Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Antique dealer: Loans/grants


It may be that you do not need to borrow any money to start up your antiques business. However, many new businesses do need to raise money to cover:

  • the initial start up costs such as premises costs, equipment, vehicles, opening stock, business stationery
  • working capital

Working capital

There will almost certainly be a period during the first few weeks of trading when your business is still becoming known to customers and your sales are building up to their full potential.

During this period you will still have to cover expenses such as:

  • wages (and your own living expenses)
  • stock
  • rent, rates and utilities such as heat, light and telephone

Because your income from your new antiques business may not be enough to cover these outgoings during the early days, you will probably need to set aside some cash, or 'working capital', to tide you over.

Make sure that you have accurately estimated the cost of buying your stock - many antique dealers start off by turning a hobby into a business and put into stock pieces that they have bought privately over the years. This can mean that the cost of re-stocking is underestimated.

If you need to approach the bank for a loan to cover your start up costs and working capital, leave this entry in the cash flow empty until you have completed the rest. This will give you an idea of the shortfall between income and expenditure.

If your figures show that you're likely to need to borrow money, it's wise to check at an early stage in your planning that funds are available on terms that are acceptable to you.

Grants and other funding

You may be able to get some help in the form of a grant, perhaps to cover the cost of training for a qualification relevant to the antiques trade, such as in furniture restoration or upholstery.

You can get information on grant aid and other types of funding available throughout the UK from the business finance and support finder tool on the Gov.uk website.

Grant aid varies considerably around the UK and some assistance may be available in your area to help you start up your business.

It is also worth contacting the business support unit in your local council if it has one. Sometimes local grants are available for things like shop front renewal, or to help new businesses in economically run-down areas. You can also use the tool on the Gov.uk website to help you identify any suitable sources of local and regional funding.