Business Finance & Financing Decisions

The goal of business finance is to raise sufficient capital at the least cost for the level of risk that management is willing to live with. The risk is that a business will not be able to service the debt and be forced into bankruptcy.

Broadly speaking there are 6 main ways of funding a company's needs:

o Receive credit from suppliers

o Obtain lease financing

o Obtain bank loans

o Issue bonds

o Issue stock

o Factor Business Debts

Supplier credit

This is the easiest way that companies obtain funding. Companies buy goods and services and have anywhere from seven days till 6 months to pay for them; when companies need more credit from suppliers the financial controllers will negotiate longer credit terms or larger credit lines. The payment terms can also be stretched and this can work well because the creditors do not want the customer to go into bankruptcy taking their money with them.

Lease financing

Instead of buying equipment, many companies choose to lease equipment - this is a form of franchising.Cars,computers and heavy equipment can be financed for short periods or indeed longer periods.

If it is a short period it is referred to as an operating lease and at the end of the lease the property is still useful and is returned to the finance company.

Long term leases are, in substance, ways are ways of funding a purchase rather than buying the temporary services of a piece of equipment. These are often referred to as capital leases.

For capital leases the leased assets and the financing liability are recorded on the leasing company's books as though the company had bought the equipment outright.

Bank financing

The next level of financing involves banks. If a company has a credit line or revolver with a bank it draws down and pays back up to set limits of credit as cash is needed and generated by the business. The credit is often secured by assets of the firm however if a business runs into trouble it may not be able to pay the bank and go into bankruptcy

Bond Insurance

Bonds have fixed interest rate contractual payments and a principal maturity. The risk comes to the firm's owners if they cannot be serviced. The principle bond owners can then exchange them for ownership of the company and oust the owners.

The After-Tax cost of Borrowing

Interest payments for borrowing from vendors, bankers or bondholders are tax-deductible, while dividends to shareholders are not. The after-tax cost of borrowing is the interest cost less the tax benefit.

Stock Issues

Stock issues have non-contractual, non tax deductible dividend payments. Stock represents an ownership in the business and in all of its assets. If additional shares of stock are issued to raise cash, this is done at the at the expense of the current shareholders' ownership interest. New shareholders share their ownership interest equally on a per-share basis with the current shareholders - this is why analysts say that the new shareholders dilute the interest of existing shareholders.

Factor Business Debts

Factoring companies generally pay up to eighty percent of the value of outstanding invoices straight away provided that they are satisfied that the business debtor is capable of paying the sums due.

Small Business Finance - Meant For Easy Finance To Businesses

If you are a small business person then it is very necessary for you that the business does not ever lacks in funds or it may stop functioning any time. Small business finance is carved out specifically for providing timely finance to small business people and the loan is approved at competitive interest rate. This ensures that the loan is not a financial burden on small business. You can meet all business expenses like buying raw material, equipments, paying salaries or clearing past dues etc through the loan. but you should be well versed in the loan to take it in a better way.

Small business finance come in secured or unsecured options. Secured business finance is meant for meeting greater loan requirement of your business. You can pledge your home or any commercial property as collateral of the loan. Secured business finance also is preferred for its lower interest rate. The loan also can be conveniently paid back in 25 to30 years or earlier as suits to your circumstances. Secured business finance is also best suited to bad credit business people as their property enables them to take the loan despite credit problems.

Unsecured small business finance are risk free loans for business people as lenders approve it without collateral. But you get only smaller loan and it has to be paid back in shorter duration. Also you would be paying interest at higher rate. Usually good credit business people are made unsecured small business finance. However, bad credit business people are also eligible if they have a convincing repayment plan in place that shows that they run a profitable business.

Whether you take secured or unsecured small business finance, the lender will first of all take a deep look into your type of business and will approve the finance only if he finds your business prospects bright. This necessitates for a convincing the lender about your future business plan and that the loan will be invested in a beneficial way.

Small business finance can be sourced from banks or financial companies. But online lenders are considered as best source of lower rate finance for any business. So better apply to an online lender. Before that, compare all lenders for rates to find a suitable offer.

Bank Loan Online and Small Business Finance in the US

A bank loan online generally refers to funding provided by a bank that can be accessed through an online application. Online applications usually only take a few minutes to complete and are analyzed by the bank within a couple of days. Bank loans typically do not require as many documents as a small business loan, but banks may require applicants to provide personal financial statements and credit histories along with the purpose of the loaned funds.

Banks that offer online loan applications usually specify the requirements, interest rates, terms of payment, and any benefits of the loan to help individuals decide if a particular loan is available and beneficial to them. This information saves the time of potential applicants and banks. A bank loan online application may also offer the option to print the application to be completed and mailed or faxed to the bank. This method ensures that the applicant's personal information is not transmitted over the Internet and cannot be stolen by another individual.

Banks with online loan applications usually offer additional benefits to approved applicants. Individuals can view their loan details, such as interest rates, balance, and amount owed, from an online account that is set up when the applicant accepts the bank's loan. The bank may also allow borrowers to pay their loans through a secured online system, receive monthly statements via email, and view tax statements online.

Individuals looking for small business finance US are usually referring to financing options available to small businesses in the United States. There are many government agencies on the federal, state and local levels that aim to assist small businesses with financial issues.

The largest source of small business finance in the United States is the Small Business Administration (SBA). This agency provides loans to small businesses that have been denied by traditional lenders for financing. The most common loan provided by the SBA is the 7(a) loan. In order to qualify for this loan, a business must employ fewer than one hundred employees and submit all necessary documentation. The requirements for start-up and existing business differ slightly, but both require certain business and personal financial documents as well as a business plan. The SBA does not provide loans directly. Instead, it has a guaranty program, which means that the SBA will guarantee a certain percentage of a loan provided by a lender in order to minimize the lender's risk of loss. To apply for an SBA loan, business owners must compile all necessary documents and ask for a loan from a lender who participates in the guaranty program.

Most states and a growing number of cities also have financial agencies that work much in the same way the SBA does. Many of these agencies, including the SBA, run websites that allow business owners to access information on funding options, current news, management advice, and common business laws and terms.

Creative Business Financing-6 Ways to Creatively Secure Business Capital

Creativity is key when you own your own business. If you are a small company you might be the owner, marketing department, sales, accountant, cashier and even the janitor all rolled into one. And each new challenge requires a creative new solution. Even if you are larger you probably still have a hand in everything that goes on in the company.

It makes sense then, that you would need to have creative business financing when it come to your business as well.

There are basically two ways you can approach the problem of creatively financing a business. You can try to bring in money from an outside resource to help you meet expenses, or you can try to cut expenses in the first place. Fortunately, there are plenty of creative businesses financing techniques you can use for both.

Spending Less-Creatively Financing by Saving Money

Create a Buying Alliance

Many vendors will give a discount to those who buy in bulk. Unfortunately you're not Wal-Mart. However, by partnering with another local business or buying alliance, you can receive the same discount as the large retailers.

Use Open Source Software

Instead of purchasing Microsoft Office for every computer in your business you might consider using the open source software OpenOffice. It's free and an excellent substitute. If you need to do some basic photo editing, you might try GIMP. For virus protection try AVG or windows Security Essentials. Go to and take a look through all of the free downloads offered there. You might find some excellent alternatives to the expensive software you were considering.

Brainstorm with employees

If you have employees, gather everyone together and explain that you need to save money. Ask what ways they can think of to save money. You may find your employees are willing bring their own coffee mugs to work, or make the office party a potluck if they understand the company's situation.

Getting more-Finding the Most Creative Business Financing Options

If cutting costs wasn't enough, it may be to time to look for some creative business financing from outside sources. Here are a few places you should check.

Business Financing from Family and Friends--

Many companies have borrowed money from family and friends to get them through tough times or off the ground. Family and friends can be an excellent resource, providing low-cost or even free loans. It can also be dangerous for the relationship. Unlike a typical creditor, you will need to spend time with this lender. They may also feel that because they gave you money they have a right to interfere with how you do business. Companies such as will help you make the loan official. Laying out terms and making sure that both parties understand them is the best thing you can do to protect their investment, your business, and your relationship.

Creative Revenue Based Lending

Another creative business financing option is revenue based lending. At a time when the Credit Crunch has banks hesitant or unable to loan, this alternative lending process has appeared. Revenue lending focuses on what a business actually makes, rather than its owner's credit score. This allows companies to lend to business owners at highly competitive interest rates and with much more flexibility on repayment options. Performance is not alone, as hundreds of revenue based lenders have received press coverage recently by an excited media.


If you want some REALLY creative business financing, check out Users can post a project, and how much money they need to raise. You can then set what sort of incentives people who donate can receive. For example, one user received a few thousand dollars for her small business collected from a few hundred lenders, who expected nothing in return. The idea is very creative and will allow you to practice your pitch at the very least. So far this crowd funding website has funded more than 5000 projects across the world. 

This list may be short, but as the beginning of the article stated, you need to be creative to be a business owner. Hopefully this was enough to get your mind moving in new directions so that you can come up with your own creative business financing solutions. If you have ideas, then please share them with a comment or a message. 

Business Finance and Business Loans Versus Residential Loans

More residential real estate investors are exploring commercial real estate and business loan alternatives as a result of the increasingly chaotic investment environment for residential financing. In these circumstances prospective commercial property owners, business investors and business owners should educate themselves about choices for the business opportunity financing and commercial loan climate that currently prevails throughout the United States.

Environmental requirements for business finance will be a complex issue for numerous business investments. Environmental issues involved in a business loan will primarily depend upon the commercial lender as well as the type of business. More extensive requirements can impact both the cost and timing for a commercial mortgage loan.

Tax returns and financial statements for a business loan are likely to be a concern for all commercial borrowers. Whereas residential mortgage financing is likely to involve only personal tax returns, most business financing will include a review of business tax returns as well. Business financial statements and personal financial statements will be required for certain kinds of business opportunity financing and commercial real estate financing.

Secondary financing will often be a means of acquiring desired commercial loans. The use of seller financing or secondary financing is a prudent business financing strategy to reduce capital requirements for the borrower. Secondary financing will not be accepted by all commercial lenders.

An unexpected requirement for many commercial loans involves sourcing and seasoning of funds. When purchasing a business, some lenders will require that borrowers document where the down payment is coming from (sourcing) and how long the funds have been in that location (seasoning). If a borrower cannot adequately provide this documentation, the choice of commercial lenders will be more restricted.

Collateral and cross-collateralization for business loans will be an insurmountable obstacle for some commercial borrowers. Collateral requirements for business financing will depend on many factors such as down payment, type of business, credit scores and the type of financing needed. Cross-collateralization refers to lender requirements involving personal collateral such as a home used as collateral for a business loan.

Any requirement for a business plan when obtaining commercial mortgages is likely to be expensive and time-consuming. A business plan is not always required for a business loan, but when one is required this will add significantly to the cost and length of the loan process.

An increasing problem for commercial borrowers seeking refinancing is an unreasonable limitation for getting cash out of the new loan. Commercial lenders differ significantly regarding restrictions imposed on the amount of cash out to the borrower when refinancing. Some lenders will not permit any cash out whatsoever while others will limit cash received by the borrower to a particular amount. The preferred approach is to use a lender that will allow cash to be paid out up to an agreed loan-to-value (frequently 75%).

It is important to to thoroughly analyze business financing lockout penalties. A lockout penalty is much more severe than a prepayment penalty in that such penalties can effectively prevent a commercial borrower from selling or refinancing during a prescribed period (often two to five years).

In addition to the issues noted above, numerous other key business finance and real estate mortgage issues will also be important to evaluate. Commercial mortgage requirements are very different from residential financing requirements in the United States. We have prepared several other business finance overviews addressing additional factors that will be significant for most commercial borrowers. Separate report topics include SBA loan refinancing, business opportunity financing, stated income business loans and commercial appraisals.

Business Finance UK - Low Rate Funding of Business Ensured

Business people are always in need of financial assistance so that their business functions smoothly and further expansion plans can be carried out. In the UK, business persons can find number of lenders who are providing business finance for any business purpose. Such business finance is very crucial for enhancing prospects of the UK businesses. Business finance in the UK is being provided for any purpose like buying a new business, paying for salaries, buying office furniture, equipments, machinery etc.

Business finance can be availed in secured or unsecured options as suits to the business requirements. For greater loan amount, secured business finance is opted for as you can borrow any amount depending on value of the property, offered as collateral. But the biggest advantage of secured business finance in the UK is that it comes at lower interest rate. Also for reducing the monthly outgo towards the loan installments, you can choose to repay the loan in larger duration of 30 years. So, one can say that secured business finance is burden less for the UK business people while they utilize the loan.

Unsecured business finance is provided for smaller amount without taking any security. So business person is under no risks in taking the loan. However, unsecured business finance is costlier as lenders tend to charge higher interest rate. If your credit score is very low then the interest rate goes even higher.

If past credit history of the business is not good, still there are lenders who will loan money to such people. Business finance in the UK is well available to all business persons who have late payments, payment defaults, arrears and county court judgments against their name.

But do not forget to take a plan of investment to the lender. The lender would like to know as to where the loan amount will be invested in the business. Also you must be having sufficient bank balance to convince the lender that the loan will be returned back in timely manner. You can locate business finance lenders in the UK on internet and banks also offer the loan. But get their rate quotes for vast comparison. And pay off the loan in time for escaping any debt accumulation.

Catering Business Financing - Loans, Investors Or Grants?

It is possible to start a catering business with very little capital investment. However, if you want to start out with a reasonably professional operation and you don't have any savings then you will need some kind of external financing. Here are some of the catering business financing options that you might consider.

Independent Funding

The catering industry can be entered for a reasonably low investment if you avoid setting up your own commercial premises and kitchen. You can cut costs by starting out from your home or renting equipment instead of purchasing it. For these reasons it is wise to save up and fund your catering startup yourself instead of going into debt right from the start.

Things may not go as planned in your first year in business or you may need financing to expand. For these reasons you should try to leave your financing options open for later when you may desperately need them.

Family and Friends

Hitting family members and friends up for a loan is one option that many entrepreneurs try. Be careful here though as you could cause damage to relationships that are important to you if you suddenly find that you are unable to make repayments on schedule.

Bank Loans

Banks offer a variety of loans or lines of credit to entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand small businesses. To increase your chances of qualifying, approach a bank that you have a good account history with. Let them know that you are willing to fund at least some of the startup costs and only need a loan for the remainder.

You will increase your chances if you have a well written business plan to present to them. Having assets that you can use as collateral or someone who can guarantee your loan could also be a necessity.

Investors or Partners

If catering business startup costs seem too daunting then why not split them with one or more business partners. It is even possible to get an investor who will provide you with funding in return for an ownership interest in your business.

Try to make some connections in the catering community either near your home or online and you may find someone who is keen to work with you. Be prepared to sell your idea to partners or investors though as they will be skeptical. You should have a strong catering business plan to show them and you could even go as far as preparing some sample dishes for them.

The downside with this kind of funding is that you lose control. Partners or investors may want to be involved with management decisions and you might find that they want to take the business in a direction that you are not happy with. If you do take this route then make sure that everyone involved knows where they stand right from the start. Get everything in writing if possible.

Government Loans and Grants

Other options for financing a catering business include government loans or grants. The Small Business Administration in the US is a good place to start your search. You must be eligible though and prepared to go through a lengthy application process. Even if you do qualify for this kind of financing then you might face strict controls as to exactly how you can use the funds.

Credit Card Financing

Many entrepreneurs these days are starting businesses by taking out a number of cash advances on their credit cards. While this method is not advised due to the high interest rates involved it may be worth considering if it is your last option. Before going for this method you should be pretty sure that you can start making repayments within a reasonably short period of time.

In reality there may not be one single silver bullet for your funding problems. You might need to combine two or more of the options mentioned above to get to the amount that you need.

No matter which catering business financing options you decide to go with just make sure that all of your startup capital is used wisely.