What Can I Spend My EIDL Loan On?

By Brendan Tuytel on June 25, 2020

If you’ve secured yourself a loan through the SBA’s EIDL program, you’ve gained a low-interest loan that can be used immediately to cover day-to-day activity in your business. But before you start spending the funds, you should know about a few important restrictions on EIDL use.

What can I spend my EIDL loan on?

The EIDL program is the least restrictive of the relief programs and allows you to use the loan as working capital. This means any day-to-day expenses are a permissible use of your EIDL funds, giving you the freedom to spend it on anything like:

  • Web hosting
  • Inventory
  • Office supplies
  • Accounts payable
  • Rent and utilities
  • Merchant fees
  • Bookkeeping and accounting services

You can also use it to cover monthly financial obligations such as loan and credit card payments, however, you cannot pay the entirety of the balance of these debts as it would be considered refinancing which is not a permissible use of EIDL funds.

What can I spend my EIDL advance on?

The EIDL advance is a grant that you could apply for at the same time as the EIDL loan itself. The grant is based on $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000. As a grant, this can be used however you deem best for your business with no restrictions.

Further reading: What Is the $10,000 SBA EIDL Grant?

What can’t I spend my EIDL on?

While the most flexible of the relief programs, there are some important restrictions to keep in mind. When you signed your loan agreement, you certified that EIDL funds would not be used for any of the following:

  • Dividends and bonuses
  • Disbursements to owners (draws and distributions), except when directly related to performance of services
  • Repayment of stockholder/principal loans
  • Expansion of facilities or acquisition of fixed assets (e.g. purchasing equipment such as a new camera)
  • Repair or replacement of physical damages
  • Refinancing long term debt (e.g. paying off previous large credit card debt)
  • Paying down federal loans (from the SBA or other federal agencies)
  • Relocation

What if I have a PPP loan?

The PPP and the EIDL are designed to be used together so naturally there are some conditions regarding what the loans can be used on if you have both. In particular, the EIDL cannot be used on the same expenses that are covered by the PPP within the 8 to 24 week forgiveness period.

As a refresher, here’s what you can use your PPP funds for:

  • Payroll expenses (gross salary or wages, gross tips, gross commissions, allowances for dismissal or separation paid, employee benefits costs, and any type of paid leave including vacation, family, medical or sick leave but not including leave covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act)
  • Rent or lease payments
  • Utilities
  • The interest portion of mortgage payments

That being said, you can use your EIDL funds on the above expenses if you won’t be claiming them under the PPP. Say for example you spend the whole PPP amount on payroll and rent—you could still use your EIDL funds on utilities expenses.

Further reading: How to Use the PPP and EIDL Together

What’s best practice for tracking the use of my EIDL funds?

Keeping your EIDL funds in a separate bank account will be the easiest way to track how they are being used. If prompted by the SBA, you can simply provide bank statements to show the entire transaction history related to your EIDL funds.

Ultimately, there’s no set requirement for which business account you spend the funds from. Simply track all eligible expenses that you can attribute to the EIDL. It will be up to you to self-report what business activity you used EIDL funds for while you are in possession of the loan if prompted by the SBA.


This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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