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The Best Factoring Companies of 2020

By Simone Johnson,
business.com Writer
| Updated
Oct 19, 2020

Business.com has compared factoring services and selected the best ones for small businesses. Compare company services and fees to make your buying decisions easier.
Best Overall
Offers asset-based lending
Rates are based on customer credit
Accounts receivable financing available
Best for SMBs
Works with all types of credit
No setup charge
Offers nonrecourse factoring
Fastest
Compatible with QuickBooks
Advances are available in as little as 24 hours
No long-term contracts
Startups
The maximum advance is $100,000
Compatible with FreshBooks accounting software
No personal guarantee required
Freight & Trucking Companies
Specializes in factoring for the freight and trucking industry
Offers a fuel card program for companies
Equipment leasing is available
Business.com has compared factoring services and selected the best ones for small businesses. Compare company services and fees to make your buying decisions easier.
Updated 10/19/20

We've updated our FAQs with details about the advantages and costs associated with factoring.

As strange as it may sound, it's common for a small business to be cash-poor, even if the company is doing well. This is particularly true for startups, whose owners often find themselves staring at a stack of unpaid invoices from clients. Although money is coming, waiting for that influx of cash can put a halt to business, especially when other expenses are due sooner rather than later.

One way to climb out of this hole is to factor your invoices. Factoring is helpful because it puts money in your pocket so you can maintain steady cash flow and avoid problems from the people you owe money to. However, factoring isn't for everyone; some businesses are better off with a traditional loan. If you're seeking alternative financing options, check out our recommendations for business loan and financing options.

However, if you are considering factoring, we've examined a number of options and selected the services we think are best for various types of businesses. You can learn more about factoring services and our best picks below.

February 2020: A recent Payments Journal study reported that 46% of small businesses say they consistently receive late payments from clients and customers, with more than half of small business owners saying that late payments are negatively affecting cash flow. This data highlights the unique position factoring services are in, providing fast cash to small business owners to close funding gaps caused by late payments.

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How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
29
Considered
9
Researched
5
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

  altLine The
Southern Bank Company
American Receivable BlueVine Fundbox RTS Financial
Advance rate 80-90% 95% 85-90% 100% 97%
Minimum credit score requirement Does not use your credit score as a primary consideration Considers all credit Personal credit score of 600 or more 500 All credit scores considered
Funding amounts offered $30K-$5M $10K-$5M Up to $5M Up to $100K $2,500 per truck, per week
Funding time 3-7 days 24 hours Within hours Next day Same day

Our Reviews

altLine The Southern Bank Company: Best Factoring Service Overall

altLINE assigns you a loan specialist who advises you on whether factoring is a good option for your business.
altLINE offers invoice factoring, A/R financing and asset-based lending.
It can take up to seven days to set up your account and receive funding.
For 83 years, altLine The Southern Bank Company, a well-established lender, has provided small businesses with funding. Its alternative lending arm offers various options, including invoice factoring. Unlike most of the factoring services we reviewed, altLINE is backed by an established, reputable bank. That gives this company unprecedented authority in the industry. Because of its minimum qualifications, funding capabilities and strong reputation, altLINE is the best overall factoring service. For clients, the company offers an advance ranging from $30,000 to $5 million, and it will advance between 80 and 90% of the face value within 24 hours. Its charges start below average at 0.75% but go up to 3.5%. It will vary based on business, industry and needs. altLine doesn't consider how profitable your company is or how long you've been in business.
Read Review

American Receivable: Best Factoring Service for Small Businesses

American Receivable provides factoring for startups.
There are no setup, application or termination fees.
Businesses can only factor up to $3 million, which is considered a low monthly ceiling.
American Receivable has been in business since 1979. It offers great features, and its eligibility requirements aren't overly restrictive. For example, there is no commitment minimum. The fast approval time and funding, lack of commitment minimums and stellar customer service make this the best factoring service for small businesses. American Receivable works with startups and all types of credit. There is no setup fee, application fee or termination fee, making it great for small businesses with limited capital. One of our favorite features of American Receivable is the acceptance of invoices that are up to 120 days overdue. The industry average is between 60 and 90 days. Plus, it's a non-recourse factoring company, which means if one of your customers neglects to pay, you aren't required to buy back the invoice.
Read Review

BlueVine: Fastest Factoring Service

BlueVine has a minimum credit score requirement of 530, which can be beneficial for businesses with poor credit or no credit history.
You choose which invoices you want to factor.
To qualify, your business must generate $10,000 per month.

BlueVine is one of the best factoring companies to consider if you need cash in hand fast. However, it has steeper minimum qualifications compared to other factoring services we reviewed, which may limit some small or new businesses from working with them. If you meet the minimum requirements, you can expect to get an advance on your invoices within 24 hours. 

BlueVine Rates and Fees

BlueVine's rates start as low as 0.25% of the advance per week, which is one of the lowest rates we have seen. However, this rate compounds every week the invoice is outstanding, which adds up quickly if your customers regularly pay late. 

One advantage of BlueVine is that you can choose which invoices you want to factor. Other companies may require you to factor every invoice through them. Additionally, BlueVine does not require you to sign a long-term contract. 

BlueVine provides 85 to 90% of the total invoice value upfront, which isn't as much as what other factoring companies we reviewed will advance you. (Some factoring services will advance you 95% or even 100% of the invoice upfront.) However, you get the remainder, minus BlueVine's fee, when the invoice is paid. 

For a $15 fee, BlueVine will transfer cash to you the same day you submit an invoice via a wire transfer. Alternatively, you can receive funds in one to two days for free via an ACH transfer. 

With this factoring service, you can open a credit line that ranges from $20,000 to $5 million. Smaller businesses may not qualify for a line of credit, but for many medium- to large-size businesses who do qualify, it can be a lifesaver if you have an unexpected expense. BlueVine does not charge prepayment penalties.

Minimum Requirements

BlueVine considers several factors when evaluating your business. In addition to the prequalification criteria below, BlueVine also takes into account your company's cash flow, financial history and the creditworthiness of your customers. 

At a minimum, you must meet the following criteria to factor with BlueVine: 

  • Your credit score is 530 or greater.
  • You have been in business for three or more months.
  • Your business generates $10,000 monthly.
  • Your business earns $100,000 annually.
  • Your business serves other businesses (B2B) or the government. 

Your customers must also meet certain requirements in order for you to factor their invoices. The minimum requirements are: 

  • Your customer is based in the U.S. or English-speaking Canadian provinces.
  • Your customer is a business. 

Finally, your invoices also must meet specific minimum requirements, which include: 

  • Your services were completed and accepted by the customer.
  • The invoice is $500 or more.
  • The payment term is less than 13 weeks.
  • The due date is at least one week away.

Ease of Application

Applying for a factoring line of credit with BlueVine is fast and easy. The online form takes a few minutes to complete, and asks for basic business details, such as contact information, your tax ID, annual revenue, etc. 

Once your personal details are filled out, you can submit your financial documents, such as your most recent bank statements or A/R aging report. Alternatively, you can grant BlueVine access to your bank account and accounting software. With read-only access to your accounts, it will determine your creditworthiness. BlueVine is compatible with QuickBooks, Xero and FreshBooks. 

If you connect your accounting software to BlueVine, invoices automatically appear on your BlueVine dashboard, which saves you from manually entering the information, and you can choose which invoices you want to factor. If your business uses QuickBooks, the application process is even faster as most fields are automatically populated for you. 

Once you submit your application, BlueVine will respond within 24 hours. Upon approval, BlueVine will help you verify and notify your customers. Initially, BlueVine takes three to five days to provide you cash on a customer's invoice, but subsequent invoices are funded generally in the same day.

Customer Service and Support

We contacted BlueVine as a potential customer to test and determine the effectiveness of their customer support. Overall, we found their customer representatives to be helpful and knowledgeable. 

Customer support isn't available 24/7, but BlueVine has extended business hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET). They are also available on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Limitations

BlueVine is the best factoring service to quickly factor your invoices, but there are some drawbacks you should be aware of. 

First, it advances 85 to 90% of an invoice. This is less than what other factoring companies, such as Fundbox, offer that give you a 100% advance. 

Second, BlueVine only offers recourse factoring, which means you are liable if your clients don't pay their invoices. If you work with reputable customers, this shouldn't be an issue, but one missed payment can set you back and disrupt cash flow for your company. 

Finally, if you own a new business that generates less than $10,000 a month, or if you have poor credit, you are not eligible to work with BlueVine. 

 

More

Fundbox: Best Factoring Service for Startups

Fundbox doesn't charge early payment penalties.
The application process is straightforward. Applicants provide their business email address, a phone number and set a password.
Fundbox charges 11 fees, including those for origination, monthly minimum volume, renewals, credit checks, ACH transactions and wires.

Fundbox is the best invoice financing service for startups because it has few minimum requirements and advances 100% of the value of an invoice. This company has simple minimum requirements to use its services and does not consider your personal credit history or the age of your business, which makes it ideal for new business owners. 

Fundbox Rates and Fees

One of Fundbox's best qualities is its transparent pricing. Before it factors a specific invoice, the company shows you the exact fee you will pay for that invoice, so you won't be caught off guard when you repay the advance. 

Fundbox does not dock you with monthly minimum or prepayment penalties, which allows you to repay your advances early. Additionally, if you are able to repay advances ahead of schedule, Fundbox waives your remaining fees. Like most of the best factoring services, Fundbox does not make you sign a lengthy contract. 

On a 12-week term, Fundbox fees start at 4.66% of your invoices per week. For a 24-week term, that percentage jumps to 8.99% per week. Unlike most factoring services, Fundbox advances 100% of the value of the invoice. However, you repay the company a prorated portion of the invoice each week, plus a fee.

Minimum Requirements

Fundbox has low minimum requirements that makes it a viable financing option for startups that lack a long credit history or have poor credit. There are four minimum requirements:  

  1. Your business must be based in the U.S.
  2. You must have a business checking account.
  3. Your business must earn at least $50,000 per year.
  4. You must use supported accounting software with at least two months of activity and five invoices per month, or have three months of business transactions in a business bank account. 

One of Fundbox's greatest strengths is that it works with all industries, including healthcare, freight and construction. Another positive is that the factoring service doesn't require collateral or personal guarantees. 

Fundbox doesn't consider the personal credit scores of you or your customers. However, it may conduct background checks on you and the rest of your business's leadership team when you create an account. 

Even with its minimal requirements, Fundbox advances 100% of invoice values, which makes it the best factoring option for startups that are too small to work with most other factoring companies.

Ease of Application

Fundbox's application process is easy and straightforward. You can quickly create an account without speaking to a customer support representative. All you need is your business email, phone number and a password. When you sign up, you don't need to provide tax forms, financial statements or other legal documents. 

When you are ready, you connect your newly created account with your business's accounting software. Fundbox currently supports the following accounting software options: 

If you don't use one of these accounting programs, Fundbox can offer you lines of credit. 

After you connect Fundbox to your accounting software or business bank account, it analyzes the data to evaluate the legitimacy of your business. You need at least three months of data to factor invoices through Fundbox.

Customer Services and Support

To evaluate Fundbox's customer service, we called the company posing as a small business owner. We had mixed results, as our calls on Friday afternoons routinely went to voicemail. Our calls on Monday mornings were more successful, as we reached a representative right away. 

Although Fundbox doesn't offer 24/7 customer support, phone support is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. Fundbox will respond to your emails within 24 hours, which is faster than some other companies we evaluated. 

Fundbox has a helpful blog, FAQs page and support center that covers numerous topics addressing a variety of issues, including pricing terms, payments and security. There are tutorials to show you how to get started, use the dashboard and set up your accounting software with Fundbox.

Standout Feature: Transparent Pricing

Fundbox is one of the most transparent factoring services with its pricing. Regardless of what kind of business financing you need, transparency is a key feature to look for. When you select an invoice to factor, Fundbox presents you with the total amount you'll pay before you even accept the advance. This can help you strategically select which invoices to factor. 

Furthermore, it charges no application, origination, due diligence or maintenance fees. According to our conversations with customer support representatives, you pay $7 a week for a $1,000 advance on average, though your rates may be higher or lower depending on your agreement. This weekly price is somewhat higher than the $3.88 the website's calculator estimates for the same amount. However, there's no penalty if you repay the advance early, and Fundbox then waives the remaining fees for the weeks left on your term.

Limitations

Although Fundbox is the best factoring service for startups, there are a few drawbacks to consider before working with this company: 

  1. It's more expensive than other lending options.
  2. The maximum advance is $100,000, which is a relatively small amount and may not solve your cash flow problems.
  3. You must repay weekly, rather than per invoice, which means you have to keep a close eye on your business bank account every week.
  4. Late fees add up quickly and can significantly cut into your profit margin if not dealt with immediately. If you make a late payment, expect to pay three times the weekly fee on top of an ACH missed payment reimbursement fee.

 

More

RTS Financial: Best Factoring Service for Freight and Trucking Companies

RTS Financial offers web browsers and mobile apps that help truck drivers plan trips and find discounted diesel prices.
It does not charge minimum volume fees, ACH fees or invoice-upload fees.
You cannot apply online. Instead, you must contact the company to discuss your business and your options.
Specializing in, but not exclusive to, the freight and trucking industries, RTS Financial has a slew of extra perks among invoice factoring companies. It offers a fuel card program that saves you 18 cents per gallon and a credit line up to $2,500 per truck per week, plus equipment leasing and trucking-related software that can help you manage every aspect of your business. It also offers an exclusive web browser and mobile app that helps truck drivers find discounted diesel prices, plan trips and more. Those extra features, on top of offering 97% of the total invoice and a lack of hidden fees, make it the best for freight and trucking companies. To get started, you must file an application with a sales representative. It is a non-recourse factoring company, meaning your company cannot be held liable if a customer fails to pay. The company has been around since 1986.
Read Review

Pricing

Just like business lending services, factoring fees and rates are based on several different calculations and factors. Generally speaking, factoring companies consider the following when determining your rate: 

  • Your industry
  • Your customers' credit scores
  • How long it takes your customers to pay their invoice
  • The average value of the invoices you want to factor
  • The number of invoices you want to factor each month 

Most factoring services charge between 1 and 5%. However, many services discount the rate the earlier your customers pay their invoices. For example, a factoring company may charge a 2% rate for invoices paid within 30 days, plus 1% every additional week until the invoice is paid. This fee structure is beneficial for businesses that work with fast-paying clients, but your fees quickly add up with just one slow-paying customer. 

Your best option is to look for a service that offers a large percentage upfront and charges low fees. Universal Funding Corporation funds up to 95% of your invoices upfront and charges 0.55%. 

The best factoring services also provide excellent customer service. Look for a factoring company that offers a dedicated account manager who can answer your questions or concerns about the service. Consider, too, the ease of reaching the company. All of the companies we reviewed offer the standard email and phone options; others offer local branches so you can meet with representatives in person.

Buying Guide

What Is a Factoring Company?

A factoring company ‒ also known as invoice factoring or accounts receivable factoring ‒ is a service that purchases your open, unpaid invoices and advances your business money to cover a portion of those invoices. In other words, you "sell" the unpaid invoices your clients or customers owe you for roughly 80 to 100% of the value of the invoice. 

After a factor purchases your receivables, they collect payment from your clients and customers directly. In some cases, a factoring company will operate behind the scenes, requiring you to contact the customer and collect their payment. 

Once your customer pays their invoice, you receive the remaining amount of the invoice from the factoring company, minus their fees. 

The primary reason businesses work with a factoring company is to open up their cash flow. Factoring is a good option if your business typically waits 30 to 60 days (or more) to receive payment from clients.

Benefits of Factoring Companies

Factoring can be a good option for improving your business's cash flow, and there are many benefits of working with a factoring service, such as:

  1. You get cash immediately. The most obvious benefit of working with a factoring company is that you get cash fast. Traditional payment terms require customers and clients to pay in 30, 60 or even 90 days. If you're waiting for an invoice for 90 days, you may damage relationships with clients, vendors and employees. For construction companies, factoring helps you secure critical materials for your next job. For agencies, having cash in hand helps you meet payroll so your employees are taken care of.

  2. Factoring is both a short- and long-term solution. Factoring can be a great way of funding your operation during the off-season when business is slow, you've hit a rough patch or your business is growing rapidly. It can also be a solution you use year-round to ensure steady cash flow.

  3. It's generally easier than applying for a loan. In many cases, a traditional business loan is still the best way to get an injection of capital, but it takes time and requires a lot of paperwork. Factoring is fairly straightforward, and many companies will put cash in your hand within 48 hours of applying. [Interested in a business loan or other financing option? Check out our best picks and reviews.]

  4. The requirements are straightforward. Generally speaking, you qualify if you operate a business with commercial or government clients (who have good credit), and if your business is free of liens, encumbrances and legal problems.

  5. New and small businesses can use factoring. Without an established credit history, new businesses may struggle to find a traditional lender who will offer them a line of credit. Further, small businesses may not have a strong enough profit margin to attract a lender. Many factoring companies, on the other hand, work with startups and small businesses.

  6. Your line increases with your growth. Factoring scales with your business, which means you get access to more funds as you gain more customers or clients.

  7. Your invoices are collateral. With a traditional business lender, your personal and business assets can be used as collateral. This can include real estate, business equipment, inventory, vehicles and intangible assets. With factoring, the invoices are your collateral, which means you don't have to surrender critical business or personal assets if your business is struggling.

Drawbacks of Factoring Companies

While there are benefits to using a factoring service, it can be a risky choice for a few reasons. The most obvious drawback is that you lose part of what would be a profit to fees. 

Consider these elements as well before working with a factoring service: 

  • Factoring rates are typically higher than traditional line of credit rates. Factoring gets cash in your hand quickly and with less paperwork compared to traditional lenders, but the rate is typically higher than that of a traditional loan. Your actual rate could range from 1 to 4% for 30 days.

  • Factoring companies may contact your customers. Most factoring companies communicate directly with your clients, and you do not want to burn bridges with loyal customers because a company represented your business poorly.

  • Factoring doesn't fix your financial problems. Traditional lines of credit can be used to solve any number of financial crunches your business encounters, such as keeping your inventory fully stocked or opening a new storefront. While a factoring service may temporarily improve your cash flow problems, it won't fix fundamental financial problems.

Another risk is with recourse factoring – the most common form of factoring – in which you agree to buy back accounts that your factoring service cannot collect. Generally, you receive around 80% of the total amount; whatever amount the factoring company initially fronts you, you must repay. Recourse factoring can put you in a worse financial position than you were in before you factored. If recourse factoring seems too risky, consider Factor Funding, as it offers nonrecourse factoring.

Before working with a factoring service, research its reputation. If it has a history or pattern of rude or harassing behavior, look elsewhere.

Factoring companies are not collection agencies. The main purpose of factoring companies is to improve your cash flow, not to harass your customers to pay a debt. If your customer is late paying, some factoring services notify your customers in writing, or they may call to ask for payment, but they generally do not drive customers away.

Still, do your due diligence that the company you choose has solid customer service and a helpful follow-up process that won't drive your customers away. [Are you looking for a collection agency? Check out our best picks and reviews of those services.]

If factoring seems too risky, merchant cash advances are another option to consider. They are yet another alternative to a traditional loan.

How to Select the Best Factoring Company

The number of factoring companies is vast, so it's important to carefully consider your business needs, what services are available to you and which companies have the best offers. 

First, ensure that you are eligible to use the service. Some factoring services work with specific industries, such as trucking, gas or oil. CapitalPlus, for example, specializes in factoring for construction companies. 

Most of the services we evaluated work with startups, and many will not turn you away if you have poor credit or a bankruptcy. Paragon Financial is a nonrecourse factoring company that ignores the personal credit of a business owner and, instead, focuses on the customer's ability to pay. While this is beneficial for businesses with poor credit, your ability to secure money from a factoring service depends on the creditworthiness of your customers. Factoring companies will not purchase invoices if your customers are high risk. 

Choosing the best factoring service for your business also depends on how delinquent your invoices are. Some companies don't accept delinquent accounts or only accept invoices that are up to 45 days delinquent. On average, most companies accept accounts that are overdue between 60 and 90 days. Riviera Finance, on the other hand, has no maximum number of days an invoice can be overdue for the company to buy from you. 

Last, consider the factoring service's approval and funding process. The best services have a quick turnaround time for approval and funding. Many of the services we evaluated will review your application (and notify you of their decision) within 24 hours, and all can transmit funds 24 hours from the time you submit an invoice to be factored. All of the services we've listed are available nationwide, and most work with startups.

What Are the Best Factoring Companies?

After reviewing factoring services across the industry, our top-rated factoring companies are: 

The best factoring services do not charge startup or termination fees, and the percentage they charge for their services is low. If you do not want to factor all of your invoices, choose a service with no invoice minimum. (We've indicated in our reviews if the factoring service has an invoice minimum or not.) Some factoring companies require up to 24 months of commitment. (We also specify in each review if there is a commitment requirement.) The best companies don't require you to commit to the factoring service for a period of time, so you are under no obligation to sell your accounts in the future.

What Types of Businesses Use Factoring Companies?

Generally speaking, any B2B (business-to-business) company that invoices their customers for goods and services provided giving 30- to 60-day terms can work with a factoring company. Common industries and businesses factoring companies work with include: 

  • Truck companies
  • Freight brokers
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Wholesale companies
  • Business and consulting services
  • Medical offices 

Alternatively, many factoring companies and financial entities won't work together, so if you already have a business loan, you might not be able to factor invoices. A factor secures its rights to your invoices via a lien to grant them first rights on the asset. However, most banks and financial companies file a lien that covers all of your company's assets, including your accounts receivable. A factoring company won't work with you if another financial entity already has first rights on your accounts receivable. 

In some cases, your bank may subordinate their position for your receivables so a factoring company can claim first rights, but the chances are slim. Accounts receivable is a valuable asset to use as collateral, and most financial entities won't let go of this asset lightly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do freight factoring companies charge?

Freight factoring companies, also known as trucking factoring companies, operate similarly to other factoring companies, and you can expect similar rates and fees. Rates vary by company, but they usually start between 1% and 5%, and many freight factoring companies charge a lower rate for invoices that are paid quickly. 

Can you work with more than one factoring company?

No. You can only work with one factoring company at a time because it is otherwise too difficult to determine who has the first right to your company's outstanding invoices. To establish the first right on your receivables, factoring companies file a UCC lien so they can start collecting your invoices. 

Can I switch factoring companies?

Yes. If you switch to a different factoring company but still have outstanding receivables, you must arrange a buyout in which the new factor purchases the remaining invoices. Additionally, the UCC liens must be changed so the new factoring company establishes first right. Switching factoring companies can be an expensive process, especially if you signed a long-term contract with the original company. 

What is invoice financing versus factoring?

Many people use the terms "invoice financing" and "invoice factoring" interchangeably, but they operate very differently. A factoring company purchases the right to the value of your accounts receivable, whereas with an invoice financing company, you borrow against the value of your accounts receivable but still own your invoices. 

What is recourse versus nonrecourse factoring?

The main difference between recourse and nonrecourse factoring is who is responsible if your customer doesn't pay their invoice. With recourse factoring, you are responsible for your customers' unpaid invoices, though your rates will be lower for the added risk. If you work with a recourse factoring company, make sure your clients have a good credit history. 

On the other hand, with nonrecourse factoring, you are not responsible for late or unpaid invoices. Rather, the factoring company accepts the risk, though nonrecourse factoring is more expensive than recourse factoring. 

Are factoring companies regulated?

In the United States, invoice factoring companies are not regulated by a formal government body. However, many factors are members of associations that self-regulate their practice, such as the International Factoring Association or the Secured Finance Network (formerly known as the Commercial Finance Association).

How is invoice factoring different from a bank loan?

When using invoice factoring, you're selling your unpaid invoices to a factoring company, which is different from requesting a bank loan from a financial institution. Bank loans require you to pay back principal and interest over a certain time period, and your funding potential is limited. Approval is determined by your company's credit history, unlike invoice factoring, which is based on the credit strength of your clients. 

How can factoring help a company manage its cash flow?

Factoring has many advantages for small businesses, and a big one is helping manage cash flow. With factoring, you get paid as soon as you turn the invoice over to the factor – which can be as soon as you provide the service or ship the product. You won't have to wait days, weeks or months to add cash to your bank account.

Since factoring is a sale of your invoices, you aren't taking on new debt that may or may not have a high interest rate associated with it. You also aren't stuck worrying when customers will make their payments since the factor can have the money to you quickly, which improves your ability to manage cash flow.

With more certainty about accounts receivable, you can better plan and take advantage of  growth opportunities that arise.

Factoring also eliminates the need to conduct collections internally. That frees you up to run the business and protects your relationship with customers – you won't be the one chasing down payments; the factoring company does it for you.   

What services do factoring companies provide? 

Factoring companies offer several services around collecting past due payments for business customers. Here are four of the most common services they provide:

  • Recourse factoring. If the factoring company can't collect payment on the invoices, the business owner must pay back any money advanced. This may be riskier for the small business, but the service typically has lower fees.
  • Nonrecourse factoring. If the customer doesn't pay the invoice, the factoring company is on the hook. That means less risk to you and your business, but it does mean higher fees.
  • Spot factoring. This service is for businesses that only need to factor a single invoice. Typically, it's for large invoices you're having trouble collecting or don't want to wait months to get paid for.
  • Whole ledger factoring. With this service, you factor all your invoices, which tends to be cheaper than spot financing. The risk with this type of factoring is that you could face a hefty fee if you terminate your contract before it expires.

How do you terminate a factoring contract?

Like other contracts, you can terminate a factoring contract at the end of the specified term and before the renewal period ends. Every factoring company that we evaluated requires clients to give notice before the renewal date; the time periods vary, however, it can be anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Check the contract to verify how early you need to submit notice.

If you want to cancel before the term ends, there are fees involved. Early cancellation fees vary; again, you will need to check the contract.

How can factoring help your business get through a rough patch?

If your business experiences financial difficulties, factoring invoices can give you access to cash flow – you won't have to wait for your customers to pay you. That could mean the difference between keeping the lights on or shutting down operations.

Many factoring companies offer collection services, which can be helpful if unpaid invoices are impacting your cash flow.  While the factoring service is following up on unpaid invoices, you can focus on bringing in new business.

Factoring may cost you more money than a bank loan, but the requirements are less stringent, which means that even if your business credit score or personal credit score isn't stellar, you may still qualify for factoring.

What are the advantages of factoring?

You get several main benefits from partnering with a factoring service: 

  • It saves you time. Time is money, and when you're spending it chasing customer invoices, it means less time to grow your operations. When you use a factoring company, you get some of that time back. Its staff will be the ones doing the legwork to recover the money, not you.

  • You get instant access to cash. Since the factoring company takes over your accounts receivable, you get quicker – sometimes instant – access to cash. You won't spend months waiting to collect money from customers.

  • It doesn't require collateral. Bank loans require you to put up business or personal collateral. That's not the case with factoring, since the company is paying you a discount for your accounts receivable.

What are typical costs for factoring?

Factoring companies charge either a variable or fixed rate, depending on your industry. With variable fees, the factoring company typically charges 1% to 3% of the invoice for as long as it goes unpaid. This charge is known as the discounting rate. If the customer pays quickly, the fees are lower. If it takes longer to collect, expect to pay more. For example, a factoring company could charge 1.15% in the first month and then 0.5% every 15 days the invoice isn't paid.

With a fixed-rate plan, which is common in the trucking industry, the factoring company's rate stays the same, whether it takes 10 or 60 days to collect.

Our Methodology

When considering factoring services, we looked at two elements: features and eligibility. For features, we considered the rates and fees the factoring services charge and their processes (application, approval and funding). With eligibility requirements, we researched the number of days an invoice can be overdue and the maximum amount a company will factor monthly. We also checked whether the service offered nonrecourse factoring and what types of commitments they require of clients. 

We scoured websites and contacted dozens of factoring services to get answers to our questions and also to gauge their level of customer support. While some companies weren't as responsive, most of the companies we reached out to quickly responded, supplying the requested information. Overall, representatives from the services we evaluated were knowledgeable and very helpful.

Parting Advice

All of the services we've reviewed are good, reputable companies. However, the best factoring company for your business depends on your needs. Consider the rates and fees of each company, but remember that they're all in the same range.

Above all, make sure that factoring is the right step for your company. We recommend a company that offers nonrecourse factoring, such as Riviera Finance. Additionally, weigh how much you need to factor each month and how long you need to factor, as each company varies in what it will accept. American Receivable factors invoices that are 120 days past due while Riviera Finance will factor invoices regardless of how overdue they are. Charter Capital, by contrast, doesn't accept delinquent accounts.

Finally, consider the support that each company provides. They will, after all, be working with your customers – you want your customers to have a positive experience. Our best customer service experiences were with Riviera Finance and American Receivable. All of the services we've reviewed are solid choices; it boils down to what's best for you.

What to Expect in 2020

Due to technological advancement and companies' ongoing need for financing, the global factoring market is expected to reach $9.2 billion within the next five years, according to a Technavio study. Factors like active invoice payment, an increase in global trade and expanding small businesses have contributed to the market increase. 

Today, more than 7,000 banks and companies around the world offer factoring services. This has led to the merging of banks and technology. For example, blockchain has recently entered the factoring field, which resulted in a decrease in cost and an increase in profit margins. We predict that, in the year ahead, it will help stakeholders interested in factoring avoid risk, which will benefit the entire factoring industry. 

Including blockchain in factoring services places a specific code on invoices, which allows them to only be published once. We expect this to minimize duplicate invoices and prevent them from being paid twice. We also anticipate an increase in the number of companies incorporating blockchain-based invoice factoring into their services.

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Richard Veltre
Richard Veltre
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Hi Renata - Wais and George are 100% correct in asking their questions. What business are you in and what do you need the money for? The banking world is a different place than it was even 10 years ago especially for small businesses looking to borrow. Collateral has to be stellar or replaced by some really spectacular business history. If you repost some details I am sure there are plenty of us who can give you some good or even great advice - but I'm hesitant to give more here without...
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The Small Business Administration offers loan help to those who need it. This should be your first stop when trying to get small business startup loans. There are many benefits to obtaining help from the SBA. While the Small Business Association won’t provide you the loan themselves, they will help you obtain one through another lender. The great thing about obtaining loans through the SBA is that you will get assistance to borrow. The SBA has partnerships with lenders. This...
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Simone Johnson
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Simone R. Johnson was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from the University of Rochester in 2017 with a dual degree in English language media and communications and film media production. She has been a reporter for several New York publications prior to joining Business News Daily and business.com as a full-time staff writer. When she isn't writing, she enjoys community enrichment projects that serve disadvantaged groups and rereading her favorite novels.
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