It seems like life is at a standstill in India right now. We can’t leave our homes, we’re unable to work normally, and we have to take so many precautions before interacting with anyone. But even though we are back in lockdown, that does not mean your business is at a standstill. You still have customers to service, bills to pay, and decisions to make.
Part One of our “Keeping Your Business in Good Health During COVID-19” series covered how you can avoid unnecessary fines and penalties this year by staying on top of your tax dues, and Part Two talked about being smart with your investments and saving more in tax deductions.
In Part Three, it’s time to discuss how you can get a business loan easily.
Were you thinking about applying for a loan, but this latest surge of COVID-19 cases and fresh restrictions made you pause your application? Don’t let the pandemic restrict your business finances. By making small adjustments, you can start preparing your business for a loan right now and improve your creditworthiness to the lenders.
There are many different types of business loans you can apply for depending on your business needs now. We put together a comprehensive resource to help you decide which one you need.
The first step to starting your loan application is organizing your payment receipts.
What is it?
- Collect and organize all your payment receipts from your business purchases over the last year. You have probably stored all of them in one place already, but now is a good time to organize them by date or expense type.
- These include purchases of office supplies, stock purchases, business travel expenses etc.
Why is this important?
- Lets you close your books and file your 2020-2021 tax returns smoothly and efficiently.
- Save yourself undue stress closer to the tax deadlines and develop a good understanding of your expense patterns.
- Helps you identify large expenses and seek alternate sources of income (like a business loan) to cover those expenses if your business income is not enough.
Next up, if your business has high earnings, you must get your financials audited by a certified CA.
What is this?
- If your business generated annual sales over 1 Crore, then you should have a CA do a financial audit of your books (Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheets) for at least the last two years.
Why is it important?
- This is a statutory requirement for businesses earning more than 1 Crore in sales when applying for a business loan.
- Having your financials already audited hastens the loan process, drastically reducing the time it takes for your loan to be sanctioned and disbursed.
Have you renewed your home rental agreement yet?
Why is this important?
- In instances when your home address does not match their KYC address, lenders use a valid residential rental agreement as proof of address to do your KYC verification.
- If you live in a rental property, there may be no other documents to prove your home address (like a utility bill), and the rental agreement becomes the only way to prove your residential address.
Why is it beneficial?
- Possessing a valid rental agreement drastically reduces the time it takes a lender to verify your identity, thereby decreasing the time it takes them to sanction and disburse your loan.
When is the deadline to do this?
- You should renew your rental agreement a month before it expires to avoid a lapse in the agreement and processing delays.
Last thing on our list: it’s always helpful to renew any expired business licenses and certificates before you apply for a business loan.
What needs to be renewed?
- The Goods and Service Tax (GST) came into effect in 2017 and replaces all other indirect taxes, such as VAT, service tax, excise duty, etc. It is levied on the supply of goods and services at every stage of value addition.
- Though there is no expiry on a GST certificate and, therefore, no need for renewal, you may want to routinely check if your business has grown enough and is now eligible to apply for it.
- You can apply for your GST number online.
Shop and Establishment Act License
- If you employ someone, you must procure the license within 30-90 days of starting operations, even if you run your business out of your home.
- This license can be procured from the Chief Inspector of your area. Most States have made this application and approval process digital. Therefore, you can apply for it online.
- In some States, this license is called a “Gumasta” registration.
- It is advisable to display your valid license at your business premises to increase customer trust.
- Your Shop Act License expires after a period of time set by your state government. This duration varies from state to state, so do remember to check what your state has set it at.
Import-Export License and IE Certificate (IEC) Code
- The Import-Export License and an IEC Code allow Indians to do business around the world.
- The IEC is a 10-digit number that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) allots to an Indian business that applies to do international trade from India.
- Your IEC Code must be renewed every year between April – June even if all your business and existing holder details remain same.
- If you do not renew your IEC every year, your IEC may be de-activated.
- You can register for your IEC Code and renew it online.
Why are these important?
- Lenders will not reject your request just because your registrations are expired, but they do require valid documents to approve your business loan application.
- Having valid/up-to-date registrations reduces the time it takes for your application to get approved and the loan to be sanctioned and disbursed.
If you have your accounts in order, financials audited or certified by your CA (if that what’s required for your type of business), tax dues paid, and licenses up to date, you will be more likely to be approved for a business loan quickly because these practices indicate to lenders that you run your business responsibly and will be able to repay them on time.
You’re working hard to stay safe and healthy this year, so let us help you keep your business strong too. CreditEnable’s 100% digital process gets your business loan requirements in front of 20+ lenders without impacting your credit score. We save you time and reduce your stress by assessing your eligibility and letting you know upfront whether you meet our lender requirements within minutes. Start your application today or give us a missed call on +91 84509 67207.