Introducing Self-Storage Lending


Live Oak is pleased to announce the recent addition of its Self-Storage financing division. Terry Campbell joined the team as Domain Expert with over 20 years experience in the industry. He is the former VP of Sales and Marketing and EVP of Operations for a leading Self-Storage building supplier.

why self-storage

Contact our Self-Storage lending team to schedule a time to discuss further.

terry campbell               moe kruger

Terry Campbell                                 Moe Kruger
Domain Expert                             Senior Loan Officer
910.202.6933                                    910.550.2907


Mark Milton Joins Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank is proud to announce Mark Milton as the new General Manager of the Funeral Home Lending division. Milton joins the Bank with over 25 years experience in the Financial Services Industry. Most recently, Milton served as Executive Vice President and Director of Institutional Services at Regions Bank where he was responsible for over $38 billion in assets.

As part of this transition, Live Oak has promoted Stephanie Dunn to the Emerging Markets division as the Director of Channel Partner Relationships. In this new strategic role, Dunn will be instrumental in developing the Bank’s growth in new markets.

“We have built significant relationships in the Funeral Industry, and I am excited to see Live Oak continue to grow with Mark leading the charge,” stated Dunn. “I enjoyed my time in Funeral Home Lending and am excited to help the bank grow in new directions. This opportunity allows me to contribute to the lending strategy at the Bank, working to define future industry direction with our executive team.”

With extensive knowledge in the Funeral space, Milton has been instrumental in the growth of funeral trust and asset management, as well as leading merger and acquisition strategies. Prior to Regions, Milton worked at Hibernia National Bank (now Capital One) and Ameritrust (now J.P. Morgan).

“Live Oak Bank is a finance leader in the industry,” commented Milton. “I am eager to join a high performing team and continue this success. By strengthening our industry relationships, expanding our offerings to Funeral business professionals, and serving the needs of our customers, we will be poised for continued growth.”

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

Succession Financing | Webinar

Succession Financing: What’s Required for a Successful Transition

With the baby boomer generation approaching retirement, more and more funeral home owners are preparing to transfer their businesses to new leadership. This creates tremendous opportunity for the younger generation to become business owners, but proper planning is necessary for a smooth transition. It is imperative for both current and future owners to know what is involved in planning a succession as well as the financing options available.

Thank you Kates-Boylston for hosting the webinar!


US Beverage Industry Expo Appoints Live Oak Bank Executive as Advisory Board Chair

Healdsburg, Ca, Feb. 25, 2015—Wine Industry Network today announced that Jeff Clark, General Manager of Live Oak Bank’s Wine and Craft Beverage Group, a dedicated lending team for breweries, wineries, vineyards, and distilleries, will chair the US Beverage Industry Expo Advisory Board. This group of beverage industry leaders will provide expertise and guidance in the creation of the inaugural trade show and conference taking place February 16-18, 2016 at the Wardman Park Marriott in Washington DC.

“The wine and craft beverage factions have very interesting dynamics, particularly at this point in time. Their synergies are complimentary and possess unlimited possibilities,” says Clark. “The opportunity to help shape an event that brings these groups together, in a unifying city like DC, creates great potential for the beverage industry as a whole.”

The US Beverage Industry Expo will focus on the Wine, Craft Beer, Cider, and Spirits industries and will feature products and services from 300 of the industry’s best suppliers. An educational conference with sessions focusing on all aspects of the alcoholic beverage business will provide attendees with knowledge from proven winners.

“The businesses of beer, cider, spirits, and wine have more commonalities than differences. Issues ranging from sales, marketing, packaging, distributor management, government, and compliance are shared between these beverage categories,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “We want to offer these groups an opportunity to come together once a year in Washington DC, to share learnings and best practices, and to present a unified front regarding the government regulations that impact us all. It just makes sense and is worth exploring.

About the Wine Industry Network (WIN):

Based in Healdsburg, California, is the wine industry’s most comprehensive business resource websites operating as an on-line trade show and created specifically to help industry professionals locate and connect more easily with the industry’s best suppliers and service professionals. WIN also produces The North Coast Wine Industry Expo, based in Santa Rosa, California, and the online industry publication, the Wine Industry Advisor (

Common Terms Used in Funeral Home Lending

Buying, Selling, Renovating, or Refinancing?
Terms to know when meeting with your lender.

When it comes to financing your funeral home, several questions will arise. What type of loan suits my needs? What questions should I ask my lender? What should I be prepared to tell my lender?

Jargon used by lenders is not typically used in your daily work. This can make the loan application process tedious and intimating. On the other hand, terminology of a funeral home business may not be familiar to every banker! Working with a lender who understands business financing and the funeral industry can facilitate the process.

Familiarizing yourself with the following terms will help you prepare for conversations with your lender.

Loan Term

The period of time over which the loan is to be repaid.

Loan Amortization

The period of time over which the loan payments are calculated. A loan’s payments may be calculated over a period that is longer than the loan’s term.

Balloon Payment

A large single payment required at the end of the term to repay the remaining principle balance of the loan.

A loan with a ten year amortization and a five year term will balloon in five years, requiring a.) the remaining five years of principle to be repaid at the end of the term or b.) the loan to be refinanced. A loan with a balloon leaves the borrower at risk for higher interest rates when the term ends. Furthermore, the borrower will have to repeat the loan process to refinance the remaining loan amount.


Expenses assigned to cash flow to normalize a profit and loss statement. Normal add-backs include interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, one-time expenses, personal expenses, and adjustments to owner’s compensation.

Add-backs enable a lender and buyer to have a better understanding of profits and losses since certain expenses will not continue under new ownership. Only documented expenses will be added back to cash flow, so is vital that sellers keep accurate records of such expenses.


Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization; commonly used for valuation purposes.

Net Operating Income (NOI)

The funeral business’s income after Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and other operating expenses are deducted from revenues, but before income taxes and interest are deducted. NOI is often referred to as cash flow and includes EBITDA + add-backs + owner’s compensation.

Operating expenses may include utilities, lawn care/snow shoveling, advertising, accounting expenses, and supplies but exclude wages for full time employees, purchase of a vehicle or other equipment.

Net Operating Margin (NOM)

A measurement of profitability (NOI/ Revenue) and an indicator of how well a business controls its costs. A typical NOM for a high performing funeral home is approximately 26%.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)

Cash available to service debt (NOI) divided by the total debt service for all interest, principle, and lease payments (NOI/total debt service). For example, a DSCR of 1.50 indicates there is 50% more income than is required to repay all debt, or $1.50 available to pay each $1.00 of debt. Conversely, a DSCR of 0.90 would indicate there is only 90 cents available to pay each $1.00 of debt.


An individual who pledges to repay the debt if the actual borrower defaults or is unable to repay the loan amount.


Ownership in assets after all debts are paid off. Equity is an important element in developing expansion and acquisition plans.


Leverage refers to the amount of debt used to finance a business’s assets. A funeral home with more debt than equity is considered highly leveraged and therefore more susceptible to default should there be an adverse change in circumstances. For example, if a funeral home is highly leveraged and experiences a year of low death rate, it could become difficult for the funeral home to pay its bills.


Intangible assets such as the company’s reputable name, customer loyalty, and good employee relationships, also known as “blue sky.” While goodwill can be difficult to price, it undoubtedly adds to a company’s value.

Understanding the terminology lenders use will help you prepare to obtain financing. Whether you are looking to renovate your current location, refinance existing debt or buy or sell a funeral business, educate your lender about your unique situation and needs and build a team focused on your long term success!


Originally printed in NFDA‘s the Director. Posted with permission. Download the article here.

Announcing Our Partnership with Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA)

Live Oak Bank is pleased to announce today its partnership with the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA). As part of the BPAA’s “Smart Buy” program, member centers will now have access to financing options specifically addressing the needs of the Bowling and Entertainment industry.

“Live Oak Bank is thrilled to be selected by the BPAA as a trusted partner,” said Ben Jones, Domain Specialist for the Bank’s Entertainment Center division. “Like the BPAA, Live Oak is committed to this industry, offering financing for a sector that is sometimes overlooked. “

“We are excited that Live Oak Bank has joined our exclusive Smart Buy program,” Tom Martino, BPAA President stated. “Our program is very selective, and adding a partner like Live Oak who is equally invested in the betterment of BPAA members is a great step towards growing this industry.”

Live Oak Bank offers financing solutions to family entertainment centers, bowling centers, roller skating centers, small parks and water parks nationwide. The Live Oak team has extensive lending experience and industry knowledge and can assist Bowling and Entertainment Centers with construction, refinance, expansion, and remodel and working capital loans.

About BPAA

Founded in 1932, the mission of Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) is to enhance the profitability of all of its members. Headquartered in Arlington, Texas at the International Bowling Campus, the BPAA provides it’s over 3,500 member centers with group purchasing programs, business and educational seminars, legislative representation and proactively promotes the association and bowling industry. For additional information, please visit or call 1-800-343-1329.

5 C’s of Credit | Funeral Home Lending

The changing face of the funeral industry presents both opportunities and challenges to funeral home owners. With cremation rates continuing to rise, funeral home owners are adjusting their typical business models. With aging funeral home owners passing down their businesses, there is a change in ownership to the younger generation. These changes often require financing, whether there is a need to refinance existing debt, acquire another funeral business, finance a succession, expand or remodel.

Regardless of the type of financing needed, a bank or lending institution will be interested in both your business and personal financials. To determine the risk associated with making a loan, a lender will perform a credit analysis.

Credit analysis is governed by the “5 Cs:” credit, character, capacity, collateral, and condition.

• Capacity (Cash flow): The lender wants to know that your business is able to repay the loan. The business should have sufficient cash flow to support its business expenses and debts comfortably while also providing principals’ salaries sufficient to support personal expenses and debts. Examining the payment history of current loans and expenses is an indicator of the borrower’s reliability to make loan payments.

• Capital: Your lender will ask what personal investment you plan to make in the business. Not only does injecting capital decrease the chance of default, but contributing personal assets also indicates that you are willing to take a personal risk for the sake of your business; it shows that you have ‘skin in the game.’

• Character: Lenders need to know the borrower and guarantors are honest and have integrity. Additionally, the lender needs to be confident the applicant has the background, education, industry knowledge and experience required to successfully operate the business. Lending institutions may require a certain amount of management and/or ownership experience. They will also ask about your licensing and whether or not you have a criminal record.

As history is the best predictor of the future, a lender will examine the personal credit of all borrowers and guarantors involved in the loan. Sound business and personal credits are a must. Check both reports before calling your lender; if there are any delinquencies, be prepared to explain. The lender may be able to make exceptions for low credit scores.

• Collateral: A lender will consider the value of the business’ assets and the personal assets of the guarantors as a secondary source of repayment. Collateral is an important consideration, but its significance varies depending on the type of loan. A lender will be able to explain the types of collateral needed for your loan.

• Condition: The lender will need to understand the condition of the business, the industry, and the economy, which is why it is important to work with a lender who understands the funeral industry. The lender will want to know if the current conditions of the business will continue, improve or deteriorate. Furthermore, the lender will want to know how the loan proceeds will be used- working capital, renovations, additional equipment, etc.

The five components that make up a credit analysis help the lender understand the owner and the business and determine credit worthiness. By knowing each of the “5 Cs,” you will have a better understanding of what is needed and how to prepare for the loan application process.

3 Tips for Veterinary Construction Financing

At Live Oak Bank, we have the opportunity to finance veterinary construction projects across the country. While some factors are consistent with any industry, veterinary practices have unique requirements and considerations.  Here are 3 tips from our years of experience with veterinary construction projects.


Determine the maximum amount of financing your practice can support

You want your new construction to increase business, not crash your business because you bit off more than it can handle. Instead of first paying an architect to design a spectacular new building only to realize later that the financials of your practice cannot support the associated debt, go into the design and build process understanding what you can afford. You will want to work with a lender with experience in veterinary construction financing. Based on historical financials and the business’s cash flow, the lender will determine what the business can support.

When determining the loan amount, obviously the cost of the design and build are a large portion of the proceeds but don’t forget to include the expense of all soft costs such as appraisal reports, surveys, permits, fees, title, EPA reports, supervision fees, construction interest carry allocation, and working capital. These costs add up and a portion of the loan proceeds will need to be dedicated to these types of expenses. How about funds for new equipment? Is there a feasible contingency fund for unexpected Change Orders? Knowing the maximum amount you qualify for will allow you to plan accordingly.


Select the real estate for your veterinary practice

When selecting a new location for your practice, you will want to stay close to your current client based. Staying within 5 miles of your current location is a good rule of thumb; however, that can vary depending on your located. Don’t be afraid to map out your customer’s zip codes to make sure you are staying in a convenient location.

Once you have identified a lot, make sure it is zoned for a veterinary practice including overnight boarding. A good survey of the lot will help you determine the buildable square footage and setback lines. Also, don’t forget to take a look at what’s around the lot. Are there any environmental concerns due to nearby gas station or repair facilities that may cause issues when the environmental survey is performed?


Determine the team you will need to complete the project

Veterinary practices have unique needs when it comes to the design and build. Few other businesses regularly have their patients using the bathroom on the floors. Engaging an architect, contractor, and lender with experience in veterinary construction is extremely important. The plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and flooring should be specific to the needs of a veterinary hospital. Their prior knowledge of the nuance and specific needs can help prevent errors and costly delays. Experienced team members will guide you in these decisions and help you understand the timeline of your project. Keep in the mind that change orders do happen, and they can be expensive and push back the completion date. By assembling an all-star team up front, you can reduce frustration and make your experience smoother.

​5 Things You Need To Start an Agriculture Loan

Starting The Agriculture Loan Process

Thinking about taking out an agriculture loan to finance your new chicken farm? There are a few things; five to be specific, that you will need to start the process. We specialize in Agriculture construction financing, and our team has over 60 years of experience in this industry. We will work directly with you to fulfill your dreams of starting your own farm in the growing poultry industry.

First, you will need to identify a tract of property that is a suitable to build on. This property must be zoned and comply with local setbacks. Additionally, it can not be located in an environmental sensitive area.

Next, a Letter of Intent from a poultry company. This letter ensures the borrower that the company will place birds in the houses once construction is complete.

Don’t forget about proper permits! Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, Stormwater Permit, Erosion Control/Site Plan, CAFO permit (if necessary), and a building permit, to name a few.

Then you will need complete bids for the project—building bid, equipment, and generator bid, excavation and site work bid, etc.

Lastly, contract income and expense projections for the poultry company—typically provided with the letter of intent.

Succession Financing: What’s Required for a Successful Transition

By: The Live Oak Bank Funeral Home Lending Team

With the baby boomer generation approaching retirement, more and more funeral home owners are preparing to transfer their businesses to new leadership. Approximately 2,000-3,000 funeral home owners are looking to affect a sale or succession plan at any given time. This creates tremendous opportunity for the younger generation to become business owners, but proper planning is necessary for a smooth transition. It is imperative for both current and future owners to know what is involved in planning a succession as well as the financing options available.

Many banks do not understand the intricacies of the funeral space or how to structure the loan to best benefit the borrower, making it difficult for the two parties to complete the transition in ownership. Frequently, a seller finances his interest in the business to a family member or long time employee. This does not allow existing equity to be sold for cash, preventing the seller from achieving the liquidity to live out retirement as hoped. However, financing options do exist that will benefit both the current owner and the next generation.

Current Owner

Effectively preparing your business for the next owner will afford you the best possible purchase price. Executing a full succession plan can take several years, so it is important to think about the steps well in advance. During your planning, consider a) organizing financials and other documents, b) identifying and training the future owner, and c) preparing the business physically.

Financial documents will need to be available to the future owner and the lender. Financial statements including tax returns, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets will be necessary for the valuation of the business.

Gather documents in advance to expedite the lending process. Record revenues and costs as well as call volumes and cremation rates. To help the buyer and bank understand the cost of running the business, keep track of one-time expenses or owner related expenses that may not continue under new ownership.

Another key aspect of a succession plan is identifying a replacement to continue the success of the funeral home. It is vital that he or she understands the details of the business, how to run it, and the market it serves. Share financial details and insight with your successor; ensure the future owner has strong relationships with the staff and community. Training your replacement in both the business aspects and daily operations of the funeral home will result in a smooth transition and contribute to his or her success as an owner.

Preparing your funeral home for sale may include physical updates to the facilities and equipment. Improve tangible assets to attract potential owners and increase the value of your business.

Buyer/Future Owner

When purchasing a small business, there are several items to consider: a) trends in the industry and business, b) the financial status of the business in relation to your personal financial needs, and c) what is needed to secure succession financing.

Understanding the current trends in the funeral industry will help prepare you for ownership. How will the rise in cremation rates affect revenue? What are the preferences in your community? From more celebration based services to the use of technology to enable out-of-town friends and family to watch the service, you will want to know what your local market needs.

It is also critical to examine trends within the funeral home. How has call volume changed in recent years? Is the funeral home gaining or losing market share? How have operating margins changed over time?  Will the transition affect trends in staffing?

Before embarking on this business venture, analyze the financial status of the funeral business to make sure it adequately covers both the business and your personal needs. Have a clear understanding of the cost to run the funeral home, including your personal salary. A lender will need to know you are able to support your business and your lifestyle.

For the transition in ownership to occur, you must be able to secure financing. As the future owner, you need to understand the details of the business and how it is operated. You will need to understand the cash flow of the business as well as the value of the real estate and assets you are purchasing. You will also need to gather documents for the bank. Having a team of professionals, including a financial advisor and lawyer, can simplify the process. An advisor will value the business to ensure an accurate value and fair purchase price. The lender will also need to know your personal credit and financial responsibility to assess your ability to repay the loan. In preparation for owning the funeral business, you will need to have a sound business plan. Understanding your market, your market strategy, and the business financials will help you secure financing and execute your business plan.

In the current market, there is great opportunity for current and future funeral home owners to benefit from a well-executed succession plan. Work with a team of professionals who know the funeral industry to achieve a smooth transition and allow the funeral home to continue its legacy and success.


Download a copy of the Live Oak Financial Column. Posted with permission from American Funeral Director.