Commercial Banker for 10 years specializing in Commercial Real Estate, Asset Based Lending, and Equipment lending.
Let's be clear - There is a hierarchy of funding available. The top tier is your national bank where you'll get the cheapest rates and the bet terms. So, given that you want to do a startup, it's unlikely it'll happen.
Assuming you've done all the preparation (business plan, etc)... Then, first step is to go to friends and family and ask them for some investment. Even if you raise $1,000, it's proof to other investors that there are people that believe in you. Once you've gotten a handful of investors, go to the location and work with whoever is selling or leasing it to you. Maybe they'll believe in your idea too. Then set out on the leverage quest. Perhaps a small credit union or independent bank for the best rates, online business lenders, all the way to private capital that is ridiculously priced. All kinds of options.
Let me add - Credit score doesn't mean a thing when dealing with a startup. I knew of a guy who just got out of jail a year before he came to me. He started a business by raising money and now needed a few million because he was growing so fast. But he had bad credit, so the bank wouldn't look at him. But private investors do.
Don't give up equity or do venture debt... Seriously?!? You're an existing and I assume you're profitable? There's a lot of "what ifs" on this, but typically you can simply go to a bank and get a line of credit up to $500,000 with just a credit score. But why would you use short term (line of credit) for long term solutions (loan)? Lines of credits are best for working capital needs. If you're looking to increase sales from a marketing campaign, dig deep and find what you'll be spending money on -- and you might realize you can do it much cheaper. However, if you're looking for the quick hit marketing turn into sales -- perhaps venture debt is best. Either way, have a good plan in place and take it to a banker (not the personal banker at your local chase). SBA is a good alternative.
I'd be happy to help you figure it out - drop me an email.
You have asked the golden question. As a business banker, we all struggle with getting deposits. Going after key industries (escrow companies, property management, HOA's, etc) will help in this. However, there are many options to help get deposits. I'd be happy to hop on a call and talk about this. I just signed up with Clarity yesterday. So I'm still learning the platform.
It is because of the risk of money laundering and the high risk that is associated with the industry. There are many banks in the LA area that will accommodate you, but be up front. Talk to the AML department directly. Your front line banker doesn't know much anymore. They're more of pretty faces with a personality. But the smaller banks (a few branches at most) will help - But be honest. The big banks won't help you until you're a big deal... Doing millions in volume monthly.