Key takeaways

  • You will need to provide both personal and business documents to be considered for a fast business loan
  • Providing accurate and complete documents helps avoid delays
  • New businesses may need to submit a business plan

If your company needs quick cash, you’ll want to apply for a fast business loan. These loans offer same-day approvals and funding within one to three days. They tend to come from online lenders or other specialized business lenders.

To keep things moving quickly, these lenders typically have short applications and limited documentation requirements. But you’ll still need some paperwork to complete your application.

If you have those documents ready before you start the application, you can help the process go smoothly.

Information about yourself

Most fast business lenders will need you to provide basic details about yourself. Many also require a personal guarantee for your loan, so they’ll ask some questions about your financial situation.

Some documents you should have ready include:

  • A photo ID
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill, pay stub or postmarked mail

You’ll also have to provide some other information, including:

  • Your date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Phone number
  • How much of the business you own

Documents about your business

When you apply, you’ll have to provide documents that show that you have a legitimate business and that offer insight into your company’s finances. Fast business lenders only ask for the most basic documents that they need to assess your company’s finances.

You may be asked to provide:

  • Employer identification number: You can apply for an EIN, also called a business tax ID, from the Internal Revenue Service online, by mail or by fax.
  • Recent bank statements: These show your company’s recent income and expenses, letting the lender get a sense of the company’s revenue and ability to repay the loan. Most lenders will want to see this.
  • Business formation documents: These can be articles of incorporation or other documents from the government showing that you’ve officially formed the business. Nearly every lender will ask for this info.
  • Tax returns: This lets the lender review your company’s financial history over the past years. Many fast business lenders won’t require this until you’re on the cusp of qualifying.
  • Balance sheet: This shows all your company’s assets and liabilities. While traditional business lenders typically want to see this, many fast business lenders skip it.
  • Business plan: Most fast lenders won’t ask for a business plan, but if you’re running a very new company it could help.
  • Financial forecasts: Fast business lenders generally won’t ask for forecasts, but there could be cases where well-reasoned projections of your future success could persuade a lender to approve you.
  • Proof of collateral. If you’re getting a secured loan, you may need to provide this. However, many fast business loans are unsecured, meaning you won’t need collateral at all.

The bottom line

One of the benefits of fast business loans is that they don’t require much documentation. Many lenders tout that their applications take just a few minutes to complete. Even though getting approved within 24 hours or less is possible, it’s still wise to take a beat and review your options. Compare rates, terms, and requirements before you decide to submit an application. 

Once you’ve applied, wait for approval and the funds to arrive in your account. If all goes well, you should get the loan funds in just a day or two.

Frequently asked questions

  • You will need both personal and business documents to get approved for fast business loans. Prepare to present your personal ID, pay stubs, business formation documents, business bank statements, tax returns, balance sheets and similar documents.

  • Some fast business loans can be approved the same day you apply. If you apply early enough in the day, some lenders will even transfer funds within hours. Most fast business loan lenders fund their loans within a few days.

  • Alternative or online lenders are typically the easiest places to get business loans. Often, they have a shorter underwriting process than traditional banks and may have more lenient requirements for approval. That said, if you have a well-established business, a strong credit score and solid annual revenue, you’ll likely have no issue getting a business loan with any lender.