Compare start-up business loans

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

8 results found, sorted by affiliated products first. How we order our comparisons. Commission earned affects the table's sort order.
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Think Business Loans Business Loan
Loan Type
Unsecured term loan
Loan amount
£25,000 to £5,000,000
Representative APR
6.36% APR
Loan term
3 months to 72 months
“Rated 5* “excellent” on Trust pilot. Our experts will compare multiple business finance products across 100s of lenders to find the option that is right for you. 75% of our customers receive an offer.
Think Business Loans is a credit broker and not a lender. Minimum turnover is £200,000 with 1 year trading.
Representative Example: The representative rate is 6.36% APR (fixed) so if you borrow £100,000 over 60 months at a rate of 6.36% p.a. (fixed) you will repay £116,504.71 in total.
Swoop Business Loan
Loan Type
Unsecured term loan
Loan amount
£50,000 to £5,000,000
Representative APR
6.85% APR
Loan term
3 months to 96 months
Simple, secure and speedy access to over 1,000 funding providers without affecting your credit rating. Team of five-star Trustpilot-rated experts to guide you through the process.
Swoop is a broker, not a lender. Minimum 1 year of trading and Minimum turnover of £200,000.
Representative Example: The representative rate is 6.85% APR (fixed) so if you borrow £100,000 over 60 months at a rate of 6.00% p.a. (fixed) then you will repay £117,670 in total.
Funding Circle Business Loan
Loan Type
Unsecured term loan
Loan amount
£10,000 to £500,000
Representative APR
11.79% APR
Loan term
24 months to 72 months
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. A key aim of the Recovery Loan Scheme is to improve the terms on offer to businesses.
If Funding Circle can offer you a business loan for the same amount on similar or better terms, without requiring the guarantee provided by the scheme, they will do so. The rate you will get will vary based on your circumstances.
Representative Example: The representative rate is 11.79% APR (fixed) so if you borrow £100,000 over 72 months at a rate of 9.4% p.a. (fixed) you will repay £137,779 in total.
iwoca Business Loan
Loan Type
Revolving credit facility
Loan amount
£1,000 to £200,000
Representative APR
49% APR
Loan term
1 month to 12 months
Your company must have at least 6 months trading history and a minimum turnover of £50,000. Applicants must be able to provide a personal guarantee, applying has no effect on your credit score.
Representative Example: The representative rate is 49% APR (variable) so if you borrow £10,000 over 12 months at a rate of 40% p.a. (variable) you will repay £12,294 in total.
Funding Options Business Loans
Loan Type
Unsecured term loan
Loan amount
£1,000 to £15,000,000
Representative APR
6.03% APR
Loan term
1 month to 120 months
Funding Options is a Credit Broker and not a Lender. Their APR starts from 2.75% and has an average of 6.03%. They can help you prepare and submit your Recovering Loan Scheme application through multiple RLS accredited Lenders.
Minimum Turnover is £60,000 with 12 months minimum trading.
Representative Example: The representative rate is 6.03% APR (variable) so if you borrow £50,000 over 24 months at a rate of 6.03% p.a. (variable) you will repay £53,114.16 in total.
Funding Xchange Business Loan
Loan Type
Unsecured term loan
Loan amount
£1,000 to £500,000
Representative APR
10.5% APR
Loan term
1 month to 120 months
Funding Xchange is a credit broker, not a lender. Funding Xchange puts you in control of your business funding giving you access to indicative funding offers within 3 minutes.
Minimum annual turnover of £100,000, trading history of 18 months and Companies House registration are required.
Representative Example: The representative rate is 10.5% APR (variable) so if you borrow £50,000 over 24 months at a rate of 10.5% p.a. (variable) you will repay £55,650 in total.
Alius Finance Business Loan
Loan Type
Unsecured term loan
Loan amount
£10,000 to £1,000,000
Representative APR
6.68% APR
Loan term
3 months to 60 months
No obligation funding decision, typically within 24-48 hours. Flexible options including, interest-only and no early repayment penalties.
Available to UK limited companies only. Minimum trading history of 6 months.
Representative Example: The representative rate is 6.68% APR, so if you borrow £10,000 over 5 years you will repay £11,790.26 in total.

Last updated: 23 April 2021

What are start up business loans?

When you borrow a cash lump sum from a lender to help fund a new business, it is called a start-up loan.

Perhaps you've got a great business idea but you've been wondering 'can you get a loan to start a business?'. The answer is 'yes'. But did you know that start-up business loans can also help a new business that's only been running for a short time? In fact, start up loans may be suitable for any 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 with building your team, or getting your name out there.

You could spend the money on things like:

  • Buying stock

  • Buying equipment

  • Marketing

  • Paying workplace rent

  • Staff wages

  • Recruitment

  • Training.

Using our startup business loans comparison, you can check the loan amounts each lender can offer. Look at the rates charged when you're choosing. The higher the rate, the more you'll pay in interest.

What businesses can get a loan?

While many businesses will be able to 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.

Government start up loans, for example, are available only to new businesses. Many cash advance loans will require you to have been trading for a set period of time before you submit an application.

How to get a startup business loan

If you've been wondering how to get a startup business loan, a good place to start is to look online at loans and grants.

Our comparison table will give you a good idea of what's out there.

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 £5,000,000.

If you started your business within the last two years, you may still be eligible for one of the start-up loans in our table. 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'll have to be 18 or over

  • You'll have to live in the UK

  • Your business will have to be based in the UK

  • Your business will have to be under two years old

  • You'll have to have the right to work in the UK.

Of course you'll also need to show that you can afford the repayments. You'll also have to go through the usual credit checks that you'd expect when taking out any form of credit.

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 don't need to put forward any assets to get one. This is great because, if you're just starting out, it's likely that you might not have anything to offer as collateral.

What do I need for a startup business loan?

The good news is that you don't need a lot. What you will need, before you apply for any startup business loans, is a business plan and cash flow forecast.

This will help 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 templates for your business plan and cash flow forecast online if you're unsure of what these should look like.

You'll 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 for you.

These offer £500-£25,000 and have a fixed interest rate of 6%. You can repay them over 1-5 years and they are government backed.

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 are different to start up loans.

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'll 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.

How to choose a business start-up loan

To find the best start up business loans 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.

Top tips for people with start up loans

You'll need to be sensible when you get a start-up loan. When you get a sudden cash injection, it can be exciting and you could be tempted to overspend. But it's important to get it right.

Here are some tips:

  • Stick to the plan as much as possible. 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 think about 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. This could come in handy.

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.

But 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 will make 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

Can I get a start up business loan for a home business?

Yes, lenders can accept applications for home based businesses. You should still check with each lender to check your business is eligible to apply.

Can I use a start up loan to pay for wages?

Yes, but only if you include wages as part of your loan application.

Do I need a business account to apply for a start up loan?

Some lenders require you to have a business account with them to qualify for a business loan, but some are more flexible so ask before you apply.

Can I repay a start up loan early?

Yes, but you may get an interest penalty based on your remaining loan balance. Check with your lender if you can afford to repay your loan early.

About our start up business loans comparison

Who do we include in this comparison?

We include loans available for businesses that have been trading up to 2 years, from lenders and through brokers on our panel. Here is more information about how our website works.

How do we make money from our comparison?

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.