Best Business Loan for SMEs in Singapore 2024

Compare and choose the best business loan from top financial institutions

With over 150 financial institutions in Singapore offering attractive loans, finding the best SME business loan to suit your needs is quite a daunting task. Treat Instant Loan as an online "match-making" facility; it searches for your perfect SME Singapore business loan by sifting through the most suitable SME loans available.

Check out Singapore's top financial institutions offering business loans in Singapore.

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Low repayment fees & rates

Compare the Best SME Business Loan In Singapore: Top 6 Picks

Check out the latest business loan information from Singapore loan providers as below. All the loan information is based on estimation. Actual loan details will be provided to you when you submit a form to request loan quotes.

DBS
DBS Business Loan
Up to S$500,000 Financing Amount
Up to 7% Interest Rate (p.a)
Up to 5 years Loan Tenure
Standard Charted
Standard Chartered Business Installment Loan
Up to S$500,000 Financing Amount
Up to 9% Interest Rate (p.a)
Up to 5 years Loan Tenure
UOB
UOB Business Loan
Up to S$800,000 Financing Amount
Up to 7.75% Interest Rate (p.a)
Up to 5 years Loan Tenure
OCBC
OCBC Business First Loan (Local)
Up to S$100,000 Financing Amount
Up to 8% Interest Rate (p.a)
Up to 5 years Loan Tenure
Maybank
Maybank SME e-Financing
Up to S$150,000 Financing Amount
N/A Interest Rate (p.a)
Up to 5 years Loan Tenure
Maybank
Maybank Personalised Business Financing
Up to S$10 million Financing Amount
N/A Interest Rate (p.a)
Up to 30 years Loan Tenure

Disclaimer: Instant Loan is a loan comparison site dedicated to compare cost of financial products and other services in Singapore. This will enable you to make an informed decision before proceeding to your chosen loan provider. The results of our comparison facility are based on our up-to-date objective analysis.

Note that all financial products and services are presented without warranty and may differ from other loan comparison sites. Additionally, this site may post paid advertisements marked as sponsored. Rest assured that we provide unbiased and independent comparison and our results are ranked accordingly.

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Types of Business Loan Options in Singapore

1. Standard Business Loan

Often referred to as a “standard” business loan, this unsecured loan does not require collateral. Terms can extend up to 5 years for repayment. Major banks such as DBS, UOB, and OCBC offer up to S$500,000 loan.

2. SME Working Capital Loan

Tailored for local SMEs with no more than 200 employees, this loan type provides up to $500,000 in business financing, backed by both government and banks, with a repayment period ranging from 1 to 5 years. It’s available to SMEs registered in Singapore and at least 30% locally owned.

3. Temporary Bridging Loan

This government-supported scheme assists all business types during challenging times. Eligible Singapore-registered companies can access up to $5 million, with a repayment term up to 5 years, requiring at least 30% local ownership. This programme expired on 30 September 2022.

4. Startup Business Loan

Designed for new ventures, this loan offers a cap of around $100,000 and is easier to qualify for than standard loans. To apply, startups need only a few months of operation and minimal financial history.

SME Business Loan Interest Rate in Singapore

Loan Type Provider Maximum Loan Amount Eligibility Repayment Period Interest Rate (p.a.)
Standard Business Loan Major banks (e.g., DBS, UOB, OCBC) S$500,000 Unsecured, no collateral required Up to 5 years 7% – 9%
SME Working Capital Loan Local banks and government S$500,000 SMEs, ≤200 employees, registered in SG, ≥30% local ownership 1 to 5 years 7% – 9%
Temporary Bridging Loan Government-supported Up to S$5 million All business types, registered in SG, ≥30% local ownership Up to 5 years 5% 
Startup Business Loan Other financial institutions S$100,000-S$200,000 Startups, minimal operation period, minimal financial history needed Varies 5-15%

Note: The Temporary Bridging Loan program expired on September 30, 2022, so it is no longer available. Interest rates vary depending on the bank and specific financial circumstances of the business.

Factors Influencing Business Loan Interest Rates

  • Creditworthiness of the Business: This refers to the lending risk that the bank perceives based on the business’s credit history, repayment track record, and overall financial health.
  • Presence of Guarantors: Having guarantors can lower the perceived risk, possibly leading to more favorable interest rates, as guarantors provide an additional layer of security for the loan.
  • Financial Stability and Profitability: Loan providers will look at the stability and profitability of a business, evaluating factors like cash flow, earnings before interest and taxes, and overall financial resilience to ensure the capability of repaying the loan.

Choosing the Best SME Business Loan: Bank Vs. Non-Bank Alternative

Features Banks Other Loan Providers
Interest Rates 7-9% 5-15%
Loan Amount Up to S$500,000 Up to S$200,000
Tenure Up to 5 years 2 years
Approval Process More stringent, requires thorough documentation It can be approved in a day 
Collateral Not required Not required
Bank statement Bank statements from the last 6-12 months Recent 6-month bank statements
Guarantor Required Not required

Which Should You Choose?

Banks offer loans with interest rates ranging from 7-9%, a maximum amount of up to S$800,000, and tenures of up to five years. 

Other financial institutions provide more varied interest rates of 5-15%, smaller loans up to S$200,000, and shorter tenures of about two years.

Choosing between banks and other non-bank loan providers depends on key factors such as credit history and the approval process. Individuals with poor credit might prefer non-bank options due to their more lenient credit requirements. Furthermore, these institutions often offer faster approval times, sometimes within a day, compared to banks, which require extensive documentation and longer processing periods.

Requirements for Obtaining an Business Loan

Eligibility

Business loans across various banks typically share these eligibility features:

  • Type of Business: Most banks offer Sole Proprietors, Partnerships, and Private Limited Companies loans.
  • Business Registration: The business usually needs to be registered and operating in the country where the loan is being applied.
  • Minimum Operating Period: Many banks require a business to have been in operation for a certain minimum period, often ranging from 1 to 3 years, to assess the stability and track record of the business.
  • Revenue Requirements: Some banks set a minimum annual revenue threshold, which can start from S$100,000, depending on the loan product.
  • Local Ownership: It’s common for there to be a requirement for a certain percentage of the business (often 30% or more) to be owned by locals, such as citizens or permanent residents of the country.
  • Credit History: Good business and personal credit histories of the owners and the company are crucial for loan approval.

Requirements

The documentation and other requirements generally include:

  • Identification Documents: Photocopies of identity cards or passports of the business owners.
  • Financial Statements: Latest financial statements (often the last 2 years) to assess the financial health of the business.
  • Bank Statements: Recent bank statements (usually the last 3 to 6 months) to verify the business’s cash flow.
  • Business Plan: Some banks might require a detailed business plan, especially for new businesses or substantial loan amounts.
  • Legal Documents: This may include the company’s registration documents, Memorandum and Articles of Association, and possibly a Board of Directors’ resolution, especially if the business structure is complex.
  • Tax Documents: Recent tax returns or Goods and Services Tax statements could be required to verify the financial declarations of the business.
  • Digital Application Tools: Banks increasingly use digital portals for loan applications, requiring business owners to log in via platforms like SingPass or CorpPass.

Note: Other financial institutions in Singapore generally offer more lenient eligibility and business loan requirements than major banks. Typically, these institutions require the business to be registered in Singapore, operating for at least 1 year, and achieving a minimum annual turnover of only SGD $60,000.

How Instant Loan helps SME?

Instant Loan helps SME business owners focus on what matters most: growing their business. Let us handle the leg work and nitty-gritty of finding the best business loan in Singapore to suit you. Simply submit a form and get up to three quotes from Singapore's top financial institutions.

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Business Loan FAQ

The best business loan depends on your specific needs. Banks offer larger amounts with longer terms, while other financial institutions are ideal for quick cash flow with less paperwork.

The SME Working Capital Loan is highly recommended for local SMEs, providing up to a maximum loan of $500,000 with government-backed support.

However, other financial institutions may be ideal if you need immediate funding, as they approve applications and disburse cash within the day.

Your credit score is the biggest basis of banks and financial institutions in making a decision regarding your SME loan application. However, credit scores are just one part of your credit report, which matters highly if you compare it to a single section. If your credit report shows you to have a good history with previous financing, no overdue balance, and adequate activities in the last few months, you’re greatly qualified to obtain a SME business loan.

A credit score range of 1911-2000 from CBS gives you a risk grade of AA, which is considered a client with the lowest likelihood of defaulting on a SME business loan. Here’s the complete CBS chart for your reference.

Score Range Risk Grade Default  Probability
Minimum Maximum
1911-2000 AA 0.00% 0.27%
1844-1910 BB 0.27% 0.67%
1825-1843 CC 0.67% 0.88%
1813-1824 DD 0.88% 1.03%
1782-1812 EE 1.03% 1.58%
1755-1781 FF 1.58% 2.28%
1724-1754 GG 2.28% 3.46%
1000-1723 HH 3.46% 100%

 

Note that other financial institutions may not require credit scores, allowing borrowers with poor credit scores a chance to take a loan.

Obtaining a business loan with bad credit can be difficult from traditional banks, but alternative options are available. Non-bank loan providers often have less stringent credit requirements and may offer more accessible financing. However, these loans can come with higher costs, so it’s important to compare the terms and conditions across different providers to ensure you find the best fit for your business needs.

Major banks like DBS, UOB, and OCBC are recommended for comprehensive options and competitive rates. For faster processing and less stringent requirements, consider non-bank loan financial institutions.

When deciding between a business loan and a personal loan, consider the intended use of the funds. A business loan is tailored for large-scale business expenditures such as expanding operations or purchasing equipment, offering higher loan amounts.

On the other hand, a personal loan can be a viable option for immediate, short-term business needs when a business loan is unattainable due to stringent criteria or when only a smaller amount is needed. Personal loans provide flexibility and a simpler application process but typically come with higher interest rates.

Customers borrowing from banks can apply for financing and receive their results within 30-60 days. Due to the high number of business loan applications bank departments review regularly, it takes much time to evaluate business loan applications.

Financial institutions and credit unions have the same timeline of 30-60 days to complete their evaluation and provide final loan results for their customers. On the other hand, they have less stringent requirements than banks.

Financial institutions can release your unsecured SME business loan in less than 3 working days. Once you fulfill all your requirements, financial institution will give your MSE business loan application result and release your financing on the same day.

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