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

A start-up loan is a government-backed personal loan of up to £25,000 available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.

What is a start-up loan?

If you have a great business idea or have been trading for less than 24 months and are looking for finance and support to help develop your business, a start-up loan from Start Up Loans could help.

Funded by the British Business Bank, Start Up Loans is a national scheme to provide advice, loans and mentoring to start-up businesses.

All partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000, with a maximum of £100,000 per business. The loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward personal assets or guarantors to support an application, although borrowers may be liable in the event the loan is not repaid.

In addition to finance, successful applicants receive 12-months of free mentoring and business offers to help them succeed.

Applicants can apply for a start-up loan via Start Up Loans or one of their delivery partners.

Other sources of start-up finance

If the start-up loan scheme isn’t appropriate for you, an alternative option is a loan from a responsible finance provider.

They provide fair and affordable loans to new and existing businesses across the UK and are specifically designed to help the businesses that are viable, but unable to get the finance they need elsewhere. 

To find your nearest responsible finance provider visit findingfinance.org.uk.

Other sources of early-stage finance for start ups include seed finance, which offers equity options.

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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Understand your options

Find out more about the different finance options available at different stages of your business journey.

Debt finance optionsEquity finance options