What is a Factoring Company?
Research shows that more than 80% of businesses ultimately fail due to cash flow problems. The quick and easy solution could be to fund with a factoring company.
While there are several issues that could lead to payment delays, unpaid invoices are one of the top causes. Regardless of your industry, your business relies on timely payments from clients to keep its operations going.
If those invoices go unpaid, your funds could dry up, leaving you with few options. This is where a factoring company can help.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at how this type of a lender works. We’ll also share a few reasons why it could be one of the most valuable partnerships your small business could make!
What is a Factoring Company?
A factoring company is a type of lender that purchases open invoices from a business. You may have also heard of this type of funding as accounts receivable financing.
In most cases, after you submit an invoice to a factoring company for financing, you can expect it to be funded within 24 hours. This gives factoring an advantage over other working capital loans, which can take weeks to advance the funds you need.
You can choose to factor all of your invoices, or you can only factor a few clients that tend to take longer to pay their invoices. Factoring tends to be more flexible than other loans since you can pick and choose what you want to finance.
If you’ve been waiting patiently for your clients to pay their invoices for weeks or even months, this quick funding can be a welcome relief. It can also increase cash flow and help you meet your other critical expenses. Factoring is ideal for almost all business owners, offering a long list of benefits to small business owners.
Recourse Factoring vs. Non-Recourse Factoring
When you decide to fund with a factoring company, you’ll find that there are two different kinds to choose from: recourse factoring and non-recourse factoring.
There is no right or wrong way to approach this process, but it pays to know the differences between the two and it pertains to invoices you funded with the factoring company.
First, recourse factoring means that your business will take responsibility for paying the invoice if the factoring company is unable to collect payment directly from your client. In other words, you’ll shoulder the responsibility of reimbursing the factoring company for funds it had advanced to you on invoices that go unpaid.
On the other hand, non-recourse factoring means that the factoring company will assume the credit risk on whether or not your client pays the factored invoices. While non-recourse factoring obviously relieves your company of its immediate financial strain, these types of factoring arrangements often come with higher factoring fees.
Why Should You Fund With a Factoring Company?
As expected, one of the main reasons why small business owners fund with a factoring company is so they can receive funds on their unpaid invoices as quickly as possible.
Most small business owners know that while most clients take between 30 and 60 days to pay an invoice, many disregard this timeline. When this happens, it essentially means that until the company is paid, it provided those products or services for free, which hurts their bottom line.
A factoring company can help speed up this process and allow you to cut through the frustrating wait time. When you have cash in hand quicker, you’re better able to perform many different business functions, including:
- Pay your employees on time
- Expand your staff
- Fulfill customer orders quicker
- Add new customers
- Pay for inventory
- Purchase new equipment
- Grow your business
However, these aren’t the only benefits of using a factoring company. Let’s review a few of the other perks.
When you use a factoring company, you automatically gain access to helpful collections support. If you’ve had a difficult time in the past with collecting payments from your clients, the additional help can make a world of difference.
Debt-Free Financial Assistance
Many business owners choose to pursue traditional business lending options when they’re strapped for cash. While a business loan can help you get back on your feet, it also leaves you with one major challenge: debt.
Working with a factoring company means you have quick access to cash in hand. This is accomplished without the sky-high fees, interest rates, and repayment terms associated with a traditional loan. In addition, other reasons to choose factoring include:
- You can get approval regardless of your business credit score
- It’s quick to get set up with a factoring company
- Paperwork and documentation are minimal
- Fees and terms are negotiable
Are you considering searching for a small business loan, line of credit, or any other type of financing? If so, factoring could be a smart alternative if it fits your needs.
What is one of the best parts about using an invoice factoring company? Most of the time, these lenders don’t have a limit on how many clients you can factor. Instead, this type of funding is designed to grow as your company does.
If your company experiences a surge in growth and you need to factor more clients, the amount of funding available to you will likely increase. This makes it a scalable and reliable resource you can depend on time and again.
How Does the Process Work?
You’re intrigued by the idea of factoring, but what exactly does the process include? You don’t want to dive into invoice factoring without understanding the critical requirements. Next, let’s take a look at the five basic steps that you can expect to follow.
Step 1: Your Company Provides a Service or Product
The first step in factoring begins with your company doing what it does best. You’ll perform a service or provide a product for your client.
Step 2: Submit Your Invoice to the Factoring Company
Once you’ve been approved for funding by a factoring company, you can then begin factoring with them. After Step 1 is complete, you’ll create an invoice and send it to the factoring company.
Step 3: The Factoring Company Funds Your Invoice
Upon receiving your open, unpaid invoice, the factoring company will advance you a certain percentage of the invoiced amount. The amount advanced can be up to 95% and is sent to you via ACH or wire within 24 hours.
You can use these funds to help cover a variety of emergency or ongoing business expenses.
Step 4: The Factoring Company Invoices Your Client
On the same day they send you your advance, the factoring company will submit the newly funded invoice to your client for payment. The factoring company will also be in touch with your client as part of the collection process for the funded invoice.
Step 5: You Receive Your Full Payout
Once the factoring company receives the full payment from your client, they will send you the remaining balance of the invoiced amount that was not originally advanced to you. There will be a small factoring fee deducted from this amount prior to you receiving it.
Understanding Factoring Fees
Of course, a factoring company has to make money somehow. While their services are designed to alleviate your financial burdens, they are not free.
Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to realize that not all factoring companies will follow the same fee structure. Some will look more at the quantity in invoices you bill out and others will look more at the quality of clients you work with.
Regardless, both quantity and quality are two measures that factoring companies look at when determining your fee schedule. Your factoring fees will be defined on the fee schedule which can be found within your loan agreement.
Make sure you understand what type of factoring fees you can expect to receive prior to signing the loan agreement. If you get the impression the factoring company is trying to hide extra costs or aren’t being up-front, this could be a sign that you need to look elsewhere.
Does Your Small Business Need a Factoring Company?
If you provide a quality product or service, you deserve to quickly get paid. It might sound simple, but it isn’t always that straightforward. If you’re tired of waiting for your clients to pay their invoices, a factoring company can help.
As with any type of business funding, factoring comes with both benefits and drawbacks. However, using a factoring company can prove invaluable when you want to grow your business but find yourself at a financial standstill.
If you’re interested in learning more about how accounts receivable financing works, we encourage you to read this post. In addition to factoring, we’re also able to help you find other types of funding for your business, so go ahead and apply today!