Frequently Asked Questions

The road to small business can be confusing and overwhelming. For those questions you have floating around in your head, we're here to help.


As a CDC (Certified Development Corporation), our staple is the SBA 504 loan program - a loan program that offers small businesses with below-market fixed rate financing for up to 25 years for fixed assets. For the past decade consecutively, Dakota Business Lending has been named the #1 SBA lender in ND, lending close to 70% of the SBA loans that are funded throughout the state. Below is a brief overview of the program.

The SBA 504 is a loan program that promotes business growth by offering long-term, below-market, fixed-rate financing to small businesses. SBA 504 loans are funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration by working with a Certified Development Corporation (CDC) like Dakota Business Lending. Learn more.

The SBA 504 loan program can be used to finance or refinance long-term fixed assets such as real estate and equipment. You can find a more detailed list of eligible projects here.

Businesses must meet the small business size standard AND create jobs or meet a public policy goal to be eligible for an SBA 504 loan. More information on SBA 504 loan eligibility and requirements can be found here.

Those who are interested in applying for an SBA 504 loan can visit with a Dakota Business Lending loan officer and download an application online. Start now.

On average, a completed application packet may be approved in as little as 3-4 weeks, granting businesses access to capital as fast as possible. Start the application process now.

The SBA 504 loan program provides many advantages to businesses including:

  • Up to 90% financing
  • Min. 10% down
  • Fixed, below-market interest rates
  • Up to 25-year term

Learn more about the benefits of the SBA 504 loan program.

Small businesses who meet the SBA 504 loan program criteria are eligible for financing anywhere from $25,000 - $5 millions. In certain cases, a business may be able to acquire a total of $5.5 million in financing. Learn more about how to get access to SBA 504 financing here

In most cases, SBA 504 loans are structured in a 50/40/10 model, with 50% contributed by a participating bank or lender, 40% by the SBA, and 10% by the borrower. See an example.

Small businesses have 2 different options for refinancing existing debt through the SBA 504 loan program - SBA 504 Refinance with Expansion and SBA 504 Refinance (No Expansion). You can find more information on SBA 504 Refinance projects here

The following are key distinctions between the SBA 504 and SBA 7a loan programs:

  • SBA 504 is used to finance or refinance commercial real estate and long-term fixed assets; SBA 7a can be used for any business need
  • SBA 504 provides up to $5.5 million; SBA 7a offers up to $5 million
  • SBA 504 generally requires 95% collateral; SBA 7a requires the primary lender to maximize the collateral value
  • SBA 504 is a direct loan to the business; SBA 7a provides a guarantee to the primary lender to mitigate risk

You can find a more in-depth comparison here