Business funding

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1. Where to find that funding

The first port of call when you decide to start a business, and need to add to your own savings, will often be your own bank, or friends and relatives. There may, however, be other suitable sources of funding or in-kind support. The linked pages give details of grants, loan providers and crowdfunding options.

Business grants are a good first step as you will not need to pay the grant money back. Always read the small print as conditions will normally apply and the grant provider will want to ensure that the money has been used for the purpose intended.  Look at the grants section for details of the latest grants available.

Businesses sometimes seek business loans to start up a business, expand an existing business or, in difficult times, to 'tide them over'. Whatever the reason, it is important to consider the annual percentage rate (APR) that applies to the interest on any loans taken out as this is an excellent way to compare different terms offered. 

Crowdfunding and peer funding is a newer form of finance. If you have a good idea, investors may fund you directly. This operates like an online version of the BBC programme Dragons' Den. Remember that, like a limited company, once you have opted for crowdfunding, there will be a number of shareholders in your company.