Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

Find out how your business can get government-backed financial support during COVID-19.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is designed to support businesses that are losing revenue and seeing disruption to their cashflow as a result of COVID-19. It enables those businesses to gain quick access to financial support of up to £50,000.

Finance is available through a range of lenders and partners accredited by the British Business Bank. Loans start from £2,000. Some lenders are no longer accepting applications from new customers, please check before applying.

If you receive a Bounce Back Loan, you don't have to make any repayments in the first 12 months, while the Government covers the interest payments during the same period. This means there's nothing to pay in the first year.

As of 17 December 2020, the Government has announced that it will be extending the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) until 31 March 2021.

On 6 February 2021, the Chancellor announced further details about Pay As You Grow options, which are explained below.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) +

  • For SMEs, micro businesses and other businesses requiring smaller loans
  • Looking for a loan from £2,000, up to 25% of a business' turnover
  • The maximum loan amount is £50,000
  • Term loan repaid over six years
  • No set-up fees and the Government covers the first 12 months of interest payments
  • No repayments during the first 12 months
  • The borrower always remains liable for the debt
  • Details of Pay As You Grow options to support Bounce Back Loan borrowers to manage their cashflow announced on 6 February 2021

View full details of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

Eligibility +

Who can apply

To be eligible for BBLS, your business must:

  •  have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic
  •  be engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK
  •  have been established by 1 March 2020
  •  derive more than 50% of its income from its trading activity, unless it is:
    • a charity
    • a further-education college

Who cannot apply

You won't be eligible for BBLS if your business:

  • was a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)
  • is in bankruptcy or liquidation at the time it applies (or applied) for finance
  • is in a restricted sector

Your business needs to self-declare all of the above. For more information on eligibility criteria, view the BBLS frequently asked questions.

Restricted sectors

Bounce Back Loans are not available to businesses listed in the following sectors:

  • Credit institutions that fall within the remit of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive
  • Insurance companies
  • Public-sector organisations
  • State-funded primary and secondary schools

View the BBLS frequently asked questions for a full list of restricted sectors

If you’re already using a coronavirus support scheme

BBLS is one of a number of coronavirus finance support schemes available in the UK. Your business won't be eligible for a Bounce Back Loan if it is using one of the following schemes:

Note: However, if you are using the BBLS to refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF funding you've received, you will remain eligible.

How to apply +

Step 1: Find a lender on the British Business Bank website

View Bounce Back Loan Scheme lenders

Step 2: Contact a lender

If your current lender is accredited for BBLS, contact them first. If they aren't accredited, or they won't support you with a loan, contact another accredited lender.

For ease, we recommend applying online due to the volume of phone calls some lenders are currently dealing with.

Step 3: Submit your application

You'll be asked to complete a short application form online. Here you'll need to self-certify that your business is eligible for a Bounce Back Loan.

Step 4: Wait for checks to be completed

If your business is eligible, your application will go through a number of checks, including:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
  • Know your customer (KYC) checks

Step 5: The lender makes a decision

The lender decides whether to offer you finance.

If a lender turns you down

If the lender declines your application, you can approach other accredited lenders.

NOTE: Some lenders are no longer accepting applications from new customers. Please check before applying or visit the gov.ukLink opens in a new window business support finder for other options.

What to do if your application is turned down +

Lenders have the authority to decide whether or not to offer you finance. If a lender turns down your application for a Bounce Back Loan, you can apply for finance with other lenders.

If you’re unsuccessful again, there are other forms of finance available to you and your business.

View alternative finance options

Additional support +

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

Visit the BBLS page on the British Business Bank website for further information, including full eligibility criteria, as well as a complete list of lenders.

How to apply for a Bounce Back Loan Link opens in a new window

The Business Finance Guide has provided a useful interview with a lender, answering questions businesses may have about BBLS and applying for the scheme.

Other government-funded schemes

Visit the British Business Bank website for detailed information on other government finance schemes for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enterprise Nation – Recovery Advice for Business service Link opens in a new window

Access free support from experts and help your business recover from the impact of coronavirus.

ICAEW – Business Advice Service Link opens in a new window

Use the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales's Business Advice Service to connect with regulated accountants and receive a free initial consultation with no obligation.

Pay As You Grow +

On Saturday 6 February 2021, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced further details about Pay As You Grow, which helps UK smaller businesses that have taken out a Covid-19 emergency Bounce Back Loan to manage their cashflow and have a better chance of getting back to growth.

Find out more about Pay As You Grow


What can I use the loan for? Down arrow

You must confirm to the lender that you'll only use the loan to provide an economic benefit to your business (for example, providing working capital), and not for personal purposes.

If the business was a “business in difficulty” on 31 December 2019, you cannot use a Bounce Back Loan for export-related activities [3].

There are no limits on how much of the facility you use for refinancing.

How much can I apply for? Down arrow

Loans range from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover. The maximum loan available under the scheme is £50,000. The Government will cover the interest repayments for the first 12 months.

The government-backed guarantee on the loan is a guarantee to lenders. Your business remains 100% liable for repaying the full amount of the loan, as well as interest, after the first year.

How long will it take me to get the funds? Down arrow

The scheme is designed to enable businesses to access finance quickly. You must complete an online application form, which you can expect your lender to assess within a matter of days.

In some instances, the lender may ask you for additional information, such as an HMRC self-assessment tax return. If you're considered eligible for a loan, your application will undergo customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

When do I have to start repayments? Down arrow

You are 100% liable for repaying the loan and any interest. For the first 12 months, the Government will cover interest payable to the lender. You'll then need to make full repayments (the loan and any interest) up to the end of the six-year term, as per your arrangement with the lender.

What fees and interest will I have to pay? Down arrow

The Government has set the interest rate for this facility at 2.5% per annum. Lenders are not permitted to charge any fees.

What term can I borrow this over? Down arrow

Loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme are available over a fixed six-year term.

Which businesses meet the “business in difficulty” criteria? Down arrow

A business is considered in difficulty if it met any one of the following criteria on 31 December 2019:

  • Individuals or companies that have entered into collective insolvency proceedings
  • Limited companies which have accumulated losses greater than half of their share capital in their last annual accounts (this does not apply to SMEs less than three years old [7])
  • Partnerships, limited partnerships or unlimited liability companies which have accumulated losses greater than half of their capital in their latest annual accounts (this does not apply to SMEs less than three years old)
  • Where the undertaking has received rescue aid and has not yet reimbursed the loan or terminated the guarantee, or has received restructuring aid and is still subject to a restructuring plan
  • A company which is not an SME where, for each of the last two accounting years, (i) its book debt to equity ratio has been greater than 7.5; and (ii) its EBITDA interest coverage ratio has been below 1.0.
View the full BBLS FAQs

Regional support

Enter your postcode to find business support and case studies from businesses within your region. You'll be taken to our interactive map.