Compare start-up business loans

Compare start-up business loans to find the loan you need to get your business venture up and running.

  • View terms, rates and repayments
  • Compare start-up business loans from leading providers
  • Benefit from a simple and reliable service that's free of charge

Compare start-up business loans from leading providers

Looking through a range of options gives you more chance of securing a great deal. You'll only find results from genuine companies. Our data experts check each company before we add them to our comparisons.


How to compare start-up business loans


Prepare a business plan

When looking for a start up loan decide how much you need to borrow and how long you'd need to repay. Once you have worked out what's best for your business needs find the cheapest small business loan deal by comparing a number of companies.


Compare your options

Have a look through the options to find the best start-up loan, importantly terms and repayments can vary between providers so check any conditions attached to the loan then pick a deal that offers the cheapest start-up business loan for your business.


Apply for the loan

You may be able to get a cheaper business loan by applying online and some lenders and brokers only ever operate digitally, so to make sure you find the best start-up business loan deals comparing quotes on the internet is a must. Once you've decided on the provider you want, simply apply.

Start up business loan deals

12 results found, sorted by affiliated products first. How we order our comparisons. Commission earned affects the table's sort order.
Funding Circle Business Loan
Loan Type
Unsecured term loan
Loan amount
£10,000 to £500,000
Loan term
24 months to 72 months
Funding Circle Business Loan
To be eligible to apply you need to be based in the UK and have been trading for 2 years. Funding Circle also offers the Government's Recovery Loan Scheme through its network of lending partners until June 30, 2022.
If you can be offered a Funding Circle business loan for the same amount on similar or better terms, without requiring the guarantee provided by the scheme, you will be. The rate you will get will vary based on your circumstances.

What are start-up business loans?

A start-up loan is a cash lump sum borrowed from a lender to help fund a new business. They are not only good for getting a new business off the ground – they can also be used for businesses under two years old.

What can start-up loans be spent on?

The money from start-up loans can be used for most business expenses. Start-up loans can help you with set-up costs, cash flow or your premises. Alternatively, one of these loans could help build your team or get your name out there.

You could spend the money on things like:

  • buying stock

  • buying equipment

  • marketing

  • paying workplace rent

  • staff wages

  • recruitment

  • training

You can check the loan amounts each lender can offer by using our start-up business loans comparison. Look at the rates when choosing, because the higher the rate, the more you'll pay in interest.

What businesses can get a loan?

While many businesses can access a loan of some kind, the options for your business may be constrained by the industry you are in, so make sure to check before you apply.

Time also plays a factor. For example, government start-up loans are available only to new businesses while many cash-advance loans require you to have been trading for a set period before you apply.

How do start-up business loans work?

Start-up business loans work like most other types of loans. You borrow money from a business lender and agree to repay it with interest over a fixed term.

Depending on which of the available start-up loans and lenders you choose, you could borrow as little as £500 or as much as £5 million.

If you started your business within the last two years, you may still be eligible for one of the start-up loans above. Check the terms and conditions for the one you're interested in.

Can anyone access start-up loans?

Start-up loans usually come with a set of criteria that you'll need to meet to be eligible. For example:

  • you have to be 18 or over

  • you have to live in the UK

  • your business must be based in the UK

  • your business needs to be under two years old

  • you must have the right to work in the UK

You also need to show that you can afford the repayments and have to go through the usual credit checks.

How to get a start-up business loan

Start by looking online at the loans and grants available to you.

Our comparison table will give you a good idea of what's out there. There are several options that may help you depending on your current circumstances.

How to choose a business start-up loan

When selecting the best business start-up loan for your needs you should:

  • look for lenders that offer the loan amount you need

  • compare rates to get an idea of how much interest you could pay

  • apply for the loan with the lowest Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Make sure you compare as many start-up loans as possible to find the lowest APR for the amount you need to borrow.

How to get a start-up business loan without collateral

You don't need collateral to get a start-up business loan. Start-up loans tend to be unsecured, so you'll usually find that you won't need to offer any assets as security to get one. 

What do I need for a start-up business loan?

Not a lot. All you need before applying for any start-up business loan is a business plan and a cash-flow forecast.

This helps lenders to see that you're serious about your business and that you have thought about what you need to do to get it going.

You can find business-plan and cash-flow forecast templates online if you're unsure of what these should look like.

You also need to have a decent credit history if you're going to apply for start-up loans, as you will be credit checked when you apply.

Does the government offer start-up loans?

Yes. If you have a poor credit history, a government start-up loan could be a good option.

These can offer between £500 and £25,000 and have a fixed interest rate of 6%. You can repay them over one to five years.

Start Up Loans is a UK government-backed scheme supported by the British Business Bank. It gives start-up loans and support to small businesses in the UK.

Are grants the same as start-up loans?

No, grants don’t have to be paid back.

You apply for a small business grant from your local council. You could get, for example, up to £1,000 to help you start your business without needing to repay the money or pay any interest. With start-up loans, you always have to pay the money back to the lender.

Your council isn't obligated to accept your application. If your application is rejected, you could look at start-up loans as an alternative.

Top tips for people with start-up loans

You need to be sensible when you get a start-up loan. When you get a sudden cash injection, it can be exciting. But you need to avoid the temptation to overspend. 

Here are some tips:

  • Stick to the plan: keep referring to your plan to see how you intended to spend the money

  • Keep separate bank accounts: have one for your funds, and one for your usual business incomings and outgoings. This way, you can keep track of how much of your start-up loan you've spent. Only transfer the funds as you need them

  • Set up automatic payments: you'll never miss a repayment if you do this, and it's one less thing to remember each month

  • Stay in touch with your lender: keeping them updated could mean that if you run into trouble, you'll have a good relationship

What else to consider when taking out a business loan

As with any loan, the most important thing is making sure you can meet the repayments.

There are a few benefits to start-up loans that you might not have thought about:

  • Credit score. If you make all your repayments on time and in full, you'll build a good credit rating for your business. This makes borrowing easier in the future

  • Unsecured funding. Start-up loans tend to be unsecured, so you won't usually need to put forward any assets as security. This means your business and home are safe, whatever happens

Full autonomy. If you get a loan, you remain in charge of all your business decisions. This may not be the case if you use an investor instead of a loan

Start up business loan FAQs

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Why compare loan deals with

Comparing business loans could save you money. Our multiple award-winning comparison service makes sure you get the lowest rates possible based on your individual circumstances. Our aim is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, as well as useful tools and calculators so to help you make life's most important decisions and take control of your money.

What you need to know to start a business

Our full guide to sacking the boss and starting out on your own - from finding a unique business idea, to getting the money to fund it all the way through to secrets and tips from people who've made it themselves.

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Last updated: 14 April, 2022