Rural Start Up Loan Eligibility

Credit Check and Loan Assessment

During the application process, The Start Up Loans Company will undertake a personal credit check with a Credit Reference Agency (CRA). They will also run a series of other checks with Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) to validate both your personal information and bank account details.

The 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.

When applying for a start up loan it’s worthwhile checking your credit rating. There are several Credit Reference Agencies including Equifax, Experian and CheckMyFile.  CheckMyFile provides a detailed online credit report from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and Crediva.  You can get a 30 day free trial with CheckMyFile if you have never checked your credit score with them before.

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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

*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

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.

Purchasing existing businesses

You are 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 two years under different ownership, provided you personally have not owned the business for more than two years.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: We may be able to help you to buy the bricks and mortar, the fixtures and fittings, goodwill and stock too!


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

Additional Finance

If you require additional finance for your start up, we may be able to help you raise any additional finance requirement.

  • 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 24 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 credit checks and you can afford to repay the loan
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