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Posts Tagged ‘invoice finance’

Construction finance for contractors

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

One of the most common enquiries we get is for contract businesses looking for additional working capital to expand their businesses. The problem is that they have been to the bank and been refused an overdraft and they have been told they are ineligible for factoring or invoice discounting due to the nature of their contracts. The good news there are a number of invoice finance companies that other construction finance or contract finance.

We had such an enquiry just yesterday. As per normal the enquiry was for a different  however unsuitable form of finance. The enquirer had been told by a number of different sources that they were not eleigle for invoice finance and as such they had been trawling the inter net for business loans and approaching the banks for overdrafts. As we know the banks are\ still being over cautious resulting in a number of dead end enquires.

XL Business Finance with our ten years of experience in this sector was able to introduce a number of specialist funders that would be willing to fund invoices raised against contracts. Hopefully this will give the business the much needed working capital to grow and expand the business and take on more available contracts.

Cash Flow Loans Explained

Monday, November 1st, 2010

A traditional cash flow loan from a banks point of view would be based on the turnover and profitability of a business. Before the recession cash flow loans were a prelevent form of bank lending.  They were often used in management buy outs to raise cash to buy the businesses along with other purposes. It was not out of the question to raise funds many times greater than the actual value of the tangible assets of the business.

During a buoyant economy this kind of lending is absolutely fine however as soon as things slow down, as they did recently, serviceability may become an issue and as such the banks find themselves with large loans to businesses with very little or no security. It is no wonder the banks have had such a slating recently for lending on this basis. The recession hits and the banks no longer lend on this basis and are accused of not lending any money. It appears to me that they dammed if they do and dammed if the don’t.

The alternative to cash flow lending is asset based lending whereby a bank or financial institution lend against the asset of the business. These are predominantly invoice finance companies that will lend up to 90% of a businesses debtor book, provide a commercial mortgage, lend approx 50% against any unencumbered machinery and also have the ability to lend against stock and in  certain circumstances provide international trade finance.

Whilst a bank has the ability to provide asset based lending they don’t tend to have the expertise as some of the specialist lenders and as such it is often worthwhile speaking to an independent business finance specialist to see what alternatives are available. XL Business has over 10 years experience in helping businesses in this often overcomplicated sector of business finance.

We’re Back!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Following the construction of our fancy new website by our good friends at Marketing Insite we are hopefully  back in the  swing of blogging. Yipee I here you cry. Not!

During the last few months or so it is fair to say that obtaining business finance still continues to be difficult especially when it comes to dealing with the banks. Business directors and owners are also beginning to realise that the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme ( EFFG) as provided by the banks is not what it is cracked up to be. Unless the bank wants to deal with you in the first place and the lack of tangible security is the only thing stopping the bank wanting to do the deal then the banks  will not offer funding.

In addition it was also possible to obtain grants and loans via local development agencies. Due to the government cut backs these have all virtually disappeared. So what options are there left for businesses requiring additional funding?

There is and always will be various hire purchase and finance lease companies offering funding , however due to supply and demand of funds it is worth consulting a good independent finance broker to search out the best possible deals. More often than not many businesses require additional working capital facilities. We have never been a great fan of bank overdrafts due to the fact they can be quite restrictive and are always repayable on demand. So that leaves us with traditional factoring and invoice finance facilities. Once upon a time this was viewed as a lend of last resort however invoice finance is still one of the most competitive and buoyant growing areas of finance. In addition competitive funding is provided by a large variety of independent companies , banks and building societies all offering slightly different products for different types of businesses.

Factoring a scaffolding company

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

On the basis that most scaffolding companies are working to contract many such businesses wrongly assume that they are not eligible  for a factoring or invoice discounting company. The good news is that one or two invoice finance companies will provide a factoring service.

However these factoring companies are not your high street banks but independent companies that specialise in factoring and construction finance. They have their own in house quantitative surveyors that can accurately asses the value of work undertaken. It is very unlikely that a scaffolding company will get the full 80% but more likely that a maximum of 60% prepayment will be achievable. In addition the factoring company will be looking to make sure that all the scaffolding equipment is mainly free of finance. This is because they wouldn’t want a leasing company removing the scaffolding half way through job and thus making all the contract null and void.

The finance company needs to know that they have control over the equipment in the event of an administration so that they can finish the job and get paid. Any factoring company that doesn’t understand this is potentially putting the directors at risk via any personal guarantees that may have been given. Ass such it is worth giving us a cal to see if a factoring facility will be beneficial to your business. We have over 10 years experience in this market and we are certain that we can add value to the proceedings.

Using an Invoice Finance Broker

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Any search on the world wide web will reveal numerous factoring and invoice discounting companies. Some of them will be actual lenders, others will call themselves “independent” in that they are not bank owned but they are still a lender and some ae brokers. In our opinion using an invoice finance broker will save you the most time and help you obtain the most appropriate funder for your particular requirements.

However there are two types of brokers. Some of the websites you see on the net are more like like cost comparison sites and will give the business the opportunity to compare quotes. These sites will link into half a dozen factoring and invoice discounting companies and as a result you will be bombarded with calls from half a dozen companies. We are not sure how this type of service can be providing best adviser particularly when no one actually speaks with you to discuss your business.

Surely the best type of broker is the one that either has a meaningful conversation with you in order to find out about your business or even better they take time to visit. At XL Business finance we have access to all the finance companies on the cost comparison sites and far more in addition. Following an initial interview or meeting we can pinpoint the two or three most appropriate invoice finance providers. And the good news is that this service is absolutely free. If XL Business Finance makes an introduction to finance company and they take you on board as a customer a fee will be paid by the finance company to ourselves. This fee is in no way loaded to the charges paid by your selves.  ALL invoice discounting and factoring companies pay the same level of fees because the broker market is one of their biggest sources of business. Therefore you can ensure you are getting  totally independent viewpoint

invoice finance or bank overdraft

Friday, May 7th, 2010

As you will gather if you care to read through any of blogs that this is a favourite subject of mine. And for good reason too. We have seen a number of what looked like very strong businesses fall foul to the banks in terms of having too many eggs in one basket. Although the banks will never publicly admit there appears still to be a tendency to call in their security if they think they have half a chance of clearing their debt. A bank that has a debenture over the business can appoint an administrator at any point they wish to do so. And how do they obtain a debenture. well you would normally give it when you take out an overdraft. Just one of those documents that they slip under your nose when signing all the other paperwork. Overdrafts are always repayable on demand and for this reason we believe that any form of invoice finance is a far better alternative.

Invoice finance which can either be factoring or invoice discounting cannot be withdrawn at a moments notice and so long as you are operating within the terms of the facility should provide you with a reliable and consistent form of cash flow finance. Unlike a bank overdraft which is secured by bricks and mortar and or a personal guarantee invoice finance is secured against your unpaid debts. So long as your customers pay their debts you should never be at risk. In addition it is often possible to obtain credit insurance for if any of these customers god forbid go bust on you.

A Guide to Invoice Finance

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Invoice Finance is the means of obtaining cash against unpaid invoices. More and more debtors or customers require up to ninety days credit terms in order to pay for their goods and services. Invoice finance provides up to 80% of these invoices immediately providing a valuable working capital facility.

Confidential invoice discounting is a form of invoice finance and as the name suggests the facility is provided in a format whereby your customers are unaware that you are discounting your invoices. Many businesses for a variety of reason would rather keep these matters confidential. However confidential invoice discounting is not on offer for every type of business. Invoice discounting can be susceptible to fraud and as such a business must be well established, be profitable with a sound and profitable trading history. A suitable credit control system must also be in place which the potential finance company will require to check o ensure you are capable of collecting your invoices.

Factoring which is similar to invoice discounting provides credit control as an additional feature. The factoring company will chase your customers ( usually by phone) on your behalf to ensure your invoices are paid in an efficient and timely manner. As your customers are aware that you are factoring your invoices and the finance company is in regular contact with your customers the facility is less susceptible to fraud.  Therefore just about any type of business will be able to obtain a factoring facility. New starts, loss making businesses, phoenix companies are all welcome to apply!

Invoice Finance explained

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

We had a request yesterday from a web development company wanting some form of  invoice finance. They had aboiut fifty customers on twelve month contracts all of which paid a ten percent deposit on the work to be done and then on a monthly basis thereafter. They were invoicing at the beginning of each month for the work to be carried out for the following month. Invoice financing only works for work that has already been carried out and that is being invoiced with credit terms of thirty, sixty or ninety days. Although we were not able to help we put this enquirer in touch with a company that can offer contract finance , a totally different product.

Invoice Finance can either be in the form of factoring or invoice discounting. As a business you provide goods or services to your customers and provide credit terms. Invoice finance provides immediate cash of up to 80% of these unpaid invoices on a revolving credit basis. Whether it is factoring or invoice discounting that you desire as son as your customer payd the outstanding invoice you receive the remaining 20% of the invoice less any charges.

Factoring provides crdit control in addition to the cash and is provided on a disclossed basis so theat your customers are awrae that you are factoring your invoices. Becauseth the factoring company is able to verify invoices this form of funding is also available for new start businesses, insolvent or businesses that have been struggling

Invoice discounting is provided in a confidential manner and as the finance company is unable to verify invoices this form of invoice finance tends to be made available for established businesses with a good performance history who are unklikely to take the invoice discounting company for a ride.

XL Business Finance has years of experinec in helping businesses choose the right invoice financing company for their particular needs

Invoice Finance Companies

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

A quick search of the internet will reveal thousand of results for any invoice finance or factoring product. To work out which finance companies you should be contacting it may worth explaining the difference between the different results that you will find on the internet.

First of all there are bank operated invoice finance companies probably high street names that we all recognise. Secondly there are the independent lenders that do exactly the same as bank owned factoring companies however they are non bank owned and get their funds from other sources. Thirdly there are independent finance brokers like XL Business Finance that are not lenders but provide advise as to which will be the best invoice finance company for a particular business.

In our opinion we believe you will get the best advise from an independent factoring broker. They make their living making sure that they introduce the most appropriate funder to the customer. A number of sensible questions concerning the turnover, profitability , length of time trading quality and quantity of the debtor book will determine the most appropriate two or three funders. Not all finance companies are good at funding the same businesses. They all have their sweet spot and with over ten years experience in advising clients XL Business fiannce can find the most appropriate funder for your particular needs and requirements.

A good example we have dealt with recently was a business trading with a turnover in excess of £100m. The business was funded by a well known high street bank but the amount of the facility required was above the level this bank was comfortable with. The client had a number of meetings with other high street banks that again could not get comfortable with the required facility. We were able to recommend a couple of lessor known finance companies with the expertise and financial clout to take on such a business.  To date the customer is absolutely delighted.

Obtaining business finance for a new start company.

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Obtaining business finance for a new start business is most difficult at the best of times. In the current economic climate it is even more difficult especially if you approach your local high street bank for funding. Anyone who has had the pleasure will realise  that many banks promise the earth and after providing expensive business plans, cash flow projections and numerous meetings deliver very little. And more likely than not if they can do something they will want to take a charge over property and the wife and kids. The good news however is that XL Business Finance has been helping many new start businesses obtain various forms of finance.

There are still many non bank owned financial institutions providing hire purchase and finance lease facilities for new start businesses. Providing that the directors are home owners with a bit of wool on their backs it may be possible to provide finance depending on the cost of equipment and the quality of the guarantor. Most finance companies will require a personal guarantee which says if the business doesn’t pay then the director as an individual will be liable. The directors must definitely be home owners with little or no adverse credit. If in doubt with your written permission we can do a personal  credit check on your behalf.

In addition invoice finance in the form of factoring should be relatively easy to obtain. Again providing the individuals as directors are relatively clean and the debtor book is of reasonable quality a decent locally based invoice factoring company will be able to provide you with cash against your unpaid invoices.

 Which finance company is best for your particular needs depends on the industry that you operate , your geographical location and your estimated turnover. Again XL Business Finance will be happy to assist you find the most suitable funding partner.