Short Term Vs. Long Term Business Funding

Mantis Funding May 01, 2024

What is Business Funding?

Every entrepreneur understands the importance of a solid financial foundation. But navigating the various funding options available can be a complex task — this critical decision can significantly impact your business trajectory, influencing everything from growth strategies to day-to-day operations.

This article delves into the world of business funding, specifically exploring the distinction between short-term and long-term solutions. We’ll unpack the significance of each approach and how they can empower your business to achieve its goals. By understanding the different types of funding and their applications, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed financial choices that propel your venture forward.

What is Long-Term and Short-Term Business Funding?

Business funding can be broadly categorized into two main categories: short-term and long-term financing.

Short-term funding provides capital for a shorter period, typically ranging from a few months to two years. This option is ideal for addressing temporary needs or covering operational shortfalls. Imagine needing to bridge a gap between accounts receivable and payable cycles, or financing seasonal inventory fluctuations. Short-term funding can be a swift and adaptable solution for these situations.

On the other hand, long-term financing offers resources for more strategic, long-term goals. Think about expanding your business by purchasing new equipment, acquiring real estate, or investing in research and development. Long-term funding provides a larger sum of capital with payment terms stretching from several years to even decades – this option allows businesses to make substantial investments while spreading out the financial burden.

Long and Short-Term Business Funding Options

Once you’ve identified your financial needs as short-term or long-term, it’s crucial to understand the specific funding options available in each category.

Short-Term Funding Solutions

  • Lines of Credit: Functioning similarly to a credit card, a line of credit provides businesses with a pre-approved borrowing limit. Businesses can tap into this line as needed, only paying interest on the utilized amount. This flexibility makes it ideal for managing ongoing operational expenses or unexpected costs.
  • Accounts Receivable Financing: This option unlocks capital tied up in outstanding invoices. A financing company advances a portion of the invoice value, allowing businesses to access immediate cash flow while customers settle their accounts.
  • Trade Credit: Negotiating extended payment terms with suppliers can be a form of short-term financing. This allows businesses to receive inventory upfront while deferring payment for an agreed-upon period.

Long-Term Funding Instruments

  • Term Funding: Traditional lines of credit from banks or financial institutions provide a lump sum of capital with a fixed payment schedule and interest rate. These are ideal for significant, one-time investments like property acquisition or equipment purchases.
  • Revenue-Based Financing: Depending on whether your business would like to renew their agreement, this can be a short or long-term financing option where lenders provide capital to a business in exchange for a share of the company’s ongoing sales. It operates as a partnership where the lender contributes upfront resources to fuel your growth, and in return, they receive a portion of your revenue stream until a predetermined amount is reached. This method allows businesses to access funding without giving up ownership or taking on debt with fixed payment schedules.
  • SBA Funding: The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers various loan programs with government guarantees, often featuring more favorable terms and eligibility requirements compared to traditional loans. These can be a good option for startups or businesses with limited credit history.
  • Equity Financing: This approach involves selling ownership shares in your company to investors. While it doesn’t involve debt payment, investors receive a portion of your company’s profits. Equity financing is suitable for businesses seeking substantial funding for growth initiatives but requires ceding some ownership control.

Choosing the right funding option hinges on a thorough understanding of your business needs, risk tolerance, and long-term goals. Consulting with a financial advisor can be invaluable in navigating these crucial decisions and creating custom revenue-based financing for your business.

Long vs Short-Term Business Funding: What’s the Difference?

Long-Term Funding Pros and Cons: Building for the Future

We’ve explored the various funding options available, but the key lies in understanding which approach best suits your specific needs. Let’s detail all the advantages and disadvantages of both short-term and long-term financing.


  • Larger Capital Amounts: Long-term funding unlocks significant capital injections, enabling substantial investments in infrastructure, equipment, or research and development.
  • Predictable Payments: Fixed interest rates and payment schedules provide long-term financial stability and budgeting clarity for your business.
  • Focus on Growth: By spreading out the payment burden, long-term funding frees up cash flow to focus on strategic initiatives and business expansion.


  • Long-Term Commitment: Payment periods can stretch for years, locking you into a financing arrangement that may not adapt well to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Potential Interest Burden: While interest rates might be lower than short-term options, the extended payment period can result in significant total interest paid.
  • Strict Qualification Criteria: Obtaining long-term funding often requires a strong credit history, collateral, and a comprehensive business plan, which can be challenging for startups.

Short-Term Business Funding Pros & Cons: Addressing Immediate Needs


  • Flexibility and Speed: Short-term financing offers quick access to capital for unexpected expenses or temporary cash flow gaps. Options like lines of credit provide on-demand access to funds.
  • Lower Overall Interest: Shorter payment periods typically translate to less total interest paid compared to long-term financing.
  • Less Rigorous Requirements: Qualifying for short-term funding often involves less stringent criteria than long-term options, making them more accessible to young businesses.


  • Limited Capital Amounts: Short-term funding is typically capped at lower amounts compared to long-term options, restricting their use for substantial investments.
  • Potential for Higher Interest Rates: Short-term funding can come with higher interest rates than long-term options.
  • Risk of Payment Pressure: Managing multiple short-term debts simultaneously can strain your cash flow and limit your ability to make strategic investments.

Impact on Business Credit: Building a Strong Reputation

While securing funding fuels your business endeavors, it’s crucial to consider the impact on your business credit profile. Both short-term and long-term financing options have implications for your credit health.

Credit Considerations for Short-Term Funding

Short-term financing can be a double-edged sword for your credit score. While making on-time payments and maintaining low utilization rates on lines of credit can positively impact your creditworthiness — but missing installments or carrying a high balance on short-term debt can negatively affect your score as well. The frequent borrowing associated with some short-term options can also raise flags for lenders, potentially making it harder to secure long-term financing in the future.

Credit Implications of Long-Term Funding

Long-term funding can significantly impact your credit profile. Successfully managing a long-term loan with consistent on-time payments demonstrates creditworthiness and can significantly boost your business credit score. However, delinquencies or defaults on long-term debt can have severe negative consequences, potentially crippling your ability to secure future financing. The long-term commitment of these lines of credit also limits your credit flexibility, as lenders may be hesitant to approve additional lines of credit while you’re servicing substantial debt.

By carefully managing your debt obligations and maintaining a healthy credit mix with a combination of short-term and long-term financing, you can establish a strong and reliable credit history that will be instrumental in securing favorable funding opportunities as your business grows.

Qualification Criteria and Access to Funds

Understanding the qualification process is essential for securing the funding your business needs. Let’s explore the typical requirements for both short-term and long-term financing options.

Short-Term Qualification Criteria

Obtaining short-term funding is generally a faster and less stringent process compared to long-term lines of credit. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Business Basics: A solid business plan demonstrating profitability and future potential is key.
  • Credit History: While not always a dealbreaker, a good credit score can improve your chances of approval and secure more favorable terms.
  • Time in Business: Established businesses with a track record of financial stability are generally viewed more favorably by lenders. However, some short-term options may be available to startups with a strong business plan.
  • Collateral: Depending on the specific option, short-term funding may or may not require collateral to secure the loan.

Long-Term Loan Qualifications

Long-term funding involve a more thorough evaluation by lenders, with stricter qualification criteria:

  • Strong Credit History: A demonstrably strong business credit score is essential for securing long-term funding.
  • Detailed Financial Statements: Multi-year financial statements showcasing profitability and responsible financial management are required.
  • Collateral Requirements: Long-term funding often require significant collateral, such as real estate or equipment, to mitigate risk for the lender.
  • Business Plan with Projections: A comprehensive business plan with realistic financial projections for the duration of the loan is crucial for securing approval.

While long-term funding offers larger sums and predictable payments, the qualification process can be more challenging, especially for young businesses. Carefully assess your business’s financial health and creditworthiness before pursuing long-term financing options.

Choosing the Best Business Funding Option

Navigating the world of business funding can be daunting as a small business. Now that you have a foundational understanding of short-term and long-term financing options, their applications, and the impact on your credit profile, you can make an informed decision that fuels your business growth. Remember, the key to success lies in selecting the funding solution that aligns perfectly with your business goals, risk tolerance, and financial situation — plus a partner dedicated to finding an optimal strategy that fits.

For many small businesses, traditional financing routes may seem out of reach, but then that’s where Mantis Funding comes in; we offer revenue-based financing solutions specifically designed to meet the needs of growing businesses. Our customer-centric approach ensures you receive personalized guidance throughout the funding process, so don’t let the struggle of securing financing hinder your entrepreneurial dreams. Contact Mantis Funding today or apply now and explore how we can empower your business to reach its full potential.

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About Mantis Funding

Mantis Funding is a business financing solutions firm catering to small and mid-sized business owners in the United States.