As part of the rigorous SBA loan application process, the SBA and your intermediary lender don’t only evaluate your business’s financials and your plans for the business loan; they also evaluate the business owner and its principals’ personal characters. SBA Form 1919, the Borrower Information Form, plays a major role in that assessment.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to SBA Form 1919, the Borrower Information Form, including a step-by-step breakdown on how to fill it out—so you can ensure the most efficient SBA loan application process possible.
With this overview in mind, let’s break down the steps you can follow in order to complete SBA Form 1919. As we mentioned above, this essential SBA form is divided into two sections—the first section asks for information about the business, and the second requests information about the principals’ personal histories. We’ll explain each of these sections in greater detail through these steps.
As you’ll see in the photo below, before launching into the form’s actual numbered questions, you’ll need to provide basic information about your business—including your business name as it appears on your tax returns, your address, your EIN, and your DBA if your business operates under a name other than its legal name.
You’ll also need to indicate whether you’re an operating company (OC) or an eligible passive company (EPC).
Next, you’ll answer a few questions about your loan request, including:
In essence, the answers to these questions will give the SBA a better understanding of why you’re applying for this business loan, and how an SBA loan will benefit your business.
It’s important to note that if you don’t know the exact number of jobs that would be created or lost, you can make your best estimate. You also don’t need to include contract workers or freelancers in your headcount.
The final field in this top section is dedicated to information about your business’s ownership. Here, you’ll list all owners, their titles, the percentage of their stake in this business, and their addresses. If you need more room to complete this section, you can attach additional sheets.
After you’ve filled in the initial part of Section I, you’ll move on to the next part, the yes or no questions. These first 11 questions will complete page 2 of SBA Form 1919 (shown below).
This being said, if you mark “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll need to provide additional details on a separate sheet of paper.
Next, you’ll move on to the final part of Section I, questions 12 through 16. As shown below, these questions will be listed on page 3 and will have true-or-false answers. In short, these questions ensure that there are no conflicts of interest between the business and an SBA or other governmental employee.
For the purposes of an SBA loan, a conflict of interest might look like:
If you answer “false” to any of these questions, your loan application won’t necessarily be denied—it’ll just need to be processed directly through the SBA, rather than through your intermediary SBA lender, and then through alternative procedures. You might also need to disclose further information about the nature of the relationship between the business and the government employee.
At this point, you’ll have completed Section I. Next, you’ll enter your signature, date, title, and printed name in the provided fields (shown below). Before signing off on this portion, you’ll want to be sure to review your answers, and also ensure that you’re providing additional information whenever it’s requested (in other words, if you’ve answered “yes” to any questions between one and 11, or “false” to any questions between 12 and 16).
You’ll also want to read over the representations and certifications to which you’re bound after you sign. These include complying with the SBA’s stipulations—only using your SBA loan for business purposes, and purchasing American-made equipment and products whenever possible.
Next, you’ll start filling out Section III of SBA Form 1919—in which the SBA collects personal information about the business’s owners and principals.
“Owners and principals” includes the business owner, anyone who owns 20% or more of the company, partners, officers, directors, managing members, trustors, as well as anyone you’ve hired to manage your business’s daily operations. As we mentioned above, all of these individuals (or entities) are responsible for filling out their own versions of SBA Form 1919, Section II.
This being said, the first part of Section II requests personal identifying information about the business’s principals.
You’ll need to provide standard information here, including your legal name, date and place of birth, contact information, SSN or employer identification number, aka EIN, (if the applicant is an entity), and the percentage of ownership you have in the business.
Next, the SBA requests data about your veteran status, gender, race, and ethnicity—but you can choose whether or not you want to disclose this information. The SBA collects this information only for program reporting purposes, and your answers won’t have any impact on the loan decision.
Next, you’ll move on to the remainder of Section II. In this part, you’ll answer a series of yes-or-no questions, all of which help determine the applying business’s loan eligibility.
As in Section I, if you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll need to provide a more detailed explanation on an attached sheet.
You’ll want to remember that Questions 17 through 19 all require your intitals on the response, in addition to your answer of “yes” or “no.”
Finally, you’ve reached the last step in completing SBA Form 1919. At this point, you’ll want to review your answers—as well as any additional details you may need to provide—and the representations and authorizations (which are the same as in Section I).
You may also consult with a business attorney or accountant to ensure that you’ve completed everything completely and correctly.
Then, you’ll sign, date, and print your name and your title at the bottom of page 5, shown below.
At the end of the day, the government and your lender need to take every precaution available to mitigate the risk of a borrower defaulting on an SBA loan.
Among those precautions is the assurance that the business owner, and its major stakeholders, are reliable and trustworthy enough (according to their standards) to honor their debt agreements. SBA Form 1919 is just one document that will help your lender and the SBA reach that conclusion.
This being said, SBA Form 1919 is just one of many documents that you’ll need to include in your SBA loan package.
If you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of organizing, fulfilling, and packaging all these documents to send along to your lender, you should know that there are a variety of professionals out there to help you.
Working with a loan specialist to guide you through this and all the other SBA forms you’re responsible for will ensure a quicker, smoother application process—and free up some of your mental energy so that you can focus on growing your business in the meantime.
Caroline Goldstein is a contributing writer for Fundera.
Caroline is a freelance writer and editor, specializing in small business and finance. She has covered topics such as lending, credit cards, marketing, and starting a business for Fundera. Her work has appeared in JPMorgan Chase, Prevention, Refinery29, Bustle, Men’s Health, and more.