Top SBA Lenders in California - Find your Lender

September 14, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

California tops the list of states with the most Small Business Administration (SBA) loans approved over the past 6 years.  With well over 100 SBA lenders making loans in California how can you find the exact right lender for your business?  In this article I am going to highlight the top SBA lenders in California.  Specifically I plan to cover the following:

With that as our plan, let’s get into it!

SBA Loan State Rankings

The following list ranks the top states based on the number of SBA loans approved over the last 6 years (2018 - 2023).  California tops the list in terms of number of SBA loans approved with 25,090 loans approved during this time period.  The average SBA loan amount was $726,892 in California during this timeframe.  

Resource: Top SBA Lenders Nationwide

Rank State # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
1 California 25,090 $726,892
2 Texas 16,146 $796,513
3 Florida 14,001 $620,885
4 Ohio 13,785 $311,699
5 New York 12,547 $382,580
6 Michigan 9,271 $372,034
7 Illinois 7,479 $557,354
8 Pennsylvania 7,080 $473,172
9 Minnesota 7,054 $420,733
10 New Jersey 6,742 $531,682

Top SBA Lenders in California

The top SBA lender in California over the last 6 years (2018 - 2023) was US Bank with 3,189 SBA loans approved.  This was over twice the number of loans made by Wells Fargo Bank which ranked second in California SBA lending during this time period. 

Rank Lender # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
1 U.S. Bank, National Association 3,189 $437,126
2 Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 1,550 $468,081
3 JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association 1,054 $240,443
4 BayFirst National Bank 851 $234,548
5 Bank of Hope 829 $445,998
6 CDC Small Business Finance Corporation 784 $154,206
7 BMO Harris Bank National Association 732 $773,423
8 Enterprise Bank & Trust 668 $1,220,620
9 Live Oak Banking Company 660 $1,600,285
10 Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC 617 $1,280,983

Best SBA Lenders in California for Startups

CDC Small Business Finance Corporation has been the top SBA lender for startups in California over the past 6 years (2018 - 2023).  This is a great example to demonstrate that the top SBA lender might not always be the best fit for you, because US Bank, which was top of the overall list, doesn’t even rank in the top 10 list for startup SBA lenders.  Clearly US Bank is not as aggressive with startup lending as they are with other SBA loans. 

Rank Lender # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
1 CDC Small Business Finance Corporation 344 $151,674
2 United Midwest Savings Bank, National Association 178 $142,511
3 Stearns Bank National Association 115 $331,683
4 The Huntington National Bank 93 $308,919
5 Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 74 $700,203
6 Live Oak Banking Company 60 $1,317,017
7 Citizens Bank 51 $543,353
8 Celtic Bank Corporation 45 $1,720,380
9 Zions Bank, A Division of 41 $875,110
10 Main Street Launch 38 $192,671

California SBA Lenders for Buying a Business

Live Oak Bank is the top SBA lender in California for business acquisition loans.  Live Oak Bank approved 287 SBA loans for business acquisitions between 2018 and 2023.

Rank Lender # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
1 Live Oak Banking Company 287 $1,612,799
2 Bank of Hope 223 $454,583
3 Plumas Bank 139 $745,821
4 Open Bank 132 $1,483,416
5 Hanmi Bank 128 $726,591
6 Celtic Bank Corporation 113 $1,728,475
7 Commonwealth Business Bank 108 $728,444
8 U.S. Bank, National Association 105 $906,088
9 United Business Bank 102 $1,044,809
10 BMO Harris Bank National Association 98 $870,500

How to Find the Right Business Lender

In order to find the perfect SBA lender for your unique location, business type, stage of business and loan amount request, you may need to do a deeper dive.  We have developed an SBA Lender Analysis Tool as pictured below that can help you sort SBA loan data by State, Industry, Business Stage, Franchise Name, and Lender Name which can allow you to truly customize a report and find the perfect lender for your business.  

We hope this information has been helpful, and if you need any help finding the perfect SBA lender in your area please don’t hesitate to contact us

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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