From a lemonade stand on the corner to a brokerage house in the downtown core, every business needs capital to get started and to continue operating. We’ll walk you through your financing options and how to weigh them.
There are all sorts of possible financing arrangements out there, but here are the four basic types of financing you should be aware of.
Venture capital is money paid in exchange for partial ownership of the company. There are two kinds of venture capital: equity and shareholder loans. There is no obligation to repay equity – the investor has bought a share in the profits. A shareholder loan on the other hand is money loaned to the business by a shareholder. Both equity and shareholder loans create leverage, which enable a business to attract other loans and investment.
Capital asset financing or term loans are used to purchase fixed assets, such as office equipment, vehicles, etc. A percentage of the value of the assets purchased then acts as security against the loan until it is repaid.
Operating loans are used to cover wages, rentals, inventory costs, and other expenses in advance of collecting revenues to pay them. The lender will use a percentage of your accounts receivable as security against an operating loan. Operating loans are essentially a series of pre-approved, monthly “term loans” that save you from having to constantly negotiate new loan terms.
Bridge capital financing is a form of loan intended to bridge the gap between the due date of a payable and the date a specific receivable is anticipated. The receivable itself is the security for the loan. Bridge financing is typically reserved for low-risk situations.
Lenders invest in a business based on, among other factors, your financing plan. If you were to use a term loan to cover wages or inventory costs, you would violate the integrity of your plan. Investors would lose confidence in you, making it difficult to get further financial support. Even worse, your business may fail.
There are a lot of options and considerations when thinking about how to finance your business, but you’re not alone. At East Coast Credit Union, we believe that your business is our business, and we want to help you succeed.
Read up on articles, how to guides, budget forms, and many other resources to put you in the driver’s seat of your finances, both personal and business.