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Outset Finance

Outset Finance is a national delivery partner of the government’s Start Up Loans scheme and can offer new business owners access to a loan valued up to £25,000, plus 12-months free mentoring support.

Start Up Loans are designed to help people start and sustain their business. They are specifically designed to support people who have been (or are likely to be) rejected by the bank, so your past financial experiences don’t have to stand in the way of your future potential.

Start Up Loans are designed to support people in the early stages of starting-up, so if you are yet to start your business, or in your first 24 months of trading you are probably eligible to apply. People typically borrow between £2,000 and £10,000 (the maximum loan is £25,000) and all loans come at a competitive fixed rate of interest at 6% APR.

If you’re successful in applying for a Start Up Loan, we’ll also match you up with a suitable business mentor to offer you 12-months of free support and help you navigate any challenges, barriers or opportunities as you go about setting up your business.

We don’t encourage people to take on debt they can’t afford, which is why we work with you prior to submitting your loan application to ensure that your business plan and cash-flow forecasts are strong enough to enable you to sustain a loan. We are pleased to offer Outset Finance clients 12-months free access to Outset Online, our online learning programme, to help prepare these documents and provides access to a set of online calculators that make planning and managing your finances so much easier.

Am I eligible?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to the following questions then you are likely to be eligible for a Start Up Loan:

  • You have not yet started trading or are in your first 24 months of trading
  • Your business is or will be based in England
  • You are eligible to live and work in the UK
  • You are not currently bankrupt (or if previously bankrupt, we can consider an application 2 years after the discharge date)
  • You do not have any outstanding Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA)
  • You have not taken out a Start Up Loan through any other provider
  • You have been (or are likely to be) refused by a bank (self-declaration is acceptable)
If you don’t think you’re eligible, visit to see what other financial support might be available to your business.

The application process:

1. Visit the Outset Finance website and register your interest. Someone will be in touch within 48 hours to answer any questions and walk you through the next steps.

  1. Check out our application checklist below to help you gather the documents you’ll need to apply.
  1. Visit the Outset Finance website to download a selection of free templates to help you finalise the documents you’ll need to submit with your application form.
  1. Finalise your business plan or, if you haven’t created this yet, apply for access to Outset Online for help getting started.
  1. Submit your application via the Outset Finance website.
  1. Outset Finance will review your application within 48 hours and contact you directly with any further questions. On average, once your documents have been received, it takes about five days to assess your loan application.

Start Up Loan application checklist

Before you submit your online application form on the Outset Finance website, you will need digital copies of all of the following documents to upload with your application. Download a copy of this full checklist now and click the below links to download editable templates to help you finalise these documents:

Business plan
Your CV
A signed self declaration form
Cash flow/ personal survival budget
Experian credit check report (available for £2 from Experian)
Signed mentor / mentee agreement (participation in 12 months mentoring support is a mandatory requirement for all successful Start Up Loans applicants)
Three months of bank statements
Bank loan refusal or decline letter
ID (either one item from List A OR three items from List B below)


  • Signed passport
  • Signed UK photo driving licence
  • Signed EU photo identity card
  • UK firearms licence with photo
  • UK ID card for foreign nationals
  • Visa, if not EU/UK citizen


  • Utility bill from Provider A
  • Utility bill from Provider B
  • Utility bill from Provider C
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Letter from any Government department addressed to you
  • TV licence
  • Mortgage statement issued within three months
  • Child benefit book within last year
  • Wage slip from your employer