What Is a Commercial Loan?

A Commercial Loan is a debt-based funding arrangement between a business and a financial institution such as a bank. It is typically used to fund major capital expenditures and/or cover operational costs that the company may otherwise be unable to afford. Expensive upfront costs and regulatory hurdles often prevent small businesses from having direct access to bond and equity markets for financing. This means that, not unlike individual consumers, smaller businesses must rely on other lending products, such as lines of credit, unsecured loans or term loans.

Commercial Loan
Commercial Loan_ What It Is, How It Works, Different Types USABANCORP


  • A commercial loan is done between a bank and a business, used to fund operating costs and capital expenditures.
  • Many commercial loans require collateral, such as property or equipment.
  • Companies generally have to provide financial statements to prove their ability to repay.
  • Although most commercial loans are short-term, they can be “rolled,” or renewed to extend the life of the loan.

How Commercial Loans Work

Commercial loans are granted to a variety of business entities, usually to assist with short-term funding needs for operational costs or for the purchase of equipment to facilitate the operating process. In some instances, the loan may be extended to help the business meet more basic operational needs, such as funding for payroll or to purchase supplies used in the production and manufacturing process.


These loans often require that a business posts collateral, usually in the form of property, plant or equipment that the bank can confiscate from the borrower in the event of default or bankruptcy. Sometimes cash flows generated from future accounts receivable are used as a loan’s collateral. Mortgages issued to commercial real estate are one form of commercial loan.