031 exchange
  • And what qualifies as like-kind property

First, let’s talk about how to do a 1031 exchange. 

How to do a 1031 exchange

First, how do you do a 1031 exchange? 

There are a few rules you need to follow to be able to take advantage of the 1031 exchange rule:

  • The properties must only be real estate and not personal or intangible property
  • Of a similar value, with the new property needing to have the same or larger value and loan amount than the original. 
  • And must be like-kind 

We’ll explain more what like-kind is later, but for now, let’s talk about the different types of 1031 real estate exchanges. 


4 Types of 1031 real estate exchanges

There are several different kinds of 1031 or “like-kind” exchanges, the most common being:

  • Construction (or improvement) exchange
  • Simultaneous exchange
  • Delayed exchange, and
  • Reverse exchange

Below is a quick summary of each of these common types of like-kind exchanges: 

1. Construction or improvement exchange

A construction or improvement exchange gives you the ability to make improvements on the new replacement property using the equity from the sale/exchange.

Keep in mind that there are a few rules you need to follow to qualify for a construction exchange:

  1. The entire equity from the exchange/sale must be spent on improvements OR as down payment by the 180th day of the sales process.
  2. You, as the taxpayer, must receive “substantially the same property” which you identified by the 45th day of the process. 
  3. The replacement property must be of equal or greater value when it is finally deeded back to the taxpayer, and these improvements must be completed before the title can be transferred back from the intermediary to the taxpayer. 

2. Simultaneous exchange

A simultaneous exchange means that both the original property sold and the replacement property close on the exact same day. 

This is a bit of a delicate one, as the exchange must happen to such exactness that even a delay in wiring funds can disqualify the transaction and immediately apply the tax dues.

There are several different ways a simultaneous exchange can be done, only one of these is required for the exchange to qualify as a simultaneous exchange:

  1. Deed swap: You and the other party perform an exchange of deeds.
  2. Third part exchange: A third party facilitates the simultaneous exchange.
  3. Qualified intermediary: Another version sees an intermediary who oversees the exchange. 

3. Delayed exchange

In this type of exchange, the relinquishing of the original property you owned and the acquisition of the new property is “delayed”, hence the name.

In this type of exchange, you’re responsible for securing a buyer and executing the sale in its entirety. Once that’s done, hire a qualified intermediary to begin to initiate the sale and hold the proceeds in a trust until you acquire a new like-kind property. 

This is, by far, the most common type of 1031 exchange performed by investors. That’s likely because the window of time you get by using this kind of exchange gives investors a lot of flexibility that you don’t get from other types of exchanges. 

4. Reverse exchange

A reverse exchange, sometimes called a forward exchange, is essentially the opposite of the previous delayed exchange: you buy the replacement property first then sell the relinquished property after. 

To use this type of exchange, the purchase of the new property must be done with all cash. So, decide which of your properties is the one you’re going to relinquish (within 45 days) while that new property is “parked” until the exchange is complete.

Additionally, you have a 180-day period to sell the relinquished property, otherwise, the exchange is canceled and you’re responsible for the tax dues.


What qualifies for a 1031 exchange? 1031 Exchange rules explained

So, now that you know more about how a 1031 exchange works, how do you know what qualifies for a 1031 exchange so that you can take advantage of it?

Below are the 7 guidelines you have to follow to qualify for a 1031 exchange of any kind: 

  1. Must be like-kind property
  2. Has to be investment or business property
  3. Must be greater or equal value
  4. Can’t receive “Boot”
  5. Must be same taxpayer (referring to the person who sells the relinquished property and the person who purchases the new property)
  6. You have a 45-day window to identify the replacement property (except in the case of simultaneous exchanges)
  7. And a 180-day purchase window 

Let’s break down each of these guidelines in a bit more detail: 

1. What qualifies as like-kind property

Arguably the most important guideline as it’s the one that requires the most explaining is the like-kind property rule. 

To qualify as a 1031 exchange, the property being purchased must be “like-kind” the relinquished property you’re selling. 

What that means is both properties must be “of the same nature or character, even if they differ in grade or quality,” according to the official IRS website

That means both properties must be used for the same purpose, which means virtually any two properties will qualify as like-kind as long as they’re commercial/business (no personal property).

This stretches pretty far, as even an office building and rental property qualify as like-kind property.

The replacement property can even be multiple properties, believe it or not. So, if the relinquished property is a rental building and the replacements are two commercial buildings, that also qualifies. 

2. Investment or business property: Can you use a 1031 exchange to purchase a primary residence?

We touched on this above, but a 1031 exchange only applies to investment or business property. 

According to the IRS, “Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Section 1031 now applies only to exchanges of real property and not to exchanges of personal or intangible property.”

In other words, you can’t use any 1031 exchange method for personal property. 

For example: 

  • If you want to sell a personal residence for a property for a restaurant you’re launching, you can’t use a 1031 exchange
  • Or, if you want to sell a rental property you own to purchase a personal residence, you can’t use a 1031 exchange

3. Must be greater or equal value

To qualify for 100% tax deference, the net market value of the property you’re purchasing must be of equal or greater value than the one you’re relinquishing for sale.

Keep in mind that this applies to both the value of the property as a whole and the mortgage. So, if you’re selling a property worth $1.2 million and the mortgage was $750,000, the value of the new replacement property must be at least $1.2 million and the mortgage $750,000 or higher. 

One important point to note here is that fees apply toward that valuation, such as inspection fees and broker fees, so make sure to include them in your calculation. 

4. Can’t receive “Boot”

“Boot” refers to the difference between the relinquished property you’re selling and the replacement property you’re buying. 

To be clear, a sale can still qualify as a 1031 exchange if the property is of lesser value (i.e. you’re receiving Boot). However, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on that difference.

For example: If you sell a property for $500,000, but purchase a replacement property in exchange for $450,000, you would need to pay capital gains tax immediately on the $50,000.

5. Same taxpayer

To qualify for a 1031 exchange, the original property and the new one you’re purchasing must both be under the same name.

That means if you’re the one selling the property, your name must have been on the relinquished property as well as on the purchase of the new property, they can’t be two different people. 

6. 45-Day identification window

From the moment you close on the sale of your original property, you have a 45-day window to select 3 potential like-kind exchange candidate properties.

You don’t need to come to a decision yet. However within this relatively short window, you must have narrowed down to your top 3 candidates. 

This can be tricky because you ultimately must choose one of these three properties and can’t change your mind without incurring capital gains. 

How many properties can I identify with a 1031 exchange? (The 200% Rule exception)

There is, however, an exception to this. 

If you’re having trouble identifying your top 3 candidates, the “200% Rule” states that you can choose 4 or more candidates. However, that’s only so long as the total value of those properties does not exceed 200% of the property you sold.

7. 180-Day purchase window

Lastly, as part of the 1031 exchange process, you have a 180-day window to complete the entire exchange process.

You must complete the exchange in full from, identifying the exchange property and finalizing the purchase, by the end of the 180-day window. This window begins once the original property is sold or the due date of the income tax on the year it was sold, whichever comes first.

1031 Exchange: A useful tool for real estate investors

The 1031 exchange rule is a useful tool that real estate investors can use to gain additional flexibility when buying and selling property.

Whether you’re wanting to:

  • Shift your investment to a developing area
  • Your current investments aren’t working out
  • Or any other reason

a 1031 exchange could be exactly what you need to improve your investment forecast, in addition to the tax deferment. 

There are several rules you must follow to take advantage of a 1031 exchange. However, most are relatively simple and easy to qualify for. 

So, if you plan to utilize the 1031 exchange rule, make sure to choose your new property wisely and plan the process well in advance. For instance, make sure the sale occurs before or at the same time as the income tax is due for that year. Otherwise, you’re narrowing your already tight 180-day window down further.

And keep in mind: this is a complex rule that has many intricacies. So, take the time to really study it in detail to make sure you’re taking all the right steps.  

How We Used SEMrush to Grow Our Organic Search 10x in One Year


Are you a business owner wondering how to stay ahead of constant changes in the SEO arena when you have enough to deal with running your business? SEMrush helped us improve our marketing with a collection of useful tracking and reporting tools. Learn more below. 

As someone without prior digital marketing experience, when I was just starting out marketing my business, SEO seemed like a very long uphill climb. Like Everest high. 

Add to that the fact that we’re in an extremely competitive space– business loans– which has an average competition score of .93. We had a lot of hurdles to cross to gain visibility.

Many of our competitors have been cranking out content for years, and a lot aren’t half bad at it. So, I knew looking at what they were doing would be the best place to start.

My only problem was… we had no idea how to do that or where to start. 

In came SEMrush to help.

SEMrush’s Domain Overview Search helped us get clarity about our competition

After doing a little digging around, I decided to give SEMrush a try after seeing it recommended so many times on various guides.

The first report I started using– and still the main one we use– was and is the Domain Overview Search report. 

We’re primarily a small business lender, so I started by pulling data comparing our biggest competitors in the small business lending space to find out what topics and keywords they were ranking for: 


Running the Organic Search Positions report on each of our biggest competitors helped identify other terms both big and small. 

That not only helped show us what terms we should be targeting but told us more about their own keyword strategy as a whole– what’s working for them and where they’re falling: 


We created pages for our major keywords early, but with little to no domain authority, we weren’t seeing much results.

However, what really worked well for us was targeting some of the less competitive keywords in our niche, terms we were able to identify and rank for with the Domain Overview Search report:


SEMrush’s Organic Research Tool told us what was working (and what wasn’t) 

Once we had a good collection of content up and we were working on our on-page and off-page SEO, we used the Organic Research Tool to regularly monitor our rankings: 


The report not only showed us how our rankings were improving day-by-day but both our visibility and changes in our traffic for each individual term. 

Another really useful tool we’ve used this report for is to pay attention to what SERP features we have. 

With snippets becoming such an important part of SEO, we’re constantly trying to snag new snippets for various terms– and this report helps tell us when we were successful. 

We also used the Position Changes report on a daily basis to see how rankings were fluctuating. The report is especially useful for finding out when a page is newly ranked:


Between these reports, we had pretty much all the information we needed to know what was working and what wasn’t and make changes accordingly.

And don’t forget to set up the Position Tracking Tool, which is useful for setting up automatic updates on your focus keywords to go out to you on a daily basis. 

It’s especially nice if you’re too busy to remember to check your reports daily, which is bound to happen especially for other business owners: 


And their Site Audit and Sensor Helped us stay on top of issues

Chances are if you’ve never done a site audit, your website has a ton of on-page and/or performance issues that are affecting your visibility and ranking. 

In addition to creating great content and monitoring how that content was doing, we used the Site Audit tool to help us take care of issues plaguing the site, which we were quickly able to minimize and keep down:


We then use the Sensor tool to keep on top of any potential Google updates in relation to our industry so we can know the moment an algorithm update might have gone live that could affect our rankings: 


Backlink Audit tool helped us avoid a major ranking hit

Another tool we’ve used to similar benefit is the Backlink Audit tool. It’s helped us identify toxic domains that are linking to us that could set off a red flag to Google.


When we notice a problematic link, we can easily handle it right then and there in the Audit tab within a matter of seconds: 


Earlier in the year, we had a big hit to the site caused by some bad links that affected our rankings that were acquired via a negative SEO attack on our site by what appeared to be one of our competitors.

At first, we weren’t sure what was causing it and were worried we’d just been hit by an algorithm update or something. 

However, with this tool, we were able to identify several bad links that had just been directed at us and disavow the links that were causing the issue, fixing it right then and there. 

One Year Later: Major results with SEMrush

Just over a year from the moment we started our big push, the site’s rankings have taken off thanks in part to the SEMrush tools we utilized and traffic is climbing at an accelerated pace.

This is what our charts look like from December of 2018 to December of 2019, one year later: 

And the number of keywords we rank for has exploded (and our number of top three and #4-10 place rankings): 


SEMrush’s slew of comprehensive reports and tools not only helped us create a plan of attack by running effective research on our competitors that informed our keyword strategy, but it also gave us the tools to monitor that growth on every level and remove– and avoid– issues that could potentially affect our ability to rank.

The end result has been big gains for us in a short window of time with a concrete impact on our bottom line (and continued growth even now). 

If you’re a business owner who doesn’t know much– if anything– about SEO, I can’t recommend the SEMrush tools more for crafting your keyword strategy, helping you rank, and making sure you stay there.

How to Value a Business: A Comprehensive Guide to Properly Valuing Your Business


How to value a business: How much is your business worth?

Whether it’s to acquire funding via a small business loan or investors or sell the business, properly valuing your business is an important step that needs to be done right. 

The more accurately you can appraise the value of your business, the more funding you’ll be able to generate and the greater chance you’ll have of securing a buyer. 

A business valuation is the process of determining how much your business is worth

There are several specific methods that are typically used to calculate a business’s true worth, but these are the 3 main overarching valuation methods which all specific methods fit under: 


3 Methods to Value a Business:

  1. Income-based: Calculates valued based primarily on income metrics such as revenue and profit. This includes the Discounted Cash Flow method which takes into consideration projected future cash flow value at present compared to risk as well as Capitalization of Earnings, which is a combination of revenue, profit, and cash flow projections.
  2. Asset-based: Calculates value based on a business’s assets.
  3. Market-based: Calculates value based on the sale of similar businesses within your same industry. 

It’s also important for entrepreneurs in the market to buy or invest in to be aware of how business valuations work, so they know how to properly value a business which they’re considering purchasing or making an investment in. 

No matter where you fall in the process, you should invest the necessary time to better understand how business valuations work. 

That’s why the purpose of this guide is to break down how business valuations work, methods for doing so, and tips to help make the process smoother for all parties involved. 

Table of contents

  • Preparing to value your business
  • 3 Primary methods for calculating the value of your business
  • How to value your business example
  • Tips to make the most of your business valuation

First, let’s talk about some important tips for preparing for your valuation:

Preparing to value your business

Before we dive into the major business valuation methods, there are some important steps you should take to prepare for your business valuation.

Appraising the value of your business is a big step no matter what point in the business growth timeline you’re at, so investing a bit of time to prepare beforehand can help make sure things go off without a hitch. 

Here are 4 things you should do before valuing your business:

1. Learn about business valuations

Since you’re reading this, you’re probably already at this step. 

However, it’s important to mention that because business valuations can be complex and are directly tied to the success and/or ultimate monetary value of your business, you should take some time to learn about business valuations. 

Learn about the different valuation methods, what type of business should use which method, why, and all the various details you should take into consideration when valuing the business. 

For example, two of the most important terms you should look into are Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE) and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA).

SDE and EBITDA are both arguably the two most common types of business valuation methods (which fit into one of the major valuation method buckets we’ll talk about later), though they’re similar in nature. 

Both are essentially methods for calculating a business’s pure net profits, SDE generally being used for small businesses under $500,000 in value and EBITDA for businesses above that.

2. Research your industry

Business valuation methods take more into account than a business’s performance and well-being, they look at the industry as a whole as well. 

For that reason, take some time to research the industry the business is in– if you don’t already do that regularly– to understand its current state and direction.

Financial information for most public companies is easily enough found online and a great way to get an idea of the state of the industry. However, you can also search out potential business sales listings on sites like AngelList for any that might exist within the industry as another great resource. 

3. Get your finances in order

This one might sound like an obvious step in retrospect, but it’s often overlooked until it’s too late. 

If you’re the business owner, chances are, there are things you can do to measurably improve your company’s financial situation within a matter of a few months to a year. 

Take time to review critical reports such as your profit & loss and balance sheet to get an idea of where you can make improvements. 

Also, make sure you have certain financial documents in order which will be necessary for the valuation process:

  • Profit & loss statement
  • Tax filings
  • Licenses and other proprietary documents
  • Other basic business finance reports

We’ll go more into considering a professional appraiser later, but it’s important to mention at this point that a professional business appraiser will run a full financial audit of your company, so while they will cost you they’ll take care of this step entirely (and with accuracy you can count on). 

4. Review your assets

Similar to the previous point, you’ll also want to review your assets. 

This is important for all financial calculations, but most notably for asset-based valuation methods. 

Start by making a list of all your business assets (which essentially includes anything that adds value to your business), including both:

  1. Tangible, and
  2. Intangible assets

Within these two groups exist all kinds of different business assets, including:

Tangible assets:

  • Physical assets such as property/real estate, your production machines, and delivery vehicles
  • Inventory
  • Cash
  • Investments

Intangible assets:

  • Intellectual property such as patents and trademarks
  • Subscriber list
  • Brand reputation

Similarly, don’t forget to take stock of all your liabilities, which can include:

  • Business loans
  • Accounts payable, and
  • Expenses

3 Methods for valuing your business

Now that you’ve taken steps to prepare for your business valuation, whether you’ll be doing it yourself or hiring a professional, it’s time to break down the 3 overarching business valuation methods. 

Each method below calculates the value of your business differently. Some methods are used more often than others, however, each is useful to know as they all have a place depending on the industry and other factors. 

As a final note, if you’re doing the valuation yourself, work to make it as unbiased and accurate as possible. Inflating your numbers will only hurt you in the long run, from giving you an incorrect picture of your business health to turning away potential buyers. 

Also, resist the urge to mesh methods together. Each method’s calculation can be run separately, but attempting to mesh them together is bound to result in skewed results. 

These are the 3 approaches to business valuation: 


1. Income-driven method

The income method for business valuation uses metrics such as profit and revenue (typically, future projections of those metrics), as the basis for valuation.

There are 2 primary methods used within the income approach bucket:

Capitalization of earnings method

This method takes into account factors such as a business’s cash flow to calculate its future profitability. This method is best for established businesses with stable profit. 

Discounted cash flow method

This method, which calculates the value of a business based on its future cash flow projection, is ideal for new businesses with high growth potential.


2. Asset-driven method

Asset-driven methods use, as it sounds, a business’s assets to calculate its value. These are especially good for real estate and investment-based businesses. 

Again, there are several different methods within this approach as well, including the Adjusted Net Asset method, which adds up a business’s assets and subtracts its liabilities to find its value.

To use an asset-driven method, you need to have an idea of what monetary value you can place on your assets. If you’re not sure, instead of running a guesstimate, do some research to make sure those estimates are as accurate as possible. 


3. Market-driven method

The final business valuation method is the market-based approach.

This approach primarily takes into account the purchases of comparable businesses in your industry as a marker of its value. 

This can be a useful method if you’re looking for a quick ballpark estimate as if you know of another similar business in your industry that recently sold, chances are your business will sell for a similar value.

This method is especially useful if your industry is experiencing rapid growth (such as tech) as there are likely examples you can reference in your industry. 

Make sure to gather data on all comparable businesses and don’t just settle on the data from one. The more data you can provide to a potential seller, the more solid you’ll make your case for pricing your business at what you decide it to be. 


How to properly value your business: Example

While there are many different ways to calculate the value of a business, for the sake of the example, we’re going to use the most common method, the SDE method used often for businesses of <$500,000 in value, for our example. 

Adrianna owns a local family restaurant originally started by her parents when she was a child called Luiz’s Hot Spot. She’s interested in getting a valuation for the business so she can put the restaurant up for sale.

First, Adrianna starts by gathering the basic financial numbers we touched on above for the business:

  • Annual SDE: $95,000
  • Annual revenue: $475,000
  • Assets:
    • Real estate: $175,000
    • Equipment and furnishings: $35,000
    • Inventory: $100,000
  • Liabilities: $50,000

Next, Adrianna will use these numbers to calculate the average value for her business.

Calculating SDE

Using bizbuysell.com’s latest statistics, the restaurant industry as a whole has an average multiplier of 1.98. 

To roughly calculate the value of her business, then, Adrianna takes her $95,000 calculated SDE, found with this equation: 


Net earnings (before taxes) + Personal earnings + Non-essential expenses for the year (one-time, non-repeating expenses– doesn’t include COGS) – Liabilities = Your SDE

Then runs her SDE through this equation: Business’s SDE x Multiplier, using the multiplier of 1.98 to get her estimated business value:


$95,000 (SDE) x 1.98 (Multiplier) = $188,100 (Business value, rough estimate)

Keep in mind that this calculation, in particular liabilities and intangible assets, includes things we didn’t cover here such as future prospects, local economy projections, and other elements.

What other factors affect the value of Adrianna’s business?

In addition to the abovementioned factors, there are other factors that can affect the true value of Adrianna’s restaurant that aren’t included in this rough SDE estimate. 

There are a whole collection of additional elements that must be factored in to get an accurate value for the business, including: 

  • How eligible is she for financing? 
  • How loyal are her customers?
  • When will key employees retire?
  • Supplier relationships may change

Several factors influence the final number, including the fact that Luiz’s is a family-owned restaurant and a change in ownership will be specifically impactful to such a long-held local establishment. In addition, the trend away from individually owned restaurants, local business growth, and community response. 

Keep in mind that the above example is only a rough estimation and shouldn’t be used in exactness to run your own valuation. 

Rather, use it to get an idea of what a real business valuation might look like to help you prepare for your valuation. 

4 Tips to make the most of your business valuation

Preparing for and executing a business valuation is a big event. 

You not only want to make sure that you’re properly prepared, but that you do everything you can to make the most of the valuation throughout the process– and give yourself the greatest odds of success at acquiring funds or an eventual purchase. 

Here are some additional tips to help you make the most of your business evaluation.

1. Be realistic (and take emotion out of the equation)

One of the most common mistakes of business owners during the valuation process is to overprice their own business due to bias. 

As the owner, you know how much effort you’ve invested in growing your business. This enormous effort can skew your perception of the value of your business, making you overvalue your business. 

This is all the more reason why one of the accepted evaluation methods is so important, because it takes that emotional aspect out of the equation. 

2. Consider giving your marketing and public appearance a facelift

One of the simplest things you can do to improve your chance of selling the business, and at a desirable price, is to give your marketing and overall public appearance a facelift before putting it up for sale. 

The way the public views your business inevitably plays a big part in the process of acquiring a buyer as they will see your business first the way everyone else does.

Taking a bit of time to update your marketing campaigns, branding, advertising, even simple things that might be a bit out of date such as your business cards, signage outside your business, and your facility itself will go a long way toward securing a buyer. 

3. Get key employees on board

It’s common for key employees to stay in place after selling. After all, it’s easier for the buyer to keep an already well-oiled team in place rather than hire and train their own. 

For that reason, it’s important to make sure you can secure those key employees now and get them on board with the eventual sale and transition.

When you decide to reveal this information is up to you, perhaps you decide not to reveal anything until a prospective buyer is in place, but it’s something you’ll want to do sooner than later to reduce surprises. That way, you can communicate who from the team the buyer can count on staying when the transition occurs. 

Secure not only letters of intent from those key employees but also any vital vendors as well. The more you can guarantee your potential buyer that these key elements will remain in place, the more you’ll reassure them of the return on purchasing your business. 

4. Consider hiring a professional appraiser

At this point, it might be obvious that appraising your business yourself is risky at the very least.

Between the natural bias that business owners experience and tendency to overvalue when it’s their own business and the complexity of business evaluation methods, appraising the value of your business may be in better hands with a professional. 

A professional appraiser can be costly, up to several thousand dollars for a full appraisal, but they’ll run a full audit on your financials to make sure that your valuation is accurate. 

In addition to this, having a record of a professional valuation will give credibility to your valuation that is indisputable during negotiations.

A personal valuation is definitely faster and saves you money, but not only may that valuation be incorrect, a buyer is more likely to negotiate the price down without evidence of a professional appraisal.

It’s your business– get the most from it

Valuing your business is a big step in any entrepreneur’s career, whether it’s your first or fifth and your business is worth $200,000 or $2 million (or more). 

You not only want to make sure you’re properly valuing your business but that you make that valuation and sales process as smooth as possible and put yourself in a position to maximize your return from that sale or to acquire the maximum amount of funding for the business. 

Use the above tips to prepare for your valuation, consider which method might be best for you, apply the additional tips for making the most of the process, and consider hiring a professional appraiser. 

It’s your business. You worked hard to grow it into what it is today, so don’t skimp on the details. Get the most you possibly can from your time and hard work.