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The purpose of the SBA Directory for self storage franchise loans

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

By Garrett Byrd

The SBA Directory helps lenders check if a brand CAN obtain SBA financing, while the Franchise Registry is utilized by lenders to see if brands SHOULD obtain financing.

Storage Authority Franchise has been a proud member of the SBA directory for over five years since 2017.

The purpose of the SBA Directory is singular—to help lenders evaluate whether a franchise brand is eligible for financing through their organization. This means it’s possible that a franchise could appear on the Franchise Registry, but not necessarily the SBA Directory. Franchisors are welcome to apply to become SBA-affiliated. If accepted, they’ll appear on their searchable online directory page.

Most lenders who back loans for the franchise industry are put together by a portfolio team. It’s their job to assess the potential borrower’s needs and develop a financing package that will be analyzed and verified before it reaches the approval/denial stage. The portfolio team will document the process and use it in the future for other loan opportunities associated with specific franchising systems

While the mega players don’t need the SBA to finance property purchases, the independent self-storage operator will not find a loan that beats the SBA 504 or 7A. Borrowers can take advantage of all the many benefits that come with the SBA 504 program: 85% loan-to-value financing, a low fixed rate, and up to 25-year terms.

However recent changes over the past couple years to Small Business Administration (SBA) loan requirements will affect many self-storage borrowers.

Released a couple of years back, SOP 50 10 (J) includes new regulations for borrowers that use third-party management companies, as many self-storage owners do. In the past, the SBA allowed operators and third-party firms to engage in property-management agreements with only casual oversight. The new SOP, however, spells out specific requirements that must be outlined in any management contract. Under the new rules, SBA borrowers must:

  • Approve the annual operating budget

  • Approve any capital expenditures or operating expenses over a significant dollar threshold

  • Have control over the bank accounts

  • Have oversight over the employees operating the business (who must be employees of the applicant business)

The last clause is italicized and bold because it’s the most subtle and important point for self-storage owners using third-party managers. When the SBA says staff must be employees of the applicant business, it’s referring to the borrower. In other words, facility staff cannot be employees of the management company.

Storage Authority has several strong preferred lenders in the self-storage space that we introduce our owners too. Our preferred lenders are instrumental in getting our owners connected and approved with the right loan product.

Bank Five Nine and Live Oak Bank our both first-class lending partners of the Storage Authority Franchise.

A couple of baisics of the SBA 7A and 504 are below but we always encourage our franchise owners to let us give them introductions to our trusted lenders to hear it first hand from the experts.

SBA 7(a) loans

The SBA 7(a) lending program is the SBA’s most popular lending option. This loan can extend for as long as 25 years. In addition, an SBA 7(a) loan can offer low-interest rates, either fixed or variable.

To qualify for an SBA 7(a) loan, you usually must:

  • Own a successful business or be trying to buy a profitable facility.

  • Have solid personal and business credit, with a credit score of at least 680.

  • Show an ability to responsibly handle cash flow.

  • Meet SBA eligibility requirements.

  • Come up with collateral.

SBA 504 loans

While an SBA 504 loan is, just like the SBA 7(a) loan, backed by the federal agency, the loan programs operate differently. A fixed-rate SBA 504 loan is designed for the purchase, construction, renovation or refinancing of commercial real estate, or the purchase of heavy equipment. Terms are 10, 20, or 25 years, with the loan amount usually capped at $10 million.

SBA 504 self storage business loans can be used to:

The SBA says 504 loans helps borrowers who can’t qualify for traditional financing.

“SBA 504 loans have revolutionized financing for self-storage facilities,” Forbes notes.

If you would like to learn more and start your journey to self-storage ownership click the link here:

Storage Authority Franchising is about owning your own hometown self-storage business and having the professional systems and knowledge to assist and guide you. We like to say You are in business for yourself but not by yourself. If you are thinking about self-storage you owe it to yourself to contact Garrett Byrd at Direct: 941-928-1354 or

to learn more about the Storage Authority Franchise



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