Documents Needed to Apply for a Payroll Protection Program Loan

Update 1/8/21: As part of a larger relief package, Congress has approved $284.5 billion in new Paycheck Protection Program funding. The types of businesses and industries that are eligible for PPP loans have been expanded under the new bill. Additionally, businesses that can demonstrate at least 25% reduction in gross receipts year over year and meet other requirements may be eligible for a second PPP loan.

The new PPP round opens on Jan. 11, with exclusive access for first-draw loans issued by community financial institutions (CFIs) focused on underserved communities. On Jan. 13, CFIs will start offering second-draw PPP loans to qualified applicants. All other lenders will be able to submit applications later in the week.

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


    • 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.

Eric has nearly a decade of experience in digital media, writing and reporting on entrepreneurship, finance, business lending, marketing, and small business trends. 

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