5 Things You Need To Know About Commercial Finance

IntroductionMost people, especially “first time buyers”, tend to think only in terms of approaching their own banks when it comes to arranging finance. There are, however, other sources. There are Commercial mortgage Lenders, Asset Finance Lenders, Lenders that specialise in factoring/invoice discounting, lenders that can provide finance based on existing pensions, refinancing of existing commercial finance and much, much more. Also consider a personal loan or mortgage.What Security Do You Have For The LoanFor large commercial loans, commercial finance lenders usually require land and buildings as security for the loan. In the current economic climate it is very difficult to get finance for more than 70% of the value of the loan – although in a very limited number of cases – not impossible! If you are looking for more than 70% – be prepared to look for other alternatives. For smaller loans, vehicles, plant, equipment etc. may be acceptable. Some lenders even allow you to refinance equipment that you already own (say a car) thereby enabling you to release capital into your business.Which Commercial Finance Sector Does Your Application Fall IntoNot every lender is interested in lending across the complete range of business sectors. They are competitive only in the sectors in which they are keen to lend. For example, land and property – mortgages, vehicles, plant and machinery – asset finance. You should therefore decide which business sector your requirement falls in.What Is Your Credit HistoryThe better your credit history the lower the interest rate that you will have to pay. If your credit history is not perfect (and in this current credit crunch very little is being seen as perfect credit history) you will need to be applying to a specialist commercial finance lender.Government GrantsThe UK government provide various grants for businesses. Some of the most common are Under the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Schemes [EFG] (which are easy to set up),. 75% of risk is taken by Government and provides another way of introducing vital growth capital to small businesses. Not available if there is existing potential security such as high equity in property where a secured loan could be set up.R&D Tax Credits can be available to companies who carry out any research and development, including engineering, software, computer hardware or any product development, can be eligible for claiming R & D tax credits. This can mean the equivalent of an injection of capital for as much as £70,000.DTI Marketing [and other] Government grants can be available to companies in most sectors for the development of business by using DTI Marketing (and other) Grants.Approach A Lender Direct Or Use A Broker.When obtaining a commercial loan, the Lender usually charges a fee for providing the loan. If you decide you use a Broker then the Broker will also usually charge a fee for arranging the loan. Whilst the natural reaction is to approach Lenders direct, a Broker will deal with lots of lenders covering many different sectors and so can be more efficient in the long run. A good Broker will be able to provide help in sourcing of finance for all of the above loan and more.

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