Frequently Asked Questions

First Merchant is a private Finance House which has specialised in granting business loans in the Hospitality, Leisure and Entertainment sectors throughout greater London since 1995.

1. Why choose First Merchant?
Founded in 1995, First Merchant is the specialist principal lender for London’s exciting Hospitality and Leisure marketplace.

2. Why should I choose “Debt not Equity”?
First Merchant firmly believes that Entrepreneurs should not have to “give away their businesses” when raising capital. We will lend against your portfolio with a simple loan to be repaid typically over 36 months.

3. Which businesses does First Merchant finance help?
First Merchant finances almost every type of business in Hospitality, Leisure and Entertainment.

4. Does First Merchant lend against freeholds, long leaseholds and short leaseholds?
Yes.

5. What can First Merchant business loans be used for?
First Merchant Loans may be used for business purposes only including:
• Working capital and cash flow finance
• Expand your portfolio of units
• Acquisition of a business
• Purchase of equipment / refurbishment / fit-out of new units
• Discharge trade debt or bank borrowing
• Borrow to buy out partner(s)

6. Who can borrow from First Merchant?
First Merchant exclusively lends to UK registered Limited Companies.

7. What is the minimum loan size?
£250,000

8. What is the maximum loan size?
£2,000,000

9. How long does it take to drawdown of funds?
It takes approximately three to four weeks from release of Loan Offer to advance the funds.

10. What fees does First Merchant charge?
First Merchant does not charge any fees at all. All applicants are responsible for our solicitors’ costs.

11. Do you offer interest-only loans?
Our Credit Committee may offer an interest-only period as part of the granted facility.

12. What is the Business Monitoring system?
We employ an independent firm of business management consultants to report on progress in your business on a monthly or quarterly basis. This entails a short meeting on each occasion with our Client.

13. How does First Merchant assess your business?
All loan facilities are subject to a satisfactory business assessment of the business conducted by our team.

14. What security does First Merchant take for its loans?
First Merchant places a first charge on the lease of the subject business. Our lending is secured by a first charge over the lease and a debenture over the limited company.

15. Can I come to First Merchant directly?
Yes, First Merchant welcomes direct applications from Borrowers as well as introductions from intermediaries such as solicitors and accountants.