Arkansas Small Business Loans & SBA Loans

The Natural State is a natural place to think about launching your small business, and fortunately, there are many business loan options in Arkansas to help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.

Types of Business Loans in Arkansas

Arkansas boasts the lowest cost of living out of any state in the United States, and, although its business taxes exceed those of its neighbors, the state also sports a very favorable “cost of doing business” ranking. A business loan in Arkansas can help grow your company whether you’re in an urban center like Little Rock or located out in Arkansas’ beautiful countryside. Because of these factors, small business financing offered in Arkansas tends to go further in the Natural State than in other, costlier regions.

SBA Loans

SBA loans are named after the Small Business Administration, the federal agency that partially guarantees SBA loans. Because they are backed and insured by the federal government, SBA loans can offer lower interest rates—especially the flagship SBA 7(a) loan program. The downside: the time required to secure SBA loan funds can be longer than with private loans.

Line of Credit

Unlike your normal business loan, a line of credit revolves—this means you have access to credit as you need it and pay only for the credit you use, rather than the large, up-front disbursement that comes with a traditional loan.

Term Loan

When you think of a “small business loan,” you most likely think of term loans, in which a large sum of money is disbursed up front to an approved applicant. The applicant then repays this loan, plus interest, over years, sometimes several decades.

Equipment Finance

Most businesses need equipment of some kind. Equipment financing lets you obtain the machinery you need to run your business and then pay for it in installments.

Accounts Receivable Financing

Accounts receivable financing, in which financiers offer funding based on a business’s unpaid invoices, is renowned for its speed.

Arkansas Business Loan Options

Arkansas is home to several banks and credit unions that can help small business set up shop in the state.

First Arkansas Bank & Trust offers several types of loans for whatever your business needs may be.

Arkansas Federal Credit Union specializes in small business loans, which can be helpful in the first few years of a company’s life.

Bank OZK (formerly Bank of the Ozarks) also specializes in small business loans, making navigating the SBA loan process simple.

Arkansas Capital is a nonprofit company that offers multiple loan products, including SBA 504 and SBA 7(a) loans to small businesses across the state.

LiftFund provides financing to small business owners with funds contributed by interested individuals and businesses who want to improve the economic conditions in their community by creating new businesses and jobs.

Arvest Bank offers multiple loan options to small businesses in Arkansas, including term loans, lines of credit, SBA 7(a) loans, SBA 504 loans, and more.

Southern Bancorp offers multiple loan options to small businesses in Arkansas, including various SBA loans and commercial loans.

How to apply for a small business loan

Fill out the 15-minute online application.

It’s secured with bank-grade encryption and SSL technology, so you know your information is safe.

Receive matches.

See which credit cards you qualify for before choosing the one that best suits your business needs and offers the cash rewards you’re looking for.

Get funded.

Once you choose a card, you can get approved in as little as 7-10 days.

Apply Now

FAQ about Small Business Loans in Arkansas

Thanks to such a low cost of living, owning a business in Arkansas means that each dollar from financing will go further in driving your business forward compared to more expensive areas. Remember, business loans were first and foremost created with the idea of helping small businesses reach the next rung of success. Depending on your company’s mission, that rung might be a little bit easier to reach in Arkansas.

To find the best rate, you should look at both local and national options when it comes to small business loans in Arkansas, especially depending on your location or industry. If your company works in a rural or economically depressed area, you might be able to get grants or special, low-interest business loans. If your company works in technology or science, you might also be eligible for special funding in Arkansas. Regardless, you should evaluate how each funding option will help your business grow in the long term.

Once you know how you want to structure your Arkansas business (such as a sole proprietorship or corporation), you will have to register your business with the Arkansas Secretary of State. Depending on your industry, you might need a state license in the Natural State. Once your company is official, you can start applying for loans based on how long you’ve been open, your annual revenue, and your creditworthiness. Specific qualifications and requirements will depend on the lender, so do your homework.

While you shouldn’t base your entire business plan around receiving grant funding, an impressive array of grants are available to eligible Arkansas businesses. The Central Arkansas Library System has a well-known program that can help entrepreneurs find and apply for grants. The Arkansas Early Childhood Commission offers grants to businesses focused on childcare, while the Arkansas Economic Development Commission Division of Science and Technology has options specifically for tech, applied research, and other innovative Arkansas businesses.


The Arkansas state government and local business leaders are currently very interested in growing the state economy by supporting small businesses. In recent years, the state has pushed to become an IT business hub, so many groups are looking to help tech startups thrive like Startup Junkie. Moreover, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission maintains a great list of resources available to the state’s entrepreneurs.


An SBA preferred lender is a lender that’s been approved by the Small Business Administration to administer SBA loans without additional approvals from the SBA. Typically these lenders have years of experience and can approve SBA loans faster than non-preferred lenders.


SBA loans are backed by the government and offer lower interest rates than other types of small business loans. They typically require a minimum time in business of two years and a credit score of 650+.


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