A-Z Guide: 26 Tips to Follow When Borrowing from BLS

A-Z Guide: 26 Tips to Follow When Borrowing from BLS

A-Z Guide: 26 Tips to Follow When Borrowing from BLS

Thinking about applying for a loan to start or grow your business?

There are many factors to consider when sourcing finance including how much to borrow, affordability, interest rates and which lender is the best fit to suit the needs of your business.

If you’re considering Business Loans Scotland as your lender of choice then the following A-Z guide gives you access to all the key information you need to know prior to submitting an online enquiry.

A – Applying for a business loan has never been easier

Our simple online application process allows you to submit an enquiry by entering just a few details including company information, contact details and your reason for sourcing a loan. After submitting this information, one of our Loan Officers will be in touch to discuss progressing your application. It’s as simple as that!

B – Borrow from £25,000 to £250,000

Our loans range from £25,000 to £100,000, however loans up to £250,000 may be available in exceptional circumstances.

C – Calculate your repayments instantly

Not sure what to expect when it comes to repayments?

Our easy to use online loan calculator allows you to simply enter the amount you wish to borrow and the term of the loan and repayment figures will be calculated instantly. Try it today by clicking here.

D – Documentation required

Once your initial application has been submitted and if you are eligible for loan funding we would require the following documentation to be uploaded to our online loan application system:

  • Business plan
  • Historical accounts
  • Management accounts
  • Organisation chart
  • Planning permission and/or a building warrant
  • Business bank statement
  • Personal statement
  • Financial projections

For more detailed information on these documents, please click here.

E – Eligibility – Are you eligible to apply?

The following types of legally formed and trading businesses are eligible for support through BLS:

  • Limited Companies
  • Partnerships including Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP’S) with 4 or more partners
  • Partnerships including Limited Liability Partnerships with 3 or fewer partners (Loans over £25,000 only)
  • Sole Trader (Loans over £25,000 only)

F – Fixed interest rate

Our interest rate is fixed at 6% giving you peace of mind that repayment figures will stay the same throughout the duration of your loan.

G – Grow your SME

Want to grow your current business?

Growing your business may include:

  • Entering into new markets
  • Investing in marketing resources
  • Recruiting new employees and much more!

Our loans can therefore provide you with the finance required to expand your business and implement your growth strategy.

H – Here to support you and your business

As a Government-backed loan fund our objective is to help growing businesses create jobs and diversify the economy.

We’re here to support you throughout the loan process and for the duration of repayments. We exist to ensure that commercially viable proposals do not fail from a lack of access to finance. We want you to succeed.

I – Invest in office premises

Many businesses that we’ve supported have used loans to either purchase or transform their office space.

If you’re keen to invest in your current office premises to then read the story of North-East based traditional smokehouse Sutherlands of Portsoy who used their £37,000 loan to re-develop their exisiting site to one that would include the introduction of an education centre, state of the art smokehouse, new shop, administration centre and industrial kitchen.

Read the full story here.

J – Just a small business ourselves

With a team of 7 we are just a small business ourselves and therefore understand the challenges that many SMEs face when looking to start or grow their business.

We pride ourselves in taking the time to understand each business and the team behind the scenes to offer a friendly and approachable lending service.  

K – Keeping Scottish SMEs at the forefront of everything we do

As a consortium of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, we work closely with both our public and private sector partners to ensure that those SMEs that seek funding through BLS have access to an extended support network should they need to lean on it at any time.

Empowering Scottish businesses to thrive and succeed is at the heart of everything we do.

L – Loan Officers to help you through the process

After submitting an online application you will be assigned a dedicated Loan Officer from our team who will be there to support you throughout the process.

Following receipt of the loan, your Loan Officer will also continue to make regular contact and provide support where required.

M – Manufacturing and more!

Our loans can support business across a variety of sectors including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Service to manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale
  • Transport and Distribution
  • Software
  • Agriculture linked to farm diversification
  • Tourism and tourism infrastructure
  • Service based

N – Not like the bank

We pride ourselves in offering a personable approach to lending and as our loans are fully funded by The Scottish Government we differ from the banks in that our main aim is seeing businesses thrive through receipt of our loans.

As a Government-backed fund, all interest is re-invested meaning that even more individuals and businesses can benefit from our affordable finance and support.

O – Our process

Our 5 step application process is simple.

Simply follow this link where you will then be required to:

  • Provide details on your business
  • Enter contact information
  • Provide information on the amount you wish to borrow and information on what the loan would be used for
  • Submit your application
  • Wait for one of our Loan Officers to get in touch to discuss your application further

P – PR for your business

With every loan issued, we like to ensure that businesses have the opportunity to feature as one of our case study articles on our website.

This helps to optimise a business’ exposure by gaining some free PR and is available to every business that borrows from BLS. You can read some of our previous case studies here.

Q – Quick turnaround

We aim to make a decision within 2 weeks of receipt of your completed application and all relevant documents which meets BLS criteria. If approved, funds should be available within 20 business days of receipt of application and all relevant documents.

R – Repayment period of up to 5 years

With a repayment period of up to 5 years, this ensures that you can choose a loan term which works best for you and your business.

S – Support for Start-Ups

We’ve supported many start-up businesses across Scotland with loans to bring their business idea to life.

Eileen Bowden, Director of North Ayrshire based inflatable activity centre BounceStation, was able to launch the business following receipt of a £50K loan which allowed her to transform the old derelict warehouse into a fantastic inflatable activity park which can be enjoyed by all the family.

If, like Eileen, you require finance to kick start your business idea, we might be able to help!

T – Turn your dreams into reality

“Take the first step and enquire about it, we knew that without funding our plans that we worked so hard on were not going to be possible." Fiona Houston of Mara Seaweed explains how valuable receiving a loan has been in turning her dreams into a reality for her seaweed business.

Watch the full interview with Fiona here.

U – Understand your business

Throughout our loan application process you will be asked to provide various documents such as a business plan, account information and a personal statement to name a few.

Those business owners to receive loans have stated that this process enabled them to fully understand their business on a much deeper level. Angela Nicholls, Director of a Health and Wellbeing Facility in Perth & Kinross said:

“The application was intense but also a fantastic exercise in knowing your business plan inside out, including financial projections and market research giving you a very solid foundation to build from, along with the funds to do it with.”

V – Vast number of case studies available

Thinking about applying for a loan but want to hear the thoughts and experiences of businesses that have been through the process already?

Check out the full range of case studies available on our website which feature businesses from various different sectors and locations across Scotland.

Click here to read case studies.

W – Working capital

In our most recent survey, 57% of businesses to receive a loan said they used this towards raising the working capital required to start or grow their business.

Working capital is just one of the many things that our loans can be used for. For a full list of what loans can be used for, click here.

X – X-pand your business

Many Business Owners approach us for a loan to support their plans for expansion, much like Kristine Moody, MD of junior sports brand Team Magnus.

Kristine received 3 loans totaling £145K to support her business through its rapid expansion when the online demand for summer and winter goods exploded in 2017. Due to this, Kristine found it challenging to meet demand such as managing inventory and the logistics of trading internationally and so with the help of our loans, Kristine was able to raise the growth capital required to support her businesses growth. She has now successfully grown the business from one turning over £450K to one which now turns over a massive £3.5M!

If your business is facing similar challenges to that of Kristine, then get in touch to see if we can help!

Y – Your pathway to accessing finance

We understand that starting or growing a business can be a challenge. But accessing finance to support you on this journey shouldn’t be.

If you have a great idea to start a business or want to expand your current one then receiving one of our loans could be your pathway to achieving those goals.

Z – Zero hidden fees or charges, we’re completely transparent!

Our loans come with absolutely no hidden fees or charges to ensure that you know exactly what to expect when it comes to repayments.

For more information or to apply for one of our loans click here.

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