What You Need To Know About the SBA’s Veteran Advantage Program

The SBA is offering up to 50% off loan guarantee fees with their Veteran Advantage Program through September 30, 2016. As a top SBA lender, Live Oak Bank is proud to extend this offer to veterans seeking financing in the Agriculture industry. Those who qualify for the program include veterans, service-disabled veterans, active duty military service members participating in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), reservists and National Guard members, as well as current or widowed spouses of those above.

SBA loan guarantee fees are calculated as a percentage of the guaranteed portion of the loan. The SBA currently offers 75% guarantees for eligible loans to small businesses; therefore, the guaranteed portion of a $1,000,000 loan would be $750,000.

In the same example, a $1,000,000 loan would typically be charged a 3.50% fee for processing; however, the SBA Veterans Advantage program offers a 50% fee reduction for qualified small businesses. This results in a 1.75% fee for processing.

This upfront fee may be included in the total note amount and financed over the life of the loan.

The documentation required to receive financing can be found here.

The SBA offers loan terms that are flexible and have no covenants or balloons, which allows the borrower to save money and to invest in his or her business.

If you are interested in receiving financing for new house construction, expansion of existing facilities, refinancing of current debt, and land purchases and meet the qualifications above, contact a member of our Agriculture team.

Practice Ownership Can be a Smart Move Despite Student Loan Debt

By: Suzanne Smither

Veterinary Team Brief asked Brian Faulk and Dr. Jessica Trichel of Live Oak Bank about achieving practice ownership despite student loan debt.

Practice ownership may seem like a long-term goal that new veterinarians can pursue only after paying off student loan debt. But several leading practice lenders told Veterinary Team Brief that they take the total financial picture into account and often approve applications despite significant loan debt. They also help newer veterinarians with decision-making and planning before the application process begins and offer ongoing education and support for successful practice management after financing is arranged.

Brian Faulk – Choosing the Right Practice

Choosing the Right Practice Live Oak Bank provides financing for practice acquisitions but not for start-ups. Brian Faulk, senior loan officer, encourages veterinarians to consider buying into a practice early in their career. “Owning a practice is how they will leverage that DVM degree. … It’s about building equity,” he said. “Student loan debt is not that big a problem if you’re matched with the right practice,” one that fits “the veterinarian’s skill set, personal finances, and lifestyle.” Although “$230,000 in student loan debt would not disqualify” a veterinary borrower, personal bankruptcy would, Faulk said. “Many young veterinarians file for bankruptcy when they’re only $75,000 to $100,000 in debt,” he said, cautioning that this is a big mistake. an option in this case, “It is our opinion that the veterinarian should try to purchase a first practice in his or her name only.” First-time owners incur a lot of stress with their first venture, and partnerships can only add to that stress with divergent management options, he said. “A boat only needs one captain.”

Bridging the Gap Between Veterinary Medicine and Business

Obtaining a start-up or acquisition loan is only the first step toward success as a veterinary practice owner. In the following 3 programs, banks work with veterinarians to foster long-term success.

Jessica Trichel, DVM – Live Oak U

Running a practice requires business savvy and clinical skills, but “veterinary students typically have minimal exposure to business education,” said Jessica Trichel, DVM, educational outreach veterinarian at Live Oak Bank. “Our goal is to help teach the business part to interested students.”

Trichel shares her expertise via Live Oak U, which hosts a free 2-week program for students each summer at the bank’s headquarters in Wilmington, North Carolina. Working closely with the Veterinary Business ManagementAssociation (VBMA), she also guest lectures at veterinary schools.

To run a successful practice, Trichel said, a veterinarian needs to understand how a website, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), a practice brand, and a personal brand impact his or her business. Practice owners also need to think in terms of “consistently delivering value the client can trust,” training team members to make a positive impression on clients, and developing a business and community marketing strategy, she said, because it can have a significant impact on the top and bottom lines of the practice.

Trichel said Live Oak U’s summer program helps veterinary students at any stage of their education understand the planning and effort practice ownership requires, and to answer the question, “Am I cut out for this?” Instruction includes a morning with Live Oak’s business consultant Carol Hart, DVM, who has practice management experience and a law degree.

Live Oak U admits about 20 students each summer, Trichel said. The next 2 application deadlines are October 1, 2015, and February 1, 2016.

Download the full article here

Posted with permission from Veterinary Team Brief 

Jim Breaux Joins Live Oak Bank’s Funeral Home Lending Division

Live Oak Bank is pleased to welcome Jim Breaux as a Senior Loan Officer on the Funeral Home Lending Team. Breaux joins Live Oak with over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry. Most recently, Breaux served as Senior Vice President for Regions Wealth Management and Director of Administrative Services within the Funeral and Cemetery Trust Services Division.


“We are excited to have Jim join the team,” commented Neil Underwood, President of Live Oak Bank. “His experience in the Funeral industry will be instrumental in continuing to grow relationships and helping Live Oak offer custom lending solutions to funeral home owners nationwide.”


“I am excited to utilize my extensive financial experience and industry knowledge to help funeral home owners achieve success through Live Oak’s lending solutions,” Breaux stated. “To be a part of a team that truly understands what the industry’s needs are is a rare opportunity.”


Live Oak was founded to provide small business loans to professionals across the country looking to start or expand their businesses. Aside from acquisitions and refinancing, Live Oak’s lenders specialize in real estate loans and ground-up construction projects. The bank initially began lending to veterinarians, and has since expanded into other specialty areas as well. Having a keen industry focus and trade specialists on board, enables the Bank to offer an exceptional level of service to the client.  To learn more about Live Oak, please visit liveoakbank.com.

Learn the Benefits of Seller Carry

The Benefits of Seller Carry

When deciding to sell your pharmacy, there are various ways to maximize the return on the sale, make it marketable to potential buyers, and expedite the time it takes to transition ownership. As the seller you may also be asking yourself where a potential buyer will attain the necessary capital to acquire your pharmacy. With Live Oak Bank being able to finance 75% or more and the buyer having some cash to put towards the sale; this leaves the seller an opportunity to carry a small portion (5% – 20%) of the overall sale price.

Among the many independent buyers seeking to acquire pharmacies, some may have less capital than is required. For example, an associate pharmacist has the knowledge and relationships to continue operating the pharmacy to meet the expectations of the community and customers. He or she could be the ideal candidate for purchasing the pharmacy you’ve worked hard to establish. While having some cash on hand, they may need additional funds to complete the purchase. Carrying a seller note may afford your buyer the ability to structure the pharmacy acquisition in such a way both parties achieve their objectives of a successful transition.

Take this example:

* Depending on the price of goodwill, a buyer may be asked to bring in 25% of the total sale price, while the bank may finance the remaining 75%.

* The buyer will be asked to provide a minimum equity injection of $10,000 to $50,000, sometimes more depending on deal structure and cash flow. This would potentially leave a gap in the necessary equity requirement. In this case, the seller could hold the note for the variance in equity to meet the 25% requirement.

* Typically, the buyer and seller will agree to terms for the length of the seller note, and negotiate an agreed upon interest rate. This structure allows the seller to obtain the asking price while earning additional benefits from the interest of the seller note.

Transitioning ownership can be a win-win for both buyers and sellers. Plan ahead, consult with your attorney and tax advisors and then enjoy the success of the transaction.

Live Oak Bank Exclusively Endorsed by MFDA

Live Oak Bank and Michigan Funeral Directors Association Announce Endorsement

Live Oak Bank is proud to announce an exclusive endorsement as the preferred funeral home lender by the Michigan Funeral Directors Association (MFDA).

Live Oak Bank’s unique approach to lending that includes a dedicated funeral-only lending team provides a service valuable to funeral directors in Michigan. The loan products can accommodate financial needs that are often not easily met by “local” banks. As a true cash flow lender, the Bank is able to loan on existing business “goodwill,” as opposed to asset based lending (i.e., against the value of real estate).

By combining financing expertise with industry knowledge, Live Oak Bank understands the funeral business and customizes funeral home loans to meet the borrower’s needs. The Bank can provide financing with no balloons and no covenants for refinancing, succession planning, acquisitions, expansions, and new construction.

Live Oak was founded to provide small business loans to professionals across the country looking to start or expand their businesses. Aside from acquisitions and refinancing, Live Oak’s lenders specialize in real estate loans and ground-up construction projects. The bank initially began lending to veterinarians, and has since expanded not only into other healthcare-related industries, but into specialty areas as well. Having a keen industry focus and trade specialists on board enables the Bank to offer an exceptional level of service to the client. To learn more about Live Oak, please visit liveoakbank.com.


Tim Bridgers, Loan Officer 910-685-7446

Media Contact

Laura Tippett 910-798-1217

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Understanding What Happens in Loan Closing

Loan Closing

Once a commitment is made by the institution providing financing, the loan closing specialist, or closer, will prepare a closing checklist of all required documentation needed on your loan prior to closing. He or she will contact you to schedule a kick-off call to explain the checklist in detail. All parties involved in the loan, including the borrower, the borrower’s legal consultants and the lender, will be included on the call. Your closer will then review and approve all documents received off the checklist and move the loan into the last phase of closing. At this point, final loan documentation, including the Note, Deed of Trust, Security Agreement, is prepared and reviewed by your closing team prior to you signing to ensure all necessary information is included.


Throughout the financing process for your funeral home, you will work with a group of specialists who bring your loan to fruition. Understanding the phases of the loan and the roles of the lending team members will help you gather the appropriate information and navigate more easily through the loan process.


Questions about financing? Read more or contact our team here.

Five Advantages of Owning Rather Than Leasing

5 Advantages of Owning Rather Than Leasing

Have you thought about owning space for your practice? Many veterinary practice owners confront this question at one point or another. Should you purchase commercial property or continue to lease? The answer varies.

New vets or start-up practices may benefit from leasing, providing the flexibility to move and grow. In general, it cost far less up front to lease commercial space compared to a real estate investment. For new practice owners, lease agreements free you up from the responsibility of property ownership, such as onsite maintenance. However, with lease agreements, you are not investing in your own future. Veterinarians with a strong client base and clear picture for the future should consider the benefits of owning.

  1. Long Term Investment

When you combine practice ownership with property ownership, you are investing in your long-term wealth. While property values are not as low as they were a few years ago, it is safe to assume they will continue to rise. As you pay down the note, you are building equity and net worth. By diligently growing your practice, you will be able to sell both the business and real estate when it is time to retire. Alternatively, you could sell just the practice and lease the property, allowing for a source of income during retirement. Building equity now will have long-term benefits.

  1. Tax Benefits

Real estate property owners enjoy tax advantages unique to ownership, including depreciation allowances and mortgage interest deductions. This deduction reduces overall taxable income, improving cash flow that you can reinvest in the business. Consult with a CPA or financial advisor to fully understand how a purchase would affect your particular circumstances.

  1. Stability

When you own the property, you can more easily plan for long-term costs associated with the property. Without the variables associated with lease agreement renewals, it is easier to project the annual costs for the practice according to your mortgage contract, insurance and estimated property tax. You can plan for the long-term without having to worry about increased lease payments or a cancelled lease.

  1. Control

When you own the business property as well as the practice, you have the control to develop, operate and modify the building to your needs as the practice grows. You aren’t at the mercy of the landlord’s guidelines for space modifications and can adapt your building infrastructure to accommodate future developments in veterinary medicine and growth of your practice.

  1. Commitment to the Community

By owning your building space or building a new practice, you show your community you are here to stay. Involvement and trust in the community will go a long way with customers and future customers. Consider refreshing the space if it is an older building. If you are planning a ground-up construction project, consider the aesthetics and practical needs of a vet practice. An architect and builder experienced in the vet space can help ensure success.

If the advantages of owning rather than leasing seem to be a good fit for you practice, you will need to decide on a ground-up construction project or purchasing and renovating a space.

There are several factors to keep in mind when looking to purchase commercial real estate for your practice. When looking for a location be sure it is close to your client base. Staying within 5 miles of you current location is a good rule of thumb; however, that can vary depending on your location. Once you’ve selected a location, make sure it is zoned for a veterinary practice, including overnight boarding.

Purchasing commercial estate has its advantages, and you will want to know how much you can afford before getting too far into the process. Based on the practice’s historical financials and the business’s cash flow, the lender will determine what the practice can support. Working with a lender experienced in veterinary financing will help the lending process run smoothly.

If you are looking to finance a ground-up construction project, the loan amount will include the cost of the real estate, design, and build. In addition, soft costs such as appraisal reports, surveys, permits, fees, title, EPA reports, supervision frees, construction interest carry allocation, and working capital will be included in the loan proceeds. Also, consider funds for new equipment and unexpected Change Orders. Knowing the maximum about you qualify for will allow you to plan your project accordingly.

Some lenders today – particularly those with experience in the veterinary industry – offer flexible loan packages that may include up minimal equity requirements and loan terms extending up to 25 years. These loan terms allow you to avoid a large down payment as well as benefit from lower monthly payments.

Purchasing the real estate where your practice will reside is an expensive investment. However if the property is suitable for your practice and is capable of supporting long-term growth without overtaxing your current cash flow, it can provide a solid foundation on which to build your business and future.

What You Need to Know About the Underwriting Process

Underwriting Process

In the underwriting phase, you will work directly with the underwriter assigned to your loan. The underwriter verifies and analyzes documents submitted during the application phase to determine accuracy and creditworthiness. The underwriter will complete a cash flow analysis and full review and analysis of other pertinent financial information related to both the business and the individual(s) seeking the loan. Additional financial details may need to be submitted to the underwriter analyzing the business. This information will be part of the credit memo, which is presented to the credit officer who ultimately approves or rejects the loan request. Specific questions regarding paperwork can be addressed directly to your underwriter.


By understanding your story, how you got where you are today and your plans for the future, your underwriter will be your advocate and assist you throughout the review process. When your loan is approved, you will receive a commitment letter with the terms and conditions of the loan. Once you provide your signature, you will move into the final stage of the loan process.

Live Oak Bank Announces New Division – Live Oak Trust

Live Oak Bank is excited to announce a new division of the bank, Live Oak Trust, offering Funeral and Cemetery Trust Services. Through this service, Live Oak Bank continues its dedication to the death care industry and expands its services to funeral home owners and cemeterians nationwide.

With a singular focus on funeral and cemetery clients, Live Oak Trust is committed to the administration of preneed funeral, cemetery merchandise and services, and perpetual care cemetery trust funds. Live Oak Trust is comprised of a team of professionals with over 200 years combined trust experience who understand the funeral and cemetery industry. Currently, Live Oak provides trust services in 18 states across the country.

“Expanding our death care services with the addition of Trust provides tremendous opportunity for Live Oak Bank as well as the funeral home owners and cemeterians who choose us as their fiduciary representative,” stated Chip Mahan, CEO of Live Oak Bank.

“With a combination of over 50 years of industry experience, we are proud to lead this team of experts to provide superior trust solutions,” commented Steve Jackson, CEO, and Rich Fisher, President of Live Oak Trust. “We will be able to navigate clients through a highly complex and regulated environment.”

The Live Oak Trust team has extensive experience and industry knowledge, enabling them to streamline the administrative and operational process associated with these accounts. To maintain the highest level of proficiency, Live Oak Trust has an in-house legal team that continually monitors state statues and regulations to ensure trust accounts are in compliance with current laws. Having such a keen industry focus and specialists on board, enables Live Oak to offer an exceptional level of service to the client.


Steve Jackson, CEO Live Oak Trust

Rich Fish, President Live Oak Trust