Enterprise Finance Guarantee – Eligibility Criteria

How does a small business apply for an EFG-supported borrowing facility?

It’s simple to apply and should take no longer than a standard loan application. Any small business interested in EFG should, in the first instance, approach one of the 40+ EFG accredited lenders with their borrowing proposal.

If the EFG lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of EFG, they will do so. Where the small business has a sound borrowing proposal but no, or inadequate security, the lender will consider the small business for support via EFG.

It is important to be aware that decision-making on whether a small business is eligible for EFG is fully delegated to the 40+ accredited EFG lenders. These lenders range from high-street banks, to challenger banks, to asset based lenders, through to smaller specialist local lenders.

The following is therefore provided for guidance only. 

EFG supports a wide range of business finance products, including:

  • Term loans
  • Revolving facilities, such as overdrafts
  • Invoice finance facilities
  • Asset finance facilities

EFG guarantees loans to fund the future growth or expansion of a business, from £1,000 to £1.2 million. Finance terms are from three months up to 10 years for term loans and asset finance and up to three years for revolving facilities and invoice finance.

To be eligible for support via EFG, the small business must:

  • Be UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum
  • Operate within an eligible industrial sector (a small number of industrial sectors are not eligible for support)
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal and robust business plan, but inadequate security to meet a lender’s normal requirements
  • Be able to confirm that they have not received other public support of state aid beyond euro 200,000 equivalent over the previous three years

To apply for an EFG-supported borrowing facility, businesses may wish to consider approaching one or more participating lenders to discuss their borrowing needs.

Eligibility restrictions

Please note that a limited number of further eligibility restrictions do apply for example almost all business sectors are eligible, but where exclusions apply they may arise from EU State Aid rules. An in-depth list of the main sectoral and purpose restrictions can be found here.