Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Governments and non-government organizations around the world have always set funds aside to support small businesses in order to make sure that they continue to create jobs at the grassroots and keep the economy growing.
As a small business owner finances could be a straining factor. Whether you want to expand your business or your business needs some capital injection, it is wise to look for a grant before you settle on a loan. Always keep in mind that a grant is only payable if you misuse the funds but, if you use them well you have nothing to worry about.
While grants seem like an easy way out financially for your business, it is important to note that it's not a guarantee that once you apply you automatically qualify. That is why it is important to prepare yourself as a small business owner before you apply for a grant to increase your chances of qualifying for a grant.
Here are the things you need to know before you apply for a grant.
Incorporated as an entity.
Make sure that your business is incorporated as an entity. This means that whether you’re the sole owner of your business or it is a general partnership you need to make it a company that is recognized by your government. No small business will be considered for a grant if it is not registered as a company. If you are a non-profit make sure you are registered as a 501(c)(3).
You are looking for a grant and so you do not want to be guilty of not paying taxes. Imagine stealing from your friend and still going to ask for help from them, will they really help? Pay the government their taxes and stand a higher chance to win a grant when you apply for one. This includes both business and personal income taxes. Always make sure your taxes are up to date as per the last tax season.
Up to date records.
Always make sure that your business finance reports are up to date always. Most grant qualifications will require you to give access to your business’s financial report. The report needs to be neat. They use the report to determine if you actually need financial aid. If you need a professional to help with this please be sure to vet them before you hire them.
Business bank account.
Like I said, grants are free as long as you use them well for your business service and the service of your community, but if you misuse them, you will regret ever having them in the first place. You will have to pay back the grants full amount and might come with extra charges. Therefore, never mix business and personal finances, this helps you keep track of your business finances and be accountable too.
Why do you need a grant?
When applying for a grant, always remember that it is not about how needy you are, it is about what value you will bring to the community if you’re awarded the money. This is to say that before you apply for a grant have a clear plan, what is your project, how much does it need, how long will it take and lastly how does your project improve the current economic situation in your state and the country in general.
If you are interested in grants, Spencer-Hoyt Virtual Assistant offers a free consultation to go over your business or non-profit needs.