Can You Get a Startup Business Loan With No Money?

Person with no money in their wallet.

Obtaining funding as a pre-revenue startup can be a challenge. However, there are funding options available for startups looking to raise funds for their business with no money and no revenue. 

In fact, entrepreneurs can get startup business loans with no revenue and no money. This guide walks you through how to get a startup business loan with no money and some key considerations to factor in before you start applying.

Startup Business Loans with No Revenue

Capital is a valuable and necessary ingredient in startup success, but raising money early on can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and their new businesses. Startup business loans offer startup and small business owners the opportunity to get funding to start and grow their new business venture. 

It is entirely possible to get startup business loans with no revenue. However, not all startups should get a business loan with no money. Before you start applying for startup business loans, get to know the options available to you, the risks involved, and potential alternatives. 

What Is a Startup Business Loan?

A startup business loan is financing that helps new entrepreneurs get their business idea off the ground. Startup loans generally require a minimum credit score and good credit history, a solid business plan, and some collateral from the entrepreneur to qualify. Startup and small business loans are typically obtained through business lenders such as banks and credit unions. However, there are some online lenders that offer business loans as well.

Most startup business loans are repaid monthly with interest. Interest rates may be higher than other types of small business financing; however, this is not always the case. Startup business loans can generally be used for various startup costs like equipment, inventory, marketing, research and development, or working capital. It is important to note that the lender may impose restrictions on how startup loans are spent. 

How to Get a Startup Business Loan With No Revenue

The key is demonstrating your ability to eventually repay the loan through a solid business plan and showing you've put in your own money or ‘sweat equity’ to get started. Patience and persistence in applying to lenders are also important. From writing a business plan to providing your personal credit score, these are a few steps to take to get a startup loan with no money. 

Write a Solid Business Plan

The first step to getting a startup business loan with no revenue is to write a business plan. In fact, whether or not you have money, a business plan is a must for obtaining startup funding. Your business plan should include your business idea and business model, financial projections, goals, current or potential roadblocks as well as how you will solve them. 

Check If You Are Eligible

First, look for business loans that your business qualifies for. While there are business loans out there that do not have a revenue or down payment requirement, you will have to research to find the right lender, loan, and repayment terms for your business. 

Additional requirements you need to keep in mind are time in business requirements, personal credit score or credit history, and various financial documents.

Calculate a Reasonable Loan Amount

When starting a business, it may seem like the more capital, the better. However, this is not always the case. Taking on loans that are too large for your repayment ability can lead to financial distress for you and your business. 

Due to this, calculating a reasonable loan amount based on what you’re able to repay, even in the worst-case financial scenario, is critical. Consider starting small and taking on more funding as you generate revenue to avoid financial hardship or hindering your startup’s success.

Determine Possible Collateral

Many lenders require businesses with no money or revenue to offer some sort of collateral in order to obtain a business loan. Knowing what you’re open to using as collateral may make the search for the right business loan easier. 

A few examples of collateral for a business loan are real estate, business equipment, vehicles, investments, personal assets, or inventory. Keep in mind that anything you’re putting up as collateral will be seized if you are unable to repay your loan.

Be Aware of the Potential Risks

Before you take on any type of startup loan, you should always be aware of the risks and obligations associated with it. When opting for a business loan with no revenue, you may be required to give a personal guarantee. That means that if you are not able to make loan payments with revenue generated from the business, you will be personally liable for its repayment. 

Furthermore, while a business loan may extend a cash runway or allow startups and small businesses to invest in valuable tools or equipment, repayment could impact your cash flow. Ensure that whatever repayment terms you are taking on are achievable for your business, even during financial hardship.

Alternatives to Startup Business Loans

While it is possible to get a small business loan with no money or revenue, it isn’t always the best option for every startup. Here are some alternative business funding options for startups with no revenue. 

Equipment Financing

There are several institutions and online lenders, such as Lendio, that offer equipment financing for startups and small businesses. Equipment financing provides you with capital to buy or lease necessary equipment for your business, sometimes in as little as 24 hours.


Seek out small business grants and competitions. Many organizations, as well as local and state governments, offer grants and prizes for promising startups that need capital. Moreover, these don't require repayment, making them appealing to early-stage entrepreneurs. 


Look into crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You can pitch your business idea to potential backers and raise small amounts from many people, typically with no repayment required. 

Revenue-Based Financing

Consider revenue-based financing. This is where investors provide capital in exchange for a percentage of future revenue until the loan is repaid. This allows you to avoid giving up equity or signing onto a repayment plan that could limit cash flow. 

Friends and Family

Tap into your personal network for loans from friends and family. This is a great way to generate money for your business with little to no interest. Be sure to put an agreement in writing to protect both sides.


Seek out microlenders and community development financial institutions that provide smaller, accessible loans for startups that will be easier to repay. 

Business Credit Cards

Get creative with business credit cards. Many have 0% intro APR periods you can use interest-free or reward points to help fund expenses. Plus, if done correctly, a business credit card can help you build your business credit. 

Merchant Cash Advances

A merchant cash advance is a form of business financing where a company receives an upfront lump sum of cash in exchange for agreeing to pay back a percentage of their future sales until the advance is repaid with interest. Merchant cash advances provide businesses with quick financing that is repaid flexibly as a percentage of sales over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a business loan with no money?

Yes, it is possible to get a business loan with no money and no revenue. To qualify, you will likely need to provide a strong business plan, personal guarantee, and collateral in case you are unable to repay the loan.

Is it difficult to get a business loan?

Qualifying for a business loan can be challenging for some startups. There are several requirements unique to each loan and lender that may impact the difficulty of securing small business loans, including a poor credit score, short time in business, and low annual revenue.

However, there are small business loans with lower requirements available to entrepreneurs, as well as alternative financing options such as business lines of credit, equipment financing, and revenue-based financing.

Can you get a line of credit for a startup business with no money?

Yes, it is possible to get a business line of credit even if you don't have any capital invested in the business yet or if you are pre-revenue. Banks and credit unions often offer small business lines of credit based primarily on your personal credit score and history. A strong personal credit profile can help offset the lack of funds in your business.

Can I get a loan if I just started my own business?

Yes, it is possible to get a business loan if you just started a business, but it can be challenging. Good personal credit and a strong business plan are two elements that may make getting a loan for your business easier when you're just starting out.

How to get a startup business loan without collateral?

With a solid business plan and demonstrated ability to repay, it's possible for innovative startups to get financing without traditional collateral through alternative lenders. Here are some tips for getting a startup business loan without traditional collateral:

  • Look into SBA microloans. The SBA offers loans up to $50,000 for startups, and they are more flexible on collateral requirements.
  • Seek out crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending platforms. These allow you to raise smaller amounts from multiple sources without strict collateral rules.
  • Apply to startup incubators or accelerator programs, which sometimes offer funding in exchange for equity rather than collateral.
  • Enter startup pitch competitions and challenges. Many have cash prizes that don't require repayment or collateral.
  • Consider revenue-based financing, which provides capital in exchange for a percentage of future revenue until repayment. This doesn't require collateral.