A Beginner’s Guide to Getting A Start-Up Business Loan in Singapore

asian businessmen meeting to apply for a business oan

Starting a new business can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also present significant challenges, particularly in terms of financial burden. Securing the necessary funding to build your business is often one of the most daunting obstacles to overcome. In our beginner’s guide, we will provide you with comprehensive insights and guidance on how to successfully obtain a start-up business loan.

What Is A Start-Up Business Loan?

A start-up business loan is designed to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses by providing the necessary financial capital to get them up and running. These loans can be used for various purposes, such as:

Purchasing Equipment

Whether it’s state-of-the-art machinery, cutting-edge technology, or tools and supplies specific to their industry, a start-up business loan ensures that business owners have the necessary resources to get their operations up and running.

Hiring Employees

With the funds from the loan, entrepreneurs can recruit skilled professionals who can contribute to the success of their venture. This not only helps in the day-to-day operations, but also brings fresh perspectives and expertise to the table.

Renting Office Space

Having a physical location that serves as the central hub for your business operations is essential for productivity and efficiency. Whether it’s a cosy corner office, a modern co-working space, or a dedicated retail shopfront, the loan can provide the necessary financial backing to secure and set up the perfect workspace.


So, if you’re a passionate and ambitious entrepreneur looking to transform your innovative ideas into a thriving business, a start-up business loan is the key to unlocking your potential. It offers the financial support necessary to purchase equipment, hire employees, and secure a suitable workspace—all crucial elements for building a successful venture.

What Are The Requirements To Get A Start-Up Business Loan In Singapore?

The eligibility requirements for a start-up business loan in Singapore can vary slightly depending on the specific bank or moneylender you approach. However, there are some common criteria that are typically expected from applicants. These include:

Citizenship or Residency Requirements

Most financial institutions require applicants to be Singapore citizens or permanent residents. Foreigners with a valid work visa or employment pass may also be eligible to apply, but the loan terms and conditions may differ.

Business Registration

Before applying for a startup business loan, entrepreneurs must register their businesses with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The business should be a private limited company, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

Operating Duration

Most lenders require that your business has been operating for at least three years. This demonstrates stability and gives lenders confidence in your business’s ability to sustain itself over the long term.

Minimum Annual Turnover

Lenders typically have a minimum annual turnover requirement to ensure that your business has a certain level of revenue generation. This requirement varies among lenders, but a common benchmark is a minimum annual turnover of S$750,000 and above.

Ownership Structure

Another crucial requirement is the ownership structure of your business. Typically, most lenders expect that at least 50% of the business is held by Singaporeans or Permanent Residents (PRs). This requirement emphasizes the support for local businesses and encourages economic growth within the country.

It is important to keep in mind that each lender has its own specific assessment criteria. Therefore, it is wise to explore multiple options and compare loan offerings. Seeking advice from financial professionals or engaging with loan brokers can be beneficial as they can guide you through the process and assist you in finding the best fit for your business’s needs.

loan agreement contract display on a table

What Are The Different Types Of Startup Business Loan Options Available In Singapore? 

When it comes to funding a start-up business in Singapore, entrepreneurs have various loan options to choose from. Each loan option has its unique features, benefits, and eligibility criteria. 

Bank Loans

Bank loans are one of the most common types of start-up business loans in Singapore. Banks offer a range of loan products tailored to meet the needs of entrepreneurs. These loans often come with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms. However, banks typically have strict eligibility criteria and require extensive documentation, making the application process more rigorous.

Government-backed Loan 

The Singapore government provides support to start-up businesses through various loan schemes. These loans are usually backed by government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore or SPRING Singapore. Government-backed loans offer lower interest rates, longer repayment periods, and more lenient eligibility criteria compared to traditional bank loans. Some popular government loan schemes include the SME Micro Loan, SME Working Capital Loan, and Startup SG Loan.

Peer-to-peer Lending (P2P)

P2P lending allows entrepreneurs to borrow directly from individual lenders or investors, bypassing traditional financial institutions. These platforms facilitate lending transactions and provide a marketplace for borrowers and lenders to connect. P2P loans offer faster approval processes, more flexible eligibility criteria, and competitive interest rates.

Venture capital

Venture capital (VC) is an alternative financing option for start-ups with high growth potential. In addition to providing funding, venture capitalists offer valuable mentorship and expertise to support the success of start-ups. While VC funding can be a significant source of financing, securing it can be highly competitive. Entrepreneurs must demonstrate a compelling business plan and strong growth potential to attract venture capital investors.

Banks and Alternative Financial Options Offering SME Loans

Several banks and alternative financial institutions offer business loans to cater to the diverse needs of entrepreneurs. Here are some popular banks and their respective SME loan offerings:

DBS Bank

DBS Bank provides a range of SME loan products, including working capital loans, trade financing, and fixed asset financing. Their solutions are customised to address the specific requirements of SMEs.

United Overseas Bank (UOB)

UOB offers a variety of SME loans, such as working capital financing, trade financing, equipment financing, and business property loans. They provide flexible repayment options and competitive interest rates to support the financial needs of businesses.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC)

OCBC offers various SME loan options, including working capital financing, trade financing, and equipment financing. They are known for their quick approval processes and personalised loan structures.

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered provides SME loans, including business installment loans, working capital financing, and trade financing. They offer advisory services to assist SMEs in effectively managing their cash flow and working capital.

These banks and financial institutions are renowned for their expertise in supporting small and medium enterprises, and their loan offerings can provide vital financial support for businesses seeking to grow and thrive.

In addition, there are also several alternative financial institutions that offer business loans in Singapore. Some of these include:

FinTech Lenders

FinTech lenders, such as Validus, Funding Societies, and Minterest, provide online lending platforms that connect SMEs with individual or institutional investors. They offer quick loan approvals, flexible repayment terms, and accessible financing options.

Microfinancing Institutions

Microfinancing institutions like Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) and Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) provide loans specifically tailored for micro and small enterprises. They offer smaller loan amounts, simplified application processes, and support services for SMEs.

Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS)

The Enterprise Financing Scheme, managed by Enterprise Singapore, provides SMEs with access to various loan products offered by financial institutions. It includes working capital loans, trade financing, equipment financing, and project financing.


Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Crowdo enable SMEs to raise funds by showcasing their business ideas or products to a large pool of individuals. Crowdfunding can be donation-based, rewards-based, equity-based, or debt-based.

In the vast landscape of business financing in Singapore, making informed decisions for your business is crucial to secure the funding you need and propel your venture towards success. By strategically selecting the right funding source and leveraging the resources available, you can position your business for growth and unlock its full potential.

business people shaking hands together

What Is The Interest Rate For Start-up Business Loan? 

The interest rate for a start-up business loan can vary depending on several factors, including the lender and the specific type of loan you are applying for. It’s important to understand that different financial institutions may offer different interest rate ranges and terms. Let’s take a look at some examples:


For a start-up business loan from OCBC Bank, the interest rate typically falls within the range of approximately 2.5% to 4.5% per annum. However, it’s essential to note that interest rates may vary based on factors such as loan amount, repayment period, and the risk assessment of your business.

DBS Bank

DBS Bank offers start-up business loans with interest rates ranging from around 3.88% to 8.50% per annum. The specific interest rate offered to you will depend on factors such as your business’s creditworthiness, financial stability, and the loan amount.

UOB Bank

UOB Bank provides start-up business loans with interest rates typically falling between 3.88% and 8.50% per annum. As with any loan, the interest rate you receive will depend on various factors such as the loan amount, loan tenure, and your business’s financial standing.

What Are The Documents Required To Apply For For A Small Business Loan? 

The key documents required to apply for a start-up business loan in Singapore vary from lender to lender. It is advisable for you to check with each lender for all the necessary information. However, some common documents that business in Singapore requires are typically required include:

  • ACRA Business Profile Information
  • Notice of Assessment (NOA) of all Directors 
  • Latest  Credit Bureau Singapore Report of all Directors
  • Last 2 Years’ Company’s Financial Statements 
  • Bank Statements Over the Last 6 Months
  • Accounts Receivable Ageing List

It’s important to note that these document requirements serve as general guidelines, and lenders may have additional or specific requirements based on their internal policies and risk assessment processes. To ensure a smooth application process, it is recommended to contact the lenders directly to obtain a comprehensive list of the documents they require for your small business loan application.

Remember, having all the necessary documents ready and organised can expedite the loan application process and increase your chances of obtaining the funding you need for your business.

Did you know personal loan can also be used for setting up a business? Check this article out!
What Can a Personal Loan Be Used For?

What Are The Things To Consider When Applying A Loan For Small Businesses in Singapore?

When applying for a loan for your small business in Singapore, there are several important factors to consider. Taking these into account can help you make an informed decision and increase your chances of securing the right loan for your business. Here are some key considerations:

Loan Purpose

Clearly define the purpose of the loan and how it will benefit your business. Whether you need funds for working capital, expansion, equipment purchase, or other specific needs, having a well-defined loan purpose helps lenders assess the viability of your business and the repayment capacity.

Loan Amount 

Determine the appropriate loan amount based on your business requirements. Assess your financial projections, cash flow, and budget to determine the amount you need to achieve your business objectives without overburdening your finances.

Repayment Terms 

Understand the repayment terms offered by the lender. Consider factors such as interest rates, loan tenure, and repayment frequency. Evaluate your business’s cash flow and capacity to make timely repayments without affecting day-to-day operations.

Interest Rates And Fees 

Interest rates and fees can vary widely between lenders. You must compare rates and fees from multiple lenders before choosing a loan. This will ensure that you know the best competitive interest rates in the market.

Collateral Requirements

Determine whether the loan requires collateral, such as property or assets, to secure the loan. Assess the value and availability of suitable collateral and understand the potential risks associated with using assets as security.


Review your personal and business credit history. Lenders often consider creditworthiness when evaluating loan applications. Maintain a good credit score and address any issues or discrepancies in your credit report before applying for a loan.

Lender Reputation

Research and evaluate the reputation and credibility of the lender. Consider factors such as their track record, customer reviews, and customer service. Choose a reputable lender who understands your business needs and provides personalised support.

Get a Start-Up Business Loan in Singapore with JD Credit

Starting a business can be a challenging experience, but securing the essential funding for your business can be a challenge. A start-up loan is designed for new businesses, it provides the necessary funds to assist entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. If you are interested in applying for a business loan, do not hesitate to contact JD Credit. We are licensed money lenders who are well respected in the industry.

With our simplified loan application process and personalised guidance, we make it easier for you to access the financial resources you need. Our experienced team understands the unique challenges faced by start-ups and can tailor loan solutions to meet your specific business needs.

Don’t let financial constraints hinder your entrepreneurial dreams. Contact JD Credit today for a customised quote and take the first step towards turning your business ideas into reality.


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