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What to Know About Investing in Small Businesses

Did you know that over 50% of Americans work in, or own, a small business? Better yet, nearly two-thirds of jobs in America are created by small businesses.1

Small businesses play a big part in our economy. You may even find your next investment opportunity in supporting a growing business. If you’re considering investing in a small business, here’s what you should know when making your decision.

Gather the Facts

Small businesses take time – usually a lot of time – to turn a profit. As an investor, be prepared to wait a while (sometimes several years) to see any returns on your investment. One way to help make sure you’re investing in a business that’s likely to succeed is to gather as much information about the business as possible.

Some items you should review:

  • Profit & Loss Statements
  • Audited Accounting Books
  • Marketing Plans
  • Overhead Costs
  • Other Partnerships or Investor Agreements

Reviewing the facts and figures with your financial advisor can help you make a smart, educated decision regarding your investment. Any business you are considering investing in should be able to provide this information upfront. If not, they may not be at a stage yet in which investing is a wise decision.

Understand Owner Intentions

When looking for an investment, it may be helpful to discuss what the owner has in mind for the future of their business. If you’re in talks with several potential businesses, ask them about their long-term goals. Things can always change later down the line, but it’s good to get an idea of their vision for their business before making an investment. Are they growing their business with the goal of selling to a larger corporation? Or do they want to maintain control over their company?

When making your own investment decisions, this information may be helpful in deciding which small business aligns best with your own financial interests.

Types of Investments

While there are many different ways to arrange an investment deal with a small business, most offerings will fall under two categories: equity or debt.

Equity Investment

Making an equity investment means you’re “claiming” a portion of the business. What you earn will directly correlate with how the business is performing. As an equity investor, you may receive dividends based on a percentage of profits.

In some instances, equity investments are considered riskier than debt investments. As an equity investor, you’re looking to benefit from the continued success of the small business. After all, if you make an equity investment, you would be considered one of the owners.

Debt Investment

A mortgage is an example of a debt investment. A loan is made with the promise that the lender will receive a set amount of money plus interest at regular intervals until the principal amount has been paid back in full.

If you make a debt investment in a small business, this may work the same way. You’ve provided a loan to the business, and in return will receive regular payments containing both principal and interest.

What to Do With Payouts

When you invest in a small business, you may receive payouts as the business grows and thrives. You’ll want to consider what to do with those payouts. You may not know the answer yet, but it’s important to keep this question in mind when investing with a small business.

If you’re looking to diversify your portfolio while supporting local entrepreneurs, investing in a small business could be an exciting opportunity , but one you want to evaluate carefully. Your investment advisor will be able to provide you with more information regarding the impact this may have on your financial goals and next steps to take

https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.