I’m growing my business rapidly and require a loan to fund our growth and to purchase inventory.
I am, however not a US citizen although the business is a US-based LLC.
So the business operations, fulfilment center, bank account, basically everything is in the US except me, the owner.
So I’ve got an EIN, but not an SSN.
Would you have any recommendations for me?
Thanks for your question.
The answer depends on what type of loan you are applying for. If you’re applying for a conventional bank loan, for example, the lender will set its own policy as to whether they can loan funds to non-US citizens who have US-based businesses. Some lenders may not allow it because having a non-citizen owner can create problems if a loan goes into default.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has its own rules for guaranteeing SBA loans. If you don’t have business parters who are US citizens or are the majority owner of the business, there are certain additional requirements that you may have to meet to qualify for an SBA loan. For example, you would have to fully collateralize the loan with assets that are based in the US, and the business should have been operating for at least 1 year. If you have a business partner(s) who is a US citizen and owns at least 51 % of the business, then you don’t have to meet these special requirements. Of course, even if you meet all these SBA requirements, the lender itself may decide that it doesn’t want to give the loan.
So, long story short, it is possible to get funding as a non-US citizen, but it can be more difficult.
To get more details (if you don’t mind reading some complicated SBA rules!), take a look at this document starting on page 119. I also recommend consulting your bank, SBA office, and/or a business attorney for further details before applying for a loan.