Because you need money to make money

Merchant Cash Advance for Startups and Small Businesses

When you’re ready to request financing for your small business, we’ll help you try to find a reputable provider. Get started below.

  • Technology Trusted Since 2015
    We spent years refining our innovative loan request process.
  • Great Network of Small Business Loan Providers
    We partner with reputable lenders.
  • Does Not Affect Your Credit score
    The act of submitting a loan request through will not affect your personal or business credit score.

I’d like to borrow

Drag the slider below to the amount you'd like to borrow




By clicking “Get Started”, I consent and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Site Use.

For small business owners, managing cash flow effectively is not just part of the job—it's essential to survival and growth. Whether it's covering unexpected expenses, stocking up for the season, or investing in growth opportunities, the right financial tools can make all the difference. That's where merchant cash advances (MCA) come in. Unlike traditional financing, an MCA offers a quick, flexible way to access funds, giving your business breathing room when you need it most.

In this guide, we'll walk you through what an MCA is, how it works, and whether it's a good fit for your business needs. We aim to provide clear, straightforward insights to help you make informed financial decisions, ensuring your business not only survives but thrives.

What is a Merchant Cash Advance and How Does it Work?

An MCA is a financing solution that provides businesses with fast access to funds by advancing a portion of future sales revenue. Unlike traditional loans with fixed monthly payments, MCAs are repaid as a percentage of daily credit card sales, allowing flexible repayments that fluctuate with sales volume.

Logo showing merchant cash advance icons.

Differences Between a Loan and an MCA

The main difference between traditional loans and MCAs lies in their repayment terms and qualification criteria. Loans usually demand fixed monthly payments and a thorough credit check, while MCAs offer flexible repayments tied to daily sales and focus on business performance rather than credit history. This flexibility makes MCAs a viable option for businesses with fluctuating revenues.


Fees for MCAs are straightforward but can be higher than traditional loans. Instead of an interest rate, MCAs use factor rates to determine the total repayment amount. This simplicity allows for easy understanding of total costs upfront, but businesses should be mindful of the potentially higher expense compared to traditional financing options.

Factor Rates

Factor rates are unique to MCAs and represent the cost of borrowing as a decimal figure. For instance, a factor rate of 1.3 on an advance of $10,000 means the business will owe $13,000. This rate simplifies the cost into a single number, but comparing it directly to annual percentage rates (APRs) of loans requires careful consideration of the repayment timeframe.


Regulatory oversight for MCAs is less stringent than for traditional loans, primarily because they're structured as sales of future revenue rather than loans. This difference means that while borrowers might enjoy more flexible qualification criteria, they also face fewer protections under the law, highlighting the importance of thoroughly reviewing contract terms and understanding the agreement fully.

What is a Merchant Cash Advance Used For?

A merchant cash advance can offer much-needed financial support for small businesses facing various challenges or seeking growth opportunities.

Here are some common ways small businesses can utilize a merchant cash advance:

  • Inventory purchases: Businesses can use the funds to stock up on inventory, ensuring they're prepared for an upcoming busy season or to capitalize on new product opportunities.
  • Equipment upgrades: An MCA can help businesses invest in new or upgraded equipment, which can enhance efficiency, improve product quality, or expand production capabilities.
  • Marketing and advertising: Funds from an MCA can be allocated towards marketing campaigns or advertising efforts, helping to boost brand awareness and drive new customer acquisition.
  • Business expansion: A merchant cash advance can provide the capital needed to open new locations, hire additional staff, or expand product or service offerings.
  • Managing cash flow gaps: An MCA can help businesses address emergency repairs, decreases in revenue, or other cash flow issues.

Who Can Use an MCA?

Woman using a cash register at a store.

Merchant cash advances are tailored for small business owners who need quick access to capital without the hurdles of traditional financing. They're especially beneficial for businesses with high credit card sales volumes, like restaurants, retail stores, and service providers.

Whether you're a seasoned enterprise looking to expand or a newer venture aiming to stabilize cash flow, an MCA may provide a flexible financing solution.

MCA Pros & Cons

Some advantages of a business cash advance for small businesses include the following:

  • Speed: MCAs typically have a faster application and approval process, allowing businesses to access funds quickly, often within days.
  • Flexible repayment: MCA repayments are based on a percentage of daily credit card sales, resulting in a fluctuating repayment amount that aligns with your business's revenue.
  • Credit profile: MCA providers primarily focus on credit card sales volume, making this financing option more accessible to businesses with poor or limited credit.
  • No collateral: Merchant cash advances usually do not require collateral, reducing the risk of losing valuable business assets.
  • Use of funds: Businesses have flexibility in how they utilize the advance, whether it's for inventory, equipment, marketing, or other operational expenses.

However, MCAs also have potential disadvantages:

  • Higher fees: MCAs can be more expensive than traditional loans due to higher fees.
  • Impact on cash flow: Repaying the advance with a portion of daily credit card sales can strain cash flow, especially during slower sales periods.
  • Limited spending freedom: MCA funds might be restricted to specific business purposes.
  • Risk of over-reliance: Repeated use of MCAs for short-term needs could impede long-term growth.

How to Apply for a Merchant Cash Advance

If you think that an MCA is the right fit for your business, make sure you meet the common requirements.

Main Requirements

Some of the key requirements for a merchant cash advance include the following:

  • Credit card sales volume: MCA providers mainly consider your business's credit card sales, as repayments are directly linked to them. A stable and robust sales history can enhance your approval odds.
  • Time in business: Lenders may require that your business be operational for at least three to 12 months to ensure the stability and viability of your business.
  • Business bank account: To receive the funds and facilitate repayment, you'll need to have an active business bank account in good standing.
  • Documentation: Common documents requested during the application process include bank statements, credit card processing statements, tax returns, and proof of business ownership.

Steps to Get an MCA

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application process:

  1. Research MCA providers: Begin by researching reputable MCA providers to find one that best aligns with your business needs. Look for providers with a solid track record and positive customer reviews.
  2. Review requirements: Carefully review the eligibility requirements of your chosen MCA provider. The focus will typically be on your credit card sales volume and the overall health of your business.
  3. Gather documentation: Prepare the necessary documents for your application, including recent bank and credit card processing statements, tax returns, and proof of business ownership.
  4. Complete the application: Fill out the MCA provider's application form, which is typically less stringent than traditional loans. This may make it accessible to businesses with poor or limited credit.
  5. Wait for approval: Upon submission, the MCA provider will review your application and may request additional documentation. The approval process is usually quicker than traditional loans, with some providers making decisions in a few days.
  6. Review the terms: If approved, carefully review the terms of the merchant cash advance loans, including the factor rate, repayment percentage, and any additional fees.
  7. Receive funds: Once the terms are agreed upon, and the necessary documentation is in place, the MCA provider will transfer the funds to your business account.

MCA Repayment Terms

The repayment of a merchant cash advance is uniquely flexible and designed to align with your business's cash flow. Instead of fixed monthly payments, you'll repay the advance through a predetermined percentage of your daily credit card sales.

This means that on busier days, you'll pay more towards your advance, and on slower days, less.

It is a model that ensures that payments adjust based on your business's actual revenue, offering a manageable approach to financing without straining your operations. However, businesses can get into trouble if they do not consider whether their business is sustainable if they lose a portion of their credit card sales.

Alternative Funding Options

Many businesses find that the MCA model will not work for them. If that’s you, then here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Business Loans: Traditional loans from banks or credit unions offer fixed repayment terms and interest rates. Suitable for those with strong credit histories and those seeking longer-term financing.
  • Lines of Credit: Offering flexibility similar to a credit card, a business line of credit allows you to borrow up to a certain limit and pay interest only on the amount used. It is ideal for managing cash flow and unexpected expenses.
  • Invoice Financing: This option advances funds based on outstanding invoices, providing immediate cash flow. I can be a good fit for businesses with longer invoice payment cycles.
  • Crowdfunding: Leveraging online platforms to raise small amounts of money from a large number of people. Best suited for businesses with innovative products or services that can generate public interest.
  • Equity Financing: Selling a stake in your business to investors in exchange for capital. A good option for startups with high growth potential but requires sharing ownership.

Each of these alternatives has its own set of benefits and considerations – just like MCAs. Assessing your business’s specific needs, growth plans, and financial health will guide you to the most appropriate funding choice.

FAQ on Merchant Cash Advance

To help address common concerns, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions.

  • The time frame can vary depending on the provider, but businesses may receive funds within a few days of approval. However, in some cases, it may take up to a week.

  • Businesses with a high volume of credit card sales, such as restaurants, retail stores, and service-based companies, may find MCAs to be a suitable financing option.

  • While eligibility requirements vary between providers, some MCA providers may consider businesses that have been operational for as little as three months. However, some providers may require companies to be operational for a longer period.

  • The specific consequences of defaulting on an MCA depend on the terms of the advance agreement. The MCA provider may take legal action or employ aggressive collection practices against your business to recover the outstanding debt. In some cases, the MCA provider may be willing to negotiate the terms or restructure the advance to make repayment more manageable. However, this is not guaranteed and depends on the provider’s policies.

  • Yes, you can still get an MCA with bad credit since approval is primarily based on your business's credit card sales volume. However, having bad credit may result in higher fees or less favorable terms.

  • Use a merchant cash advance when you need quick access to cash for your business and have consistent credit card sales, but be aware of the high fees and consider alternatives if possible.