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Specialised Support

Find specialised support and advice for your business from our partners.


Read through our frequently asked questions

Who should apply?

In the case of sole traders and partnerships, the business owners should apply. Limited companies require application from all directors. In some cases we may request that shareholders who are not directors also be signatories to the loan if they are instrumental to the running of the business.

How long does the process take?

Every application is different, but the process usually takes 1 week to complete.

Do you take security?

For individual loans over £50,000 we take tangible security. In some cases we can offer loans up to £100,000 on an unsecured basis that require personal guarantees from director(s).

I have poor credit history, will you still consider my application?

We will consider all applications from individuals with a poor credit history, including those who are discharged bankrupts. All applicants should declare any CCJ’s or bankruptcies on the application form.

How do I create a business plan?

Our template is available to download here. Notes provided under each section to help you through the process. Please provide all the information you are able to under each section; doing so in bullet point form is acceptable.

Can I get a third party to complete a business plan for me?

We prefer business plans that are completed by the applicant(s) as we believe that the applicant(s) can describe better than a third party the history, achievements, hurdles and plans for the business. However we will accept plans written by a third party as long as they are appropriately qualified. Our investment managers process business plans that are submitted to panel and therefore the plan submitted by the applicant(s) is unlikely to be the final version; our investment managers will ensure that any plans that are submitted are fit for purpose.

How can I complete a forecast for a new start up?

A forecast is essentially a best guess.  Some costs are able to be forecast more accurately than others. Overhead costs, for example, include figures such as rent, rates and utilities. These can generally be assessed fairly accurately. Figures such as sales can be more difficult to forecast. However, your research into the viability of the business and the demand for the product/ service should allow you to determine approximate figures. As you start to trade you will be able to adjust your forecast accordingly. A basic forecast template is available to download, however we will accept a forecast in any format.

Is a Start Up Loan a Grant?

No. Start Up Loans are personal loans intended for business use and have to be repaid within 5 years at the fixed rate of 6%. To see all the details of the Start Up Loans scheme, click here. 

Can I submit a business plan and forecast in my own format when applying for my loan from BEF?

We can provide our own business plan template but welcome your own format when applying for a loan. Forecasts can be submitted in any format.

Alternative ways of applying

We prefer applicants to use the online procedure as it enables us to respond to the client quicker. However if you are unable to complete the online application process for any reason, please email us at [email protected] to request a manual application form, or call us on 0800 080 3145.