5 Questions to Ask an Equipment Financing Company When Negotiating an Equipment Lease

Leasing your equipment can be a great option for your company when you need to expand or upgrade your equipment. While financing the lease can be done through the manufacturer or retailer, an equipment financing company many times is the best way to go. Not only are they more experienced in the process and make it easier, they many times have more flexibility when it comes to the terms.

As you start looking for equipment financing companies here are 5 things you should ask them:

What is the total costs including lease payments?

Because you are leasing equipment and only paying for the time you are using the equipment and not the total cost of the equipment, lease payments can be much lower per month than if you purchased it and financed it. Don’t let the lower cost prevent you from asking what the total costs will be. Make sure that you are on the same page for any and all costs. Find out about late payments, security deposits, surcharges and taxes. They could add up and although lease financing may be the right choice you should be aware of any unanticipated costs.

Are there any other costs that are not included in the lease?

Make sure that there are not any additional costs associated with the lease. Sometimes you may be responsible for any taxes, fees or surcharges. Make sure that you don’t have any maintenance, management or replacement charges. For example, if you are leasing vehicles are you responsible for tires, oil changes or cleaning.

What happens at the end of the lease?

Do you want an option to purchase and what would be the price? You might grow attached to the equipment and if it still might have a good life ahead it might be an option to buy it from the equipment finance company or you might want to extend the lease. Things to consider include the price, value of the equipment to base the price on and anticipated life of the equipment. It is much better to figure these items out at the beginning then at the end.

Can I Upgrade or Add Equipment?

You may find that you need to upgrade or add more equipment down the line and unless you have a master lease if you want to do this you will have to create and negotiate an additional contract or lease agreement. If you are thinking about upgrading or adding more equipment then you should look into a Master Lease.

What Do I Need To Do When I Return the Equipment?

Find out exactly what you need to do at the end of the lease. Do you need to drop the equipment off and walk away? Where do you drop it off at? Who is responsible for shipping or delivery? Do you need to return the owner’s manual? Do you need to bring in any records that you maintained the unit for any warranty issues? Make sure that you cover that when you negotiate the contract so you are not hit with any surprise charges at the end.

Work With Equipment Leasing Finance Companies For Industrial Equipment and Computer Financing Needs

The decisions need to be made – namely should you lease or buy your new industrial, business equipment or computing technology. And are equipment leasing finance companies your best solution for your business financing needs.

Sooner or later all companies in Canada need to choose between leasing equipment, understand the benefits of that finance decision, and most importantly know who to turn to or partner with for their leasing acquisition financing needs.

Lets make sure you understand why you should carefully consider the key benefits of lease financing and ensuring you have made the best equipment acquisition decision. While it’s a U.S. statistic, we’re pretty sure that its the same here in Canada – namely that sooner or later over 80% of all business chooses lease financing as a business option for acquisition needs.

That eight out of ten ratio is a powerful one, so why in fact did those firms choose this method of business financing. The answer is actually quire easy, Benefits! Let’s examine the key benefits you should focus on, and, as importantly, ensure you understand the costs, any risk, and the processes involved in making a solid leasing decision. It’s all about doing your homework, being prepared, and working with the right parties.

So lets first recap those benefits. The bottom line is flexibility, and with this type of financing what else could be more suitable. Simply because whether you are a start up, or Canada’s largest corporation, whether you are leasing a photocopier, shop floor equipment, or computing technology.. you guessed it, equipment leasing finance companies do that.. for your firm!

Worried about your equipment or assets becoming obsolete – (think computers!). Don’t worry, simply match your lease to the term of the expected useful life of your computers, telecom equipment, software, etc. Worried about being burdened with asset disposition at the end of the lease term. Don’t be. Simply enter into an operating lease that allows you full control in returning, keeping,or even upgrading that asset.

It of course always come back to cash flow, and we can assure you that its easier to make a 3k monthly payment than to write a cheque out of your operating line of credit for 100k. Whether is computers, industrial business equipment, or your corporate jet its always about cash flow and working capital conservation in business. Having just come through the 2008-2009 recession cash flow and its conservation still remains king.

There are many slick tools to determine whether you should lease or buy assets – they are available everywhere. We always encourage clients to make an informed lease versus buy decision for their asset financing needs. And, getting back to those benefits, numerous accounting and tax implications also play favoruably to the leasing decision.

Are there any disadvantages to lease financing? We don’t really call them disadvantages, but there is no perfect holy grail for business financing, and when you lease you should understand of course the agreement is non cancellable, might have miscellaneous admin fees attached to the transaction, and on occasion a down payment or first and last months payment might be required for credit reasons.

So, whats next then? If you want to meet your equipment leasing finance needs seek companies that are your best partner for asset size, your firms credit quality, and suited to your geographical needs. Don’t have a lot of time to investigate the process? Simply speak to a trusted, credible and experience Canadian business financing advisor who will work throughout the process with you, successfully.

Is The Wrong Type of Equipment Finance Company Bad For (Business) Health?

They are all the same, aren’t they? Absolutely, positively… not! We are of course talking about the equipment finance company industry in Canada and how your selection of the right partner can determine which advantages and disadvantages you can enjoy… or suffer with. We prefer positive advantages that your business can benefit with, not Canadian business financing decisions that you will suffer via the wrong choice of a lease partner for your specific needs.

Ok, so what in the heck are we talking about? Essentially there are four types of asset finance partners in the equipment leasing industry in Canada. And you thought that a lease finance company was a lease finance company!

The first type of partner is the ‘captive’ – no you are not the captive! The term refers simply to finance companies that are owned and literally situated within various manufacturing firms. When clients ask us about lease finance options and they mention specific equipment we are always reminding them to ensure they determine if the manufacturer captive finance firm offers asset financing. If they do we can assure you it is probably the best financial terms you will be able to come up with, as well as a better chance for overall approval re rate, structure and other general terms. Why is that?

It’s to do with motivation – the captive finance firm is motivated to finance and promote the sale of products using financial options such as leasing to get the products out to the marketplace. Want to know a secret that should surprise most business owners and financial managers? It’s simply that captive finance firms in a competing industry will finance their competitor’s products, often at better rates, terms and structures. That is simply because the financial transaction will probably give the competing mfr a foothold into your business to promote and sell their own products. So don’t think that a great firm such as IBM CREDIT CORP. is the only firm that will finance your products you purchase through them. Others will also!

The second main group of asset finance firms in Canada is our chartered banks – Two major banks have leasing arms that are very significant, others employ lease finance to varying degrees. Our real only comment here is that the credit bar is high and more often than not you have to be a customer of the bank to enjoy the great lease and finance structures they offer.

The third main category of the Canadian equipment leasing company market is actually the largest and most robust. It also requires the maximum amount of knowledge and navigation by Canadian business owners and financial managers. This is the Independent lease finance market, where there are tens of firms that offer lease financing based on various criteria of asset size, credit quality, geographical preference, industry specialization, etc, etc, etc.

You have a great choice with our category 3 partners, the independent finance companies. You can spend tens or hundreds of hours determining their credit criteria, additional collateral they require, the size of deals they do, the different lease structures they offer, or… alternatively.. use our final category for lease provider, the independent lease finance advisor who are knowledgeable intermediaries who know the market, have a strong reputation with lease providers, and can match the advantages you seek in an equipment finance transaction to the right provider. Subtle nuances in your overall lease structure, depending on the size of your transaction, can save you thousands of dollars and untold grief at the end of the term of your lease.

So that’s your Canadian lease market overview. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can successful guide you through the asset finance maze.

Tips to Finding the Right Equipment Financing Companies When Looking to Finance Used Equipment

As you look at different options to get the equipment you need to either expand or keep up with the competition, you may look into leasing used equipment. If you can operate used equipment, this may be a great option for you since it is much cheaper and you do not pay for the expensive first few years. Financing used equipment is a little different than financing new equipment and as you look into equipment financing companies there are several things you should be aware of.

First of all make sure that the equipment financing company actually offers used equipment loans. Due to the increased paperwork and effort in financing used equipment, inventory and dealing with agents and older equipment, many financing companies do not offer used equipment loans. Look for a company that not only does loans on used equipment but sells equipment from their inventory. This could help on lease terms and financing options if they want to get rid of some of their inventory.

Make sure the company isn’t too rigid on their loan terms and don’t have too many restrictions. Some companies have strict rules on the financing used equipment. They may only make loans on equipment that is 5 years old or newer, less than 100,000 miles or limit the terms to 36 months or less. You business or needs may not fit into the companies criteria. If they can’t meet your needs there are companies that can. Each company is different and may be in different financial situations. You are trying to build a relationship with the finance company and they should be able to meet your needs.

Choose an equipment financing company that doesn’t use a third party appraisal. This is especially true for loans under 150,000. The company should be familiar enough with the equipment that they would not need to get a third party appraisal and more importantly have you pay for the appraisal. You should be able to effectively convey to the condition of the equipment so that the appraisal isn’t necessary.