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Commercial Mortgages for Pubs UK Guide: Essential Tips for Success

The UK pub industry has evolved significantly in recent years, with more entrepreneurs seeking to enter this niche market. Commercial mortgages for pubs are a popular financing option for individuals and businesses looking to purchase or refinance a pub, bar or nightclub. This guide aims to help you navigate the complex world of getting a mortgage for a pub in the UK – from understanding the essential aspects of commercial mortgages to the potential challenges and solutions you may face along the way.

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Commercial mortgages for pubs function similarly to standard commercial mortgages but have specific criteria tailored to the unique nature of the pub industry. As an aspiring or existing pub owner, it is essential for you to familiarise yourself with the eligibility and application processes, as well as the financial implications and costs associated with these loans. Moreover, choosing the right mortgage broker and exploring various mortgage providers will help maximise your chances of securing the best possible deal for your pub business.

Key Takeaways

  • Commercial mortgages for pubs are tailored to the unique requirements of the pub industry and involve specific eligibility, application processes, and costs.
  • Choosing the right mortgage broker and exploring various mortgage providers can help you secure the best possible deal for your pub business.
  • An understanding of the UK pub industry and proper planning for your pub purchase and mortgage will be essential for success in this competitive market.

Understanding Commercial Mortgages and How They Work

When exploring options for financing your pub, it is vital to understand how commercial mortgages operate in the UK. A commercial mortgage serves as a loan designed for purchasing or refinancing properties used for business purposes. In the context of pubs, this type of mortgage is tailored to meet the needs of pub owners and operators.

To be considered for a commercial mortgage, lenders typically seek candidates with significant experience in the hospitality industry. This demonstrates your ability to successfully manage and run a pub. Additionally, you should be able to present financial records that reflect your pub’s commercial viability.

Lenders often assess your pub mortgage application based on various factors, including the property’s value, your business plan and financial performance. Interest rates often vary depending on the lender and the perceived risk associated with your pub. It is crucial to shop around and compare quotes to find competitive interest rates for your loan.

The term of your commercial mortgage can range from a few years to several decades, depending on the lender’s policies and your financing needs. It is important to consider your desired repayment schedule and the implications of a longer or shorter term on your cash flow and overall financial strategy.

In conclusion, understanding commercial mortgages and how they function is crucial when looking to finance your pub. Ensure to take your experience, financial records, and available financing options into account, as well as the interest rates and terms offered by various lenders.

Eligibility and Application Process

When applying for a commercial mortgage for a pub, it is essential to understand the eligibility requirements and the application process. Meeting the specific criteria will significantly improve your chances of securing the best mortgage for your pub business.

To be eligible for a pub mortgage, lenders typically assess the following factors:

  • Experience: Demonstrating significant experience in the hospitality industry or previous pub management is highly regarded.
  • Business Plan: Presenting a comprehensive, well-structured business plan outlining your proposed pub’s future profitability, growth strategies, and direction is crucial.
  • Company Accounts: If possible, provide company accounts to showcase your organisation’s financial stability.
  • Credit History: Maintain a clean credit history, as lenders will review this to assess your financial reliability.
  • Security or Guarantees: Offer adequate security or guarantees to back up the loan.

During the application process, it may be beneficial to seek the assistance of an expert broker or a CeMAP qualified advisor who specialises in pub mortgages. They can help guide you through the process, ensuring your application is tailored to meet lender’s criteria.

Here are some key steps in the application process:

  1. Research: Conduct thorough research to identify suitable mortgage providers that cater specifically to pubs. Each lender may have different requirements and terms, so it is essential to select the best fit for your situation.
  2. Prepare Documentation: Assemble the required documentation, including your business plan, company accounts, and proof of your industry experience.
  3. Application: Submit your completed application to the selected lender, ensuring you have fulfilled their specific criteria.
  4. Assessment: The lender will then review and assess your application according to their guidelines and requirements.
  5. Offer: If the lender approves your application, they will provide you with a mortgage offer detailing the terms and conditions of the loan.

By understanding the eligibility criteria and following the application process, you are better positioned to secure a commercial mortgage suitable for your pub business in the UK, increasing the likelihood of success in your venture.

Financial Implications and Costs

When considering a commercial mortgage for a pub, it’s essential to understand the financial implications and costs involved. This will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you’re prepared for the various expenses that come with purchasing a pub.

One essential aspect to consider is the deposit. Typically, you’ll need a deposit of around 30% to 40% of the property’s value. The amount may vary based on the Loan to Value (LTV) ratio offered by the lender. An LTV ratio is the percentage of the property’s value that you’ll be borrowing. The higher the LTV, the lower the deposit you’ll need to put down.

It’s also important to be aware of the VAT implications. Pubs can be either VAT-registered or exempt. If the pub you’re planning to buy is VAT-registered, you may need to pay VAT on the property’s purchase price. Make sure you consider this cost when budgeting, as it can have a significant impact on your overall expenses.

Obtaining a commercial mortgage often comes with various fees. For example, arrangement fees are charged by the lender for setting up the mortgage, and can range from 1% to 2% of the loan amount. Additionally, you should budget for legal fees, which can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction and the solicitor you choose.

Another cost to consider is stamp duty, which is a tax paid on the purchase of a property. The rates for commercial properties differ from residential and depend on the property’s value. You can use the UK government’s stamp duty calculator to estimate how much you’ll need to pay.

Apart from these costs, it’s crucial to assess the financial health of the pub you’re looking to purchase. Review the accounts and financial records to ensure the business is profitable and sustainable. A healthy cash flow and well-maintained accounts will also make it easier for you to secure a commercial mortgage.

Lastly, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of your mortgage, as well as any additional costs that may be incurred, such as early repayment fees or charges for missed payments. It’s always a good idea to consult a financial advisor, who can provide you with personalised advice based on your situation.

In summary, when seeking a commercial mortgage for a pub, you must take into account the various financial implications and costs involved, including deposit, VAT, LTV, loan fees, and stamp duty. By being well-informed and prepared, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the process and secure a mortgage that suits your needs.

Choosing the Right Mortgage Broker

When you’re looking for a commercial mortgage for a pub, it’s crucial to choose the right mortgage broker. A knowledgeable and experienced broker can guide you through the whole process and help you find the best mortgage deal that suits your needs.

First of all, opt for an independent mortgage broker who can provide you with unbiased advice. Independent brokers have access to a variety of lenders and mortgage products, ensuring they can find the right mortgage for your specific situation. They aren’t tied to any specific lender, so their recommendations are solely based on your best interest.

In addition to being independent, it’s also vital to choose a specialist mortgage broker who has expertise in securing mortgages for pubs. They will have a deep understanding of the nuances associated with pub mortgages, such as lender criteria, valuation methods, and any potential pitfalls. Having a specialist in your corner can make a significant difference in securing the best mortgage terms.

Lastly, when selecting a mortgage broker, consider their experience and reputation. Look for professionals who have a proven track record of success in the field. Check reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge their satisfaction with the broker’s services.

In conclusion, taking the time to find the right mortgage broker is essential for a successful mortgage application for your pub. By choosing an independent, specialist mortgage broker with a strong track record and positive customer feedback, you can confidently navigate the often complex world of pub mortgages.

Planning for Pub Purchase and Mortgage

When considering purchasing a pub and applying for a pub mortgage, it is vital to have a well-organised plan in place. This will help you understand your financial needs and what lenders will be looking for in your application.

First, identify the type of pub you want to purchase. Pubs come in various forms, from traditional freehouses to managed establishments, so knowing what suits you and your business goals is essential. Evaluate the potential profitability of your chosen pub, considering factors such as location, clientele, and competition in the area.

Develop a thorough business plan, outlining your vision, target market, and strategies to boost revenue. Lenders will want to see a clear path to success, so include financial projections and demonstrate your understanding of the industry trends and potential challenges.

Before making an offer on a pub, conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the commercial property. This may involve surveying the building’s condition, rating its energy efficiency, and assessing any potential legal concerns such as licensing. Understanding the current state of the property will help you factor in any necessary maintenance or improvements in your budget.

In preparation for the mortgage application process, gather all the documents required by potential lenders. These could include your business plan, proof of income, bank statements, and details of any assets and liabilities. Having these documents readily available will not only expedite the process but also help to build your credibility with the lender.

To secure the most appropriate pub mortgage, research the various mortgage products available for your situation. Options could range from a semi-commercial mortgage for mixed-use properties, where you’ll live on the premises, to a commercial investment mortgage, if you plan on letting the pub to somebody else.

Lastly, seek expert advice from professionals who have experience in the pub and commercial mortgage industry. They can provide valuable insights, help you navigate the complexities of the mortgaging process, and ensure you make informed decisions throughout your pub purchasing journey

Exploring Various Mortgage Providers

When searching for a commercial mortgage for a pub in the UK, you will come across various types of mortgage providers that cater specifically to the needs of businesses in this sector. By familiarising yourself with your options, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right lender for your pub.

High street banks are the most common providers of commercial mortgages for pubs. They offer the security of a well-established institution and often provide a range of mortgage products designed for businesses in the leisure sector. You may find more competitive interest rates with these lenders, but they often have stringent lending criteria and may require a solid trading history and strong financials.

Challenger banks are a viable alternative to high street banks for your pub mortgage. These lenders tend to be more flexible and customer-focused, often providing tailored solutions to meet your specific business needs. While the interest rates may be somewhat higher to compensate for the increased risk, their application processes can be more straightforward and faster than traditional banks.

Specialist commercial lenders focus exclusively on providing mortgages for businesses like pubs, bars, and nightclubs. These lenders have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this sector, enabling them to offer mortgage products tailored to your business model. With their expertise, you can expect a more personalised service and potentially more attractive loan terms.

Commercial lenders offer a broader spectrum of business mortgage products that can also be suitable for buying or refinancing a pub. These lenders cater to a wider market and may not necessarily have the same level of specialist knowledge as specialist lenders, but they still provide viable financing options. You can expect a mix of interest rates, loan terms, and lending criteria from general commercial lenders.

In summary, there are a variety of mortgage providers available to you when looking to finance a pub. It is essential to research each type of lender, from high street banks to specialist commercial lenders, to determine the most suitable option for your specific needs. By thorough investigation, you will find a mortgage provider that matches your requirements and helps your pub thrive in the competitive UK market.

Market Industry Overview and Insights

In the UK, the hospitality industry plays a significant role in the economy, and the pub trade is a vital segment of this sector. As a potential investor, it’s essential for you to understand the state of the market and the opportunities available in the commercial investment mortgage landscape, specifically for pubs.

The commercial mortgage market in the UK has undergone significant shifts in the past year due to factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and changing consumer behaviours. Understanding these changes and how they impact the pub trade will enable you to make informed decisions about your investment.

When it comes to location, it’s essential to bear in mind that different regions may offer varying opportunities. For example, urban areas could have higher potential for yield due to the higher footfall, while rural pubs may benefit from lower competition. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the location of a potential investment in line with your long-term goals.

Another important aspect to consider is the availability of various lenders for pub mortgages, which includes well-known high street banks, challenger banks, and specialist lenders. Each of these options provides distinct advantages and drawbacks, so taking the time to understand the terms offered by different lenders can help you tailor your investment approach.

As you explore the commercial investment mortgage landscape for pubs, keep in mind that the hospitality industry, and particularly the pub trade, can be resilient to economic fluctuations. Thus, understanding market dynamics and consumer behaviours can make a notable difference in your investment outcomes.

In summary, being aware of the current market conditions, trends, and the various lender options will enable you to make informed decisions about pub trade investments. Keeping these factors in mind, along with the importance of location, will position you to seize the most promising opportunities in the UK pub industry.

Types of Establishments and Ownership

When it comes to pubs in the UK, there are various types of establishments and ownership structures that you should be aware of. This will help you understand the different requirements and options available for commercial mortgages for pubs.

Firstly, there are freehold and leasehold pubs. Owning a freehold pub means that you own both the business and the property outright. This gives you complete control over the establishment and often comes with the benefit of residential living quarters for the owner or manager. In this case, you might need a semi-commercial mortgage for mixed-use properties.

Leasehold pubs, on the other hand, involve leasing the property from the owner while running the business. In this case, you will need to secure a commercial investment mortgage to finance your leasehold purchase. Bear in mind that the lease agreement will come with specific terms and conditions that you must adhere to as a tenant.

Another factor to consider is whether the pub is tied to a brewery or operates independently. Tied pubs are obliged to purchase a certain percentage of their beer supply from a specific brewery. This arrangement can provide financial support and advertising benefits, but may limit the products you can offer. Independent, or “free-of-tie” pubs, have more freedom to source their products from a wider range of suppliers.

Regarding residential aspects, some pubs may come with a residential area for the owner or manager, such as an upstairs flat. In this situation, understanding the difference between a commercial mortgage and a residential mortgage for your living quarters is crucial.

When seeking a commercial mortgage for your pub, lenders will typically look for candidates with significant experience in the hospitality industry and financial records showing the pub’s commercial viability. With a thorough understanding of the types of establishments and ownership structures, you can make an informed decision and find the best suited mortgage for your needs.

Additional Considerations

When considering a commercial mortgage for your pub, there are several factors that you need to keep in mind. In this section, we will discuss some additional considerations that can help guide your decision-making process and ensure you find the best mortgage option.

Firstly, it’s essential to know that a commercial mortgage is different from a residential mortgage. While a residential mortgage focuses on personal property, a commercial mortgage is specifically designed for businesses and properties like pubs. Therefore, you need to assess your business needs and choose a mortgage product tailored for pubs. As you explore your options, you’ll find that some lenders have specific criteria for pub mortgages due to their specialist nature.

Secondly, consider the possibility of a bridging loan if you need short-term financing. This type of loan is designed to help “bridge” a gap between the purchase and sale of properties, such as buying your pub while waiting for your current property to sell. Bridging loans offer flexibility in funding your business, but they often come with higher interest rates and fees. Make sure to weigh the costs and benefits before proceeding with a bridging loan.

Next, be prepared for the amount of paperwork that comes with applying for a commercial mortgage. The process is more extensive than residential mortgages due to the additional risk factors involved in commercial property transactions. You will likely need to provide detailed information on your pub’s financials, including income and profit. It’s essential to gather and prepare these documents well in advance to streamline your application process.

Lastly, don’t forget the importance of support throughout your journey. Navigating the world of commercial mortgages for pubs can be overwhelming, so seek advice from experts and professionals to provide guidance and assist in making informed decisions. Remember that your mortgage is a long-term commitment, and seeking assistance can save you time and money in the long run.

By keeping these additional considerations in mind, you can better equip yourself to make the right decisions when securing your commercial mortgage for a pub. Stay confident, knowledgeable, and focused on your goals, and you’ll be well on your way to success.

Possible Challenges and Solutions

When considering a commercial mortgage for a pub in the UK, you might face several challenges. In this section, we’ll discuss potential obstacles and their respective solutions while keeping a confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear tone.

One of the main concerns you may encounter is profitability. Ensuring consistent revenue and profitability for your pub is essential for repaying your mortgage and maintaining a successful business. To address this, it’s crucial to conduct thorough market research and identify your target audience, pricing strategies, and opportunities for growth and expansion.

Another challenge might be the need for renovation or refurbishment of the pub premises. Often, older pubs may require significant improvements to meet current standards and attract customers. To tackle this issue, you can explore various financing options such as commercial investment mortgages or approach specialist lenders for pub-specific mortgage products.

Remortgaging your existing pub can also be a complex process, as you may need to demonstrate an increase in the property’s value or showcase improved business performance. In this case, consult an expert mortgage advisor to help you find the best remortgage deals and ensure your application is supported by the necessary financial documentation.

For some clients, it might be challenging to secure sufficient mortgage financing due to factors such as poor credit history, lack of experience, or limited business records. To overcome this hurdle, consider the following solutions:

  • Collaborate with an experienced business partner or form a strong management team to increase lender confidence.
  • Seek advice from a specialist mortgage broker with experience in the pub sector to identify suitable lenders.
  • Prepare a well-researched and compelling business plan that demonstrates your understanding of the market, industry trends, and operational strategies.

By taking into account these potential challenges and adopting appropriate solutions, you can increase your chances of successfully obtaining a commercial mortgage for your pub in the UK.


In this guide, we’ve explored important aspects of commercial mortgages for pubs within the UK. It’s essential for you as a potential borrower to understand your options and requirements as you embark on this journey.

With the information provided, you should now be aware of the various types of commercial loans, such as a commercial mortgage, which is designed for purchasing a business like a pub or acquiring property for business premises. Consider the criteria set by lenders for these specialist loans, as they may differ from standard mortgages.

As you navigate the application process, make sure to be familiar with the Certificate of Energy Resource Guarantees for Industry (CERGI), which aims to encourage businesses like pubs to use their energy resources wisely. The certification is granted once the business meets certain energy efficiency standards. Your understanding and compliance with CERGI guidelines could impact your eligibility for a commercial loan.

Another important aspect to take into account is the Community Special Projects (CSP) support. CSPs help finance initiatives that can benefit your pub, such as community ventures or energy-efficient upgrades. By tapping into such resources, you could potentially enhance your business and make it more appealing to lenders.

To sum up, being equipped with accurate information, and thorough understanding of the UK commercial loan landscape will set you up for success as you move forward in acquiring a commercial mortgage for your pub. Remember that your commitment to energy efficiency, community development, and responsible business ownership can significantly affect the outcome of your loan application. Stay confident, informed, and clear on your goals as you progress in this undertaking.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I secure finances for a pub purchase?

To secure finances for a pub purchase, you can consider applying for a pub mortgage, which is a type of commercial mortgage specifically designed for pubs, bars, and nightclubs. Start by researching lenders who offer pub mortgages, preparing a well-detailed business plan and gathering relevant financial documents. It is also helpful to approach a commercial mortgage advisor to guide you through the application process and help find the best interest rates.

What deposit percentage is needed for a commercial mortgage?

The deposit percentage required for a commercial mortgage may vary depending on the lender and your individual circumstances. In general, a deposit of at least 20-25% of the pub’s purchase price is often expected. However, some lenders might accept a lower deposit if you can demonstrate a strong business plan and financial stability. Keep in mind that a larger deposit may lead to better mortgage rates and terms.

What options exist for brewery loans?

Brewery loans are another option for financing your pub business. These loans can be secured through commercial banks, alternative lenders, or through schemes offered by some breweries. Brewery loans usually require a solid business plan and may have specific lending criteria. Just like commercial mortgages, it’s a good idea to consult with a financial advisor to explore the most suitable options for your situation.

Are there any specific requirements for pub financing?

Yes, there are specific requirements for pub financing. Lenders typically look at factors such as your experience in the industry, the quality of your business plan, your credit history and the financial performance of the pub. Your personal financial situation may also be examined, including any assets you own and outstanding debts.

What factors affect the eligibility for a commercial pub mortgage?

Eligibility for a commercial pub mortgage depends on several factors, including your experience in managing pubs or related businesses, your credit history, the pub’s location and financial performance, and the strength of your business plan. Lenders will assess these factors to determine the level of risk involved and decide whether to approve your application. It is crucial to provide accurate and detailed information when applying for a commercial pub mortgage to increase your chances of approval.

How do I find available pubs for sale?

To find available pubs for sale, you can search online through specialised websites and property portals that list commercial properties for sale or lease. You can also work with a commercial estate agent who has experience in selling pub businesses. They will help you navigate the property market, assist in negotiations, and provide expert advice on finding the ideal pub that meets your requirements and budget.

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