Documents Required to Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program

By Jacques Beausoleil on April 23, 2020

Editor’s note: The PPP has now been replenished for round two. We encourage all eligible small businesses to apply now through their financial institution or through an online lender as the funds will quickly run out. If you need 2019 bookkeeping completed for your application, Bench can help.

When applying for the Paycheck Protection Program, here’s what you’ll see on the official application form.

The main financial information request is your “Average Monthly Payroll” cost. However, there are a lot of costs included in that category.

Average Monthly Payroll costs include:

  • Salaries, tips, and commissions
  • State and local employer payroll taxes
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Employee retirement plans
  • Net profit (if you’re self-employed)

While the PPP application form is simple, it’s still being administered by banks, who require official documentation and proof to back up your application claims.

Below you’ll find the documents that the various SBA-approved banks are likely to ask you for. This isn’t an official list, since each bank could have slightly different requirements.

Documents required for salary, commissions, and tips

Required document (likely) Where to find it
Payroll details documents from 2019 Payroll provider download
Business’s payroll W-3 Payroll provider download
Form 941 filed by the business for each quarter of 2019 Payroll provider download
Form 940 filed by the business Payroll provider download

Some Payroll providers have “PPP” report downloads. These should be very helpful for your application.

Documents for state and local employer payroll taxes

Required document (likely) Where to find it
State Payroll Tax Forms Payroll provider download
Local Payroll Tax Forms Payroll provider download

Again, you’ll be able to find these amounts on the PPP payroll report from your payroll provider. If you don’t see that report, reach to your provider to clarify which report you should download.

Documents for health insurance premiums

Required document (likely) Where to find it
Health insurance invoices or receipts Health insurance provider, few payroll providers (full service providers only, like Justworks, Surepayroll, etc)

This amount can also be found on your 2019 income statement, if you have one.

Documents for employee retirement plans

Required document (likely) Where to find it
Employer Paid Retirement Plans Payroll provider download

This amount can also be found on your 2019 income statement, if you have one.

Documents for net profit (for sole proprietors)

Required document (likely) Where to find it
Schedule C for sole props 2019 tax return
1099-Misc for Independent Contractors Tax documents from 2019
Form 1065 and all associated K-1’s for Partnerships 2019 tax return

If you’re a sole proprietor, you are required to submit a 2019 Schedule C for your PPP application, even if you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes yet.

Where to apply

The SBA itself doesn’t lend you the money, they just “back” the loan that the lender provides. You can check out the SBA’s Lender Match tool to find an SBA-backed PPP lender.

The role of bookkeeping

If you’re relying on payroll records for your PPP application, you should be all set through your payroll provider. You won’t need bookkeeping to get your loan. However, once you get approved for the loan, we highly recommend you get bookkeeping to track your loan spending. This will give you the best chance of getting your loan forgiven.

If you’re self-employed and you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes yet, you will likely need to get your 2019 bookkeeping retroactively done (including January and February of 2020) so you can produce an annual income statement, which will show your net profit number. Once you get approved for the loan, ongoing bookkeeping will put you in the best position to prove your spending and get your loan completely forgiven.

If you own more than one business

We are also hearing reports that entrepreneurs who own more than one business are having difficulty getting relief funding when their businesses don’t have cleanly separated finances. If you own more than one business, it’s important to get separate bookkeeping done for each business. This will become doubly important when it comes time to prove your expenses for loan forgiveness.

More Paycheck Protection Program resources


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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