Resources for PPP Loan Forgiveness

Start planning to get your loan forgiven

If your small business has received a PPP loan, there are specific requirements you’ll need to meet in order to get your loan forgiven. We will update this page with the latest information from the SBA, and provide helpful resources for beginning your loan forgiveness process. Please check back frequently to stay informed and prepare for this next phase of the PPP loan.

Get prepared

While specific guidance has not been given by the SBA or Treasury, you will likely have to provide proof of qualifying expenses, so make sure to keep very good payroll and expense records. Some small businesses may want to consider working with a tax professional or a CPA for help with recordkeeping.

The following actions may increase your likelihood of forgiveness after the eight-week period:

  • Keep the PPP funds separate: Consider putting the loan into its own designated account to better keep track of the funds.
  • Keep disciplined records: Create account codes or sub-codes so there’s a paper trail for qualified expenses.
  • Keep supporting documents: Stay organized with your documentation of PPP fund usage - especially for payroll, interest, rent, and utilities payments.
    • Payroll: Retain payroll registers and proof of ACH transfers. If you outsource to a professional employer organization (PEO), save your payroll invoice that shows payroll costs and employee benefits.
    • Utilities: Keep invoices and statements for electric, phone, internet, gas and heating providers.
    • Rent and mortgage interest: Keep proof of payments.

If you have questions regarding the forgiveness process, talk with your lender. Each bank may have its own forgiveness application process.

Please keep in mind, these are just a few of the things your small businesses may want to consider, but they are by no means all the factors you may need to take into account to qualify for PPP loan forgiveness. Finally, as a PPP lender, Bank of the West can’t offer an opinion on whether the loan of any particular borrower qualifies for forgiveness.

Learn about the application process

Watch a short video about the forgiveness application process at Bank of the West


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Are you eligible to complete the EZ application?

There are two types of applications: the EZ application which has fewer calculations, and the standard forgiveness application, which is required for more complex situations. You'll only need to do one or the other.

If you meet the criteria of at least one of the three bullet points below, then you may be eligible for the EZ application process.

  • You are self-employed, an independent contractor, or a sole proprietor with no employees.
  • You didn't reduce annual salary or hourly wages by more than 25% between Jan. 1 and Mar, 31, 2020, and you didn't make cuts to the number of employees or their hours (some exceptions apply).
  • You didn't reduce annual salary or hourly wages by more than 25% between Jan. 1 and Mar, 31, 2020, and you had to reduce business activity due to COVID-19 health laws.

See the full eligibility requirements here.

Not eligible for the EZ application?

If you don't meet the criteria of at least one of the points above, then you'll need to complete the standard forgiveness application. Don't worry, we have created a custom tool we call the Forgiveness Assistant Form to help you complete the standard forgiveness application. Learn more about the Forgiveness Assistant Form in Step #3 and Step #4 of the application process video. You can download the Forgiveness Assistant Form after you receive your email inviting you to apply for forgiveness.

Gathering your documents for loan forgiveness

To apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness, you’ll need to provide documents to substantiate how your loan proceeds were used by your business. Many payroll providers are creating custom reports for this purpose, so you may want to check in with yours to see what’s available. If you plan to start gathering documentation on your own, here’s what you’ll need.


This list applies to the majority of businesses, but your situation may be unique, especially if you are a self-employed. The Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness Applications (SBA Form 3508 or 3508EZ) covers many special circumstances, provides information on selection of the Covered Period (or Alternative Payroll Covered Period) for payroll, and addresses how to treat FTE Reduction. The SBA also continues to provide updates on forgiveness documentation requirements at SBA.gov.

Organize all the documents you gather and put them in a safe place; the SBA requires you to retain them for six years after your loan is fully forgiven and/or repaid, and to have them available for review in the future if requested.