If the business employs less than a hundred, is owned and operated independently, and not the market leader in the industry where it belongs, then it is considered a small business. These are some of the criteria of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) defining a small business.One of the most common problems of a small business owner is the lack of funds to maintain, run and expand the business. If you have this problem, then these frequently asked questions will guide you in making your business survive through the support of a business loan.What is a Small Business Loan?A small business loan is the type of loan that lends money or funds to a small business owner so he or she can operate the business. It is also made available for individuals who wish to start a business.Small business owners may use the amount borrowed for the establishment, construction or renovation of the business, acquisition of the necessary equipment, and for operational expenses such as payroll.While a small business loan refers to a loan for the business itself, the personal credit history of the business owner will strongly determine if the bank or lender would give its approval to the application. Thus, a small business loan is also termed as a personal loan granted to small business owners.How to apply for Small Business Loans?When you apply for a loan, your loan provider will look into your personal credit history. You, the business owner, should also be able to project a sense of deep commitment to your small business. The lender will gauge your willingness to put a portion of your personal funds to help the business prosper. Be prepared also to present a loan security or collateral such as a house or car. What’s more, your educational background and expertise are also important factors for your business to be granted the loan.The small business owner is also required to submit a business plan. A business plan is a written proposal which details the nature of your business, marketing strategy and contains a financial report. This document should also include how the business will generate income and support its operational expenses in the coming years. Moreover, the business plan should be able to convince your loan provider that you can pay the loan within the stated date of payment through the profit realize from the business and its expected continuous growth.Remember that lenders need to make sure that the business can survive to pay up the loan and that its owner is credible enough to guarantee that the business is well planned to prosper.Where to apply for Small Business Loans?You can apply for a loan traditionally, which means going to local banks and government funded organizations. Even your local cooperatives have facilities for small business loans.You may also apply for a loan online. Online application for a business loan is easier and convenient for a small business owner. You no longer have to waste time scouting for the best loan arrangement in the market. All you need to do is visit various websites and compare the rate and application requirements. However, make sure that your target small business loan provider is credible to avoid problems later on. A national bank with online capability is the best choice.