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Published: 01 Jun 2016 Updated: 24 Mar 2021 Update History

Bonds are a form of fixed-term borrowing that enable businesses to borrow money from investors in return for regular interest payments.

What are bonds and mini-bonds?

Bonds – retail bonds or corporate bonds – are a way for companies to borrow money from investors in return for regular interest payments.

Bonds have a predetermined “maturity” date when the bond is redeemed and investors are repaid their original investment. A lender is tied in until the bond matures.

Bonds can have an advantage over loans in that the business issuing the bond can have more control over the specific terms of the finance.

Traditionally, corporate bonds and retail bonds would be traded on the stock market and really would only be available to larger companies with a trading history. However, this is changing.

Online platforms have entered the market, offering a one-stop-shop for raising finance through bonds. These platforms operate in a similar way to peer-to-peer lending platforms but offer more flexibility, and generally work with larger amounts of funding (usually £1m upwards).

Mini-bonds are similar but, crucially, they are not traded on a stock market and can only be promoted to certain types of investor. A lender is also tied in until they mature.

Key considerations

  • Bonds are typically used by larger, more established companies.
  • Many new providers of bonds are available, and it may pay to shop around.
  • Bonds can be a useful vehicle for financing organic growth. Alternatives might be a loan, leasing or hire-purchase agreement, or perhaps peer-to-peer lending.

Finance at every stage

Business financing is not a one-off decision, but an ongoing and evolving situation. No decision can be made in isolation to the businesses journey. Find out more about what options are suitable now and what might work at another stage.

Business Finance Guide

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