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Small Business Insurance Checklist for 2017

If you're like most small-business owners, your business probably experienced at least one significant change this year. What you may not realize is that some changes impact your business insurance needs.

Let's take a look at three of the most common business changes and what they mean for your risk exposure and commercial insurance needs.

Five Common Misperceptions About Regulation Crowdfunding

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Regulation Crowdfunding has been the law of the land for a few weeks now. But if you’re still unsure whether it can help your business, you’re surely not alone. The rules surrounding this new exemption are complex, in part because it allows companies to market their securities to the general public. As such, there is a lot of uncertainty and misinformation surrounding the new law, also known as Title III of the JOBS Act, that can scare entrepreneurs away.

Why Online Business Loans Are More Expensive Than Bank Loans

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to borrow money to grow your business, applying for funding might dampen your excitement. Bank business loan applications are tedious, tiring, and cumbersome, but the more convenient online business loans cost more.

Why the difference? Here’s what you need to know.

Banks Get Money Cheaper

Online business loans from alternative lenders cost more for borrowers because they cost more for lenders, too. Banks simply have access to cheaper money from a couple of different sources.

Inc: Self-Policing in Online Lending Isn't a Replacement for Common Sense Regulation

Since the financial crisis, regulators and policymakers have concentrated on making brick and mortar banks safe and secure. But, away from regulatory scrutiny, a new sector has emerged led by non-bank online lenders and, if we aren’t careful, it has the potential to harm millions of small business borrowers. Self-policing is a step in the right direction, but increased regulatory vigilance is both warranted and desired.

On August 6 in Washington, a responsible business lending coalition of for-profit online and mission-based lenders, brokers, think tanks and small business advocates announced an agreement on rights that every small business borrower deserves when seeking a loan online, defined as a Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. This marks a turning point in the small business lending industry. For the first time, online lenders are agreeing to self-regulate and offer fair and transparent terms to small businesses. Any lender or broker will be permitted to sign onto the agreement, by signing a letter from their CEO attesting that they abide by the principles enshrined in the agreement.

SmartBiz Lets Small Businesses Get SBA Loans Fast

When Dawn Brolin, owner of Windham, Connecticut-based Powerful Accounting, needed capital to fund her firm’s growth, she decided to skip the bank and try an online lender. Although she was qualified for a traditional bank loan, she wanted to test the waters of alternative lending and share the experience with her small-business clients.

“I know not every small business can walk into the bank and get a loan,” Brolin tells NerdWallet. “Maybe alternative lending sounds scary, but it’s not.”

The Trade-Offs Between Equity and Debt Financing

As a small-business owner, you generally have two basic ways to raise startup business funding: You can offer investors equity ownership in your company or take on debt in the form of a loan. Both funding sources can provide your business with the cash it needs, and each comes with benefits and drawbacks to consider. Here’s an overview of equity and debt funding, their pros and cons, which businesses may be better suited to each and how to obtain funding.

6 Reasons Businesses Are Rejected for Small Business Loans

No one likes rejection. Whether it’s a “no” from your dream job, the person you love or the bank, it stings. And if you’re a small business owner, you might know the feeling all too well. Of small businesses that applied for financing in the first half of 2014, only half received any amount, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Atlanta, Cleveland and Philadelphia. NerdWallet asked lending experts the burning question so many small business owners want answered: Why are small business owners turned down for small business loans?

“Dream Big” This National Small Business Week, May 4-8

With apologies to baseball and your mother’s apple pie, nothing is more American than National Small Business Week. Our country was founded by risk-taking pioneers in search of new horizons. More than two centuries later, what sets America apart in the world is the willingness of our entrepreneurs to take risks. Small businesses allow Americans to be their own boss and improve their lot in life through hard work – a core American value. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation declaring National Small Business Week to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs, who create nearly two out of every three net, new U.S. jobs each year. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said it was our small businesses that powered our recovery after the Great Recession.