Alternative business financing options UK

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Different ways of financing a business

Alternative financing for business is becoming increasingly popular amongst company owners within the UK. We explore the some of the commonly used options to both smaller and larger firms, giving you the information required to make the right choice when it comes to different ways of funding a business.

The list below illustrates just some examples of alternative sources of finance for businesses and is by no means and exhaustive list. To find a suitable solution for your business, it’s important to speak with expert advisors and brokers. Knowledgeable experts will point you in the right direction to make sure you secure the very best finance available to you.


Invoice finance

What is invoice finance?

Invoice finance can often be referred to as invoice trading, but ultimately means the same thing. Businesses can borrow money against their outstanding invoices. There are two ways of doing so, briefly explained below;


Invoice finance factoring means that the company you borrow the money from takes control of your sales ledger collecting the outstanding invoices from your customer directly. You then receive a percentage of these invoices and they get the rest. Other fees include ‘discount charge’ which is interest and normally an arrangement fee.

Invoice discount

Invoicing discount finance works in a similar way; however, you collect the outstanding invoices owed from your clients directly, the finance company do not have any contact with your customers. They lend you a percentage of the money outstanding and then when the customer pays, the money is due to them. Similar fees apply to both types of invoice finance.

Merchant cash advance

Merchant cash advance is also known as PDQ finance. Lenders will look at the amount your business turns over in card payments and lend you up to 125% of the monthly amount. Repayments of this type of loan are then made through future card transaction – agreed at a percentage rate. Merchant cash advance loans are often used to refurbish premises or if businesses need cash quickly.

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Asset Finance

What is asset finance?

Asset finance solutions are offered by most high-street and mainstream lenders. This type of finance is available to businesses wanting to make large purchases such as machinery, computer systems or equipment. Asset finance lenders then collect fixed monthly repayments until the debt is cleared.

Asset loans are secured against the purchase itself, therefore if repayments aren’t made the asset could be repossessed. This alternative business financing works incredibly well for expensive purchases in the early days of the company or for companies wanting to update equipment.


Get in touch

At Merchant Advice Service, we offer a range of options when it comes to alternative financing for businesses large and small. Experts will help you to work out the most suitable solution for your company.

Financing a business doesn’t have to be complicated, at Merchant Advice Service we take a straight talking and ‘plain English approach’ giving you the information required to make the right funding source choice for your business, big or small. Our friendly team are ready to help.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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