In general terms finance that requires the provision of security tends to take longer to be processed than unsecured finance, due to additional administrative and legal work.

Bank overdrafts can be obtained quickly if you are already a customer of the bank. Variable factors include the size of the facility and the history of your commercial relationship with the bank. Unsecured overdrafts typically take between zero and two weeks to be granted, while secured overdrafts can take substantially longer (up to three months).

Cashflow finance/invoice factoring normally takes two weeks to be set up and, once arranged, most banks will allow you to access cash electronically. After the invoice upon which finance will be provided is uploaded, cash is usually available to be drawn within 24 hours.

When applying for finance via business credit cards a decision is normally made within 24 to 48 hours, with the card posted out a few days later. More complex solutions (for businesses requiring multiple cards) will take longer.

Bank loans will take longer to obtain, due to security being put in place or the drafting and adoption of restrictive covenants. Other factors include the size of the loan and the risk profile of the business. Unsecured loans typically take one to four weeks while secured loans will take two to three months to process if new security is being provided.

Hire purchase (HP)/leasing agreements will normally take up to a week to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the deal.

Obtaining finance from a business angel is influenced by the stage of readiness of the business and typically takes in excess of three months. Other factors include whether new security, valuations or legal advice are required. Business angels may also perform some level of due diligence.