There are more than 35,000 registered Bed and Breakfast businesses in the UK and, since the arrival of global hospitality giant Airbnb in 2009, traveler interest in the UK’s small and privately-run visitor accommodation has seen exponential growth.
This means it’s a good time to own a B&B. However, to buy, start, and run a successful B&B, owners and entrepreneurs will typically need additional funding. Read on to find out more and to discover what you need to secure the best business loan for your bed and breakfast.
Business loans for bed and breakfasts come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be used to refinance a current B&B loan, renovate your building, acquire an existing B&B, build a new bed and breakfast, or cover seasonal quiet spots that create a cashflow squeeze. These loans are often tailored to fit the unique financial circumstances of the hospitality industry. In many cases, the property or acquired assets work as security and there is no need to provide additional collateral. This means B&B owners and companies that have weak credit or have been previously turned down for funding may still be able to obtain the financing their business needs to grow.
Common types of B&B funding:
Even though you may intend to live in the same property as your bed and breakfast business, because you are also running a commercial operation, you will need a commercial mortgage. Unlike standard residential mortgages, these types of business mortgage are provided on a case-by-case basis, and the lender will pay strong attention to your business plan, finances, and any relevant business experience you can provide. Commercial mortgages may require a larger deposit than residential loans, and interest rates and fees are unique to every deal.
Yes. Most commercial mortgage lenders prefer borrowers who have relevant business experience, but it is still possible to secure a B&B loan as a first-time buyer. Note that you may be required to pay a higher deposit and/or interest rate to offset the lender’s risk.
Just as no two bed and breakfasts are identical, so no two B&B loans are the same. Different lenders will seek different information in a loan application, but commonly required info includes:
It is not critical that you have hospitality experience to obtain a B&B loan, but it helps. The same applies if you are seeking to buy a B&B as an investment and then employ someone to run the business. The lender will usually expect you to have an experienced and designated B&B manager to operate the venture. If you have no previous hospitality experience, lenders may ask for a larger deposit, or impose higher interest rates and fees. They may also limit the amount of funding they are willing to provide.
Your business plan is your operating manual and B&B loan providers will take a hard look at your projections and exit strategy. The stronger your business plan is, the better your chances of success. If you lack the knowledge to create this document, it is worth hiring the services of a professional hotel and B&B advisor.
There are few 100% business loans available for B&Bs. Lenders will expect you to provide a deposit unless the loan is asset based, such as a merchant cash advance. Different loans will require different deposits. For a commercial mortgage, depending on your experience, financial strength, and business plan, deposits could range from 30% to 10%. Note that lenders will usually need to see a substantial reserve of cash in addition to the deposit sum. This will cover your startup and any slow periods once the business is up and running.
Most B&B loan applications will require:
All lenders will conduct standard credit and security checks. This usually includes a review of both personal and business credit reports.
Top tip: Check your personal and business credit scores before you apply. Errors on your reports could impact limit your ability to secure the B&B loan you need.
Also known as ‘peer to peer’ investment, crowdfunding relies on the power of the internet and the support of small investors and donors to deliver the funding a B&B needs. Bed and breakfast owners seeking funds will post a presentation on a crowdfunding website and encourage viewers to support their cause.
Supporters will usually provide investments or donations in small amounts in return for a reward, such as a free weekend break, with many investors needed to achieve the target sum. This kind of funding is essentially a gift, with the B&B owner not required to repay the investment if they use the funds according to their business plan and presentation. Crowdfunding can be used for many purposes, but it will usually score well if it is heavily promoted with existing contacts and on social media, and it proposes something original – such as the launch of an eco-friendly B&B that is 100% sustainable. Additionally, crowdfunding bids are time sensitive. If the project fails to reach its funding target by the end of the donation period, any funds that have been pledged are usually returned to the investors.
Most government grants for the UK hospitality industry are now closed to new applicants, although it may still be possible to secure business rates relief. For entrepreneurs seeking to launch a new B&B, a startup loan may give them the seed cash they need to get a new bed and breakfast off the ground. Loans of up to £25,000 are available, with no added security required.
B&B lending is a niche area, with differing rules of application. B&B owners seeking this type of financing may find themselves forever searching and making applications to lender after lender. The delays this can create could cause you to lose business and leave your B&B vulnerable to the competition. Instead, working with a broker, who can access B&B loans and mortgages from a wide range of lenders is a better way to go. No more cold calls and endless demands for information. Simply tell us what you need and leave the rest to us.
Check in with Swoop to find the best rates, the best terms and the best B&B loans and mortgages all under one roof. Grow your online business at lightspeed. Contact Swoop to secure a Shopify loan today.
Swoop was amazing! I was looking for refinancing and they were straight onto finding me the best possible option. I would highly recommend them.
Owner, F45 Cambridge
We work with world class partners to help us support businesses with finance