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You don't say what kind of business this is, or how much you are looking for. However, with a strong co-signer, a lot of options are open to you, such as:
SBA. Check with your local SBA office or local bank for particulars.
BANK LOAN. Make an appointment with 2-3 local banks. Tell them what you have in mind, and see how receptive they are. Bank of America is a good starting point.
EQUIPMENT LEASING. The better your credit, the better your terms.
ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE FINANCING. The stronger your assets, the better your terms.
CREDIT UNIONS. Credit unions have been very aggressive lately in financing businesses. Talk to one or two and see what they say.
There is just a lot more. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your co-signer is comfortable with the fact that his credit, and his assets, will be on the line.
Being "the first in your state" is not necessarily a point in your favor. The First usually has a much higher mountain to climb in terms of advertising and promotion, just to make people aware that he is there. Given my d'ruthers, I would choose the Number Two position is most cases -- Number One will have already spent bundles promoting the idea, and I could come along and reap the profits. Also, banks and other funding sources usually like to see an industry track record.
How much are you seeking? What will the funds be used for? These are questiosn that need to be answered before I can provide advice. There are many options for startup funding - but they depend on the amount and use of funds.
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