Small business loan

Borrow £1,000 to £200,000 for up to 12 months. Fast and fair decisions. Repay early to save interest.

Borrow up to

£200,000

Apply in

5 minutes

Funds in your account

within 24 hours

Grow your business

Hiring staff. Buying equipment. Launching products. Growing your business takes investment, and a small business loan will help you get the finance you need when new opportunities come up.

How to get a small business loan


  • Apply in minutes
  • Get a decision
  • Draw down funds

We like to keep things simple. First, to get to know your business a little better, we’ll need a couple of docs from you:

  • bank statements
  • VAT returns
  • or company accounts

Then if you're eligible, we'll approve you for up to £200,000. This is usually about one month's turnover for your business. You can take as much of this as you need. Repay early anytime with no fees or charges.

Why use iwoca?


It’s quick and simple to apply online. Our application process just takes five minutes to complete and won't affect your credit score. Even though we're fast, we're serious about lending responsibly. We use award-winning technology to make fair decisions based on your business performance overall, not just your credit score. Without any rigid criteria or endless paperwork.

We designed our small business loans to be fast and flexible for small business owners. Your funds will be in your account when you need them. iwoca finance can boost your business’ day-to-day cash flow or fill the gaps in your working capital. Our customers small business loans to bridge late invoices, invest in stock and cover unexpected expenses.

Small business loan interest rates


Our rates start at 2% a month, your personalised rate will depend on your business performance. We charge interest daily on outstanding balances, with no hidden fees.

How much can I borrow?

6 monthly repayments of £1,866

Total repayment of £11,197 (3.33% interest rate per 30 days)

Borrow up to £200,000

For up to 12 months

Need help? call us

This calculator is just an example, so the total amount payable may be different when you apply. Let’s say you’re investing in your small business with a large purchase of new stock. If you borrowed £10,000 for 12 months at 49% representative APR, with an interest rate of 40% p.a. (variable), then, all in all, the total amount you’d repay would be £12,165.

There are a lot of different types of small business loan with interest rates and payment terms changing between lenders. Check out our guide to the 10 best business loans in the UK to see what's out there.

Quick fire facts


  • We've offered funding to more than 50,000 businesses and counting. We're committed to helping small businesses thrive. From cafes to car dealers, hotels to hair salons, our customers fuel local economies across the UK.

  • Personalised customer service makes finance simple. Each of our customers gets a dedicated account manager. When you call, you'll get straight through to someone in our UK office. Our customers have rated us 4.8 in more than 3,900 reviews on TrustPilot.

  • We built our hassle free finance just for small businesses. We designed our business funding to strip out the paperwork and wait times of traditional lenders. Instantly connect your accounts from Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC through open banking.

  • Flexible funding on your own terms. Take as much you need up to your credit limit, when you need it. Then, like with a personal loan, you can choose weekly or monthly repayments. Repay early anytime to save interest with no fees.

Other ways to get business finance


Whatever your annual revenue, there are lots of alternative funding options you could use to increase your business’ working capital.

Trade credit

Using trade credit allows you to delay payment when buying stock from a supplier. It's an interest-free option and can offer a 1-3% discount to buyers who pay early.

Commercial mortgages

With a commercial mortgage you can buy land or a business property. A business mortgage is a form of secured business loan and usually lasts from three to 25 years.

Business credit cards

A business credit card is a finance option to help you purchase whatever your business needs whenever it needs it, up to a credit limit. Interest is charged monthly on your outstanding balance.

The big business loans guide

Business loans are an information minefield. Should you get a loan, how do you know which is the best provider for you, how will your business qualify for a loan, should you take out business loan insurance? To help business owners navigate these waters, we’ve put together this guide to business loans: simply find the topic you’d like to know more about below and use the links to find out more.

Quick question links

What is a business loan?
• How does a business loan work?
Should I get a business loan?
• How do I qualify for a business loan?
What documents do I need to apply?
Can I get a business loan to buy a business?
• What is a good credit score to get a business loan?
• Should I get insurance for business loans?
• Comparison: what are the different types of business finance?
• FAQ

What is a business loan?

A business loan is a form of finance to be used for business activities. As with most loans, it requires creating debt, which is then repaid with interest.

How does a business loan work?

A business loan works as an assessment by a lender of a borrower’s creditworthiness which, if successful, is followed by releasing funding into your business bank account. You will then be expected to repay the loan – often in monthly installments – plus interest.

The exact percentage of interest the lender charges on the money received by the borrower is the ‘interest rate’ of the loan and is often expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR). This rate will vary based on your business’ circumstances and between different lenders, based on their risk appetite and the perceived level of risk involved in lending to your business.

Should I get a business loan?

Whether you should or shouldn't take out business loans is a matter of your personal attitude towards debt. To explore the topic further, we asked Alexander X. Douglas – lecturer in philosophy at the University of St. Andrews – to outline the history and philosophy of debt, including arguments on both sides of the fence.

On a more practical level, it’s useful if business owners have a robust idea of the health of their business before looking into finance options. To this end, we’ve put together a health check tool you can use if you’d like to look into your business’ health further.

empower you business (1) A business loan is a form of finance used to power business activities.

How do I qualify for a business loan?

How exactly you qualify for a business loan will vary dramatically depending on the lender you approach, the type of finance you’re trying to access, and the amount of money you’re requesting. However, as a rule of thumb, loan providers often consider more than 10 factors relating to you, your business and its performance. It’s also worth bearing in mind that – generally speaking – many lenders aren’t keen to loan more than 20% of your business’ annual turnover.

We’ve listed out the remaining qualifying factors below:

Area of interestFurther information
The business’ previous financial performanceHow well your business has been doing historically, usually within the past year, but sometimes up to five years.
Your experience in business directorshipFor example, if you’ve been a director of the business for a decade, this is a positive signal that you could be a reliable recipient of finance.
Your personal credit scoreYour personal credit score gives lenders an insight into your individual financial situation, as well as highlighting any areas of potential concern, such as overdue personal debts.
Your personal payment historySimilar to a personal credit score, your own payment history may help lenders learn about your attitude toward repayments.
The business’ credit scoreBusiness credit scores are an assessment of your business’ creditworthiness, as conducted by credit reference agencies.
The business’ payment historyFor example, has the business not paid off debts in the past? Have there been any County Court Judgments against it?
Your business planParticularly relevant to start-ups and new businesses, lenders often ask to see that you’ve thought through how you’ll use the money to generate repayments.
Any previous history of business directorshipsIf you’ve run businesses in the past, this may offer lenders clues about how you manage a company. For example, lengthy spells in a string of successful businesses could be taken as a positive sign.
Performance of connected businessesIf you are a director of multiple businesses then their performance can also be taken into account when applying for financing.
The supply chain of the businessA business’ supply chain can be an area of interest to lenders. As an example, if you sell Product Y but the news is reporting a global shortage of that product, then this might be taken into account when deciding whether to approve an application.
Your market segmentThe sector your business is in can play a part in some lenders’ assessment criteria, especially if that market segment is widely reported as doing well or poorly.
Customer reviewsIf a lender looks up your small business online and sees a string of repeated poor reviews, this could be perceived negatively for your application.
Quality of assetsIf you are taking out a secured business loan, then the quality of the asset you’re putting up as collateral or ‘security’ may also be considered. This is because this equipment or building will be what’s recovered should the business default on the debt.

What documents do I need to apply?

Some lenders (like us) want to keep business loan requirements as simple as they can when you’re applying for financing. That’s why we specifically only ask for a few docs from you, namely:

bank statements
VAT returns
or company accounts

Then, if we think you're eligible, we'll approve you for up to £200,000. Simple.

Can I get a business loan to buy a business?

If you do not already own a business, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to take out a business loan to acquire a company. If, however, you’re a business owner looking to buy another business entirely, some lenders may consider lending to you, if you can demonstrate that buying the business will not negatively impact your ability to repay the funds.

Some lenders will also allow a business owner to take an unsecured loan to help buy out a co-owner. Sometimes such lenders will want to see a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) drawn up, to demonstrate you are serious about the move. If you’re in doubt, contact your preferred lender directly and ask them what situations they’re willing to cover.

What is a good credit score to get a business loan?

Unfortunately a credit score on its own usually isn’t enough help to know whether or not you’ll be eligible for a business loan, as most business lenders use a lot of additional criteria before making any assessment of creditworthiness, or what interest rate they’ll charge you.

Instead, the main thing to know is whether or not your business is healthy, for example whether it’s defaulted on debt in the past, has any outstanding County Court Judgments (CCJ) against it, as well as whether it has a solid customer base and a steady revenue stream. For those looking to learn more on the topic, we’ve put together a business health check tool.

Should I get insurance for business loans?

Business loan insurance is not a legal requirement, but some owners consider taking it out to help give them peace of mind. This is because, if any loans are outstanding and the business owner dies or falls seriously ill, the impact on that business (and its employees) can be very serious.

As a result, some insurance providers offer cover in the form of a lump sum that is paid out when a specified director passes away or – in more comprehensive policies – if that person falls critically ill. The insurance lump sum will usually be the same amount of money as what’s outstanding on the loan. In return for this, you’ll be expected to pay regular premium payments to the insurance provider.

Whether you do or do not take out business loan insurance is entirely down to you, although as there’s a regular cost, most owners will discuss the decision with the other business directors before taking out such insurance.

Comparison: different types of business loan

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

FAQ

Do you have further questions about business loans? If so, why not give us a ring on 02037780274, email us on contact@iwoca.co.uk or you can click the blue icon on the bottom right of the screen to chat with one of our advisors. And of course, if you’d like to apply for one of our loans, you can check your eligibility and make an application using the “apply” button at the top of the screen.


Mat White is our accountant relationships manager at iwoca and co-host of 9 to when?, our new podcast. He moved to iwoca from one of the UK’s top commercial finance brokerages and, along with his background in the finance and accounting professions, has experience in everything from farming to civil engineering, spending 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.