Business Loans

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  • Competitive rates tailored to your business
  • Borrow between £10,000 and £2,000,000
  • An alternative to unarranged overdrafts and credit cards
  • Smooth cashflow fluctuations
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427 reviews on 4.8 stars
 
  • Both a lender and broker
  • Over £1bn financed since 2007
  • Expert personal service
Portman Business Loans

Business Loans to help you grow

At Portman Finance Group, we can help you secure a business loan to boost your cash flow and avoid falling back on credit cards or overdrafts. No matter whether you need to pay staff or cover operating costs, there are a wide range of reasons why your cash flow may fluctuate. Our business loans can help you smooth over uncertain cash flow periods to come out on top and continue making money.

How does it work?

We Simplify Your Path to Capital

We know that finance can sometimes be confusing and stressful, but what we do is simple.

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1. Get started in 1 minute.

Enquire without affecting your credit score.

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2. Understanding your business.

A dedicated account manager will discuss your needs and collect documentation.

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3. Our experts do the leg-work.

We find the right deals, complete applications on your behalf and get you a no obligation quote.

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4. Your no-fuss finance is funded.

If accepted, your assets will be bought and delivered or the finance released to your account.

Enquire today
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What is a business loan?

In simple terms, a business loan is money borrowed by business owners to cover expenses. You decide how much you would like to borrow over what period and what you would like to use the money for. Portman will then understand the trading situation of your business and prepare a case to approach lenders or our own in-house underwriting for funds. Lenders then decide if they are willing to provide all or part of your required funds and at what rate of interest. Portman will compare packages and lenders in order to understand the options available to your business.

How do business loans work?

Business loans can help you maintain or grow a company. Put simply, it’s a method of borrowing money for business purposes. It can then be repaid in monthly instalments, including interest. This finance is then paid back over an agreed period called the term. Business loans are a common way to help smooth out company cash flow fluctuations. They also help businesses invest and take opportunities where otherwise they could be missed due to a lack of working capital or reluctance to tie up large amounts of cash.

Looking for a shortterm or flexible loan? Find out more about our shortterm funding options.

Business Loan Calculator

If you’re seriously considering a business loan, you most likely want to know how much you can borrow. Of course, this depends on your unique business circumstances and the lender you choose. However, for a rough idea of how much you could borrow, use our business loan calculator at Portman.

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Business Loans: Secured or Unsecured?

Business loans can be made available in both secured and unsecured variations. Secured loans are tied to an asset the lender can claim ownership of if the loan payments are not made. Portman typically provides loans that are not secured on an asset, which can be more flexible but are likely to require a personal guarantee.

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What are unsecured business loans?

An unsecured loan is money lent from one party to another without any security factors put in place over a specific asset. However, it may require a personal guarantee. A lender advances funds to the customer, who then makes regular payments to repay the finances back to the lender fully. The customer also has the freedom to terminate the agreement at any time, giving notice to the finance company and paying the settlement amount. At the end of the term, you will retain ownership of any goods bought with the funds, or if simply used for cash flow, there are no further payments to make.

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How are business loans secured?

A secured loan is one where the business puts forward an asset, such as a vehicle, equipment or property, to act as security. A formal charge, restriction or other security documents will be registered against the asset, either at Companies House or the Land Registry, which may affect your ability to deal freely with the secured asset, i.e. you may be restricted from selling the asset without the lender’s prior permission. If loan payments are not made, the lender can enforce their security directly against the asset in question to recoup the money it owes.

An unsecured loan does not require any assets as security. The lender typically will base their lending decision on an assessment of the creditworthiness of your business and the affordability of the monthly payments. Depending on this assessment, a lender may still request a personal guarantee from the directors or shareholders. This is a promise to pay from the individual to the lender in support of the business, but no formal security will be registered against either the businesses’ or their personal assets meaning you can deal with these freely.

The vast majority of business loans arranged by Portman are unsecured. In some cases, a lender may take formal security, but this depends on the individual business’s circumstances and requirements and is dealt with on a casebycase basis.

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What can business loans be used for?

Business loans can be used for any legitimate business purpose, you know your business and goals best, and you choose where to invest. Loans are often used to:

  • Boost cashflow 

  • Cover operating costs and expenses 

  • Cover staff wages 

  • Fill the gap between invoices and getting paid 

  • Supplement seasonal income 

  • Purchase materials, inventory or stock 

  • Ensure cashflow during a project with staged customer payments 

Business loans offer an alternative to unarranged overdrafts or credit cards. If these lines of credit are exhausted first, a company may not have funds for day-to-day expenses and contingency. They will also affect your ability to obtain further credit in the form of a loan. In some instances, it may be more prudent to take a loan first. 

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When should you get a commercial business loan?

There may be several key moments in the growth and progression of a business when a financial injection is needed. Start-up businesses often need to borrow when buying their initial equipment or funding their premises. After some time, many businesses look to expand, leading them to look for larger premises or more expensive equipment. Seasonal businesses or those undertaking long projects with staged payments sometimes like to smooth out their cash flow if costs are relatively static during the year. In addition, there are times that businesses, through no fault of their own, need a bit of financial support through a particularly tough trading period in their industry. A key example of this could be the COVID-19 Pandemic ripping through countless industries and causing countless companies to struggle.

Each business is different and has factors that could play a part in its eligibility for a particular loan. Factors like individual trading circumstances and history affect whether finance is right for you and the amount of finance that is appropriate. If you do decide either a long-term or short-term loan is a good option, Portman operates as both a lender and broker who work with businesses of all types of credit history. As a result, Portman is best placed to find you the right deal.

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Am I eligible for a business loan?

Eligibility for a business loan depends on your circumstances and those of your business. Many businesses will find that they are eligible for a loan. Still, the types of loans and available rates will vary depending on several factors, including your credit history and the business’s trading history. It is important to be as transparent as possible to gain a clearer and more accurate understanding of the type of loan that can be offered to you. At Portman, we operate as both a lender and a broker and can make our own decisions or find the best lender for you.

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Is a business loan right for me?

Only you know when your business is ready for a financial injection, and we recommend seeking professional advice. A business loan has many key advantages that could assist your business, allowing you to:

  • Get what you need instantly

  • Secure fixed monthly repayments, giving you financial security  

  • Cover immediate costs and make repayments whilst your business generates revenue and develops a stronger foundation

  • Build your business credit score for the future and strengthen your financial footing

  • Expand your existing premises and grow your business

  • Grab an opportunity that’s bigger than the potential repayments 

  • Attract the best talent 

If you’re still unsure if a business loan is the right choice for your business, there are other funding options that might help. For example, start up finance is excellent for small businesses just getting started. Alternatively, you might want to invest in new equipment or technology for your business, in which case equipment finance and hire purchase agreements are great choices.

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Business Loans FAQs

Do you offer small business loans?

Portman typically sources funding from £10,000 but is able to offer lower value funding in some circumstances. We do work with businesses of all sizes and can secure funding for both small businesses or new starts, as well as established larger firms.

Are business loans hard to get?

The ability to get a loan and the best available rate depends on your business’ individual trading history as well as the financial history of any directors. It may be easier for long-established businesses with a healthy balance sheet to obtain finance than for newer businesses or those who have had financial difficulties. However, as both a lender and a broker, Portman can match the requirements of our customers with the lender most likely to offer finance, giving you a greater chance of success.

How are business loans secured?

Business loans are ‘secured’ against existing commercial assets. This could include machinery, vehicles or property. What this means is that should the borrower be unable to repay the amount owed, the lender can sell those items in order to recoup the money it is owed. An unsecured loan does not put your business assets at risk, however, they carry greater risk for the lender and so are likely to be more expensive.

How do I get a business loan?

You can enquire online by using our eligibility checker. Click ‘get started’ at the top of the page and complete your details on the enquiry form. Once you have submitted your details, one of our account managers will contact you to discuss your needs. We do need some business documentation from you but will complete proposals and applications on your behalf.

How to apply for a business loan?

You can enquire online by using our eligibility checker enquiry form. Click ‘get started’ at the top of the page and complete your details on the enquiry form. Once you have submitted your details, one of our account managers will contact you to discuss your needs. We do need some business documentation from you but will complete proposals and applications on your behalf. 

What can business loans be used for?

Business loans can be used for any legitimate business purpose. Our customers use loans to fund premises, to buy stock, to market their business, to cover wages or operational costs or to buy any items they need for their business. This type of loan cannot be used for personal expenses as personal credit is not tax deductible

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General Enquiries

What are your rates?

The interest rates available to each customer vary based on a large number of factors including the trading history and credit rating of the business, the credit history of any company directors, how much money is required and what the funds are being used for. The rates for customers with an exceptional credit rating start from an annual flat rate of 5.3%.

Do you provide finance outside the UK? 

Unfortunately, Portman can only finance companies registered and operating in the UK.

How long will I be paying back the finance? 

Terms are available between 2 and 6 years. Options available to you may be dependent on the circumstances of your business, but then the final choice is up to you.

I thought finance was just for people who can’t afford to buy? 

On the contrary, asset finance is designed to spread costs over a period of time, whilst your new equipment generates revenue. Using your business’ cash or credit card and buying outright can mean that there’s no free cash for emergencies or to cover fluctuations in demand. Using finance helps even out the monthly budget and choosing a lease finance or hire purchase deal allows you to treat tax in different ways which may suit your business better. Finance allows you to get what you need now, rather than waiting to buy outright, this helps avoid inflation, as you buy at today’s prices and means you have use of the asset immediately to help grow your business.

Isn’t it cheaper just to go to a lender direct? 

Whilst banks can offer different rates, they often reject certain type of purchase, businesses in different industries and have very strict lending criteria. At Portman we deal with a panel of over 40 lenders as well funding businesses with our own money. We have access to specialist lenders and specialist types of finance, giving a variety of options and a greater chance of success. Portman may have rates that are not available to a customer who goes direct and can also explore the whole lending market in one go, saving you time. We have access to specialist lenders that are not available to individuals and can even put together finance packages from multiple lenders. All of which gives you competitive rates, with a greater chance of acceptance.

What are the minimum and maximum amounts I can borrow? 

The amount that you are able to borrow very much depends on a combination of your own personal circumstances and the trading history of your business. Like a mortgage, finance amounts can also be affected by the size of your business. Broadly speaking we offer finance agreements from around £10,000 up to approximately £2,000,000

How Should I Manage & Avoid Late Payment Fees & Charges?

Receiving late payments or paying late yourself can create hurdles affecting your financial stability and the relationships you’ve worked hard to build with your clients. Read how you can both avoid and manage late payments with Portman’s helpful guide on Late Payment Fees & Charges.

Our experts can find the right funding for you.

Find out how we can help today.
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