For existing businesses, think of this as a financial checkup: a way to examine your previous sales figures and ensure your health going forward.
If you’re applying for a loan or making a presentation to investors, this section is the companion piece to your Funding Request.
If you’re a startup, you obviously won’t have any previous financial information for the company, so many lenders will want to see your financial information in lieu of, or in addition to, your business financials.
Spell out how much money you’re investing in the business, along with specifics about the assets you plan to use.
As an added benefit, this isn’t just a theoretical exercise on your part, but will actually help you run the business and make adjustments as they become necessary.
Business Insider offers a look at how to make realistic projections that will be meaningful to your business as well as to lenders and investors.You won’t actually know until you sit down and work up the numbers.As a startup, spelling out your sales projections for the future will help you closely examine your business model and costs, how you’ll allocate your resources, and figure out whether you actually do have a viable idea.Others are fairly common across the board, like professional fees for lawyers or accountants, licensing and incorporation fees, security deposits and rent, and computers.As a rule, the financial part of your plan should follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as set by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, especially if you’re putting it together primarily to get a loan or a line of credit.If you’re looking for financing, you’ll probably have to show personal income tax returns for the last few years.Be prepared with documentation for the last three to five years, depending on how long you’ve been in business.The statements are usually prepared quarterly, and will show at a glance whether the company is making money or operating at a loss.Balance sheets list the type and value of all of your business’s assets and liabilities, along with ownership interest (who owns what in the company, and how much).How your business is structured will determine which tax forms you have to file with the Internal Revenue Service each year, so these may be your personal tax returns with a Schedule C attachment, or separate corporate tax returns.If you’re looking for a loan, you’ll most likely also need to show the value of any collateral you’re offering to ensure payments, like real estate, vehicles, inventory, stocks and bonds, and equipment.