The United States Small Business Administration backs loans that entrepreneurs in California and the rest of the country can use for almost any type of business purpose. The loans have competitive terms and rates, longer times for repayment, smaller down payments, guardrails for going through the loan process and a wide selection of loan options. Almost any small business that is in operation and is providing a service or product is able to apply for SBA loan. However, it is important that small business owners who apply for the loans understand how they work.

Small businesses can only obtain SBA loans through approved lenders; the funds are not loaned directly to the enterprises by the SBA. The SBA provides guarantees for the loans and establishes guidelines so that entrepreneurs can get approved easier and lenders can enjoy lower risk.

In order to be eligible for an SBA loan, the enterprise has to be a for-profit business that is in operation within the United States or any of territories. The owner of the business also has to have put in equity in the business.

SBA loans can be obtained in amounts that range from $500 to $5.5 million. The funds can be used to purchase equipment, obtain real estate to house the business, fund ownership transitions or serve as working capital.

The loans backed by the SBA typically offer competitive rates and fees. Some of the loans also provide additional benefits, including education, no collateral, flexible overhead requirements and counseling.

An attorney who offers business formation and planning services may assist entrepreneurs with taking the necessary and legal steps to obtain financing for their small business. The attorney may review the terms for loan agreements to ensure that the rights and interests of clients are protected. The attorney may also negotiate on behalf of clients with potential investors.