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General Enquiries

Can I get a loan if I am on benefits or claiming disability?

Portman only provides business finance and is not able to offer any form of personal credit including benefit loans, disability loans, payday loans or student loans

What are your rates?

The interest rates available to each customer vary based on a large number of factors including the trading history and credit rating of the business, the credit history of any company directors, how much money is required and what the funds are being used for. The rates for customers with an exceptional credit rating start from an annual flat rate of 3.9%.

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Asset Finance

Do you provide finance outside the UK? 

Unfortunately, Portman can only finance companies registered and operating in the UK.

What are the minimum and maximum amounts I can borrow? 

The amount that you are able to borrow very much depends on a combination of your own personal circumstances and the trading history of your business. Like a mortgage, finance amounts can also be affected by the size of your business. Broadly speaking we offer finance agreements from around £10,000 up to approximately £2,000,000

Do you offer seasonal payment terms? 

Yes, many of our customers naturally experience high demand for their services during certain times of the year as well quieter periods during others. We tailor all finance agreements to the needs of each business, and lower payments can be arranged during periods when there is a predictable reduction in trade.

How long will I be paying back the finance? 

Terms are available between 2 and 6 years. Options available to you may be dependent on the circumstances of your business, but then the final choice is up to you.

What is asset finance?

Asset finance is a flexible way for business owners to fund their companies, offering a quick and convenient alternative to more traditional lending methods such as bank loans. It involves making regular payments for the use of an asset, such as a key piece of equipment, over an agreed period of time, saving you from the cost of buying it outright. This preserves your cashflow and frees you up to invest in other areas of the business. At the same time, you are generating income from your new asset while paying for it. For small-to-medium-sized businesses and start-ups especially, asset finance is one of the most accessible and flexible forms of finance, as well as an effective strategy to generate growth.

What can be financed? 

We can fund any sort of asset, be it a traditional ‘hard’ asset such as machinery, tractors, forklifts and vans, to more ‘soft’ assets such as IT software, office supplies, gym equipment and furniture. We’re able to finance assets in almost any industry, not just the ones listed on this site, so whatever asset you need to move your business forward just contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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Business Loans

Are business loans hard to get?

The ability to get a loan and the best available rate depends on your business’ individual trading history as well as the financial history of any directors. It may be easier for long-established businesses with a healthy balance sheet to obtain finance than for newer businesses or those who have had financial difficulties. However, as both a lender and a broker, Portman can match the requirements of our customers with the lender most likely to offer finance, giving you a greater chance of success.

What can business loans be used for?

Business loans can be used for any legitimate business purpose. Our customers use loans to fund premises, to buy stock, to market their business, to cover wages or operational costs or to buy any items they need for their business. This type of loan cannot be used for personal expenses as personal credit is not tax deductible

How do I get a business loan?

You can enquire online by using our eligibility checker. Click ‘get started’ at the top of the page and complete your details on the enquiry form. Once you have submitted your details, one of our account managers will contact you to discuss your needs. We do need some business documentation from you but will complete proposals and applications on your behalf.

Do you offer small business loans?

Portman typically sources funding from £10,000 but is able to offer lower value funding in some circumstances. We do work with businesses of all sizes and can secure funding for both small businesses or new starts, as well as established larger firms.

How are business loans secured?

Business loans are ‘secured’ against existing commercial assets. This could include machinery, vehicles or property. What this means is that should the borrower be unable to repay the amount owed, the lender can sell those items in order to recoup the money it is owed. An unsecured loan does not put your business assets at risk, however, they carry greater risk for the lender and so are likely to be more expensive.

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Hire Purchase

What happens at the end of a hire purchase agreement? 

At the end of a hire purchase agreement, the borrower has a guaranteed right to purchase the title, i.e. own, the asset for which there may be a nominal administration fee.

What’s the difference between hire purchase and lease finance? 

With a hire purchase agreement, the borrower pays the VAT and a deposit upfront, though these can be financed. With lease finance there is no deposit, and the VAT is spread across each payment. With hire purchase the payments cannot be deducted from corporation tax but it may be possible to claim depreciation and Annual Investment Allowances. With lease finance, the entire monthly payment can usually be deducted company profits before corporation tax is calculated. With hire purchase, the borrower has a guaranteed right to buy the title of the asset they have financed, which will normally be for a nominal administration fee. At the end of a lease finance agreement, the borrower can give back, continue leasing or buy the asset.

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Lease Finance

How different are lease finance and hire purchase agreements?

With a hire purchase agreement, the borrower pays the VAT and a deposit upfront, though these can be financed. With lease finance there is no deposit, and the VAT is spread across each payment. With hire purchase the payments cannot be deducted from corporation tax but it may be possible to claim depreciation and Annual Investment Allowances. With lease finance, the entire monthly payment can usually be deducted company profits before corporation tax is calculated. With hire purchase, the borrower has a guaranteed right to buy the title of the asset they have financed, which will normally be for a nominal administration fee. At the end of a lease finance agreement, the borrower can give back, continue leasing or buy the asset.

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Recovery Loans

What does it mean that there’s no personal guarantee?

A personal guarantee (or director guarantee) is an individual’s commitment to pay a debt personally if the business cannot. Typically, a business owner or director, but sometimes a family member, will act as guarantor for a loan, whereby they will become liable for a debt if the business can no longer pay. The personal guarantee reduces the risk for a lender. In the case of Recovery Loans, no personal guarantee is required up to a loan value of £250,000. This means that the business owner or director cannot be held personally liable, should the business default on the loan. Instead, the UK Government is guaranteeing 70% of the loan value to the lender.

How do I apply for a Recovery Loan?

The eligibility requirements for a Recovery Loan are: a minimum 2 years trading history, a minimum £100k turnover, UK-based in its business activity and adversely impacted by Covid-19. Complete our eligibility form with a few basic details and one of our Account Managers will call you back to discuss your needs. We will ask to you some business documentation, then Portman will complete and submit applications on your behalf.

Is the Recovery Loan Scheme ending soon?

The Recovery Loan Scheme was launched on 6th April 2021 and will be closed to further applications from midnight on 30th June 2022.

Why are businesses taking Recovery Loans?

Businesses can borrow up to £250,000 with no personal guarantee. Any investment plans that require funding can be accelerated using a finance product that protects their personal wealth. Interest rates are rising, securing a fixed rate loan now provides access to finance that is likely to be more expensive in the future. Repayment periods can be up to 6 years, meaning the investment can generate income over the term. The loan can be used for any legitimate business purpose including: equipment, vehicles, cashflow, stock, refurbishments, technology and marketing.

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Start Up Loans

Can I get a start up loan with bad credit?

A poor credit history can affect your ability to get finance but at Portman we work with a number of specialist lenders who may be able to help. For new businesses, your ability to obtain finance is based on a number of factors including your turnover or projection, your business plan, your personal wealth and homeownership status, other businesses you may be involved with and your own credit history. A bad credit history will affect the rates you are able to obtain but might not prevent you from obtaining credit entirely.

How long does it take to get a start-up loan?

Finance could take as little as 24 hours up to a few of weeks, depending on eligibility for finance and the amount of borrowing required.

What is the application process like?

Portman can guide you through the application process. After discussing your needs and collecting business documents we can save you time, completing proposals and applications on your behalf. In the first instance, the documents we would need are: copies of a recognised photo ID, 6 months of bank statements, a copy of your business plan and possibly a copy of your CV. For established businesses we would also ask for a copy of your management accounts, profit and loss and balance sheet.

How much can I borrow for my new business?

How much a new-start business is able to borrow depends on a range of factors including: your business plan and projections, any other businesses you may be involved in, the value of your property and the assets you are looking to purchase. The best option is to enquire with Portman and one of our Account Managers can discuss your individual needs.

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Supplier Finance

What are the benefits of having a finance partner such as Portman?

If your business sells high value items, your customers may not always have enough free cash to buy outright or may prefer not tie up the cash they do have in an asset. Using finance allows businesses to get what they need now then pay back the finance as their asset generates revenue. Having Portman as your finance partner simply allows more customers to buy from you. In return, you may generate additional income by receiving a share of the finance amount. We can also provide marketing material to help you promote the partnership, as well as contact our customer database on your behalf to promote your business.

Do you offer referral fees?

We may offer referral fees to a supplier who uses Portman as their finance partner. The exact fee will be based on many things including the potential volume of enquiries and value of finance being provided.

Can I offer finance to my customers?

Yes. If your customers might like to finance a purchase from you, whether that be for an expensive individual item or package of equipment, Portman can help. We can advise your customers how much finance might cost, which makes it easier for them to buy from you. As well as increased sales conversion, we may offer a referral fee for any finance taken out buy customers that reach Portman through a partner.

Powering UK Businesses

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