• 12 June 2024
  • business expansion|business growth|business opportunities|invoice financing|Singapore SMEs|small business loans made easy|SME Working Capital|working capital

How to Apply for a Loan in Singapore: A Step-by-Step Guide

Securing a business loan can be a critical step in fueling the growth and operational capabilities of your small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). Whether you’re aiming to expand, invest in new equipment, or manage cash flow, understanding the application process is crucial. To help you with the application process, here we provide a detailed, step-by-step guide that breaks down the essential requirements to increase your chances of securing the financing your business needs.

Eligibility Requirements to Apply for An SME Business Loan

Navigating the eligibility requirements is the first critical step in applying for an SME business loan in Singapore. Understanding what is expected can streamline the application process and improve your chances of approval.

Depending on the financial institution you are applying with, you will typically need to provide:

  • Credit Bureau Singapore Credit Report: Provides a summary of your credit history and existing financial behaviour.
  • Latest Six-Month Bank Statements: Demonstrates your business’s financial health and cash flow.
  • Latest Notice of Assessment: Offers proof of income and tax compliance.
  • Last Two Years’ Financial Statements: Shows your business’s financial performance and stability over time.
  • Outgoing Loan Declaration: Details any existing financial commitments.
  • Accounts Receivable Ageing Report: Lists unpaid customer invoices and their duration, highlighting your business’s liquidity.

For those interested in government-supported financing options like the Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS), additional specific requirements include:

  • A business Entity Registered and Operating in Singapore: Ensures that the business is legally constituted and active.
  • At Least 30% Local Shareholding: Must be held directly or indirectly by Singaporean(s) and/or Singapore PR(s), ensuring substantial local investment and interest in the business.
  • Group Annual Sales Turnover Not Exceeding S$500 Million or Employment Size Up to 200: Defines the scale of operations and ensures the business qualifies as an SME.

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How to Apply for a SME Business Loan

Once you understand the eligibility requirements, the next step is to prepare and submit your application.

Step 1: Select the Preferred Financial Institution

Begin your journey by conducting thorough research to identify a bank or financial institution that offers loan options tailored to your specific business needs and financial circumstances. This includes exploring various products like SME working capital loans, which are crucial for daily operations. Consider factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and any additional services or support the bank provides. It’s essential to compare various loan products from multiple lenders to ensure you select the most advantageous offer.

Step 2: Ready All Required Documentation

Prepare the necessary documents to streamline the application process:

  • NRIC or other identification details of sole proprietors, partners, principals, and directors
  • Your company’s Goods and Services Tax statements for the past 12 months
  • Your company’s operating bank current account statements for the past 6 month
  • Any required business banking facility forms issued by the bank (to be filled out)
  • Completed Enterprise Financing Scheme application form (if applicable)
  • Copy of sole proprietors’ or partners’ Income Tax Notice of Assessment
  • Your company’s board of directors’ resolution
  • Your company’s constitutional documents, e.g. memorandum, articles of association
  • Any professional certificate (if applicable) documents related to the establishment of entity, identity and proof of business address documents

Step 3: Select Your Loan Tenure and Financing Amount

Carefully determine the amount of funding your business requires and the length of time over which you will repay the loan. This decision should be based on a detailed assessment of your current financial needs, future projections, and how the repayment schedule will integrate with your business’s ongoing budget and cash flow.

Step 4: Get Your Loan Approved with Quick Disbursement

Submit your application and stay in close communication with your lender. Being responsive to any queries can help expedite the approval process.

Confidently Navigate Your SME Loan Journey

Applying for an SME business loan might seem daunting, but with the right preparation and a clear understanding of what lenders are looking for, you’re setting yourself up for success. By following these straightforward steps, you enhance your chances of not just securing a loan but also using it to boost and sustain your business. Think of it as a journey towards your business’s growth, where each step you take is a move towards achieving your financial goals.

At Validus, our commitment to SMEs goes beyond conventional financial services. As a provider of alternative SME financing solutions helping more SMEs access funds easily and quickly, we’re your strategic growth partner dedicated to fueling the trajectory of your business. Our suite of financial services is meticulously designed to provide SMEs with the robust support they require to not just survive but thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape. From simplifying the process of obtaining working capital loans to innovating how you manage your business expenses, we’re here to ensure that your financial journey is marked by efficiency, transparency, and empowerment.

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