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Business Start Up Loans Leeds

Start or grow a business in Leeds

Leeds offers a blend of urban excitement and suburban tranquillity, from the green expanses of Headingley, Roundhay, and Chapel Allerton to the community spirit of Horsforth, Beeston, Morley, Garforth, Otley, Pudsey, and Rothwell. This diversity extends to its economic landscape, with Leeds standing as a major UK financial centre outside London, fostering growth in finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and digital sectors, supported by strong networks for business innovation.

Starting a business in Leeds comes with its challenges, particularly in securing funding. Aspiring and new business owners often grapple with complex loan applications, fear of rejection due to insufficient collateral or credit history, and daunting financial terms.

Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The government-backed Start Up Loans scheme is a solution designed to help you succeed despite the challenges.

What is a Start Up Loan?

A Start Up Loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. It's an excellent way to finance your Leeds based start-up. The loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward any assets or guarantors to support an application.

Key features

  • For: Businesses trading less than 36 months.
  • Loan amount: Borrow up to £25,000 (BEF average loan size = £11,000).
  • Interest rates: 6% fixed. Take advantage of a low interest rate to help start or grow your business.
  • Repayment terms: Enjoy flexible repayment options spanning 1 to 5 years.
  • One business, four loans: Up to four partners or directors can each apply for a Start-Up Loan for the same business.
  • Additional benefits: Take advantage of no arrangement fees, no early repayment fees, and up to 12 months of complimentary post-loan mentoring

How much would I repay if I borrowed £11,000 to start my Leeds-based business?

£11,000 loan repayable over 5 years. 60 monthly payments of £212.66. Fixed interest rate of interest 6% per annum. Total amount of credit £11,000.Total interest payable £1,759.60.Total cost of credit £1,759.60. Total amount payable is £12,759.60.

This is an illustrative example for a loan of £11,000. Loans of up to £25,000 are available from the Start Up Loans Company. Rates and terms will vary for other loan products from BEF should you not be eligible for a Start Up Loan. Further information is available on request.

Find out how much you could afford to borrow with BEF's Start Up Loan calculator.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a Start Up Loan, you need to:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Have the right to work in the UK
  • Be living in the UK
  • Have a business plan or a business that’s been trading for 0 – 36 month
  • Have been denied by a bank (you can self-certify)

How do I apply for a Start Up Loan for my Leeds business?

Applying for a start-up loan is a straightforward process:

  1. Online Application Submission
  2. Credit Check and Initial Review
  3. Business Plan and Document Assessment
  4. Interview
  5. Decision and Loan Offer
  6. Acceptance and Funding

Usually, our team of Investment Managers will help you finish everything up within six weeks after you apply for a Start Up Loan.

Case study: A success story from Leeds

Hearing from fellow start-up owners can provide that extra dose of inspiration and confidence you need. That's why we've gathered testimonials from business owners in Leeds who have successfully utilised a Start Up Loan to elevate their businesses. Here are their stories:

The Business Enterprise Fund has been a huge help in us getting started, with the loan helping on everything from signage to equipment and we’ve so appreciated their ongoing professional advice. We’ve seen a whole variety of patients so far from those taking charge of their preventative care or couples who want to look and feel good in their wedding photos.”
- Laura Ben Mayor, director, The Spine Guy

Why choose BEF?

We are more than just a place to borrow money; we're a trusted partner who really wants you to do well. We're all about helping people get the money they need to start their dreams. So far, we've helped over 5,000 people start their journeys with £20 million in Start Up Loan cash.

Here's what makes us right for you:

  • Personalised Approach: We understand that every business is unique, and we tailor our support to meet your specific needs and goals.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team of experienced and supportive Investment Managers will provide you with valuable insights and guidance throughout your journey.
  • Real people making decisions: No cold, heartless computers here. Our friendly and experienced Investment Managers are the ones who make the call.
  • A trusted partner: We're here to offer you flexible money options to help you start, and when ready, grow.
  • Teaming Up: We work closely with business advisors and the British Business Bank to help new businesses in the Yorkshire, the Humber, and the North East.


Have questions? Our FAQ section includes answers to common questions. If your question isn't listed, our dedicated team is just a message away.

What can I use a Start Up Loan for?

A Start Up Loan is here to help your Leeds-based start-up grow, but we get that every business is different. You can generally use the loan for things like day-to-day costs, premises, equipment, stock, marketing, bringing on new team members, or other ways to build your business. Still, we suggest explaining how you plan to use the money in your application, so it matches up with what the loan is meant for.

What documents are required for the application?

Usually, you'll need to show us your Business Plan, Cash Flow Forecast, Personal Survival Budget, and Personal Bank Statements from the last three months. Don't worry, one of our friendly Investment Managers will let you know if we need anything else from you.

Is a Start Up Loan a grant?

A Start Up Loan is a personal loan that is regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This means the loan is taken out in your name and not the name of your venture. The loan is repayable on a monthly basis for the duration of the term of the loan. The finance provided to you is not a grant. Your Leeds-based business may qualify for an AD:VENTURE Growth Grant.

Do I need to give a personal guarantee to receive a Start Up Loan?

No, you don't. No security or collateral is required. What's more, you do not have to pay any application or early repayment fees.

Can my business partner and I both apply for a Start Up Loan?

Yes, they can. All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 available per business.

Can I apply if I have a poor credit history?

A poor credit history will not necessarily prevent you from securing a Start Up Loan; however, it is certainly a factor that will be considered as part of our assessment process. We are committed to responsible lending and, as part of this, review each applicant’s past financial behaviours and current ability to afford the loan.

For this reason, we are unable to lend to individuals with certain credit impairments. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

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