Veterinary Practice Financing Through The SBA 7(a) Loan Program
In 2017, veterinary practices and animal hospitals employed nearly 400,000 people across the U.S., while generating a staggering $42 billion in revenue. If you’re a veterinarian or animal hospital owner interested in purchasing or expanding your business, you may want to consider an SBA 7(a) loan. With highly competitive interest rates, long loan terms, and the ability to fund woking capital, the 7(a) program could be the ideal choice for many veterinary entrepreneurs.
SBA 7(a) Loans for Veterinarians and Animal Hospitals
SBA 7(a) loans can provide terms of up to 25 years for commercial real estate, up to 10 years for equipment financing, and up to 7-year terms for financing working capital. These loans can offer amounts of up to $5 million and are offered by SBA-approved credit unions, banks, and online lenders across the U.S. Many veterinarians decide to use SBA 7(a) loans to buy veterinary equipment, pay employee salaries, or market their businesses, while others may want to use it to refinance debt.
Overall, SBA 7(a) loans can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including:
Buying out a veterinary partner: If your veterinary partner is leaving, and you’d like to purchase their stake in the practice, an SBA 7(a) loan could be a great way to do so.
Building a new veterinary practice or animal hospital: From landscaping to furniture, lighting, and alarms, SBA 7(a) loans can fund pretty much every part of the construction process.
Refinancing a veterinary practice: If you want to refinance the debt on your current veterinary practice, an SBA 7(a) loan could be a good way to do so. However, not all debt can be refinanced with 7(a) loans— only debt that was specifically used for eligible business purchases (working capital or commercial real estate.)
Purchasing or renovating a veterinary practice: Veterinarians who want to improve their current practice or buy an existing practice can also do so through the 7(a) program.
Purchasing veterinary equipment: Veterinarians can use SBA 7(a) loans to buy equipment, though they can typically only do so as a component of a larger loan package.
SBA 7(a) may be a great choice for the vast majority of veterinarians who qualify, but those looking to finance the construction of larger animal hospitals may find themselves better off with an SBA 504 loan. SBA 504 loans are specifically designed for funding commercial real estate projects (not working capital), and therefore offer lower interest rates and slightly larger maximum loan amounts.