Stop Me If You’ve Heard This But Isn’t Business Credit Challenging and What’s Asset Based Finance?
It is always surprising to us that asset based lending is still probably less than 5% of Canadian business credit while in the U.S. it accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars of ongoing business financing.
However the trend is reversing and new transaction are being completed everyday in this asset financing category. Canadian businesses who need financing in excess of 250k (the upper limit is almost unlimited) can benefit from this relatively new Canadian business financing strategy.
Clients always have questions as to what the financing actually is and, more importantly, how it works and does their firm qualify.
ABL is simply A business loan secured by collateral (assets). The line of credit, is secured by inventory, accounts receivable and/or other balance-sheet assets, and is non bank in nature.
Let’s address the qualification issue first – the reality is that if your firm has business assets in receivables, inventory, equipment, and even real estate those assets can be monetized into a business line of credit that focuses on the asset, not the overall quality or condition of your balance sheet.
We are of course referring to Canadian chartered bank lines of credit that provide a similar and more often than not less expensive form of financing via revolving lines of credit. However most business owners know those facilities focus on balance sheet and income statement strength, ratios that must be met, and heavy emphasis on personal covenants and outside collateral. That is not asset based lending relative to what we are talking about!
Your asset based lending financing facility is secured by business assets. These facilities are typically available through private finance firms that are non-bank in nature. One of two of Canada’s banks offer this type of financing outside their normal business banking, but qualifications and deal size are still somewhat challenging to meet in our opinion.
When you negotiate an A B L facility (that’s the acronym the industry uses) you and the lender agree up front on the market value of your ongoing receivables, inventory, and unencumbered equipment. That collateral becomes the essence of your financing and drawdown capability.
So why is this all different from a bank? The answer is simply – banks have regulated formulaic methods of financing business – in fact many would agree that bank business credit got increasingly difficult to get since the 2008 worldwide debacle.
Finance firms offering asset based lending are not regulated in the same manner, do business in almost every industry in Canada, even those that are deemed ‘ out of favor ‘and the management of these firms typically have years of experience in lending against receivables, inventory (yes, inventory!), with the additional enhancement of allowing you to monetize your credit facility by including some borrowing against your equipment for ongoing working capital and cash flow.
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced business financing advisor in this specialized area and find out how a new financing facility can put you head and shoulders above your competition in overall financing strategy.