How to Find Franchise Financing and Funding

Once you’ve made the decision to franchise and find a few concepts that align with your preferences, the next question might be, “How will I pay for it?” Not everyone that enters the franchising world has a readily available nest egg. A vast majority of franchisees will need some form of financing to secure the funding necessary to purchase their dream business opportunity.

The banking and financial outlets who appear on this list have earned a reputation in the industry for bridging the financial gap between entrepreneurs and business ownership. They understand that funding is never a one-size-fits-all proposition, and they’ve developed multiple strategies and loan programs that provide the optimal solution for borrowers on a case-by-case basis.

Related: The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup

Entrepreneur released its annual Top Franchise Supplier rankings, a multi-faceted directory which includes the best of the best service providers in the industry. From a competitive industry specializing in franchise funding, below are the Top-15 Banking & Financial outlets who earned a well-deserved spot on our 2022 list:

1. Benetrends Financial

Benetrends Financial has helped entrepreneurs successfully launch their dream businesses for over 40 years. As the authority in franchise and small business funding, Benetrends has been at the forefront of 401(k)/IRA business funding with their flagship Rainmaker Plan, enabling more than 17,000 entrepreneurs to use their retirement plan savings to fund their business, both tax-deferred and penalty-free. Benetrends also has one of the highest success ratings in the industry for securing SBA loans. Eric Schechterman, chief development officer for Benetrends, explains why the company is among the best in the business. “Ever since Len Fischer, the founder of Benetrends, first brought the ROBS funding program to franchising over three decades ago, nothing has been more sacred to our mission than the honor and responsibility that comes with our service level in the industry,” says Schechterman. “Our business is directly tied to franchising’s growth and not a day goes by where aren’t focusing on how best to support our industry partners in more creative ways. Benetrend’s recognition as the No. 1 finance partner in franchising means the world to our employees and motivates us to expand our efforts and impact in years ahead.”

2. FranFund

FranFund designs flexible, all-in-one funding plans that fit perfectly, no matter how rapidly your franchise or small business grows. Among their most popular funding programs are SBA loans and 401(k) business funding, which allow borrowers to use qualified retirement savings tax-free and penalty-free. By utilizing FranFund’s franchise-specific pre-qualification tool and cultivating an extensive network of lenders who are franchise and small business friendly, clients pre-approved by FranFund have a loan approval rate of 99%. What makes FranFund stand out in the industry as a top supplier? Company President Sherri Sieber shares her thoughts. “The secret sauce at FranFund is our people and our culture. The FranFund team pays attention to the small stuff as well as the big stuff. We communicate with all the key players in getting the aspiring franchise owner to the finish line in the most efficient and effective way possible. And how does this approach help their reputation for supporting clients in the franchising industry? “The FranFund customer is both the franchisors who refer us and the aspiring or expanding franchise owner. The franchisors need a trusted partner to whom they may refer their candidates with confidence. The aspiring franchise owner that benefits from the support that FranFund offers is typically a first-time business owner. First-time business owners often find it challenging to navigate the various funding options available to them. FranFund offers multiple funding solutions such as SBA loans and the ROBS program (Rollover for Business Start-up) under one roof, allowing us to create a custom plan for each client that precisely fits their needs.”

3. Guidant Financial

Guidant Financial helps people succeed in small business. To date, the company has helped over 20,000 aspiring small business owners get the money they need to buy a business or franchise. Guidant Financial’s clients create the life they want with thriving businesses by using products such as 401(k) business financing, SBA loans, 401(k) administration, business valuations and certified appraisals. We asked company President Frank Torres what makes their outfit a top supplier. “Guidant has been working with franchise clients for nearly 20 years as an innovator in the small business financing space. With our flagship product, Rollover for Business Startups, also known as 401(k) business financing, we have helped launch over 30,000 businesses — the most of any ROBS provider. Our commitment to helping our clients succeed for the life of their business includes ongoing support to help minimize the pain and fear around the paperwork and headache associated with payroll, accounting and taxes, and talent acquisition.” How is this approach conducive to providing client support? “We offer our franchise partners a variety of business financing options to help their franchisees get launched – from SBA to portfolio loans to unsecured loans to Rollovers for Business Start-ups — so that the clients can design the combination of funding options that fit best for them. We also support franchisors with enterprise solutions in payroll, accounting and taxes, business valuations, and talent acquisition — all so their franchisees can focus on growing their businesses, not on pushing paperwork.”

4. BoeFly

Founded in 2009, BoeFly is a leading financial technology company that continues to deliver innovative online tools and solutions to accelerate business ownership. Led by a team of franchising and finance industry experts, BoeFly specializes in identifying gaps in the marketplace and creating customized solutions to meet changing needs. The company has developed a proprietary franchise sales and finance system to meet the core needs of franchise brands and small businesses throughout the entire process, from vetting franchise candidates to matching them with lenders who can move fast. Through its data-driven system and robust online marketplace, BoeFly is able to connect borrowers to a wide array of banks and specialty finance companies, which has accommodated over $7 billion in transactions and supported more than 600 unique franchise brands. BoeFly’s pioneering technology and products have allowed the company to offer flexible options and serve businesses at all stages of development, from established brands with thousands of locations to emerging franchisors and startups.

5. First Financial

First Financial provides flexible and creative financing for its customers. With the skills gained through funding millions of dollars for its clients, their team of highly trained professionals can structure both conventional and highly sophisticated transactions to meet individual business demands. Contact First Financial to talk about SBA Loans for franchise startups, working capital, construction, or acquisitions.

Related: Surprising Funding Ideas for Your Business

6. ApplePie Capital

At ApplePie Capital, franchise financing is their specialty. It’s more than a transaction — it’s about the long-term, sustainable growth of the borrower’s business. ApplePie provides efficient access to exactly the right capital for your needs, whether you’re a first-time franchisee, a growing multi-unit operator, or farming your franchise wealth. ApplePie provides a wealth of financial choices for franchise entrepreneurs at every stage of their development, with a diverse and growing network of capital providers and financing solutions, including growth capital, SBA and conventional loans and equipment financing. Together, ApplePie Capital helps entrepreneurs plant the seeds for success.

7. Chase for Business

Chase provides deposit accounts, loans, credit cards, payment processing, and cash management to four million small businesses across the country. Chase for Business is the umbrella brand that represents the divisions of Chase Bank who serve small businesses, including business banking, merchant services, and Ink business credit cards.

8. DCV Franchise Group

DCV Franchise Group is an outsourced financing department, allowing franchisors to effectively manage the financing process using a masterful executive-level business plan. DCV Franchise Group places small business financing for startups and established franchises. Their goal is to make sure franchisees arrive financially safe, with the key objective of determining the best financing solution. DCV’s franchise experts provide extensive industry experience, strategic insight, and practical solutions, all designed to encourage quick closings, not delays. In May 2022, Benetrends acquired DCV Franchise Group.

9. TD Bank

TD Bank offers a variety of products and services for franchisors to support and grow their business at every stage, including traditional loans and lines of credit, SBA loans (7(a), 504, Express loans), point-of-sale/merchant terminals, business credit cards, franchise acquisitions/buyouts or sales, business checking and business savings and money market accounts. TD Bank also has a restaurant franchise finance group that specializes in working with national and regional brands, and also works with other types of franchises through its SBA and small business groups.

10. KeyBank

KeyBank Franchise Finance offers a full range of banking solutions to franchised businesses through a specialized end-to-end lending team. KeyBank, a national Top-10 SBA 7(a) Lender, provides unparalleled ease, value and expertise by taking a holistic approach to meet their clients’ needs. Offerings include solutions for startup, multi- and single-unit operators, merchant and treasury capabilities, commercial and investment banking, and Key4Women to support woman-owned businesses. KeyBank is also a proud member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Supplier Forum and is a strong partner of the IFA Foundation’s Diversity Institute as well as a significant contributor to the IFA’s Educational Foundation.

Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Maximize Networking to Increase Funding

11. Huntington Bank

As the No. 1 SBA lender in the upper Midwest/Ohio River Valley region for the last 12 years, Huntington Bank has a proven track record of helping people get the capital they need to open, acquire, or expand a small business. Huntington specializes in several different SBA-backed funding options, including 7(a) loans, Express Loans, 504 Loans, and Lift Local Business — a new program designed to create more opportunities for women, veteran, and racially/ethnically diverse-owned businesses, generating more possibilities in building sustainable communities.

12. PNC Bank

PNC Bank offers a wide range of services for all our customers, from individuals and small businesses to corporations and government entities. No matter how simple or complicated your needs, PNC is sure to have the products, knowledge and resources necessary for financial success. PNC Bank has a long history of helping business customers match their financing needs with the appropriate SBA lending program.

13. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets,

proudly serves one in three U.S. households, and more than 10% of America’s small businesses, and is a leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. Wells Fargo provides a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through their four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management.

14. Tenet Financial Group

Tenet Financial Group is a full-service financial consulting firm dedicated to helping prospective business owners navigate the funding process – start to finish – with integrity, transparency, and unparalleled service. Working with Tenet Financial means financial expertise in your corner and peace of mind in your business.

15. Synovus Bank

Synovus, a Georgia-chartered, FDIC-insured bank, provides commercial and retail banking, investment, and mortgage services. Synovus and its affiliates can be accessed in approximately 300 branch locations across Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Their commercial banking services include treasury management, asset management, capital markets services, institutional trust services, and commercial, financial, and real estate loans.

Related: The 6 Best Financing Options for Franchising a Business

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