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Refer a Founder

Refer a founder in your network to CircleUp Credit Advisors ("CircleUp"). If we successfully fund their next business loan, you will receive a cash bonus of up to $3,000 (terms and conditions apply). 

How to get started

Check eligibility
See eligibility criteria below in our frequently asked questions which includes what is required of you and the entrepreneur to get your cash bonus.
Submit referral
In order to be eligible for a referral bonus, participants must submit a referral. A member of the CircleUp team will then evaluate the application. If we are interested in learning more about the referred company, we will request an introduction within five business days (if one has not already been made).
Get cash bonus
If CircleUp lends to the entrepreneur you've referred you will be eligible for a cash bonus. Earned referral cash bonuses will be paid within 90 days of the origination date of the loan. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the cash bonus calculated?

Cash bonus depends on founder's loan size: 

  • $1k for loans less than $500k
  • $2K for loans $500K to $1M
  • $3K for loans over $1M

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Referrers must have a prior pre-existing relationship with the company being referred. A prior pre-existing relationship must have been established for a legitimate purpose other than making a referral (as determined by CircleUp). 
  • Written evidence of a prior pre-existing relationship must be provided upon request (e.g., email or other similar forms of electronic communication).
  • Referrers may not conduct general solicitation/advertisements for the purpose of making a referral.
  • Referrers must verify their identity, in addition to providing a Form W-9 and bank information, in order to receive a cash bonus payment. This process may take approximately one week.

Who is not eligible to participate?

  • The referrer does not have a bonafide relationship and reason to believe the potential new borrower wants/needs a loan.
  • The referrer is a non-individual (i.e., an LLC, C-Corp, etc.).
  • The referrer is an investor, director, officer, employee, or founder of the company being referred (or is an immediate family member of an investor, director, officer, employee, or founder).
  • The referrer is already participating in another CircleUp referral program.
  • CircleUp has previously lent to the referred company or has a prior pre-existing relationship that has been active within the past 180 days.
  • The referrer is unable to successfully pass our AML/KYC compliance checks.
  • The referrer otherwise fails to complete any actions required by CircleUp as part of this program.

What is required by you and the entrepreneur?

  • Referrals may be submitted using the form on this page or by emailing a member of the CircleUp team, and the founder must subsequently submit an application. 
  • In order to be eligible for a referral bonus, participants must submit a referral and make a personal introduction to the referred company’s leadership team if requested.
  • Referred Company must sign a Referral Acknowledgement Form (if referred by an unlicensed party and such party will receive a cash payment for the referral).
  • A member of the CircleUp team will evaluate the application and possibly request an introduction to the referred party (if one has not already been made).
  • A referral will be deemed complete once both a referral has been submitted and an introduction has been made (if requested).
  • If multiple referrals are made for the same company, the referral bonus will be paid to the individual who first completes the referral as described above.
  • Referral bonuses are earned once a loan to the referred company funds.
  • Referral bonuses to any one individual may be earned a maximum of five times within a rolling 12 month period.
  • Referral bonuses may be earned on loans that are $100,000 or more.
  • Referrers may submit inquiries regarding the status of their referral bonus in writing to
  • Referrers must provide CircleUp with a W-9 if the referral bonus is being paid out in cash. 
  • New borrowers must sign a Referral Acknowledgement Form if cash payments are being made to the referring party and the referring party is not a licensed lender in California. 
  • A referral bonus will not be paid if, (i) the loan was based on any fraudulent information, (ii) CircleUp already has an existing relationship with the referred party, (iii) CircleUp declines the loan, or (iv) the loan is not originated within 12 months of the referral submission.