Are your business goals on hold until you collect on open receivables? Invoice factoring is a modern financing option that allows you to sell those receivables for fast cash. Instead of waiting for customers to take care of their bill and collecting small amounts of cash each time a receivable is closed, you can sell all receivables at one time for immediate access to a larger amount of cash.
Use that money to take care of routine operating expenses. Pay your employees on time. Whether you’re waiting to launch a new product or you need new business cards, invoice factoring gives you access to cash right when it’s needed.
Why Choose Invoice Factoring?
You need cash on hand to cover day-to-day operational expenses. It takes even more cash to invest in your future and push your business to the next level. When a great opportunity lands in your lap, you need to take immediate action before it passes to someone else. Yet again, that typically requires access to cash.
Invoice factoring can deliver fast access to the cash that you need, and it comes with many benefits:
- Your business doesn’t have to assume debt because this is not a loan.
- The deal is complete after one quick transaction. You don’t have to worry about interest or ongoing payments as you would with a traditional loan.
- Approval for an invoice factoring deal is based on the financial history of your clients, so your credit rating and financial standing is never questioned.
- You receive cash immediately and are instantly free of responsibility for your open receivables.
Have you recently been turned down by a bank or credit union? Since invoice factoring is based on the financial trustworthiness of the customers behind your open receivables, your financial standing is irrelevant. Apply in confidence, knowing that cash is just one transaction away.
How Does Invoice Factoring Work?
While the terms of an invoice factoring deal can vary, most agreements will follow five simple steps.
- Identify an active invoice factoring business and negotiate an agreement. This type of service is often marketed as receivable factoring or accounts receivable financing. You may have the opportunity to sell any outstanding receivable in your possession today while arranging for future invoice payment with an ongoing agreement.
- Continue operating your business and making sales. When a new invoice is generated, send it directly to the factoring agent.
- Once an invoice is purchased by the factoring business, they will pay you an advance while sending the invoice to your client for collection. The advance is often around 90 percent, but this will vary depending on your contract.
- The client pays the purchased invoice to the factoring business.
- The factoring agent subtracts their fee from the final payment and then sends the remaining funds to you. Check your contract to see what percentage of each invoice goes to the factoring company.
Once you establish an ongoing agreement with a business offering factoring services, this process will take little of your time. It’s simply a matter of sending the invoice to the right person and accepting your cash advance.
How Is Invoice Factoring Different from a Business Loan?
If you have ever applied for or received a business loan or line of credit from a bank, you know that it’s more difficult than many people realize. Here are just some of the obstacles that prevent many businesses from utilizing a bank-issued loan or line of credit:
- The process is complicated and can take months of your time to complete. In the end, you’re not guaranteed an approval.
- Your credit history and overall financial standing is used to determine your trustworthiness and the amount of money that you qualify to receive. If your credit isn’t perfect, you will likely receive limited to no funds.
- If your application is accepted, you end up with debt on the books. This debt can cripple your business and limit growth in the future.
Now compare that experience to the invoice factoring process:
- Approvals are often issued within 15 minutes of application.
- Approval is based on the credit history of your clients, so your financial standing is never an obstacle.
- Factoring lines typically start around $50,000 and can go up to $20,000,000. You shouldn’t have to choose between operational expenses and investing in future growth when you have this amount of cash on hand.
What to Expect from a Factoring Agreement
There are four questions that you need to answer when reviewing an accounts receivable factoring agreement:
1. What is the term length for this contract?
The length of your agreement can range from a single month to many years. Consider your long-term needs when determining the ideal contract length for your business.
2. What is the expected factoring volume?
The factoring volume refers to how many invoices you’re expected to factor within a given period of time. The higher your volume, the larger your advances and the more money you can collect from the deal. Think about realistic expected sales for your business when committing to a volume.
3. What is your advance rate?
The factoring advance rate is the percentage of each outstanding invoice that you will receive upfront. In most cases, the rate is at least 70 percent, but it can go up to 90 percent or higher. Factors that determine the rate include the credit history of your clients, your expected volume and payment trends for your customers in the recent past. We make every effort to keep our advance rates highly competitive, so contact us today to see what we can offer your business.
4. What factoring discounts and fees will apply?
This is where you need to read carefully, including the fine print. While some businesses accept flat fees for their factoring services, others will charge an assortment of fees that can quickly add up. For instance, some companies will charge added fees to cover administrative services while others lump those expenses into the basic rate.
If you’re uncertain about all fees and discounts, don’t hesitate to ask. We work hard to keep our fees and terms as simple as possible, but we’re always available to answer your questions.
Invoice Factoring Businesses – What are Your Options?
The first and most important decision that you will make is selecting your factoring company. The ideal business will have experience with invoice factoring and adequate cashflow to accommodate your expected factoring volume. Also pay attention to their full range of services because you want to ensure that your chosen company brings you just as much value as you will provide them.
General Factoring Services or Specialty Services?
A general invoice factoring service will have a large portfolio with clients in a variety of industries. You may notice that most of those clients are small to mid-sized businesses. If the portfolio is focused on one industry, they’re likely a specialist. They cater to a specific industry or a group of industries that are closely related.
Non-recourse Factoring vs. Recourse Factoring
Most invoice factoring companies are classified as recourse services. This means that the company reserves the right to sell unpaid invoices back to you. This happens when your client fails to pay the invoice within a period of time specified in your contract. In most cases, this occurs after 90+ days of nonpayment.
Non-recourse companies don’t have the right to pass unpaid invoices back to you, so they will charge higher fees in exchange for assuming all of the risk. This type of agreement is rare and will often have a list of disqualifying factors that will fit most unpaid invoices. Read the fine print to make sure a non-recourse agreement is legitimate rather than a marketing ploy to get your business.