Start-up business loan

4 min read

How to get a start-up business loan

One of the first hurdles to jump over when you start a business in New Zealand is financing. For many start-ups this means courting funds through a small business loan or start-up loan.

While you can fund your small business on the back of your own savings or by attracting investors, these options won’t be viable to everyone, and you might have to apply for a small business loan.

What is a start-up loan?

A start-up loan refers to the initial financing option sought by a new business owner looking to launch their small business.

With the advent of a new business comes an array of costly overheads. This initial injection of start-up capital often comes in the form of small business loans.

You have an array of options in this category. Most banking institutions will have a variety of small business loan products available, and you can often find a great deal with an alternate financial institution or loan operator.

Some variations to consider in your small business loan:

  • fixed interest
  • variable interest
  • secured loans
  • unsecured loans
  • short term loans
  • business credit cards

How to qualify for a small business loan?

The qualification process for a business loan will be dependent on the type of loan you’re applying for and the nature of the financial institution you’re applying with.

First and foremost, you’re going to have to convince your chosen financer that your small business represents a sound bet and that you’ll have the capacity to pay your loan back. In short, you need to minimise their risk profile and present yourself as a reliable debtor.

  • The fist thing you’ll need is a solid business plan. Focus on your outlay, projected income, and your clear pathway to profitability. To write up a professional business plan, see our business plan guide here, complete with a free downloadable small business plan template.
  • In some cases, you’ll need to show that you’ve already begun trading and have a reasonable turnover.
  • If you secure a loan, you’ll certainly need an asset or set of assets to offer up as security.
  • There will almost certainly be a credit check process, so ensure you have no defaults on your credit record or a history of bankruptcy.
  • You should also be able to show that you have no large current loans or debts that you’re servicing that would conflict with your ability to prioritise and pay back the loan you’re attempting to secure.

Is a small business loan secured or unsecured?

Will your small business loan be secured or unsecured? That’s the golden question.

If you need a loan from a bank for example, a secured loan will be favoured by the financial institution. You may also receive more favourable rates and conditions with a secured loan as opposed to unsecured. If you choose a bank for your unsecured loan, you’ll find that the amounts of capital on offer will be smaller than a secured loan.

If you don’t have any valuable assets to put up as security, you’ll find that short term loans with a reputable provider are attractive options. With a short-term business loan, you’ll likely not have to offer up any security at all and the approval process will instead focus on your ability to generate strong cashflow and demonstrate trade.

Short term loans

A short-term loan is often a very attractive route to consider. Many small business owners will choose a short-term loan that isn’t secured, for a variety of reasons:

You have a short term need for cash.

  • You need to purchase stock or equipment that will immediately generate income and thus boost your ability to pay it back quickly.
  • You don’t have any assets or collateral to secure a loan.

Loans in this category include options such as Reckon Loans, which operates as a stopgap solution to immediate capital requirements.

As opposed to bank loans, all you’ll need is:

  • six months trading history
  • a monthly turnover of at least $6,000

With terms ranging from three to 24 months, and funds up to $300,000 for secured loans and $100,000 for unsecured loans, these options will suit a small business requiring an immediate cash injection to quickly grow their operations.

Government grants for start-up businesses in NZ

In New Zealand there are several government-supported schemes aimed at start-ups and small business owners to set up profitable and stable ventures.

Most of this assistance comes in the guise of advice, networking, upskilling, and connecting you with relevant advisors.

There are, however, options available for grants which are targeted at the tech start-up industry, such as the Callaghan Institute. If you do receive funding, it’s likely you’ll have to match this with your own capital.

If you’re on benefits and are looking to launch your own business there’s also assistance available through the Work and Income agency in the form of the Flexi-Wage program. By getting in contact with them, you’ll be assigned a case manager to ascertain if you’re eligible for any start-up or business assistance.

To check out these government backed grant and assistance options, please visit the following NZ government page.

No matter which small business loan you choose, you should always consult with a business advisor before putting ink to paper. While small business loans are an attractive avenue to business growth, you must be confident of your ability to repay your loan.