Something that works. We all want that. And in the new business financing reality of 2010 and 2011 asset backed lending might be your new choice for Canadian business financing.
Asset based line of credit facilities are becoming more popular everyday. It is simply a newer method of lending to Canadian business with a total focus on assets. ‘Assets’. That’s the key word. So which assets are they? ask clients. Typically these include inventory, receivables machinery and equipment in your fixed assets part of the balance sheet, and in some cases real estate. In some very unique cases IP, or intellectual property, a la patents, etc can be financed.
Another new common category is tax credits, such as SR ED (SR&ED) tax credits. Tax credits are in effect receivables, money owing to you from the government that is in the form of a non repayable type grant. So monetizing that asset as soon as you can allows you to employ cash more efficiently in your business.
Our clients typically imagine inventory and receivables as being the only items they could margin for liquidity with their bank. The reality is that even inventory financing is becoming more difficult in the chartered bank environment, certainly for start up, smaller, and medium sized firms. That therefore is the main difference in an asset backed lending and working capital facility; in its simplest form it’s simply the margining of all those other assets to capture maximum liquidity.
So who is actually using these types of cash flow facilities, and why are they a very solid alternative to what is termed ‘ traditional’ bank financing. (We’re not so sure these days that ‘ traditional’ bank financing is as available as it used to be – what do you think?!)
The truth is that this type of Canadian business financing is an alternative to bank financing, its real, its available, and allows you to not having to consider more unpalatable options such as raising new equity and diluting your ownership.
We are all for secured bank lending… if you firm can qualify for all the lending it needs. But if you have had financial challenges then consider asset backed lending as a solid option. What are some of those ‘ challenges’ we speak of that might not allow you get Canadian chartered bank financing… its issues such as a temporary loss, a turnaround, new ownership, balance sheet ratios and covenants that might not work for the bank, etc.
Asset based finance does not really care about all those issues – yes they are discussed, but it always comes back to ‘ the assets ‘ – and if you have them you can margin them on a daily basis for working capital and cash flow.
So whats the catch. While we feel the advantages of asset based lines of credit far outweigh the alternatives, the reality is that 95% of the time this type of financing is more expensive. It also requires more reporting on an ongoing basis, although most business owners we talk to will gladly pay more finance charges and are OK with reporting if they in fact have all the cash flow they need to grow and profit in today’s competitive environment. You can also expect a bit more due diligence on your overall asset quality when you set up the facility.
There is always a bottom line in business, and in our case today it’s that an asset backed line of credit facility is a new and emerging working capital financing that provides your firm with all the liquidity to grow. Speak to a credible, experienced and trusted Canadian business financing advisor to determine if this type of working capital and credit facility benefits your firm.