Am I eligible?

If you’re starting a new business or have been trading for less than three years, then you’ve met the first criteria for securing a Start Up Loan. 

Check out the other criteria below to make sure you’re eligible before applying.

To be eligible to apply for a Start Up Loan, you must fit the following criteria:

  • You’re 18 years of age or older
  • You’re a current UK resident
  • You’re starting a new business or have been trading for up to 36 months
  • You’re unable to secure finance from other sources (self-declaration is ok)
  • Your business is based in the UK
  • You have the right to work in the UK
  • Your business type and loan purpose is eligible under terms of the scheme
  • You pass our credit checks and you can afford to repay the loan

If you are in a business partnership, buying an existing business or starting a franchise, you are able to apply for a Start Up Loan if you fit the criteria above. 

Find out more below about the process for these applicants.

Apply for funding now for a start up loan
Start Up Loans give you the cash and the support to make it work, it’s a package that can’t be beaten. Claudi & Fin

Excluded business types

Most business types are eligible to be funded with a Start Up Loan, however we are not able to support the following business types*:

  • weapons
  • chemical manufacture
  • pornography
  • drugs
  • illegal activities
  • banking & money transfer service, and other FCA regulated activities
  • private investigators that do not hold the appropriate licence
  • gambling and betting activities
  • property investment
  • agents for third parties, where a third party earns the majority of the revenue or you would only be earning a commission (not to be confused with franchise businesses which are eligible to apply)
  • charities (Community Interest Companies / Not for Profit and Social Enterprises with a sole community focus can be considered on a case by case basis)

*other exclusions may apply and The Start Up Loans Company reserves the right to update this list at its discretion. 

Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions.

Excluded loan purposes

Start Up Loans are designed to finance the initial costs of starting and developing a business, and therefore cannot be used to fund the following activities*:

  • debt repayment
  • training, qualifications or education programmes
  • investment opportunities that do not form part of an on-going sustainable business.
man and woman on a desk discussing, with books on the desk, and a briefcase on the floor

Credit Check and Loan Assessment

During the application process, we will undertake a personal credit check with a Credit Reference Agency (CRA). 

We will also run a series of other checks with Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) to validate both your personal information and bank account details. 

If you would like more information on how we use your information, please review our terms and conditions.

Our overall loan assessment will also take into account the strength and viability of your business, demonstrated through the Business Plan and Cash Flow Forecast and the affordability of the loan through the Personal Survival Budget you submit with your application.

Business partnerships

Where there is a business need, multiple business partners can individually apply for a Start Up Loan of up to £25,000. 

However, please note we can only lend a maximum of £100,000 to any one business. 

Each partner’s application will be assessed separately, and if successful, each individual will be personally liable for their loan.

You must have an equity stake (shareholding) and a controlling interest in the business.

Where there are multiple business partners a 50% share must be held by the applicant/applicants applying.

Purchasing existing businesses

You are still eligible to apply for a Start Up Loan if you are purchasing an existing business, even if that business has been trading for more than three years under different ownership, provided you personally have not owned the business for more than three years.

Please note, you will be required to have sourced a copy of the financial accounts for the business along with your application. 

Furthermore, if the business was previously or is currently at a loss you will be expected to address this issue directly in your business plan.


Provided you fit the criteria listed on this page, you can apply for a Start Up Loan to support your franchise business. 

You will be entitled to the same benefits including 12 months of free mentoring.

Find out more

Learn more about credit checks, repayments and our application process.