Factoring is a financing arrangement that is typically used by small and medium-sized businesses to help them maintain a steady cash flow. As every business owner understands, cash flow is important to ensure the successful, continuous operation of their business. This is why it’s important to know the different types of factoring.
In general, factoring means a company is turning over their invoices to a third party in return for receiving a portion of those invoices in cash within a few business days. Primarily, there are two types of factoring, recourse factoring and non-recourse factoring.
What is Recourse Factoring?
As a business owner, you are assuming a certain risk when you extend credit to a customer. Typically, the more reliable a client, the more favorable the terms you are offering. Some businesses even offer a discount if a client pays more rapidly. This type of factoring is called recourse factoring.
In fact, it is common for a company to issue an invoice with two separate terms such as offering a 5 percent discount if paid in 15 days and a 90-day net pricing. This means the client has 90 days to pay the invoice in full. Should the client not pay their bill in full at this time, the company would then begin collection activities which may involve refusing to ship additional product, having their accounts receivable department call the company about payment and in some cases, adding on a fee for late payment.
When customers refuse to pay, the business may turn over the collection activity to a collection agent or attorney.
However, if the business has opted to finance the invoice with a factoring company, they no longer must be concerned about collecting payment for the invoice.
The factoring company takes over the risk associated with the invoice, and the client is indebted to them. Om return, your business receives a portion of the face value of the invoice and the balance is held by the factoring company until the company pays the invoice. If the company fails to pay the invoice, the factoring company may ask you to substitute another invoice of similar value in its place.
This is known as recourse factoring.
What is Non-Recourse Factoring?
In some instances when a company borrows money, they are putting up assets such as equipment, real estate, or equity in the business. This allows the lender to seize, and in some instances, liquidate the asset to make themselves whole.
If the agreement between the borrower and lender calls for “no recourse” it means the lender has no option to turn to the business owner for any shortfall between what the company owed the lender, and what the liquidated assets provided.
In the case of non-recourse factoring, however, there is a slightly different meaning. When you deliver product to a customer, you do so under the belief the company will still be in business when the invoice comes due in 30, 60 or 90 days.
However, if you have factored that invoice, the factoring company is assuming that risk since they have given you a portion of the face value of the invoice up front. Should the company go out of business, and you have a non-recourse contract with the factoring company, the company will absorb that loss without any financial repercussions falling on your company. Non-recourse factoring typically only protects you and your business in the event your customer closes their doors before they pay their invoice.
If you are considering entering into any type of factoring contract, it is important to determine what your liability is should other problems occur with your customer. If the contract is non-recourse, talk to the factor to determine how they define non-recourse factoring.
At Capstone Capital Group, we work with small and medium-sized businesses to help them solve their cash flow problems. Contact us today and let’s discuss your needs and discuss your options for recourse, or non-recourse factoring.