10 best business loans in the UK

Finding the right finance product can be a hassle for many business owners. We've created this guide – looking at the top funding options for 2019 – so you can decide which loan is right for you.

By Mat White on 21/05/2019

The top 10 business loan providers in the UK

What are the best business loans? UK business loan providers include: iwoca, Funding Circle, Ultimate Finance, Spotcap, Capify, Fleximize, MarketInvoice and Satago. If it's types of loan you're after, then your business could benefit from a start-up loan, business credit-card, term loan, business overdraft, cash-flow finance, equity investment or merchant cash advance.

In more detail, we looked at over 300 UK lenders, picking out the ones offering the top loans for businesses in 2019. Hopefully this article will let you compare between providers quick and simply. Alternatively, to learn about different types of business finance, check out the second comparison table below.

Every care has been taken to provide accurate info on each business loan provider. They are ranked in order of their Trustpilot score. All facts and stats are right (according to the funders' public websites) as of 20 May 2019.

Comparison: which is the best business loan for me?

Business loan providerBusiness loan amountRep. APRDuration (months)Trustpilot score
iwoca loans£25,000 - £250,00014.9%1 - 609.6
Ultimate Finance£7,500 - £250,00050.7%3 - 249.6
Spotcap£50,000 - £250,00024.2%1 - 249.6
Capify£5,000 - £150,000N/A6 - 129.5
Fleximize£5,000 - £250,00042.2%1 - 249.5
Funding Circle£10,000 - £500,000N/A12 - 608.4
Santander£2,000 - £25,0008.9%12 - 601.2
Esme£10,000 - £150,0009.5%12 - 60N/A

Discover the best business loans for your enterprise

If you already know which provider you're interested in learning about, you can jump to their section using the links below. Or keep reading to digest the whole list.

  1. iwoca
  2. Ultimate Finance
  3. Spotcap
  4. Capify
  5. Fleximize
  6. MarketInvoice
  7. Satago
  8. Funding Circle
  9. Santander
  10. Esme Loans

1) iwoca

TrustPilot score: 9.6/10 (3,716 customer reviews)

Small Business Loan

Description:

In our view, banks and traditional lenders don't get small businesses. That’s why iwoca is designed for business owners like you. No more long forms, long waits and unfair lending criteria. Instead, iwoca combines technology with an understanding of exactly what you need to unlock growth or plug cash flow gaps.

  • Amounts: £25,000 - £250,000
  • Terms (months): 1 - 60
  • Rep. APR: 14.9%
  • Finance calculator: Yes

Application criteria:

iwoca considers a wide range of businesses for its credit facility product. Think from new startups to companies with less than perfect credit ratings.

For the Small Business Loan product you must have a UK-based limited company. This needs to have been trading for at least two years, with a minimum turnover £150,000. It's not a secured business loan.

Fees and interest rates:

Interest rates start from 9.9% with a 6% set-up fee that's built into the loan repayments. There are no early repayment fees. Instead, customers are able to make overpayments at any time to reduce the interest they pay. You might also be interested in iwoca's credit facility if you're looking for shorter term funding or start up loans.

Security required:

Personal guarantee from business directors.

Application to receive funds

iwoca offers an entirely online application process. Open banking, cloud accounting integrations and advanced technologies quicken iwoca’s underwriting decisions. A typical application can be sorted and the funds released in 24 hours.

Straightforward business funding for busy people. Apply online for our credit facility and get a decision in minutes.

Get approved for free

2. Ultimate Finance

Trustpilot score 9.6/10 (206 customer reviews)

Ultimate Loan

Description:

The Ultimate Loan is perfect for businesses looking for an alternative to a business credit card or secured loans.

  • Amounts: £7,500 - £250,000
  • Terms (months): 3 - 24
  • Rep. APR: 50.7%
  • Finance calculator: Yes

Application criteria:

The Ultimate Loan is available to almost all UK business with a minimum turnover of £75,000. Funds can be used for any business project or simply to ease cash flow gaps and hiccups.

Fees and interest rates:

Ultimate Finance charges no setup fees. However, there is a small early repayment fee if you'd like to settle your loan early. Interest is only charged for the time that funds are outstanding.

Security required:

Personal guarantee.

Application to receiving funds:

Ultimate Finance uses an online application process. The length of time between the application and receiving funds can be under 48 hours.

3) Spotcap

TrustPilot score 9.6/10 (83 customer reviews)

Business Loan

Description:

Spotcap is a provider of business financing in the UK, mainland Europe and Australia. It uses a simple online application to determine your business's financial health. From that, it'll let you know pronto the loan amount you can access.

  • Amounts: £50,000 - £250,000
  • Terms (months): 1 - 24
  • Rep. APR: 24.2%
  • Finance calculator: Yes

Application criteria:

Spotcap asks that your business be based in the UK and has been trading for a minimum of 24 months. You also have to have a UK business bank account and a yearly turnover of at least £500,000.

Fees and interest rates:

Spotcap charge a 2% arrangement fee for their business loan credit line.

Security required:

None.

Application to receiving funds:

The application decision take a day. Funds are deposited within 24 hours of the request.

Comparison: what are the different types of business finance?

Type of business loanWhat's it used for?Further reading
Unsecured business loanAccessing finance without requiring security, although a personal guarantee may still be asked foriwoca's credit facility, explained
Secured business loanBorrowing large sums of funding, secured against a valuable asset, such as a homeSecured loans and unsecured business loans; what's the difference?
Peer-to-peer loansOnline matching of borrowers & lenders, helping businesses avoid traditional overhead costsWhat is peer to peer lending?
Start-up fundingA small loan or grant, often backed by the Government, to get a business up & runningStart-up funding options in 2019
Merchant cash advanceReceiving monetary advances in return for a set amount of your debit and credit card salesWhat's a merchant cash advance?
Asset financeCredit to specifically buy or lease an asset, product or tool you'll use to run your businessWhat is asset finance?
Invoice financeReceiving an advance ahead of an invoice payment date, in return for a feeWhat is invoice financing?
Business credit cardsQuick access to small amounts of finance. Interest is charged on a monthly basis, based on the outstanding balanceBusiness credit cards: what do I need to know?
Business overdraftsShort-term and relatively cheap finance, where you pay interest on the balance borrowedWhat is a business overdraft?
Investment financeSecuring often significant funding in return for giving up a share of your business to the investor(s)Start-up funding options in 2019
CrowdfundingRaising money from many people, who all contribute a small amount in return for a small equity stakeStart-up funding options in 2019
Specialist financeGetting financial backing for a niche business through specialist lendersAuction finance, Building loans and construction finance, Farm loans and agricultural finance, Pub loans
Trade creditLetting you buy stock or goods without paying the supplier for them upfrontTrade credit, what you need to know

4) Capify

TrustPilot score 9.5 (252 customer reviews)

Small Business Loan

Description:

Business owners can use Capify’s loan for whatever they need. So it's a great way to get a short term business loan, no matter the business plan.

  • Amounts: £5,000 - £150,000
  • Terms (months): 6 - 12
  • Rep. APR: N/A
  • Finance calculator: No

Application Criteria:

Applicants must run a UK-based business as a limited company. They must also process more than £10,000 a month through their business bank account. You will also need at least 12 months’ trading records.

Fees and interest rates:

We couldn't find the Capify interest rates on its website. However, the following fees are listed for their loan product:

  • Initial fee: 3%
  • Processing fee: £295
  • Monthly service fee: £25

Security required:

N.A

Application to receiving funds:

N.A

5) Fleximize

TrustPilot score 9.5/10 (250 customer reviews)

Unsecured Business Loan

Description:

Fleximize is a UK-based business lender and web platform. It aims to provide a suite of flexi funding options. The Fleximize application is mostly done online with additional phone support from a dedicated relationship manager.

  • Amounts: £5,000 - £250,000
  • Terms (months): 1 - 24
  • Rep. APR: 42.20%
  • Finance calculator: Yes

Application criteria:

Fleximize funds UK registered limited companies and LLPs. Sole traders or partnerships can apply for finance of over £25,000. A minimum trading history of six months and a minimum turnover of £60,000 is needed.

Fees and interest rates:

Fleximize charge a monthly interest rate on outstanding capital. There are no early settlement fees. Borrowers are instead able to repay early at any time.

Security required:

Personal guarantee.

Application to receiving funds:

Fleximize advertises that the application takes 10 minutes and that funds are deposited within 48 hours of submitting a full application.

dgffgsChoosing the right finance for you business can be a hassle. But it needn't be.

6) MarketInvoice

Trustpilot score 9.1/10 (230 customer reviews)

Invoice Discounting

Description:

Up one place from 2018, MarketInvoice has been helping UK companies with selective invoice finance since 2011. It brings businesses together with investors willing to advance a proportion of an invoice's worth up front. In return, they receive a cut of the invoice's value.

  • Amounts: Dependant on invoice value
  • Terms (months): Spot financing, contract or ongoing
  • Rep. APR: N/A
  • Finance calculator: No

Application criteria:

MarketInvoice requires that you have a limited or LLP company based in the UK or Ireland. It needs to have a minimum turnover of £100,000. You must sell goods or services to other businesses on credit terms and have traded for at least six months.

Fees and interest rates:

MarketInvoice fees vary dependant on the specific facility used. Typically a fee of 1 - 3% is charged on the invoice value. There might also be monthly admin fee.

Security required:

None.

Application to receiving funds

MarketInvoice offers an entirely online application process that takes minutes to complete. Once approved to sell your invoices, it can take up to 24 hours to get acceptance on new creditors. When agreed, funds are normally deposited into your account within 24 hours.

7) Satago

TrustPilot score 8.8/10 (40 customer reviews)

Invoice Finance

Description:

Satago offers a technically advanced invoice finance system. Its online platform sends automated reminders to customers in relation to unpaid invoices. It also lets suppliers know about outstanding invoices and provides credit reports on the risk levels of customers too.

  • Amounts: Up to 85% of invoice value
  • Terms (months): Ongoing
  • Rep. APR: N/A
  • Finance calculator: No

Application criteria:

Satago clients must have goods or services that are paid on credit terms. They also need a minimum trading history of 12 months and operate as a limited company.

Fees and interest rates:

Satago charges fees from 1% a month on the invoice value being factored. This is then charged once clients settle the balance of the invoice. There are no other set up or admin fees advertised.

Security required:

None.

Application to receiving funds

Satago offers ongoing invoice finance facilities for its customers, with an online application process that takes minutes to set up. Once arranged, a customer's invoices can be submitted and following acceptance funds can be accessed in a matter of hours.

8) Funding Circle

TrustPilot score 8.4/10 (5,285 customer reviews)

Unsecured Business Loan

Description:

Down two places from 2018, peer to peer platform Funding Circle enables investors to lending directly to businesses. Meanwhile, business owners get fast, easy access to funds, helping them grow or cover shortfalls in cash flow.

  • Amounts: £10,000 - £500,000
  • Terms (months): 12 - 60
  • Rep. APR: N/A
  • Finance calculator: No

Application criteria:

Funding Circle applicants must be UK residents with UK registered office and have been trading for over two years. Tenants are limited to £50,000 for unsecured loans. Directors and shareholders must have no connections to any liquidated businesses, or have any CCJs registered in the last 12 months.

Fees and interest rates:

Funding Circle’s rates start from 1.9%. Arrangement fees range from 1.5 - 10%, depending on the method of application (direct or introducer led). There are no fees for early repayments.

Security required:

Personal guarantees from all majority shareholders.

Application to receiving funds

Funding Circle’s application can take as little as 20 minutes to complete. The platform's credit assessment team will review your complete application and get back to you within two working days. Businesses that pass the credit assessment will then be listed on the marketplace for up to 14 days.

9) Santander

TrustPilot score 1.2/10 (1,531 customer reviews)

Small Business Loan

Description:

Santander UK is a large retail and commercial bank registered in England, Wales and Scotland. It is a wholly owned part of the major global bank, Banco Santander.

  • Amounts: £2,000 - £25,000
  • Terms (months): 12 - 60
  • Rep. APR: 8.9%
  • Finance calculator: Yes

Application criteria:

To be eligible for Santander's loan you must also be a Santander Business Current Account holder. All applicants must be 18 or over, and all shareholders and directors must be UK residents.

The business must be UK registered and have a healthy credit score.

Fees and interest rates:

Santander’s interest rates range from 4.9 - 24.9%. They do not charge any arrangement fees, however, early settlement fees may apply. Borrowers are able to repay their loan at any time in full, but monthly overpayments don't seem to be accepted.

Security required:

It's tough to find the exact security required by Santander. However, their terms of service advises that, if you don't make repayments, overdue balances will be claimed from your Santander account.

Application to receiving funds

Santander is unclear on the application reviewal period. However, once approved, contracts are sent out to be signed. Once returned and accepted, funds are released to the borrower.

10) Esme Loans

Trustpilot score N/A (1 customer review)

Small Business Loan

Description:

Esme – owned by NatWest – provides unsecured business finance that can be used for a range of business purposes. This includes working capital, expansion capital and asset buying.

  • Amounts: £10,000 - £150,000
  • Terms (months): 12 - 60
  • Rep. APR: 9.51%
  • Finance calculator: Yes

Application criteria:

Esme applicants must be over 18 years old and be a director of a UK limited company. They also need to have been actively trading for at least 18 months. Finally you'll need to be turning over more than £15,000 per year.

Fees and interest rates:

Esme interest rates range from 3.84% - 26.4%. Borrowers can make early repayments with no fees. You can also make overpayments at any time to reduce the interest you'll pay on the outstanding balance.

Security required:

Personal guarantee.

Application to receiving funds:

From the information available online, it’s unclear how long it takes for Esme to make decisions on applications. But once approved, the money will be sent to your account within an hour. This means you should receive your funds on the same day – if your bank account can receive faster payments.


Mat White is our accountant relationships manager at iwoca and moved to us from one of the UK’s top commercial finance brokerages. He pairs his background in the finance and accounting professions with working experience spanning everything from farming to civil engineering, time in the Army and even running a bar in the French Alps. He describes himself as a great shot, terrible golfer and decent cook.

Straightforward business funding for busy people. Apply online for our credit facility and get a decision in minutes.

Get approved for free