Bugis Credit Pte Ltd is a licensed moneylender (License No. 26/2021) listed in the Registry of Moneylenders, under the Ministry of Law in Singapore.

Singapore’s Best Business Loan Interest Rates (2021)

business loan interest rate Singapore

65% of Singapore’s economy is made up of small and medium enterprises or SMEs. That said, growing your business is challenging enough because of the stiff competition. On top of that, the high rental costs, as well as operational costs, can take a toll on a business’s finances. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of SME’s income stream has dried up.

This is where a business loan can come in handy. With a business loan, SMEs can maintain their inventory and ensure they have the right equipment to continue operating. Additionally, it also helps iron out cash-flow issues as well as accelerate business growth.

Thankfully, there are government-assisted small and medium enterprise loans that are offered at a low interest rate. Plus, banks also offer different financial products that can help alleviate cash problems. On top of that, there are also other alternative financing options, such as moneylenders.

What Are The Business Loan Options In Singapore?

  1. Government-Assisted Schemes

Administered by Enterprise Singapore, government-assisted financing schemes give SMEs access to cheaper financing. Thanks to the Singapore government taking on the risk sharing element, participating financial institutions can offer lower interest rates on SME loans. Why? Because the risk of default is now co-shared.

That said, interest rates on these types of SME loans are lower as compared to standard commercial loans. Here are two of the most popular government-assisted schemes:

Name of Loan Maximum Loan Loan Tenure Interest and fees Government Risk Share
SME Working Capital S$300,000 Up to 5 years Per bank or FI assessment 50-70%
Temporary Bridging Loan S$3 million Up to 5 years Up to 5% per annum 90%

SME Working Capital Loan

The SME Working Capital Loan (WCL) provides SMEs with working capital up to $300,000 with a maximum loan tenure of up to 5 years. Best of all, the SMEs can repay the loan at any period with no penalty and a pro-rated interest. The government risk share is between 50% and 70%.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The business must be registered and operating in Singapore.
  • Minimum 30% Singaporean or PR shareholding
  • Maximum annual revenue of S$100 million or 200 employees.
  • Maximum group revenue of S$100 million or 200 employees.

Temporary Bridging Loan

The Temporary Bridging Loan (TBL) helps SMEs bridge the gap to alleviate their cash flow needs. It provides SMEs access to working capital up to S$3 million. The interest rate is capped at 5% p.a. with a maximum repayment period of up to 5 years.

Borrowers can apply for a one-year deferral of principal repayment. However, it is subject to the financial institution’s evaluation for approval.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The business must be registered and operating in Singapore.
  • Minimum 30% Singaporean or PR shareholding
  1. Banks Business Loans

Name of Loan Maximum Loan Loan Tenure Interest and fees Eligibility
DBS Business Loan S$500,000 Up to 5 years Per bank assessment
  • All Singapore-registered businesses can apply.
OCBC Business First Loan S$100,000 Up to 4 years Per bank assessment
  • Business must be registered and physically present in Singapore for 6 – 24 months.
  • At least 30% owned locally.
  • No more than 10 employees or annual turnover less than S$1 million.
  • At least 1 guarantor Singaporean or PR between 21 to 62 with min annual income of S$30,000.
UOB SME Working Capital Loan S$300,000 Up to 5 years Per bank assessment
  • Sole Proprietor, Partnership or Private Limited Company
  • Minimum 3 years in business
  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • At least 30% local shareholding1
  • Company’s group annual sales of not more than S$100 million OR company’s group employment size of not more than 200
Maybank Business Term Loan S$500,000 Up to 5 years Per bank assessment
  • Business must be registered and physically present in Singapore for at least 36 months.
  • At least 30% owned locally.
  • Minimum turnover of S$300,000 per annum.
Standard Chartered Business Instalment Loan S$300,000 Up to 3 years Per bank assessment
  • Sole Proprietors / Partnerships / Private Limited Companies
  • Singapore-registered business
  • 50% or more shareholdings is effectively held by Singaporeans / Singapore PRs
  • Minimum 3 years of business operations
  • Minimum turnover of S$750,000

DBS

DBS Business Loan

DBS is one of the best banks in Singapore, offering competitive rates for small and medium enterprises. With their commercial business loan, SMEs can borrow up to S$500,000. The repayment period is up to 5 years.

This loan is not government-backed. That said, all Singapore-registered businesses can apply. However, this business loan may not be suitable for all businesses.

For example, startups and other SMEs may be better off looking to other lenders with less strict borrowing requirements for business financing.

OCBC

OCBC Business First Loan

Compared to the DBS Business loan, OCBC Business First Loan only offers SMEs up to S$100,000 business financing. But it boasts a flexible repayment period of 1 to 4 years and since it is an unsecured business term loan, no collateral is required. SMEs will need at least one Guarantor.

OCBC startup business loan is perfect for start-ups with up to 10 employees. Additionally, it is also great for companies operating for at least 6-24 months.

UOB

UOB SME Working Loan

The UOB SME Working Loan provides SMEs up to S$300,000 financing. The repayment period is similar to the previous banks at 5 years.

To qualify, the business must be registered and operating in Singapore for a minimum of 3 years. Additionally, the company’s yearly sales must be at least S$100 million. That said, it is a good option for an established company with fairly consistent sales.

Maybank

Maybank Business Term Loan

If you need a large amount, Maybank Business Term Loan offers up to S$500,000 financing for SMEs. Plus, the loan repayment period is up to 5 years. However, you’ll need to have a minimum turnover of S$300,000 per annum to qualify.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered Business Installment Loan

If you need a considerable amount of money to continue operations, Standard Chartered Business Installment Loan is a good option. They offer up to S$300,000 with a loan term of up to 3 years. Just like any other bank, the interest rate is subject to the bank’s assessment. However, it is capped at 11%.

To qualify, you’ll need a minimum turnover of S$750,000 per annum and must be operating for 3 years. This means it is a good option for companies with a stable source of income and annual sales.

  1. Licensed Moneylenders

What if you don’t qualify for government-assisted SME loans and commercial bank loans?

You can always turn to licensed moneylenders in Singapore. With a licensed moneylender, the eligibility requirements and application process are less stringent. This means you can get quick emergency cash to continue your business operations.

How much can you loan from a licensed moneylender?

The loan amount may differ upon assessment. However, most licensed lenders can offer up to S$200,000 financing. This is a competitive amount compared to other commercial business loans.

What is the interest rate charged by licensed moneylenders?

All moneylenders can only charge up to 4% interest rate per month for all personal unsecured loans. But this doesn’t apply to an unsecured business term loan. That said, a business loan interest rate can range from 5% to 15%.

Please refer to the table below:

Maximum Loan Amount Interest Rates Eligibility
Up to S$200,000 Depends on the loan amount, tenure, and other terms

Range from 5% to 15%

  • Must be registered in Singapore
  • Operational for at least one year
  • Minimum turnover of $60,000 a year

Which Business Loan Options Should You Choose?

Which Options Should You Choose?

Choose Government-Assisted Scheme

If you want to enjoy cheaper financing, then look into government-assisted schemes first. For one, the interest rates are significantly lower compared to standard commercial loans. For instance, if you apply for a TBL, the interest rate is capped at 5% per year.

Additionally, you have the option to defer the principal repayment for the first year of the loan.

Choose Banks

If you want more options with larger loan amounts, then consider looking into standard SME business loans offered by banks. Additionally, start-ups who don’t have much credit history can turn to this option as well.

For instance, OCBC’s startup business loan only requires the SME to be operational for 6-24 months to qualify with a minimum annual turnover of less than S$1 million. Start-ups can get financing up to S$100,000.

Choose Licensed Moneylenders

If you don’t qualify for any of the options above, turn to licensed moneylenders. Licensed lenders can also provide quick cash disbursement which is helpful for SMEs who need emergency funds.

However, choose your licensed moneylenders wisely. Verify their credibility first by checking the Ministry of Law Singapore website. Make sure that they are on the list of licensed moneylenders.

Other Things You Should Be Aware Of

What is the average interest rate on a business loan?

Interest rates differ in every bank and financial institution. Plus, these lenders also take into account other factors which might influence the interest rate charged. However, in Singapore, the average business loan interest rate ranges between 3.5% and 7% p.a.

What documents are required to get approved for a business loan?

If you’re applying for a government-backed business loan or a standard business loan, you’ll need the right documents before submitting your application. Here are some of the most common documents that are required for a business loan application:

  • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) business profile information.
  • Last 2 years’ Notice of Assessment (NOA) of all Directors
  • Latest Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) report of all Directors
  • Last 2 Years’ Company’s Financial Statements
  • Latest 6 Months Of Bank Statements

If you’re applying for a business loan from a licensed moneylender, here are the common documents required:

  • All directors and partners NRIC
  • Recent information report (Business Profile) from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory
  • Recent Income tax assessment notice (both personal & from the company)
  • Recent financial statement
  • Recent invoices or business contracts
  • Recent utility bills under the company name
  • Recent 6-month bank statements
  • List of assets owned by the company, directors & partners (if any)
  • Office/shop tenancy agreement (if any)

How long is the application process?

Banks are typically stringent in evaluating a business loan application. For this reason, it takes approximately 2-3 weeks to process the small business loans application. If for some reason the SME has a complex case, it may take longer.

That said, if you need emergency cash, you may consider taking a loan from licensed moneylenders. They have a less meticulous loan application process and can disburse cash within the same day.

How to find the best business loan?

There are various business financing schemes in Singapore. In fact, the government-assisted SME loan is offered by more than 20+ banks. It can be overwhelming to find the best business loan.

So take your time in comparing the business loan terms and conditions. This includes comparing the loan amount, interest rate, repayment period, and eligibility criteria. Choose a loan that can provide you with enough financing to cover the costs you need at an interest rate you can afford.

For instance, Temporary bridging loans allow SMEs to borrow up to S$3 million with an interest rate capped at 5%. However, keep in mind to borrow only what you need to avoid financial strains later on.

Can I get a business loan if I have a bad credit score?

Did you know that business loan applications in Singapore are subjected to the director’s personal credit score assessment?

This means you’ll need to have a decent credit rating. If you have a bad credit score, there’s a high chance your loan application will be rejected.

Thankfully, those with a low or bad credit score can turn to licensed moneylenders. These credible lenders are less strict when it comes to the borrower’s credit history. So you’ll have a higher chance of getting approved.

Conclusion

Thanks to Enterprise Singapore’s initiative, SMEs have access to cheaper business loans. However, financial products, interest rates, and eligibility requirements differ across banks and financial institutions. That said, it’s best to compare your loan options first before making a decision.

Key takeaways:

  • With the government-assisted bank loans, the government is taking on the risk sharing element. This means financial institutions can offer lower interest rates on SME loans.
  • SME Working Capital Loan (WCL) provides SMEs with working capital up to S$300,000 while Temporary Bridging Loan offers up to S$3 million financing.
  • The average business loan interest rate ranges from 3.5% to 7% p.a.

SMEs, who don’t qualify for government-assisted SME business loans and standard business loans, can look towards licensed moneylenders for financing.

Bugis Credit is a licensed moneylender that offers business loans, personal loans, and other financial products. You can get a business loan in Singapore of up to S$200,000.

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