Funding Circle opens loan applications to sole traders

Thousands more businesses now have access to potential loans from Funding Circle, after the crowdfunding platform expanded its eligibility criteria.

Until last week only limited companies could apply for loans through the site. Now, though, Funding Circle has opened its application process up to non-incorporated businesses.

Sole traders and unincorporated partnerships will be able to borrow from £25,000, compared with the lower limit of £5,000 for limited companies. The criteria that applicants must fulfil will be similar, with sole traders and partnerships being expected to present a good credit history. Applicants with CCJs of more than £250 will not receive a loan. Sole traders and partnerships will then be banded into risk categories from A+ to C-, as are incorporated businesses.

The news follows suggestions that Funding Circle could be in talks with Santander to expand the pair’s business lending operations. The Telegraph claimed last month that the bank could be prepared to pass on to Funding Circle business applicants that do not meet its criteria, and that Santander could be moving to grow its business lending through the peer-to-peer platform.

Sole traders can make applications through the Funding Circle website. Read more about alternative finance in our small business finance guide.