ost Canadian owners and business managers wouldn’t think of always paying cash for equipment and other capital acquisition needs. They also can’t imagine, in the current economic climate, paying cash for everything. Whether you are in an industry that is highly capital intensive, or if you simply on occasion need to upgrade or purchase new equipment the leasing of equipment should be considered as an effective overall financing strategy for your company
Naturally no form of business financing in Canada could be considered perfect and met absolutely every one of your needs, but let’s examine what are considered to be normally the top four benefits of equipment leasing. Naturally you want to ensure you are dealing with the right type of lease firm and you have also carefully examined your rights and obligations under the business lease.
Anyway, benefit 1. Flexibility. The reality is that working with the right lease partner firm should provide you with the flexibility you want in your transaction. Flexibility is of course a broad term, but we are basically referring to the type of lease that works best – for your firm! Not everyone else’s. That flexibility comes in the form of low or no down payment, monthly payment structuring options ( here are possibilities abound!), balance sheet optics around the amount of debt you can carry without getting your bank offside. Flexibility also comes in the form of the ability to return the equipment or extend the lease for a pre agreed period of time.
Benefit # 2 might well be called Cost efficient. The last thing you want to be doing is getting your firm locked into a long term lease on a depreciating asset – and the reason you lease financed the equipment in the first place is that you as a Canadian business owner and financial manager recognize that the equipment ultimately will probably have no value after its economic life is completed.
If the business world was slow moving and predicable you would never have to worry about competition, changing technology, etc- however things don’t work that way and as your needs change over time you can using equipment financing as the tool to address those needs.
Benefit 3- Tax benefits! We hate getting into long accounting and financial statement dissertations when we are lease financing info with clients, but the reality is that leasing of equipment as a business finance strategy has accounting and tax benefits re write off strategies around your payments.
Our final focused major benefit is simply Cash flow conservation. It’s tough enough in today’s business environment to achieve positive working capital and cash flow for daily and long term needs. Utilizing lease financing as a tool to minimize cash outlay and reduced down payment requirements makes total sense. Choosing an off balance sheet operating lease strategy will also ensure your ratios and debt covenants stay intact.
In summary, as we stated, no overall business financing strategy works perfectly for all companies in all industries. But leasing of equipment has significant benefits that clearly outweigh other options such as purchasing for cash, entering into long term loans, etc.
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced lease financing advisor to ensure you can take advantages of the 4 key benefits we outlined.
Stan Prokop is founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -