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How to apply for a business loan

7 October 2020

What are you trying to achieve for your business? For Suncorp business bankers Matt Olsson and John Gilmour, it’s a key question when you’re applying for a loan.

“The best business conversations occur when both parties are prepared and knowledgeable,” says John. 

Here are some of Matt and John’s top recommendations to help you succeed with your application.

1. Be ready to make your case

2. Make sure your numbers are accurate and verifiable

3. Get your documentation sorted

4. Be prepared to listen and ask questions

1. Be ready to make your case

Matt advises applicants, “We need to know you understand your business and what it takes to make it a successful venture. You should be able to clearly articulate what you’re trying to achieve and how the finance you are applying for now will help you achieve this.”

For example, if you’re looking to purchase a new business premises, research the local market. You’ll want to think through questions like, “is this the best way for my business to be investing capital?” and “what advantages will this location give me over the competition?”

“When considering a finance application, you deal with the person first. Experience and knowledge go a long way when you’re making an assessment as to the viability of an application,” says John. 

2. Make sure your numbers are accurate and verifiable

As part of your application, you’ll need to provide up-to-date financial information, including your business’ balance sheet and profit and loss statements. Depending on the type of business and the nature of the funding request, forecast cash flows can also be valuable to demonstrate you can afford the additional financial commitment. Keeping your business and personal accounts separate can make things easier. 

Suncorp Bank’s Business Premium Account has no monthly account-keeping fees and unlimited fee-free transactions.

John says, “It’s important for businesses to have their financial information reviewed by their accountant or bookkeeper. It’s also a good idea to make these professionals available to us. You don’t have to bring them with you, but you want to be sure we can engage them if we have questions about your application.”

You also need to be realistic about the value of any collateral that may be offered to support the loan, such as property. It can be useful to provide evidence of recent sales of similar properties if that information is readily available.

3. Get your documentation sorted

Use Suncorp Bank’s business loan document checklist to help organise the information and documents you’ll need to support your application. If you’re buying a business, it’s important to note that you’ll need to provide financial statements for at least the last two years of trading for the business.

Matt recommends you have copies of your most recent tax returns and can demonstrate your ATO BAS lodgements are up-to-date and well-managed. This can help expedite the application process.

4. Be prepared to listen and ask questions

Matt and John don’t expect small business clients to know everything about bank finance, but they like to see applicants who are focused on getting the best funding proposition for their business. Matt says, “When you’re applying for a loan, there are a lot of questions to consider. We like to see customers asking them.” He recommends you should be prepared to ask your banker questions like:

  • Why could this product be best suited to my business?
  • What are the typical processes and timeframes for approval and funding?
  • What are the terms and conditions of the loan?

You need to take the time to read all loan documentation and understand what you’re signing so you can be confident you’re making the right decision.

Ready to take the next step?

If you’re looking for finance to improve, expand, buy or start a business, Suncorp Bank’s business specialists are ready to help. They can discuss your unique requirements and help you find the best solution. 

Enquire now

Matt Olsson is District Manager, Business Banking and John Gilmour is Business Banking Relationship Manager at Suncorp Bank in Brisbane. Both have more than 20 years of business banking experience.

Read more:

Business Premium Account is issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No: 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”). Other fees and charges may apply. Please read the Product Information Document before making any decision regarding this product. Contact us for a copy.

Business Lending Products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 Australian Credit Licence number 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”). To approved applicants only. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request. Please read the relevant Product Information Document before making any decision about a product. Contact us for a copy.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

Products and services including banking and insurance (including home and car insurance) are provided by separate companies in the Suncorp Group. Each entity is not responsible for, or liable in respect of, products and services provided by other entities of the Suncorp Group. Suncorp Bank (Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722) is only liable for the banking products or services it provides and not the products and services of other companies in the Suncorp Group.


Handy Tools

Business Loan Repayment Calculator