The merchant cash advance process
To get the merchant cash advance process started, you need to set up an initial consultation with a provider, usually by phone. He'll gather basic information about your company, why you need the advance, and how quickly you need the money. Afterwards, the provider will arrange to meet you in person to assess your business and ensure you operate from a physical store or office.
Reviewing your financials
When you meet, the provider reviews your last 3 to 6 months of recent credit card statements to learn your revenue trends. He'll also collect information such as how much time you have left on your lease and your current debt load.
You'll complete an application that permits the provider to pull your credit report and check for previous bankruptcies, liens, or judgments against your company. The provider also ensures you don't have outstanding merchant cash advance transactions.
Once they review your credit history, the provider can typically approve you for an advance within a few hours. Less-than-stellar credit won't necessarily impede your chances of getting an advance, but you may have to agree to less favorable terms.
Based on your business's financials and the size of the advance you're approved for, the provider will calculate your safe retrieval percentage - the maximum percentage he can take from your daily credit card revenue without endangering your business' financial health.
You'll sign a contract that outlines the amount of the advance, the rate, and the retrieval percentage, and your advance will be ready to go.
Switching merchant account providers
As part of a cash advance, you may have to switch merchant account providers. The merchant cash advance provider can't take their daily percentage unless they have access to your merchant account. This may require you to pay penalties to your original processor if you break a long-term agreement.
Once you switch over, the provider will work with an automated clearing house or set up batch processing to hold back their percentage of your daily credit card take. After the provider runs some small test batches for a few days to ensure everything works properly, the cash is wired to your account.