No. Working with the ASBTDC is optional. However, working with the ASBTDC better equips you as you proceed through the loan application process. We often hear from lenders that their customers who work with the ASBTDC are better prepared and have better business plans/loan proposals than those who do not. An added benefit of working with the ASBTDC is that you have the opportunity to discuss your questions with an objective third party that is not involved in marking the decision on your loan application.
If you are applying for an SBA Community Express loan which requires that you obtain assistance from a certified technical assistance provider, you will be required to obtain certification of this assistance. Your lender can provide you with a list of approved technical assistance providers. The ASBTDC serves as a technical assistance provider for the Community Express program for some lenders.