business loans background image

Business Loans

A business loan offers SMEs quick approval for up to R50 million at a low-interest rate starting from 18.5% and a flexible repayment term of up to 7 years – improve your cash flow with access to funding.

View Business loan Offers
business loans
Rating based on 38 reviews

Small Business Funding for Entrepreneurs

Whether you’re looking for revolving credit solutions for your business or a once-off loan that you can repay in 5 years, these South African business lenders can provide you with the best credit options.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Business loan?

A business loan is a financial product where a business receives a lump sum from a lender, and this amount, along with interest, is repaid over a fixed period. The lender determines the loan amount and interest rate based on the business's creditworthiness and financial history.

What can I use it for?

Here are some common uses for which a South African business might apply for finance:

  1. Startup Capital: New businesses often require funds to cover initial startup costs, such as leasing a location, purchasing equipment, and hiring staff. A business loan can provide the necessary capital to get a new venture off the ground.

  2. Expansion: Established businesses looking to grow or expand operations may need additional capital. This could involve opening new locations, entering new markets, or increasing production capacity.

  3. Working Capital: Many businesses need a consistent flow of working capital to cover day-to-day operational expenses, including inventory purchases, utility bills, and payroll. A business loan can help maintain a healthy cash flow.

  4. Equipment Purchase: Businesses may need to invest in new equipment or upgrade existing machinery to improve efficiency or expand production capabilities. Equipment financing through a business loan can facilitate these purchases.

  5. Inventory Financing: Retail and product-based businesses often require funds to purchase inventory. This is particularly relevant during peak seasons or when taking advantage of bulk purchasing discounts.

  6. Marketing and Advertising: Businesses may use loans to invest in marketing and advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness, attract new customers, and drive sales.

  7. Technology Upgrades: Staying competitive in the modern business landscape often requires regular updates to technology and software. A business loan can finance the implementation of new technologies.

  8. Debt Consolidation: If a business has multiple outstanding loans or debts with varying interest rates, it may choose to consolidate them into a single loan with more favorable terms. This can simplify repayments and reduce overall interest costs.

  9. Hiring and Training: Growing businesses may need to hire additional staff or provide training for existing employees. A business loan can cover the associated costs.

  10. Renovations or Relocation: Businesses may require funds to renovate existing facilities or relocate to a more strategic location. This can enhance the overall efficiency and appeal of the business.

  11. Crisis Management: During challenging economic times or unexpected crises, businesses may seek loans to weather financial difficulties, cover emergency expenses, or seize opportunities that arise.

  12. Government Programs: In some cases, businesses may apply for loans through government-backed programs designed to support specific industries or encourage economic development.

Typical Business loan amounts & Interest rates

The business loan amounts and interest rates depend on the lender and the business's specific circumstances. Loan amounts typically range from R50,000 to over R50 million, contingent on factors like creditworthiness, business history, and the purpose of the loan.

Interest rates on these loans can vary widely based on the lender's risk assessment, market conditions, and the borrower's creditworthiness. As of 2021, the average interest rate for business loans in South Africa spanned from 10% to 28%. It's noteworthy that interest rates on business loans are often higher compared to other types of business finance, such as asset finance or invoice factoring, mainly due to the extended repayment period and the perceived higher risk associated with lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The different types of Business loan options

Businesses can access various types of loans to meet different financial needs. Here are some common types of business loans available:

  • Term Loans: These are traditional business loans where a business borrows a lump sum and repays it over a fixed term with interest. Term loans are often used for long-term investments, such as purchasing assets, expanding operations, or funding major projects.
  • Working Capital Loans: These short-term loans are designed to cover day-to-day operational expenses, including payroll, inventory, and other immediate needs. Working capital loans help businesses maintain a healthy cash flow.
  • Asset Finance: Asset finance involves securing a loan specifically for acquiring assets like machinery, equipment, vehicles, or technology. The purchased assets often serve as collateral for the loan.
  • Invoice Factoring: This financing option allows businesses to sell their outstanding invoices to a finance company at a discount in exchange for immediate cash. It's a way to improve cash flow by converting receivables into immediate funds.
  • Bridging Finance: Bridging finance is a short-term loan used to "bridge" a gap in funding. Businesses may use bridging finance to cover unexpected expenses or to finance a specific project while awaiting other sources of funding.
  • Revolving Credit Facility: This is a flexible line of credit that businesses can use as needed. The business is approved for a maximum credit limit, and they can draw funds up to that limit, repay, and redraw as necessary.
  • Government Grants and Loans: Some businesses may qualify for government-backed loans or grants aimed at supporting specific industries, promoting economic development, or encouraging job creation.
  • Microloans: These are small loans provided to micro-enterprises or small businesses. Microloans are typically of smaller amounts and may have more accessible qualification requirements.
  • Start-up Loans: Specifically designed for new businesses, start-up loans provide capital to cover initial expenses such as equipment purchase, marketing, and operational costs during the early stages of business development.
  • Franchise Financing: Franchisees may seek financing options specifically tailored to support the purchase and establishment of a franchise business.
  • Trade Finance: Trade finance helps businesses engage in international trade by providing funds to cover the costs of importing or exporting goods.
  • Equipment Financing: Similar to asset finance, equipment financing focuses on loans specifically for the purchase of equipment needed for business operations.

It's important for businesses to carefully evaluate their financial needs and choose the type of loan that aligns with their specific goals and circumstances. Additionally, understanding the terms, interest rates, and repayment structures is crucial when considering different types of business loans in South Africa. Consulting with financial advisors or loan specialists can also provide valuable insights based on the business's unique situation.

Benefits of using a Business loan

Obtaining a business loan can offer several significant benefits for businesses looking to achieve growth, stability, and strategic objectives. Firstly, a business loan provides access to much-needed capital, enabling businesses to address immediate needs such as working capital requirements, purchasing equipment, or expanding operations. This infusion of funds can contribute to maintaining a healthy cash flow, ensuring that the business can meet its day-to-day financial obligations. Moreover, a business loan provides the flexibility to invest in long-term projects and seize growth opportunities, fostering the expansion and development of the enterprise.

Additionally, securing a business loan in South Africa can positively impact the credit profile of a business. Successfully repaying a loan demonstrates financial responsibility and can lead to an improved credit history, which, in turn, may make it easier to secure additional financing in the future. The structured repayment plans associated with business loans also contribute to financial discipline within the business, aiding in effective financial management.

Furthermore, business loans can be instrumental in navigating economic challenges or unexpected expenses. The ability to access capital quickly through a loan can act as a financial safety net, helping the business weather uncertainties and maintain operations during challenging periods. For businesses aiming to take advantage of market opportunities, a well-timed loan can provide the necessary resources to capitalize on trends, expand market share, or invest in innovative technologies.

In South Africa, where economic conditions are mostly challenging, business loans can be tailored to meet the unique needs of different industries, from agriculture to technology. Government-backed loans and incentives may also be available, offering businesses an additional avenue for financial support.

The benefits of a business loan extend beyond immediate financial assistance. They encompass the potential for strategic growth, improved creditworthiness, and the resilience to navigate the dynamic business landscape, making business loans a valuable tool for businesses of various sizes and industries in the country.

How long will I wait for a Business loan application?

The duration of a business loan application process in South Africa can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of the loan, the lender's internal processes, and the completeness of the application submitted by the business. Generally, the initial stages, such as completing the application form and providing required documentation, may take a few days to a couple of weeks. Once the application is submitted, the lender typically conducts a thorough assessment, which includes reviewing the business's financial history, creditworthiness, and the purpose of the loan. This evaluation process can take a week, depending on the lender's workload and specific requirements. For smaller, more straightforward loans, online lenders may offer quicker turnaround times, sometimes providing approvals within days. In contrast, larger or more complex loans, especially those requiring collateral or additional due diligence, may take several weeks or even months. It's crucial for businesses to be proactive in preparing all necessary documentation and communicating effectively with the lender to potentially expedite the application process.

Does my Business qualify for a loan?

The eligibility criteria for a business loan can vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you are applying for. However, common factors that lenders typically consider when assessing the eligibility of a business for a loan include:

Credit History

Lenders often review the business's credit history to assess its creditworthiness. A positive credit history demonstrates the business's ability to manage its financial obligations, while a poor credit history may impact the loan approval.

Business Financials

Lenders typically require financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These documents help lenders evaluate the financial health and stability of the business.

Business Plan

A well-structured business plan provides insight into the business's goals, operations, and how it plans to use the loan funds. Lenders use this information to assess the viability of the business and the likelihood of loan repayment.


Depending on the type and amount of the loan, lenders may require collateral, such as property, equipment, or inventory. Collateral serves as security for the loan and can impact the terms and interest rates offered.

Cash Flow

Lenders assess the business's cash flow to ensure it has the ability to meet loan repayments. Positive and stable cash flow is a strong indicator of the business's capacity to service the debt.

Time in Business

Some lenders may have a minimum requirement for the number of years a business has been in operation. Startups may face more stringent criteria, while established businesses with a track record may find it easier to qualify.

Purpose of the Loan

Clearly outlining the purpose of the loan is essential. Lenders want to understand how the funds will be used and whether the investment aligns with the business's overall strategy for growth and success.

Industry & Market Conditions

Lenders may consider the industry in which the business operates and current market conditions. Some industries may be perceived as riskier than others, influencing the loan approval process.

Legal Compliance

Ensuring that the business complies with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements is crucial for loan eligibility. This includes having the necessary licenses and permits.

Ownership & Management

Lenders may assess the experience and qualifications of the business's owners and management team. A strong and experienced team can instill confidence in the lender regarding the business's ability to succeed.

It's important to note that different lenders may have varying criteria, and the specific eligibility requirements for a business loan will depend on the policies of the lending institution. Before applying for a loan, businesses should carefully review the eligibility criteria of potential lenders and work to strengthen their financial position and documentation to enhance their chances of approval. Consulting with financial advisors or loan specialists can also provide valuable guidance in navigating the loan application process.

Who provides Business loans in South Africa?

Business loans can be obtained from various financial institutions, including traditional banks, credit unions, online lenders, and government-backed entities. We've compiled a list for you (further) below.

Requirements for a Business loan

Businesses typically need to submit a loan application that includes financial statements, business plans, and other documentation. The lender evaluates the business's creditworthiness and financial stability before approving the loan.

The specific documents required for an application can vary depending on the lender, the type of loan, and the size of the loan. However, generally, the following documents are commonly requested by lenders:

  1. Business Plan:
    A detailed business plan outlining the nature of your business, its goals, target market, competition, and financial projections. The business plan helps the lender understand the purpose of the loan and the viability of your business.
  2. Company Registration Documents:
    Proof of company registration, including the registration certificate and any other relevant legal documents, such as the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).
  3. Financial Statements:
    Historical financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, for the past two to three years. These documents provide insights into the financial health of your business.
  4. Bank Statements:
    Recent business bank statements, typically covering the last six to twelve months. Lenders use bank statements to assess cash flow and financial stability.
  5. Tax Clearance Certificate:
    A valid tax clearance certificate, which verifies that your business is compliant with its tax obligations.
  6. Credit Report:
    Your business credit report, which provides information about your credit history and risk profile. Lenders use this to assess your creditworthiness.
  7. Proof of Ownership:
    Documentation proving ownership of the business, such as shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, or other relevant documents.
  8. Details of Outstanding Debts:
    Information about any existing loans, debts, or credit facilities your business currently has.
  9. Personal Financial Statements (if applicable):
    Personal financial statements for business owners or directors, especially if they are providing personal guarantees or if the financial health of the business is closely tied to personal finances.
  10. Collateral Documents (if applicable):
    If the loan requires collateral, documents related to the proposed collateral, such as property deeds, equipment titles, or inventory lists.
  11. Supplier or Vendor Quotes (if applicable):
    For loans earmarked for specific purposes, such as purchasing equipment or inventory, providing quotes from suppliers or vendors can strengthen your loan application.
  12. Proof of Identity:
    Identification documents for business owners or directors, such as passports or identity cards.

It's important to note that the documentation requirements may vary among lenders, and some lenders may have additional specific requirements. It's advisable to check with the lender or financial institution you are applying to for a comprehensive list of required documents and to ensure that all documentation is up-to-date and accurate. Additionally, consulting with financial advisors or loan specialists can provide guidance on preparing a strong loan application.

Business loan FAQs

Here are some common frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to business loans in SA:

What types of business loans are available?

Businesses can access various types of loans, including term loans, working capital loans, asset finance, invoice factoring, and more. The availability of these loans depends on the specific needs of the business.

What are the eligibility criteria for a business loan?

Eligibility criteria can vary among lenders but commonly include factors such as credit history, business financials, time in business, the purpose of the loan, and the ability to provide collateral.

How much can I borrow for my business?

The loan amount typically range from R50,000 to over R50 million, but largely depends on factors such as the type of loan, the lender's policies, and the business's financial health. Lenders typically consider the purpose of the loan, the business's cash flow, and its ability to repay when determining the loan amount.

How long does the business loan application process take?

The application process duration can vary. Some online lenders may offer quicker approvals, while traditional banks may take longer due to a more comprehensive review process. The complexity of the loan and the completeness of the application can also affect processing times.

Do I need collateral to secure a business loan?

The need for collateral depends on factors such as the type and amount of the loan, the lender's policies, and the perceived risk associated with the business. Secured loans often require collateral, while unsecured loans do not.

What interest rates can I expect on a business loan?

Interest rates can vary between 10% and 28% based on factors like the type of loan, the lender's risk assessment, market conditions, and the business's creditworthiness. It's essential to compare rates from different lenders to find the most favorable terms.

Can startups qualify for business loans?

Yes, startups can qualify for business loans, but they may face more stringent criteria. Lenders may require a solid business plan, personal guarantees, and other assurances of the startup's viability.

How does the repayment process work?

The repayment terms, including the loan amount, interest rate, and repayment period, are outlined in the loan agreement. Repayments are typically made in regular installments, and the frequency can vary (e.g., monthly, quarterly).

What happens if I miss a loan repayment?

Missing a loan repayment can result in late fees, increased interest costs, and damage to your credit score. It's crucial to communicate with the lender if you anticipate difficulties making a payment to explore potential solutions.

Are there government programs for business loans in South Africa?

Yes, there are government-backed programs and initiatives in South Africa that offer financial support to businesses, including loans and grants. These programs aim to promote economic development, job creation, and business growth.

Before you apply...

Before applying for a business loan, it's important for businesses to carefully assess their financial needs, understand the terms and conditions of the loan, and ensure they have a solid plan for repayment. Consulting with financial advisors and comparing loan options from different lenders can help businesses make informed decisions.

Business loan calculator

The interest rate of a loan will vary based on your credit score and risk profile.
This business loan calculator is for illustration purposes only.
The use of this loan calculator is subject to our terms of use.

List of direct lenders offering Business loans

  1. Lulalend Business loan


    • Loans up to R5,000,000
    • Term up to 12 months
    • Interest up to 28%
  2. Retail Capital Business loan

    Retail Capital

    • Flexible Business Funding
    • 80% approval rate
    • Grow your business
  3. Spartan Business loan


    • Loans up to R25,000,000
    • Specialised Asset Finance
    • Term up to 60 months
  4. Bridgement Business loan


    • Loans up to R5,000,000
    • Term up to 12 months
    • Apply in 2 minutes
  5. Pollen Finance Business loan

    Pollen Finance

    • Loans up to R6,000,000
    • Easy online application
    • Term up to 8 months
  6. Business Partners Business loan

    Business Partne...

    • Loans up to R50,000,000
    • Term up to 5 years
    • Interest from 18.5%
  7. Merchant Capital Business loan

    Merchant Capita...

    • Tailormade Business Loans
    • Flexible repayment terms
    • Working capital
  8. FNB Business loan


    • Loans up to R400,000
    • Fixed interest rate
    • Term up to 5 years
  9. Bright On Capital Business loan

    Bright On Capit...

    • Loans up to R2,500,000
    • Affordable working capital
    • Term up to 3 months
  10. Profitshare Partners Business loan

    Profitshare Par...

    • Loans up to R5,000,000
    • Grow your Business
    • Quotes within 48 hours
  11. ABSA Business loan


    • Starting from R25,000
    • Low Interest rates
    • Term up to 10 years
  12. SEFA Business loan


    • Loans up to R5,000,000
    • Term up to 5 years
    • Easy access to finance
  13. Genfin Business loan


    • Loans up to R2,000,000
    • Fast, easy finance
    • A bigger, brighter future
  14. Cash Flow Capital Business loan

    Cash Flow Capit...

    • Quick Response
    • No Limit
    • Easy Payments
  15. Fundrr Business loan


    • Loans up to R5,000,000
    • Term up to 12 months
    • Safe and secure
  16. Kenote Finance Business loan

    Kenote Finance

    • Loans up to R5,000,000
    • Business growth
    • Financial solutions
  17. Funding Connection Business loan

    Funding Connect...

    • Apply for Business Funding
    • Business consulting
    • Grow your business
  18. Nedbank Business loan


    • Find the right finance
    • Angel Investment
    • Fast loan approval
  19. Bidvest Bank Business loan

    Bidvest Bank

    • Business asset finance
    • Working capital loans
    • Great deals on loans
  20. Angel Investment Network Business loan

    Angel Investmen...

    • Find investment opportunities
    • Browse business ideas
    • Build profitable relationships
  21. Investec Business loan


    • Finance for business
    • Partnering for growth
    • Tailored business finance
  22. Funding Hub Business loan

    Funding Hub

    • Loans up to R100,000,000
    • FAST, at NO charge
    • Term up to 10 years
  23. GroFin Business loan


    • More than finance
    • Your growth partner
    • Financial support
  24. Business Finance Brokers Business loan

    Business Financ...

    • Loans up to R1,500,000
    • No hidden fees
    • Approval in 3 days
  25. Express Business Capital Business loan

    Express Busines...

    • Working capital
    • Business cash advances
    • Tailormade repayment
  26. CapX Finance Business loan

    CapX Finance

    • Specialised Finance
    • Grow your Business
    • Improved cash flow
  27. Unahina Solutions Business loan

    Unahina Solutio...

    • Improved Cash Flow
    • Order & Tender Funding
    • NO Upfront Fees
  28. LendLink Business loan


    • Loans up to R5,000,000
    • Minimum paperwork
    • Fast & affordable
  29. Ithala Development Finance Business loan

    Ithala Developm...

    • Making it happen together
    • KZN based
    • Agricultural loans