Build Your Business:

Small Business Advice on Cash Advances

June 10, 2013

Have you ever asked this question to your financial advisor or banker? How does my business get an influx of cash if it doesn’t qualify for or seek a traditional loan? What if I need money in two weeks or less?


Well, here’s your answer: a merchant cash advance.

I’ve been in the industry for several years and tended to shy away from recommending this type of loan. However, I recently learned of a solution for small business owners who need somewhere in the range of $5,000-$400,000, have processed payments via credit cards for four or more months and don’t want to — or are unable to — qualify for traditional loans.

There is not a hard percentage interest charged; rather, between the merchant and the cash advance institution, there is an agreed-upon sum of total dollars repaid through daily batches of the merchant account transactions for total dollars advanced. Typical repayment time is six to eight months. There is no lien or collateral made of one’s business, home, etc., and after doing a basic credit check, the transaction does not report to a credit report.

Most businesses qualify for 125% of their average monthly credit card volume. Funds are advanced to the business within five to 10 days. To get a merchant cash advance you are required to work with a merchant account provider since all of the money is filtering through your credit card processing.

This offer completely flipped my perspective on traditional merchant cash advances, which tend to be predatory. This is a truly unique opportunity for businesses aiming to grow, renovate or navigate a slow season.

Darrah Brustein is co-founder of Equitable Payments, an Atlanta- and Austin, Texas-based merchant services brokerage and is a networking and business development expert. She worked in the wholesale apparel business before transitioning into credit card processing. For more information or to comment on this article, email Darrah at