We’ve supplied answers to the most common questions. Scroll down to find our chatbot who can find specifics for you, and if you can’t find the answer you need please contact us.

How much can I borrow with a start up loan?

Start up loans are available from £500 up to £25,000 but final amounts are agreed on the basis of need and will be determined by your business plan. Our average loan value is around £7,000.

What is the interest rate on a start up loan?

The interest rate on a start up loan is fixed at 6% per annum.

What is the repayment period for a start up loan?

You are required to pay back your loan within 1-5 years. The exact term will be agreed as part of the application process. You can also repay the loan back early in part or in whole.

Are there any restrictions on how I spend the money?

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
  • Personal, non-business related expenses

Please note, other exclusions may apply and Transmit Startups reserves the right to update this list at its discretion.

Is the start up loan a grant?

No. A grant is a non-repayable fund provided by an individual or an organisation for a particular purpose. A Start Up Loan is an unsecured personal loan and must be repaid.

Do I lose my benefits if I receive a start up loan?

We are unable to provide advice about benefit entitlement in relation to your Start Up Loan. Please contact your local Job Centre for more information.

What is the difference between a secured and unsecured loan?

A secured loan requires an asset (such as a property) or a guarantor to obtain the loan. This is known as collateral, and in the event that the loan cannot be repaid the company issuing the loan may take possession of the asset or call upon the guarantor to repay the loan.

An unsecured loan, also known as a personal loan, is a loan that is issued and supported by your credit history rather than being guaranteed by any type of asset or guarantor. When you take out an unsecured loan the lender has no claim on your financial assets if you don’t keep up repayments. However, failure to meet the agreed repayments may result in formal action being taken, including but not limited to, an application to issue a County Court Judgement (CCJ) or your loan being passed to a Debt Collection Agency.

Can I choose where the loan is paid?

If you are successful, the loan will be paid into the same personal current account as the one you provided as part of the application process. The loan repayments must also be set up from the same account. If you would like the repayments to come out of another account (ie. your business bank account), you can contact your finance provider to change these details once you have received the loan funds.

Will Transmit Startups issue the loan funds?

No, Transmit Startups will assist you with your application to make sure that everything is in place to satisfy the requirements of the Start Up Loans scheme. We are partnered with The Enterprise Fund trading as GC Business Finance, who will provide the loan funds once your application has been approved.

GC Business Finance will be your main point of contact for discussing the terms of your loan and any other matters related to your repayments.

What happens if I can’t repay the loan?

If you are struggling to make your loan repayments it is important that you contact your finance partner as soon as possible to agree a repayment arrangement. Failure to meet the agreed repayments may result in formal action being taken, including but not limited to, an application to issue a County Court Judgement (CCJ) or your loan being passed to a Debt Collection Agency. It will also affect your credit file.

You can find the details of your finance partner on your loan agreement, or on our finance partner page. If you have lost these details, please contact Transmit Startups who will be able to provide contact details.

If the business fails do I still need to repay the loan?

Yes. As the loans we offer are unsecured personal loans you are still required to meet the repayments in full even if your business is not successful.

Do you offer Sharia compliant loans?

Unfortunately Transmit Startups are unable to offer a Sharia-compliant loan, however, there is a specialised Delivery Partner that administers Sharia-compliant finance.

Please visit the Start Up Loan’s Sharia-compliant finance page for more information.

I am on the New Enterprise Allowance scheme (NEA) can I apply for a start up loan?

If you are registered on the NEA scheme and have been working with a local NEA Mentoring Provider, you may be eligible for a start-up loan.

For more information on NEA eligibility and to apply please visit The Start-Up Loans website.

Am I eligible for a start up loan?

The following criteria must apply for you to be eligible for a start-up loan:

  • You currently live in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • Your business is or will be based in the UK
  • You are a current UK resident
  • You have the right to live and work in the UK
  • You are starting a new business or have been trading for less than three years
  • You are able to pass our credit checks and demonstrate that you can afford to repay the loan
  • Your business type and loan purpose are eligible under the terms of the scheme
  • Your business and business documents are able to pass our assessments
Are there any types of business which are excluded from applying for a start up loan?

Most business types are eligible for the Start-Up Loans scheme; however, we are not able to support the following:

  • Weapons
  • Chemical manufacture
  • Pornography
  • Drugs
  • Illegal activities
  • Banking and money transfer services
  • 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 under the scheme).

Please note, other exclusions may apply and Transmit Start-Up's reserves the right to update this list at its discretion.

If I have business partners can we all apply?

Where there is a business need, multiple business partners can individually apply for a Start-Up Loan of up to £25,000. There is a maximum limit of £100,000 to any one business.

Because start-up loans are personal unsecured loans that are used for business purposes, each partner is required to make a separate application and provide their own personal survival budget to demonstrate individual affordability. You can submit the same business plan and cash flow forecast as part of your application.

It is also important to remember that no matter what happens with your partnership or business if your application is successful but the business does not succeed you will each be individually responsible for making your own loan repayments.

I am on a visa; can I still apply?

It depends on what type of visa you have, as some visas restrict an individual’s ability to work in the UK. We are unable to work with you if you are on the following:

  • Tier 1 visa (all categories)
  • Tier 2 visa (all categories)
  • Tier 4 (general) student visa
  • Tier 5 visa (temporary worker)
  • Domestic workers on a private household visa
  • A representative of an overseas business visa

You can still apply if you hold an Ancestry Visa, or one with a “no recourse to public funds” restriction, provided they do not fall under the above exclusions.

My visa is eligible. Are there any restrictions on how much I can borrow and how long for?

If your visa has an expiry date then your loan term must end 6 months prior to the expiry date. For example, if your visa is valid for 3 years at the point of approval, we would only be able to offer you a loan term of 2 years and 6 months.

The length of your loan term may have an impact on the amount of money you can borrow. However, this will be looked at as part of the application process and will be determined by your business plan.

What is a credit check?

A credit check is a way for lenders to look at your current and past credit history.

Why do you need to run a credit check?

As part of your application we carry out a credit check to make sure that you are eligible for the Start Up Loans scheme. As responsible lenders we also need to make sure that by providing finances you will not be overburdened and put in any financial difficulty by taking out a loan.

What is a start up loan?

A start up loan is an unsecured personal loan to help you start your business. The loan is a personal loan given for business purposes.

Who are the Start Up Loans Company?

The Start Up Loans Company is a UK-wide government backed scheme which offers a repayable loan to individuals over the age of 18 who have a viable business idea but no access to finance. As well as financial backing all loan recipients are given access to a mentor, free training events, and exclusive business offers.

What is the start up loan application process?

Our application process has four steps:

Step 1: Complete our application form. We will carry out a full eligibility check and credit search and inform you of the outcome by email.

Step 2: If you are eligible we will introduce you to one of our business advisors. They will work at your pace and assist you with your business plan and cash flow. We will need to see your bank statements at this stage and we may also need to ask for additional ID documents.

Step 3: When your business documents are complete we will review them and let you know if your application has been successful. We will then submit your application to our finance partners, who will issue your loan agreement documents via the post.

Step 4: Once you have signed your loan agreement and have received your money, you will be assigned a mentor (if you want one).

What is a mentor?

A mentor is an individual with business experience who will provide support and guidance to help make your business a success.

Who are Transmit Startups?

Transmit Startups is part of a network of official Start Up Loans delivery partners across the UK who administer the Start Up Loans scheme. We are here to guide you through the application process, including advice on creating a business plan and cash flow forecast. If you receive a loan we will then support you through your journey, providing you with resources and access to a mentor.

What exactly is a Delivery Partner?

The Start Up Loans Company has appointed approximately 25 Delivery Partners, covering all regions in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to deliver the scheme.

What is a Finance Partner?

A Finance Partner is the organisation that administer the finance as part of the Start Up Loans scheme. There are two organisations operating as Finance Partners; The Enterprise Fund trading as Business Finance Solutions and Street UK.

Who is the Finance Partner for Transmit Startups?

The finance partner that we work with is The Enterprise Fund trading as GC Business Finance.

GC Business Finance are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Are you regulated?

Yes, Transmit Startups is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

We are also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Our ICO reference is: ZA047144.

Loans offered under the Start Up Loan scheme are regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Do I have to pay to take part in the scheme?

There is no fee to pay for a start up loan application and you should never be charged for applying for, or receiving a start up loan, or the support during and after the application process. The only amount you will ever have to pay is your monthly loan repayments.

If you are asked to make any sort of payment for your application that is not your agreed monthly loan repayments, please contact The Start Up Loans Company as soon as possible.

Can I only have one start up loan?

Yes, you can only have one start up loan. If you are successful in getting a loan you will be unable to apply for another, even if you are starting a new business.

Successful start up loan recipients may be able to apply for a second loan for the same business. Second Loans are provided directly from the Start Up Loans Company. For more details on eligibility and how to apply please visit the Start Up Loans website.

What happens to the interest paid on the loan?

The interest received on the loan is recycled back into the scheme to help support more entrepreneurs and new businesses.

Can you guarantee that my business will be a success?

We will do our best to make sure that you have all the right tools and support to start up your business, however we can’t guarantee that your business will be a success. While we will help as much as possible, all decisions made about your business are ultimately your responsibility.

Why do you look at my personal credit history when the loan is to start a business?

The loans given under the Start Up Loans scheme are personal unsecured loans, for the purpose of investing the money in starting your business. For this we need to understand your personal credit history, along with the requirements of your business, in order is assess affordability.

How long is the credit check valid for?

The credit checks we carry out are valid for 3 months. If your application is still in progress after this point we will need to conduct a new search.

Do you look at my credit score?

No, we do not look at or take into account your credit score. We only look at your credit history to assess your affordability of the loan.

Will the search affect my credit score?

The search we run will have a slight impact on your credit score.

Will the search show up on my credit report?

Yes. Two entries may show up on your report; the first is an ID search, and the second is related to your application for personal credit.

What credit issues might exclude me from getting a Start Up Loan?

Having credit issues will not necessarily exclude you from successfully receiving a start up loan, however, it will be a factor that is taken into account during the application process. We are committed to responsible lending and, as part of this, we review each applicant’s past financial behaviours and current ability to afford the loan.

For this reason, we are unable to lend to applicants who have certain credit issues. These include, but are not limited to:

  • You are filing for, or currently bankrupt or on a Debt Relief Order (DRO)
  • You have an outstanding Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or Trust Deed

Some other credit issues may also exclude you from obtaining the loan, although these do not automatically rule you out. They include, but are not limited to:

  • You are on a Debt Management Plan or Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)
  • You have an outstanding County Court Judgement (CCJ)

Please note, Transmit Startups assesses every application on its own merits and reserves the right to decline an application for other credit related reasons, particularly in cases where lending is likely to increase an individual’s financial indebtedness.

I am concerned about my credit history. Can I check my own report?

Yes, you can check your own report though a Credit Reference Agency. Please note, some of these companies may charge a small fee for running a report.

The Credit Reference Agencies we recommend are:

It’s important to remember that Credit Reference Agencies don’t always hold the same information, so you may wish to consult more than one company if you have any concerns about the contents of your personal Credit Report.

Why have you asked me to provide a copy of my own credit report?

On occasion we may ask you for a copy of your own credit report. This is because Credit Reference Agencies don’t always hold the same information and to get a clear picture of your financial situation we sometimes need to assess more than one report.

We may also ask you for a copy of your own report because we need to discuss your credit history with you. Transmit Startups are unable to disclose the information that we can see on our reports, so we need a copy of your report to discuss this information.

Will Transmit Startups pay for me to generate my own credit report?

We cannot pay, or reimburse you, for the cost of generating your own credit report. We recommend that you use a free provider, such as Noddle, to obtain a copy of your credit report.

Can you tell me why my application was declined?

The agreement we have with the Start Up Loans Company, Credit Reference Agencies, and our finance partners (The Enterprise Fund trading as Business Finance Solutions) means that we cannot disclose the details of what we see in our credit reports. As a result of this we are unable to provide details around why your application has been declined.

Can you provide debt advice?

We are unable to provide any debt advice to you. Please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Money Advice Service for free advice on debts, and how to improve your credit record.

Do I receive a mentor as part of the scheme?

Once you have a loan you will be able to access our ongoing business support services, including mentoring, and discounts on useful services to start your business.

How much support can I request from my mentor?

Your mentor will offer two hours of support in the first three months after receiving your loan. After these three months your mentor will offer one hour per month of support.

I’m not sure what steps to take with my business. Will my mentor tell me what to do?

Your mentor cannot tell you how to run your business; instead they will assist you in learning how to make plans and strategies that will enable you to make the right decisions for your business.

Do I continue to receive mentoring support if I go into default?

Yes, if you go into default you can still seek support from your mentor. However, it is not the responsibility of your mentor to ensure that you keep up with your loans repayments, and irrespective of the circumstances of your mentoring relationship, you are still responsible for paying back a Start Up Loan according to your agreed repayment plan.

What makes a successful mentor?

The ability to provide guidance, along with the desire to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Can I become a mentor?

If you would like to become a mentor, please complete our Mentor Sign Up Form and we’ll be in touch with more information.

How long does the loan application process take?

As we assess each application on a case by case basis, it can be hard to predict how long the process will take. On average the full application usually takes between 4-6 weeks, however this depends on how straight forward your eligibility check is and how quickly you can send us the documents we request. Some applications can take 2-3 months and longer to complete.

Loans of £5,000 and under follow a faster process and are usually easier to approve. As a result, these can take an average of 3 weeks to complete.

How do you assess my application?

There are three main areas that we assess during your application:

Credit worthiness: Your past and current financial behaviour is assessed. While a poor credit history will not prevent you from securing a loan, this part of the process is part of our commitment to responsible lending.

Personal affordability: Your affordability is assessed to make sure that you are only borrowing what you need, and that you will have monthly repayments that can be managed comfortably, even if your business ceases to trade.

Business viability: A key factor in our lending decision is ensuring that your business is going to generate enough profit to help you meet your monthly loan repayments. To help us assess this, you need to demonstrate that there is sufficient demand for your products and services and that you can reasonably achieve all of the goals set out in your Business Plan and Cash Flow Forecast.

Do I need a business bank account to receive a start up loan?

No. As a Start Up Loan is a personal loan, you will need a personal current account for your application.

Do you have templates that I can use?

Yes, we have business plan and cash flow forecast templates that you can use as part of the application process. Don’t worry though if you already have your business documents prepared – we can accept these even if they aren’t on our templates.

I submitted my application but I haven’t heard anything, what should I do?

If you haven’t received a reply within 3 working days, please contact our admin team.

When are Start Up Loans paid?

Once your Start Up Loan application is approved, you’ll be sent some paperwork that you have to complete correctly and return to the finance provider, who will then process your payment. Payment times vary, but on average we find people have their loans paid within two weeks of approval.

How do Start Up Loans work?

The process of getting a government-backed Start Up Loan is pretty straightforward. First, you make an application, telling us about your business idea, how much money you want to borrow and what you will be spending it on. Then you’ll go through a credit check, and if successful one of our advisers will work with you on your business plan and financial forecasts, to make sure we can offer you support and lend responsibly. Once your loan is approved, you’ll be sent paperwork to sign and return to our finance provider, who will then pay the funds into your personal bank account.

What can Start Up Loans be used for?

Start Up Loans can be used to pay for most of the costs associated with starting a business and the early stages of trading, as long as it’s part of your business plan. They can pay for people’s time to do things for you, and for many of the physical things you need to run your business. For specific questions, please get in touch and one of the team will help you.

What are Government Start Up Loans?

Start Up Loans are personal loans used for business purposes of £500-£25,000, funded by the UK Government, to help people to start their business and through the first three years of trading. The Government funds these loans because often, start up businesses are considered quite risky and so traditional lenders were often not able to help. Transmit Startups is the leading delivery partner for these loans, working across the UK to provide access to finance alongside support and mentoring to help people make their business dreams a reality.

What is a Start Up Loan?

A Start Up Loan is a loan for people who want to start a business or who started a business less than three years ago.

It is a bit different to a normal business loan because:

  • you don’t need to provide any business accounts to be considered
  • we’ll help you complete your business plan and financial plan
  • it includes business mentoring in your first twelve months

It is ideal for people who need between £500 and £25,000 to fund a new business, along with expert business support from the start.

Who can apply for a Start Up Loan?

You can apply for a Start Up Loan if you want to start a business or have a business that started trading less than three years ago.

There are eligibility criteria that you should check before you apply. For example, you need to be over 18, and you and the business need to be based in the UK.

Certain businesses aren’t eligible to receive a Start Up Loan, such as gambling, drugs and weapons, so double check before you submit an application.

If you’re not sure, read our guide: Am I eligible for a business loan?

What can I use a Start Up Loan for?

You can use your Start Up Loan to fund any aspect of your new business.

For example:

  • securing premises
  • buying stock
  • developing your marketing
  • hiring staff and professional services
  • paying for equipment and tools

Take a look at our success stories section to see how other entrepreneurs have used their Start Up Loan to fund a new business.

How long does it take to get a Start Up Loan?

Once your application has been approved and you’ve completed the paperwork, the money will usually be in your bank in a matter of days. But the length of the application process depends how prepared and responsive you are.

If your business plan and financial forecasts are all in order, we can process your application very quickly, sometimes in as little as a week.

If they need more work, or if you need time to respond to requests for information, it will take longer.

We’re here to help you get funding to start a new business and begin your self-employment adventure, so work with us to make it happen as soon as possible.

What do I need to apply for a Start Up Loan?

To apply for a Start Up Loan, you will need to complete:

  • A business plan
  • A financial forecast for your business
  • A personal survival budget

These don’t have to be perfect; we’ll help you work on them.

You may also need to provide us with:

  • Personal identification documents
  • Some personal bank statements

Unlike business loans, because this is a personal loan you DON’T need to provide any business accounts.

If you’re ready to get started with your business plan now:

If you want to work out whether you can afford to start a business:

How do I apply for a Start Up Loan?

The first step towards getting funding for your new business is our simple online application form.

1. Fill in your details and we’ll check your eligibility, run a credit check and let you know whether we can take your application forward.

2. If you’re eligible, we’ll appoint one of our experienced business advisers to your application. They will work with you to make sure your application – and business – stands the best chance of success.

They’ll work through your business plan and financial forecasts to make sure they’re watertight and well thought out. They’ll also check your ID documents and bank statements.

3. Once your documents are all complete, we’ll send them off to the decision-makers and you’ll hopefully be approved for your Start Up Loan.

4. Once approved, you’ll receive a Start Up Loan agreement to sign, and once that's done you’ll receive your money and be offered the chance to choose a business mentor.

Why choose Transmit Startups for a Start Up Loan?

Transmit Startups are the UK’s largest delivery partner for the Government’s Start Up Loan scheme. We live and breathe startups, and love seeing what our recipients achieve.

We’ve helped thousand of people just like you. In fact, we award more Start Up Loans than anyone else.

Our directors are all entrepreneurs and many of our staff have started businesses themselves.

Because of our experience, we’re startup experts. We know how to help you plan for business success and apply for a Start Up Loan.

Our highly experienced business advisers are with you every step of the way. We all really want to see you succeed and will do everything we can to help you.

Once you’ve been approved for a Start Up Loan, we’ll assign you a mentor to support you during your first twelve months. Your mentor will be a soundboard for any questions you have or challenges you face.