Need to equip your start-up business with office machines, furniture, vehicles or computer equipment? Business equipment leasing can spare you the burden of debt that comes with traditional purchases and loans. In addition, lease financing can offer attractive payment options structured to help start-ups make it through those tough first years in business. Even better, equipment financing terms can include the ability to upgrade your equipment so your company will always remain on the cutting edge rather than being saddled with outdated equipment.
When shopping for small business equipment financing, consider the following:
1. Choosing the right equipment financing company for your industry.
2. Using TRAC leasing for equipment financing for business vehicles.
3. Deciding between an operating lease and a capital lease for small business equipment financing.
4. Lease financing terms, such as fair market value versus dollar out.
5. Equipment financing lease payment options that support your business cycle.
Choosing equipment financing companyLook for a small business equipment financing company that specializes in your industry, one that understands its needs and cycles and offers financing for its specialized equipment. While leasing general office machines and furniture is best done locally, the more specialized the equipment, the more expertise you need in a lease financing company.
Use TRAC leasing for equipment financing for business vehiclesWhen leasing business trucks and trailers ask about a TRAC (terminal rent adjustment clause) lease, in which you hold title while the small business equipment financing company holds a lien. TRACs, which apply to over-the-road business vehicles, such as trucks and trailers, afford you the option of buying the vehicle at a predetermined price at the end of the lease.
Operating leases versus capital leases for small business equipment financingBusiness equipment financing leases are either operating leases or capital leases. Operating leases allow you to use the equipment risk free and return it at the end of the lease term with no option to buy. Capital leases allow you to claim depreciation on the equipment while deducting the interest on the lease and allow you to buy the equipment at the end of the lease.
Fair market value versus dollar out in business equipment leasingIf your intent in lease financing is to eventually own the leased equipment, you will have a capital lease, which is financed as dollar out, meaning that at the end of the lease you can either return the equipment or purchase it for a nominal amount. If you have an operating lease you will use fair market value financing, which offers a lower monthly payment than dollar out. At the end of the lease period you can either purchase the asset at current fair market value, extend the lease on a month-to-month basis, return the equipment or renew the lease for a fixed period.
Look for equipment financing lease payment options that support your business cycleWhile monthly payments are the norm, many small business equipment financing companies offer alternative payment schemes that accommodate new or seasonally driven businesses. A skip lease allows seasonal businesses to skip payments in the off-season without penalty. A step-up lease is structured to have low payments in the beginning, rising as the business grows. The 60-to-90 day deferred lease allows the lessee to skip payments for the first two to three month to build capital and then begin regular monthly payments.
- Before you sign a small business equipment financing lease, decide whether you want the option to buy the equipment at the end of the lease term.
- If your company's competitiveness depends on state-of-the-art equipment, shop for an equipment financing lease that allows you to trade up.
- Always consider the tax implications of lease financing before signing a contract.