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    3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2009 3:36 PM by bmt2008

    Need help, how do I get a loan to buy an existing business?

    wantstobuy Newbie
      Hello all,
      My fiance (27) and I (24) worked at a sports bar/restaurant all through college, I as a head server and bartender and he as kitchen manager and eventually as general manager. We moved after my graduation but have always wanted to buy a restaurant together somewhere back home. Well today it came to my attention that this extremely popular bar we worked at is for sale for $250,000 and does a little over a million in gross sales a year. It's priced way below what it's worth because there is something going on with the owner and he needs to sell quick. We know this business like the back of our hands and would love to own it. Unfortunately, we don't have any sort of collateral or savings in the bank. We're just two young people renting a house, working steady salaried jobs. Would it be possible for us to obtain a loan to purchase the business? I have no real hope that we could ever do it, but considering we're extremely close with the owners and I'm sure they would love to sell to us, I feel like it's worth a shot. How would I go about even attempting to convince a lender to loan us this money and is it even worth a try? Thanks!
        • Re: Need help, how do I get a loan to buy an existing business?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          How do I get a loan to buy an existing business, Welcome

          Who are you?? Like a first name?? If you want to raise money to finance a new business, you need a Business Plan and YES I can help.

          Talk to me, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Need help, how do I get a loan to buy an existing business?
            Tracker

            There are a lot of important things to cover when buying a business. So it is not practical to put them all here. But I will list here some of the high points that you should look at:

            What is the reason for the sale? You mentioned that something is going on with the owner. I think its important to determine why he needs to sell quickly. Is the owner selling because he "wants" to do something else or that he "needs" to because they see the business not doing as well in the future as it has in the past. The real reason for selling is very important to determine early on as best you can.
            With this type of business I'm sure that location is important. Is the traffic (I'm talking flow of people/customers/prospects etc.) volume in the area steady, going up, declining? Is the area growing, flat or declining? Does the city have any planned construction over the next 3 to 5 years that will disrupt access to the business? I have seen location sensitive businesses go out of business because of highway construction disrupting the traffic (of cars and people) in the business area.
            What is the revenue and net income of the business for the past 3 to 5 years? Check their financials for at least the last 3 years and see how sales and profits are trending. Are they going up, flat or declining?
            What do they forecast for the next 3 to 5 years? And are the projections realistic.
            How strong is the balance sheet ... i.e. are there assets with value and is the business carrying debt? If there is any debt, can it be assumed?
            Do they have appraisals to prove any value they are putting on any of the assets?
            Business values (i.e. their asking price or the selling price) are largely determined by the net income or EBITDA of the business (sometimes with owners benefits and compensation added back in) at a fair-market multiple on those earnings often plus the value of tangible assets. Do you know what they are basing their asking price on? Is that a realistic, fair and acceptable price? Again, keep in mind what the picture for the business looks like in the future. New business buyers often make the mistake of paying for past performance but end up with a business headed down. Check things out closely.
            Will the owner carry back any financing? If he needs to sell the business quick, see if he will carry a good part of the purchase price on a note paid from the business earnings ... if you have a close relationship with the owner they may be willing to do this. That may lower the amount of cash you need for the deal quite a bit.

            With any business acquisition it important to establish the stability of the revenue (over the past 3 to 5 years and going forward for the next 3 to 5 years). Another thing to look at would be operating expenses. Are there any opportunities to reduce expenses and what is the outlook if you will face higher operating expenses than the current owners? And the question about the growth of the area, traffic flow, location and any planned highway construction is important to look at as well.

            There are many more questions but the above will be critical when it comes to initially checking out the business as part of your due diligence. And these are they types of things you would need to get together to present to prospective funding sources to help you buy the business. Since you may not have a lot of credit and collateral built up that a conventional lender is going to want to see, you should try alternative sources for amounts that could add up to enough to swing the deal. If you get the cash required to pay the owner as a down-payment low enough, you might be able to find a financial partner or private lender or investor at one of these sites:

            http://www.accionusa.org/

            http://www.lendingclub.com/

            https://us.zopa.com/

            http://www.prosper.com/

            Buying a business means a lot of work and it can be frustrating to try and get all the pieces and funding lined up; but if the dream of owning your own business is important to you ... you can work at it to make it happen.

            I hope the above helps you or gives you some direction.

            Dennis Lowery
            Adducent, Inc.
            • Re: Need help, how do I get a loan to buy an existing business?
              bmt2008 Adventurer
              First things first - if this is truely something you want to do - go after it - have confidence.

              Some suggestions:

              1)Work with the owner and develop a business plan. With plan in hand go to your local bank(s) and ask about their SBA programs. SBA loans are designed for this type of situation. If the lender requires 10% or 20% down - try your friends and family for the down payment or try to use Micro-Credit and Peer-to-Peer social lending.

              2) Ask the owner to "owner finance" - Thus, you could pay out of profits.

              3) Try friends and family - they know you best and they may pool their money to get the $250K.

              4) Network in your community and find a partner with the funds needed and work out a deal. (there are several posts in this forum related to how to network in your community)

              Just some thoughts