Documents Needed to Apply for a Payroll Protection Program Loan

Updated on April 27, 2020
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Update, 4/27/20: The Paycheck Protection Program officially reopened on the morning of April 27, 2020, after Congress approved another $310 billion for small businesses with the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.” This comes after the first round of funding ran out on April 16.

Businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic that qualify for a PPP loan, but have not yet applied through an SBA-accredited lender, should do so immediately. 

PPP Loan Overview

Business owners are moving quickly to apply for loans through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). The PPP is a new program introduced by the federal government to help small businesses meet their financial obligations despite the coronavirus pandemic, and it requires applying through SBA-accredited lenders with an array of specific forms and documents.  

Because each SBA lender, from national banks to community-oriented credit unions, may have a slightly different application process, it’s best to check with your lender before submitting an application to see exactly what they’ll ask of you. 

If you submit a PPP loan application that is incomplete or otherwise incorrect, you’ll have to reapply, and you’ll go to the back of the queue when it comes to loan application and consideration. 

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a checklist of all the documents that an SBA lender will likely ask of you when applying. Be sure to have all of this on hand when it’s time to submit. 

Standard Small Business Documents and Forms Needed for PPP

Small business owners applying for a PPP loan should come prepared with the following: 

Official PPP Loan Application Form

The SBA has a copy of its official borrower application form on its website. Most lenders will use this form, which requests information including: 

  • Business name, DBA, business address, EIN/SSN, and contact information
  • Average monthly payroll (learn how to calculate your average monthly payroll yourself), loan request amount, number of employees, and loan purpose
  • Ownership information for all owners of 20% or more of the applicant business
  • Good faith certifications that your business has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic

Payroll Documentation

Because PPP loans are specifically based on your payroll (you can borrow 2.5x your average monthly payroll, up to $10 million, to cover payroll as well as rent, mortgage interest, and utilities), you’ll need documentation that demonstrates your payroll. 

Your payroll documentation should include:

  • Payroll register for the full 2019 year, or the last 12 months if you have a new business
  • Payroll register for all available months in 2020
  • Payroll statement for February (the SBA requires proof of payroll as of 2/15/2020)

Keep in mind that if your payroll is in Excel format, you’ll want to supplement this information with corresponding bank statements. 

If you use payroll processing software or a PEO, your payroll solution may offer special PPP reports that will show gross wages, tips, vacation, benefits payments, and taxes. 

Tax Documentation

If you’ve already filed your taxes for all four quarters of 2019 as well as Q1 of 2020, you can use the tax forms relevant to your business to demonstrate your payroll. Some lenders may ask for this documentation if it is available in conjunction with your payroll documents. 

Official forms recommended include: 

  • Form 941 Quarterly Tax Filings for all 4 quarters of 2019 and Q1 of 2020 
  • Form 944 Annual Tax Filings for 2019 (if applicable)

ID Verification 

All owners listed on the application will need to include a color copy of a government-issued ID (front and back), such as a driver’s license. 

Documents for Independent Contractors and Self-Employed Workers Needed for PPP

Starting on April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed workers became eligible to apply for PPP loans through an SBA lender. 

Complete guide to PPP loans for independent contractors and self-employed individuals.

Each business type cited below should gather as many of the above forms that are applicable to them as possible, as well as include: 

Independent contractors

Self-Employed 

  • 2019 IRS 1040 Schedule C
  • 1099-MISC for each self-employed owner
  • Income and expense reports for 2019

The Bottom Line

The above forms and documents should prepare you for the PPP loan application process. Be sure to stay in touch with your preferred lender throughout your time applying for a loan, from first contact on, to ensure you have submitted everything you need in order to secure your loan proceeds in a timely fashion. 

Eric Goldschein

Eric Goldschein is the partnerships editor at Fundera with nearly a decade of experience in digital media. He covers entrepreneurship, finance, business lending, marketing, and small business trends. He has written for a number of outlets including Business Insider, HuffPost, Men’s Journal, BigCommerce, Volusion, Square, RetailNext, and Keap. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in history and English writing. Email: eric@fundera.com.
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