7 Ways to Get a Business Loan in the UK

08-December-2023 16:27
in Commercial
by Sam Hodgson
7 Ways to Get a Business Loan in the UK

When looking at getting a UK business loan, there are many things to consider. With a wide range of products and an even wider range of lenders in the marketplace, it can be the work of ages just to sift through them. 

At Clifton Private Finance, we have a team of experts ready to help you find the perfect business loan. Our advisors work with a wide range of lenders across the UK, so our experience is second to none.  

For a rundown of the many products available to help finance your business projects, read on… 

7 Ways to Get a Business Loan in the UK

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Is it Difficult to Get a Business Loan in the UK?

Unsecured Business Loan

Secured Business Loan

Business Bridge Loan

Credit Cards & Overdrafts

Invoice Finance

Merchant Cash Advance

Asset Leasing 

How Can I Get a Business Loan?

Is it Difficult to Get a Business Loan in the UK?

Obtaining a business loan in the UK isn't as challenging as you might think. There are a variety of business finance products available from different lenders across the country, and each one is tailored to suit specific business needs. 

How straightforward the application process will be typically depends on the type of finance you want to secure, as well as the structure and revenue of your business. Some types of business loans cater to businesses of a certain size, whereas others are tailored to specific types of revenue.

Two examples are merchant cash advances, which are only available to businesses generating part of their revenue through card transactions, and invoice finance, a product aimed at business-facing companies that rely on invoices.

Merchant cash advances, business bridging loans and lines of credit have particularly simple application processes, each relying on different factors for eligibility, such as collateral, exit strategy and credit history as part of their eligibility assessments. 

Most business loans will have a minimum annual turnover requirement, and business loan eligibility typically relies on your business's credit score and/or the value of your collateral.

The amount you can borrow for a business loan is commonly determined by your company's turnover. In some cases, if you present a particularly good business plan, you may be able to borrow based on your company's projected turnover.

We've just begun to scratch the surface of this versatile form of finance, and you may be wondering what type of finance is right for your business. 

There are seven key forms of business finance, and we'll walk you through the advantages of each type, what they're commonly used for and what to consider before applying. 

7 Ways to Get a Business Loan in the UK

The Basic Unsecured Business Loan 

Many British business owners look no further than the basic unsecured business loan. Because it’s unsecured, you don’t need any significant assets to use as collateral for the loan, and in many cases, it can serve as an efficient injection of capital to help your business grow. 

An unsecured business loan can be applied for and approved quickly. 


  • Straightforward application process 

  • No need for collateral 

  • Easy to understand 

  • Light on fees 

  • Simple repayment structure 

  • Few restrictions on use 


  • Requires a good credit rating 

  • Limited borrowing amount 

  • May need a personal guarantee 

  • Mid-range interest rates 

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Secured Business Loan 

With lower interest rates, access to high levels of funding, and much of the simplicity usually reserved for the unsecured loan, a secured business loan is a favourite of many businesses - especially those looking to leverage previous investments for growth.  

The amount you can borrow with this type of finance is really only limited by the value of the assets against which you can secure the business loan. 


  • Large levels of funding available 

  • Standard repayment structure 

  • Low interest rates 

  • Available for companies with poorer credit history 


  • Requires assets for collateral 

  • Places limitations on assets 

  • Some setup fees 

  • Risk of repossession 

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Business Bridging Loan 

When you need considerable capital at short notice, a bridging loan can swoop in like Superman, enabling your business to take advantage of opportunities before they slip through your fingers.  

Bridging loans are short-term finance solutions, typically used as a flexible funding option while awaiting the sale of an asset or other source of considerable capital.  

Because bridging loans are tailored for short-term use, you’ll need a foolproof exit strategy proving that you can repay the loan within the terms (typically 12 months).  

Whether or not a business bridging loan is right for you will depend on your business, how much you want to borrow and how quickly you need it. When managed well, business bridging loans can fuel rapid expansion and propel your business. 


  • Access to significant funding with little wait time 

  • Developed to specialise in short-term business needs 

  • Flexible repayments 

  • Few limits on use 


  • High-interest levels 

  • Requires comprehensive exit strategy 

  • Needs compelling business plan documentation 

Lines of Credit

The two most recognisable lines of revolving credit, both company credit cards and bank account overdrafts, are essential tools in a business's financial arsenal.  

While not always seen as business loans by UK entrepreneurs, their function and structure put them squarely in the camp of business funding. 

High-interest rates and occasional fees are seen as acceptable, given the extreme level of flexibility these lines of credit provide. 


  • Easy to obtain 

  • Revolving lines of credit 

  • Flexible repayment structure 

  • Available to companies with poor credit scores 


  • High-interest rates 

  • Low credit ceiling 

  • Can be costly if left unmanaged 

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Invoice Finance 

One of the tools used by experienced B2B businesses that many younger entrepreneurs are unaware of, invoice finance offers a way to access funds that you know are coming before they are paid by your customers, bridging the gap between the day an invoice is issued and the day it is due. 

With two distinct ways of working (factoring and discounting), invoice finance solutions can be tailored to meet your immediate needs and solve short-term cashflow problems with ease. 


  • Quick to get 

  • Access funds tied up in accounts payable 

  • Scalable by size of business 

  • Available to businesses with poor credit 

  • Provides a solution to recover client debt 

  • Worry-free repayment structure 


  • Fees can be considerable 

  • Factoring can strain client relationships 

  • Only good for B2B businesses with sizeable accounts payable 

Merchant Cash Advance 

Often seen as the sister product to invoice finance, merchant cash advance offers B2C businesses a similar way to leverage future income early.  

With a flexible repayment schedule that’s taken as a percentage of monthly card transaction takings, merchant cash advance aims to never put pressure on a company to be repaid, instead acting as a silent partner offering capital just when it is needed. 


  • Percentage-based repayments 

  • Relatively quick application process 

  • Scalable funds based on historical card transactions 

  • Available as a revolving line-of-credit form of funding 


  • Sizeable fees 

  • High-interest rates 

  • Can become unsustainable if relied on too much 

Asset Leasing 

Many business owners in the UK do not see leasing as a business loan, preferring to think of it as a rental agreement. However, it remains one of the premier products for businesses looking to finance significant purchases and thus deserves its place on this list. 

Asset leasing comes in different forms, including hire purchase and finance leasing, each allowing a company to gain access to equipment that would otherwise be out of reach. 


  • Access to superior equipment, vehicles, and other assets 

  • Flexible terms to suit the business need 

  • In some situations, maintenance of the asset is undertaken by the lessor 

  • Tax benefits 


  • Limited ownership of the asset 

  • Restricted usage 

  • Insurance obligations 

  • Fees 

7 Ways to Get a Business Loan in the UK

How Can I Get a Business Loan? 

Here at Clifton Private Finance, our business finance specialists offer a complimentary advice service and can help you choose the right finance solution for your business requirements. They have access to a wide range of finance solutions from across the market. 

Our team of advisers will help you to source the most competitive cash flow funding solution. 

Our business loan service provides: 

  • Market-leading rates 

  • Fast service - finance within 2 to 7 days 

  • Access to specialist lenders  

  • Expert advice - professional service  

Call us on 0203 880 8890 to discuss your requirements. 

Or you can book a free consultation with one of our expert advisors at a convenient time for you below. 

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