Crafts or commercial SMEs that have been newly created or taken over, regardless of their legal form, can benefit from a startup loan or a business transfer loan.
Beneficiaries must possess a valid business permit, issued by the Ministry of the Economy. They must also submit a business plan and a financing plan; the latter must include evidence of equity capital of at least 15% of the eligible amount.
Already established entrepreneurs, as well as activities which do not need authorization from the Ministry of the Economy (as defined in the Law of 2 September 2011), cannot benefit from a startup loan.
However, established entrepreneurs can benefit from a startup loan within the framework of a business transfer.
For SMEs that have been newly created or taken over, all operating costs incurred for getting the business plan up and running are eligible. Provided that the activity has not yet started at the time of application, this includes land, buildings or parts of buildings used for professional activities; machines and professional equipment; intangibles such as licenses; software; business setup costs; business plan related costs; stock, etc.
The startup loan can range from EUR 5,000 to EUR 250,000, without exceeding 40% of eligible costs.
Investments that have benefited from a startup loan are no longer eligible for any investment loan from SNCI.
The duration is generally 7 years. Depending on the project and respective investments, the duration can be up to 10 years. However, if the project comprises an important part (more than 50% of eligible costs) of fixed assets, the duration can be extended up to 14 years.
The applicable rate is a rate varying according to the general evolution of market rates. The interest rate currently stands at 4%.
The startup loan is disbursed in one lump sum immediately after the financing plan is concluded.
In principle, repayment is made in equally distributed quarterly installments. The first installment is due between 6 and 12 months after the contract signature date. Early repayments incur no fees or penalties.
Security interests will not be requested. However, a personal, joint and indivisible surety bond is required.
Applications must be sent directly to SNCI. Applications must include:
- a cover letter introducing the applicant and describing the project;
- a business plan with a detailed description of quantitative and qualitative aspects of the expenses;
- a detailed liquidity plan for 12 months;
- a proposed financing plan.
Application must be submitted to SNCI before the start of the project.