A merchant cash advance for startups is similar to — but not — a loan. We advance you cash and deposit it directly into your business merchant account depending on credit card sales. Business owners can apply anytime for an MCA from Delancey Street and get much-needed capital fast -– often within 24 hours. It is deposited directly into your business’s checking account.
Pro’s of Merchant Cash Advances For Startups
Straightforward approval process
Quick access to cash
Bad credit isn’t a problem
Great for a broad range of businesses
Con’s of Merchant Cash Advances for Startups
Higher fees than for more traditional business loan options
Repaying an MCA can reduce daily cash flow
Merchant cash advance services are cut off until original MCA is paid off
What exactly is a merchant cash advance?
As shown above, there are advantages and drawbacks to acquiring a merchant cash advance. Many businesses have utilized an MCA to their advantage, perhaps due to a slow month or to pay urgent unpaid bills. One of the best aspects of an MCA is the fast turnaround from applying to having urgently needed capital deposited into your business’s checking account. After reading this piece, you will likely have a better understanding of:
-Exactly what a merchant cash advance For Startups entails;
-A full rundown of the pro’s and con’s of this type of service;
-Who would stand to benefit most from a merchant cash advance;
-The risks of using this service;
-Alternatives to an MCA that may be useful to some business owners when speed is critical.
-How exactly merchant cash advances work
Not a loan, an MCA is rather a cash advance based on expected future income. Your MCA provider will deposit a lump sum into your account which is then repaid automatically based on an agreed upon percentage of your daily merchant account proceeds. This percentage is called the holdback, or retrieval rate. The holdback number can vary from 5% up to 20% depending on credit card sales, amount of cash advanced, and the agreed-upon repayment period, which can range from 90 days to 24 months. Repayment begins upon receipt of the advance.
The upper amount of Merchant cash advances for startups is determined by your average credit card sales. Most MCA providers will look at your receipts over the last 2-6 months to determine the upper limit of the cash advance you could qualify for. In general, 50 to 250% of your business’s credit card transactions in a given month can be advanced.
Merits of merchant cash advances for startups
The below will enlarge upon the benefits of a merchant cash advance to business owners in urgent need of capital.
Undemanding application process: As with many other financial services today, applying for a merchant cash advance can be done online in as little as minutes. After uploading documents such as your bank account and credit card processing statements and your business tax returns, you could be on a fast track to approval.
Funding is swift: Approval can come in as little as hours and funding will often follow just as fast. This can be a huge boon for business owners when cash is needed fast to cover urgent expenses, such as payroll.
Credit is immaterial here: Merchant cash advance providers are very lenient when it comes to poor personal or business credit history, unlike traditional business loan providers. MCA providers narrow their view towards two main things: how long you’ve been in business and how consistent your credit card sales are. Your business’s strength is what matters here, not your credit history.
Collateral isn’t required: With an MCA, there is no need to put up any business or personal assets to be approved.
Payment flexibility: As opposed to a traditional small business loan where the payment is fixed month to month, with an MCA the holdback number is fixed to a percentage of your credit card sales each month. You pay a proportion of whatever your business brought in that month. This can be helpful to business owners if they experience a slow sales month, for instance.
Get what you need: Merchant cash advances offer significant scope when it comes to the amount of funding offered -– from a few thousand dollars all the way up the scale to sometimes millions. An MCA offers you greater flexibility and leeway to receive the funding you urgently need without owning stellar credit or putting anything up for collateral.
Whom is a merchant cash advance best suited for?
If your business needs cash fast and has a strong credit card transaction history but middling credit — or is too young to have acquired a meaningful history of credit –- you could stand to benefit from an MCA. Restaurants and retailers are two prime candidates for a merchant cash advance.
A closer look at the costs of a merchant cash advance
An MCA for startups has many positive aspects but the risks must be appraised. The biggest downside to a merchant cash advance –- one that could potentially outweigh all the benefits for some -– is the cost factor. Let’s take a close look.
Instead of an APR, a business using an MCA will pay a factor rate. This number, often misunderstood, is a decimal point number representing the amount a business will have to repay to the MCA provider. The factor rate usually varies from 1.1 to 1.5.
Here is a breakdown of an example merchant cash advance. A business takes out an MCA of $50,000 with a term of 12 months and a factor rate of 1.3. Multiple the factor rate by the cash advance. The result is $65,000, which would indicate an APR of 30%. However, the holdback rate could substantially hike this number.
Sticking with the above example, the business agrees to a holdback rate of 15% of daily billables. The example business then averages $35,000 in credit card sales per month over the next year. The daily repayment would then be $175 and would take 372 days to pay off. Here one sees that the daily interest rate is 0.15% and the APR jumps to 53.9%, nearly double what it seemed at first glance. As you can see, a merchant cash advance should be entered upon carefully as the costs can become burdensome in some cases.
A look at two alternatives to merchant cash advances
If time is not of the essence and you don’t want to deal with the costs of an MCA, below are two viable alternatives for businesses in need of cash.
Term loan: Similar to a mortgage, you borrow a fixed amount and pay over a length of time -– usually between 12 months to a few years. The loan can be either secured or not and have fixed or variable rates. A term loan compares favorably to a merchant cash advance or credit card when it comes to APR.
Credit cards for businesses: A good option for those with good enough credit. An added plus with business credit cards is the popularity of reward programs to use for travel or other bonuses.
Final words on the holdback and factor rate
The holdback –- usually between 10 and 20% — is usually a fixed percentage of your business’s daily credit sales that go towards repaying your merchant cash advance. The more money you make, the faster the advance will be repaid.
The factor rate is the interest rate, not the holdback. Typically, the factor rate for an MCA can range from double to triple digits.
Is a merchant cash advance right for you?
For healthy businesses that need cash fast to capitalize on an opportunity or to pay urgent bills, an MCA may be perfect. Just be aware of the costs.