Finance for Designers: Professional funding for your design practice

The creative process must be supported by cost effective business funding.

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Funding options


Supporting your practice

  • Asset finance from 6%
  • Leasing solutions
  • Startup loans
  • tax loans


  • Lease deposit lending
  • Commercial mortgages form 2% above base rate
  • Refurbishment funding
  • Commericial refinance

Operating costs

  • Secured lending from 2% above base rate
  • Unsecured lending from 4.9%
  • Cashflow support
  • Overdraft replacement

Talk to Rangewell – the business finance experts

We understand the design industry. As experts in all aspects of business funding we know the lenders who share our understanding - we have the contacts and the expertise to find you the most appropriate funding deals for all your business needs

At Rangewell we recognise your professional status, and we work harder to find you better solutions - which can include 100% finance for many of your needs.

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As a designer, whether your talents are in fashion, graphics, interiors or any other sector, you probably are more focused on your creative work than on your finances.

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Between meetings with clients and long hours spent working on projects, most designers find there is little time to manage day-to-day bookkeeping, let alone think about how to set long-term goals and financial strategies to reach them.

But managing finance is essential to run a successful design practice. A long list of clients and a full order book is not enough - you need financial solutions to help you set up, run and grow your business.

At Rangewell we work with designers across the UK. We help them find the financial solutions that they need.

Understanding your funding options

You may need to find the right type of funding option to allow you to:

  • Set up a new design practice
  • Acquire premises
  • Acquiring equipment and assets
  • Provide working capital
  • Finance growth
  • Deal with tax

Funding to set up a new design practice

If you are already working as a designer for another business, it’s easy to underestimate the costs that are involved in setting up for yourself. You’ll need to think about how you will structure your business. You can work as a sole trader, but you may be better off if you become a limited company - and better prepared for the future.

Professional liability insurance

This might be a shrewd investment, and can be a condition of contracts with some employers.

Marketing and Website

Purchase your business’ name in domain form (.com, ..co.uk.) and set up a site.

Phone - landline and mobile - and Internet 

Shop around for the cheapest package deal.


There are several types of software you’ll need to get started. Buying a full graphic design suite can cost several thousand pounds, although you may be able to reduce capital costs by using Software as a Service (SaaS)

Computer hardware and equipment

You’ll need a quality laptop and probably a printer, scanner and copier

The total costs of all these essentials will depend on your circumstances, and what you already have in terms of equipment and software - but you should probably budget for a minimum of £4000 for your first year - and you will need to provide an income to live on while your business finds its feet.

You may be able to borrow the necessary funds with a Startup Loan, or a Secured or Unsecured loan.

Buying a design business

Buying an existing design business - whether as a partner buy-in or a complete buy-out could offer a ready-made client list and immediate returns.

The costs may be substantial, depending on the turnover of the business, and the potential it offers, and the assets it already has.

A Secured loan could help you to borrow the large sums required for a buy-in our buyout. You might also consider ‘Jigsaw’ funding. This is a bespoke finance package, made up of a number of loan types, such as a Commercial Mortgage for the premises, with other loans to cover goodwill, and asset finance for the equipment.

Contact us to find out more about funding for buy-ins and buyouts.

Funding to acquire premises

Once your design business is up and running, the next step is to acquire premises. It is a major cost, but it does open the door to growing your business - and it presents a more professional impression to clients.

A serviced office will require an upfront payment. If you want to move straight into an office suite, electricity and business rates will have to be paid for, and you will need to find funding to keep in operation while you attract your first commissions.
Renting may be unavoidable in the early days. However, renting restricts what you can do with your space, and means ongoing costs, and puts your practice at risk of rent increases. Buying premises with a commercial mortgage could actually decrease your monthly outgoings, provide your business with a valuable asset for the future, and give you more creative freedom.

Commercial Property Finance is arranged on an individual basis - but you should have no difficulty in securing preferential rates that reflect your professional status.

Remember, if you already own your premises, a Commercial Mortgage might be a cost-effective way to raise funds to use elsewhere in your business.

Find out more about a Commercial Mortgage.

Funding for the equipment you need

You may need a wide range of equipment in your design practice. The latest software, hardware and extra facilities like large format printers will mean an investment of thousands of pounds. You will also need the full range of conventional office equipment.

Asset Finance

Asset Finance -  Hire Purchase and Leasing - can help make virtually any type of equipment you need affordable. Asset Finance works by making the equipment or ‘asset’, the security for the loan itself. This means that if you were unable to repay, the lender could simply repossess it. This reduces the risk to the lender and consequently the cost to you.

There are several types of Asset Funding:

Hire Purchase

Hire Purchase lets you spread the cost of equipment you will use for the long term.  Arrangements generally last between 12 and 72 months. You pay a deposit plus fixed monthly instalments for the agreed term, after which the assets become yours. Many equipment vendors and especially supplying IT will offer hire purchase facilities to support their sales. At Rangewell, we have found that arranging your own finance can be more cost-effective.

Finance and Operating Leases

Finance and Operating Leases work like rental agreement and let you spread the cost of equipment with no upfront payment. This type of finance could be the best option for equipment which will have a limited life. You simply return it to the finance house at the end of the lease, leaving you free to update to the latest technology.

Contract Hire

Contract Hire can be the most cost-effective way to provide company vehicles.

See how Asset Finance can cut the cost of the equipment your design business will depend on.

Asset Refinance

The equipment that you have already bought represents a considerable investment. Asset Refinance lets you re-use that investment to fund any aspect of your business, while still having full use of your assets. The finance company will buy the asset from you, providing you with a cash sum. You then buy the asset back, with a new finance arrangement.

You can use Asset Refinance to release cash, or to replace existing finance deals to reduce your monthly outgoings. Find out more here.

Business Loans

At Rangewell, we work with lenders across the UK market. We can help you find the most appropriate type of loan for a particular need, and the most competitive rates.

There are two main types:

Secured Loans

Secured loans are ‘secured’ because the lender will require security in case you cannot pay the loan back. This could be your home, or your business premises. They can be used to borrow large sums of money, of £250,000 or more.

Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans can be suitable for smaller sums, from £5000 upwards, although some lenders will not let you borrow more than one month’s turnover with an Unsecured loan.  

We can also help with a number of specialised loan products:

Working Capital Finance - keeping your practice running

Working Capital Finance can help you stay afloat pay staff for the early days of your practice while cashflow is slow. It is usually designed to be repaid in the short- to medium-term, once your practice is fully on its feet.

Growth Finance - helping you grow your practice

Large-scale finance can be vital if you have major plans such as acquiring a competitor. Growth finance can help. Lenders may require an established trading history and record of profits, but it may be possible to arrange Growth Finance based on your profit projections, rather than on your trading history.

Tax Loans - helping deal with demands

A  large quarterly VAT or annual tax demand can cause problems with your cash flow, particularly when it falls at the same time as other costs. Tax Loans help you to spread the cost of your tax demands into affordable monthly payments.

  • Better control of cash flow
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • Quick and simple to arrange
  • Avoids issues with HMRC, potential penalties and professional liabilities

Find out how a Tax Loan could help you smooth your tax flow.

Should you consider alternative business funding?

Many businesses may look at alternative business funding, when they are looking at setting up. Crowdfunding and Venture Capital can provide funding, but risk high costs and the loss of control. Fortunately, the new generation of lenders who have a more flexible approach than traditional funding sources, and we can help you find the most appropriate funding for your needs.

Find out more about our approach to alternative funding, including VC alternatives, crowdfunding alternatives and bank loan alternatives.

How we help you capitalise your design practice

At Rangewell, our expertise works to bring you the financial solutions you need to capitalise your business, whether you want to fund capital expenses, working capital or growth. whether you're a design business looking for funding or looking for specific funding for architects, we can help your business thrive.

We know the lenders who can offer the most competitive rates for the design sector. Whether you have a straightforward finance need, or require a complicated ‘Jigsaw’ funding plan made up of a combination of products, we can work with you to find the answers that are right for your needs.

Call us now to get our experts working for you and the future of your practice.


  • Help arrange funding to help an established fashion professional launch a brand

  • Fund the setup of a new practice for an interior designer

  • Find the most competitive loan to let a graphic design professional acquire partnership in a long established firm

  • Help a find finance for a London design practice to buy an independent studio

  • Source a commercial mortgage to allow a small practice to buy the freehold of its studio

Last update: 27 June 2022

Need finance in a hurry?

Contact our team today to find out your options

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