Top California SBA Lenders | SBA Loans in CA

Last annual update: Feb 18, 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

CA RankCalifornia BankBank HQs# of LoansAvg InterestAvg CA Loan
1U.S. BankCincinnati, OH7386.7%$181,967
2Wells FargoSioux Falls, SD2568.2%$430,031
3BayFirst National BankSaint Petersburg, FL1508.0%$289,716
4Newtek Small Business FinanceLake Success, NY1377.6%$684,566
5CDC Small Business FinanceSan Diego, CA1338.6%$157,679
6BancorpSouth BankTupelo, MS1287.1%$253,766
7Celtic BankSalt Lake City, UT1186.8%$956,218
8Live OakWilmington, NC1176.3%$1,660,564
9Readycap Lending, LLCBerkeley Heights, NJ1147.6%$556,389
10Bank of AmericaCharlotte, NC1033.6%$382,943
11Commonwealth Business BankLos Angeles, CA1015.9%$1,040,000
12Harvest Small Business FinanceLaguna Hills, CA1006.5%$1,322,764
13Bank of HopeLos Angeles, CA956.3%$411,739
14JPMorgan Chase BankColumbus, OH896.6%$303,900
15MUFG Union BankSan Francisco, CA795.4%$1,395,466
16Bank of the WestSan Francisco, CA705.8%$1,235,761
17Enterprise Bank & TrustClayton, MO625.7%$1,564,423
18The Huntington National BankColumbus, OH577.3%$333,639
19East West BankPasadena, CA555.7%$1,104,318
20Comerica BankDallas, TX525.9%$219,673
Here are the top 50 industries in California (based on small business loan volume from last year) so you can get a sense of what you may expect for your business in terms of interest rate:
RankCalifornia Small Business# of LoansAvg LoanAvg Rate
1Hotels (except Casino Hotels) and Motels1,164$1,986,1575.4%
2Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores1,286$1,429,1915.7%
3Full-Service Restaurants3,034$431,4536.7%
4Offices of Dentists1,807$655,5675.9%
5Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists)1,280$583,8916.1%
6Limited-Service Restaurants1,958$358,8376.6%
7Car Washes413$1,457,4015.9%
8Lessors of Nonresidential Buildings (except Miniwarehouses)506$1,164,3965.5%
9Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores1,272$449,3146.0%
10Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners573$812,4455.6%
11Women's, Children's, and Infants' Clothing and Accessories Merchant Wh589$774,0956.0%
12Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores666$650,9206.2%
13Veterinary Services464$934,2385.7%
14General Automotive Repair898$400,6276.6%
15Other Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers541$654,6116.0%
16Other Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers498$691,5476.0%
17Offices of Lawyers962$344,5446.9%
18All Other Specialty Trade Contractors827$384,2616.7%
19Convenience Stores772$399,0416.2%
20Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers820$372,1856.9%
21Child Day Care Services467$631,2396.5%
22Automotive Body, Paint, and Interior Repair and Maintenance443$663,0816.2%
23Homes for the Elderly289$1,004,3426.0%
24All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services614$464,6486.3%
25Pharmacies and Drug Stores423$649,5026.2%
26Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors809$304,8307.0%
27Insurance Agencies and Brokerages540$427,3106.5%
28General Freight Trucking, Long Distance, Truckload663$332,4927.5%
29Home Health Care Services442$462,0326.8%
30General Freight Trucking, Local697$292,8957.2%
32Engineering Services450$422,0086.8%
33Investment Advice317$556,8836.5%
34Electrical Contractors657$250,1347.2%
35Used Car Dealers357$456,6567.4%
36Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars610$266,0157.0%
37Recyclable Material Merchant Wholesalers163$956,0506.1%
38Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers403$386,1146.9%
39Machine Shops294$526,2946.1%
40Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)344$434,6216.7%
41Offices of Certified Public Accountants492$301,5756.5%
42All Other Personal Services438$338,4667.2%
44Lessors of Miniwarehouses and Self-Storage Units89$1,584,4795.9%
45Beauty Salons713$195,7107.4%
46Other Personal Care Services438$307,6517.0%
47Commercial and Institutional Building Construction435$307,0566.9%
48Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores275$471,9736.4%
49Piece Goods, Notions, and Other Dry Goods Merchant Wholesalers170$741,1036.0%
50Drycleaning and Laundry Services (except Coin-Operated)423$294,0916.4%


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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