Startup financing has the potential to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Though conventional banks might consider your business excessively risky in its infancy, there are alternative means of funding your idea. The moral of the story is if you have a will, there is a way.

Embrace the Opportunity to Find Funding

Contrary to popular opinion, there are multiple funding sources aside from traditional banks. As an example, you might qualify for a securities based line of credit, commonly referred to with the acronym of SBLC. You might even qualify for a margin loan that helps get your business off the ground. Each of these options is collateralized through securities within the business owner’s brokerage account. Opt for either of these financing solutions and your financial plan may work for you exactly as originally envisioned.

Consider a Grant

Grants are available for purposes beyond academic studies at universities. Certain business grants are available to businesses. Such business grants are typically provided through local and state programs along with nonprofit organizations and additional groups. However, grants might require matching funds or that the grant be combined with additional types of financing.

As an example, grants are commonly grouped with loans to help launch a business. The primary benefit of using a grant to fund your business venture is it provides prompt access to a considerable amount of capital at a comparably low cost. However, the use of grant funds is limited to specific restrictions and can only be used by certain types of businesses.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are particularly wealthy individuals who offer capital for equity in the business. The advantage of funding a business venture through angel investors is it provides a considerable amount of money along with access to the insight and ongoing coaching from proven business professionals. However, obtaining financing through an angel investor might be difficult. Add in the fact that relinquishing equity has the potential to complicate the direction of the business and there is all the more reason to consider alternative options in addition to angel investors.

What About Pledged Securities?

Pledged securities to fund a business venture are ideal in that there are no setup costs. Furthermore, pledged securities do not disrupt the existing portfolio. However, pledged securities might not be optimal for every single business. This form of financing also typically requires a minimum withdrawal amount.

When in Doubt, Consider Family and Friends

There is no shame in asking family and friends for financial assistance to fund your business venture, assuming that venture has merit. Just be sure to document the agreement in its entirety. If investors are entitled to a specific equity level or certain perks, clarify those details in the agreement before moving forward. The only potential downside is that if the business fails and money is lost, your friendship might be in jeopardy.

Review all Options Before Committing

Write down all of your business funding ideas on paper and create a “T chart” with their positives on one side and negatives on the other. Whittle down the pack to a couple of the best options and attempt to obtain funding through these methods. Be sure to discuss these business financing ideas with your financial advisor before moving forward so you have a comprehensive understanding of their potential impact on your financial plan.


The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of  the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. 

A Securities Based Line of Credit (SBLC) may not be suitable for all clients. The proceeds from a SBLC cannot be (a) used to purchase or carry securities; (b) deposited into a Raymond James investment or trust account; (c) used to purchase any product issued or brokered through an affiliate of Raymond James, including insurance; or (d) otherwise used for the benefit of, or transferred to, an affiliate of Raymond James. Raymond James Bank does not accept RJF stock or any securities issued by affiliates of Raymond James Financial as pledged securities towards a SBLC. Borrowing on securities based lending products and using securities as collateral may involve a high degree of risk including unintended tax consequences and the possible need to sell your holdings, which may lead to a significant impact on long-term investment goals. Market conditions can magnify any potential for loss. If the market turns against the client, he or she may be required to quickly deposit additional securities and/or cash in the account(s) or pay down the loan to avoid liquidation. The securities in the Pledged Account(s) may be sold to meet the Collateral Call, and the firm can sell the client’s securities without contacting them. A client is not entitled to choose which securities or other assets in his or her account are liquidated or sold to meet a Collateral Call. The firm can increase its maintenance requirements at any time and is not required to provide a client advance written notice. A client is not entitled to an extension of time on a Collateral Call. Increased interest rates could also affect LIBOR rates that apply to your SBLC causing the cost of the credit line to increase significantly. The interest rates charged are determined by the market value of pledged assets and the net value of the client’s non-pledged Capital Access account. Securities Based Line of Credit provided by Raymond James Bank. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. are affiliated with Raymond James Bank, a federally chartered national bank.