Top California SBA Lenders | SBA Loans in CA

Last annual update: May 8, 2024

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Starting or growing a business in California can be an exciting endeavor, but it can also be challenging. One of the biggest obstacles many entrepreneurs face is securing the necessary funding to launch or expand their business. Fortunately, there are many lenders in California that specialize in Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. These loans can provide the financing entrepreneurs need to start, operate, or expand their business.

SBA lenders are financial institutions that are approved by the SBA to provide loans to small businesses. These lenders work with the SBA to provide loans that are guaranteed by the government, making them a lower-risk investment for lenders. This means that SBA lenders are more likely to provide loans to businesses that may not qualify for traditional bank loans. Some of the most popular SBA lenders in California include U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, BayFirst, and Newtek. Here are the top SBA lenders in California based on loans issued:

Top SBA lenders in California

RankBankBank HQs# of LoansAvg Interest Avg Loan
1U.S. BankCINCINNATI, OH10609.6% $208,218
2BayFirst National BankSaint Petersburg, FL46912.5% $162,294
3Wells FargoSIOUX FALLS, SD33712.1% $325,955
4JPMorgan Chase BankCOLUMBUS, OH28011.9% $236,028
5Newtek BankMiami, FL22612.0% $450,121
6Noah BankMiami, FL22612.0% $450,121
7Readycap Lending, LLCBERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ18812.8% $383,911
8Bank of AmericaCHARLOTTE, NC1517.7% $589,520
9Lendistry SBLCLos Angeles, CA13312.7% $173,143
10CDC Small Business FinanceSan Diego, CA12513.0% $183,879
11Celtic BankSALT LAKE CITY, UT12111.0% $733,115
12BancorpSouth BankTUPELO, MS10911.1% $297,191
13Live OakWILMINGTON, NC1089.7% $1,559,404
14Northeast BankLEWISTON, ME10511.2% $72,497
15East West BankPASADENA, CA8910.2% $656,626
16Bank of HopeLOS ANGELES, CA8510.3% $438,579
17Huntington BankCOLUMBUS, OH8110.8% $428,500
18United Midwest Savings BankDE GRAFF, OH7611.1% $189,776
19Harvest Small Business FinanceLaguna Hills, CA7410.7% $1,098,643
20BMO BankChicago, IL699.0% $737,843

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Top industries receiving SBA loans in California

RankIndustry (NAICS Description)# of LoansAvg Interest Avg Loan
1Full-Service Restaurants28610.4% $573,544
2Limited-Service Restaurants17710.9% $480,804
3Residential Remodelers10811.1% $189,738
4Beauty Salons9210.9% $173,576
5Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors9210.8% $381,893
6General Automotive Repair8610.4% $473,900
7Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars8110.5% $444,038
8All Other Specialty Trade Contractors7710.7% $384,339
9Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers7711.3% $348,265
10General Freight Trucking, Long Distance, Truckload7711.1% $349,753
11Offices of Lawyers7610.8% $340,718
12Offices of Dentists7510.0% $948,369
13Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services6911.9% $146,043
14Electrical Contractors6910.7% $366,099
15Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists)669.5% $633,715
16General Freight Trucking, Local6211.4% $445,694
17Other Personal Care Services5611.2% $452,875
18All Other Personal Services5312.1% $284,860
19Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers5311.6% $127,655
20All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services5111.5% $359,527

SBA loans are available to a wide range of small businesses in California. These loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including starting a new business, expanding an existing business, or purchasing equipment or real estate. To qualify for an SBA loan, a business must meet certain criteria, including having a tangible net worth of less than $15 million and an average net income of less than $5 million over the past two years.

SBA loans come in several different forms, each with its own unique terms and requirements. The most common types of SBA loans include the 7(a) loan program, the CDC/504 loan program, and the microloan program. The 7(a) loan program is the most popular and can provide businesses with up to $5 million in funding. The CDC/504 loan program is designed for businesses that need to purchase real estate or equipment and can provide up to $20 million in funding. Will the SBA 504 program has a much higher limit than 7(a), the SBA 7(a) program is much more popular with borrowers.

SBA loans offer several advantages over traditional bank loans, including no collateral requirement and longer repayment terms – ten years or 25 years. As a result, SBA loans are very popular for business acquisitions. SBA loans are backed by the government, which means that lenders are more willing to take on the risk of lending to small businesses and forego the traditional fully-collateralized loan requirements of typical commercial loans.

SBA lenders in California can be a valuable resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs. These lenders offer a variety of loan options designed to meet the unique needs of businesses in California. Whether you are starting a new business, expanding an existing one, or need funding for equipment or real estate, an SBA loan may be the perfect solution. With lower interest rates, longer repayment terms, and more

A note about these California SBA lenders – People frequently ask us if one of the banks above is 1) on the California preferred lender list 2) an approved lender in California, or 3) participating in the California SBA Express lending program. All these questions revolve around whether a given SBA bank makes small business SBA loans in California and can they process SBA loans quickly. The answer is yes, of course. These are not the small banks that only make a few SBA loans a year and do not understand the SBA 7(a) loan program. These are the banks that have made the most SBA loans in California. We analyze thousands of SBA loans each year and rank lenders based on recent activity. We provide business loan activity for borrowers by state, as well as the major California markets of Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.

We would be remissed if we did not mention that although many banks will only lend in certain geographies, there are a handful of extremely aggressive nationwide SBA lenders who will lend anywhere. These lenders understand the SBA program as well as anyone and move very quickly, so we recommend not limiting your search to your home state. If you utilize our lender match tool, we can find you suitable SBA banks based on your geography, industry, and company and size at no cost or obligation to you to save you valuable time. Just click on the find SBA lenders near me button below to get started.

California Small Business Resources

In addition to California SBA banks, there are several organizations in California that can provide small businesses with valuable guidance and consultation regarding financing and growing their businesses. These organizations offer a range of services, including business counseling, workshops and training, and assistance with obtaining funding.

One such organization is the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) network in California. The SBDCs are funded in part by the SBA and provide free business counseling and assistance to small businesses throughout the state. The services they offer include business planning, financial analysis, and assistance with obtaining financing. They also offer workshops and training sessions on a variety of topics, including marketing, accounting, and legal issues. To learn more about the SBDC network and to find a center near you, visit their website at

Another organization that can provide small businesses with valuable guidance is SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals. SCORE offers free business mentoring, workshops, and educational resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also provide assistance with business planning, marketing, and financial analysis. To learn more about SCORE and to find a chapter near you, visit their website at

Finally, the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO) is a statewide association that works to promote micro-enterprise development and access to capital for small businesses in California. They offer a range of services, including business training, technical assistance, and access to financing. To learn more about CAMEO and to find a member organization near you, visit their website at

By utilizing the resources and expertise of these organizations, small businesses in California can obtain valuable guidance and assistance with financing and growing their businesses. Whether it’s through SBA loans or other forms of financing, these organizations can help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their dreams and reach their full potential.

California Small Business Incentives

Small businesses in California can take advantage of a variety of incentive programs designed to encourage growth and development. These programs provide financial assistance, tax credits, and other benefits to small businesses that meet certain criteria.

One organization that offers business incentive programs in California is the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). GO-Biz offers a range of incentive programs, including tax credits, grants, and loan guarantees, to businesses that create jobs and make capital investments in the state. Some of the specific programs offered by GO-Biz include the California Competes Tax Credit, the California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, and the California Capital Access Program. To learn more about GO-Biz and their incentive programs, visit their website at

Another organization that provides business incentives in California is the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank). IBank offers a variety of financing programs to small businesses, including low-interest loans, disaster relief financing, and microloans. IBank also partners with other organizations, such as the California Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), to provide additional resources and support to small businesses. To learn more about IBank and their financing programs, visit their website at

Additionally, the Employment Training Panel (ETP) is a state agency that provides funding to California businesses for employee training and retraining. ETP funding can be used to cover the cost of training programs, such as job-specific skills training, leadership development, and safety training. Small businesses in California with fewer than 100 employees may be eligible for ETP funding. To learn more about ETP and their training programs, visit their website at

The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) is another organization that offers business incentive programs in California. CAEATFA provides financing for businesses that invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and advanced transportation technologies. Some of the programs offered by CAEATFA include the Sales and Use Tax Exclusion Program, the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF), and the California Capital Access Program for Small Business (CalCAP). To learn more about CAEATFA and their financing programs, visit their website at

By taking advantage of these incentive programs and working with these organizations, small businesses in California can receive the support they need to grow and thrive. From financing and training to tax credits and grants, these programs can provide small businesses with the resources they need to achieve their goals and make a positive impact on the state’s economy.

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