Factoring is a financial transaction in which a business sells its accounts receivable (invoices) to a third-party financial company, known as a factor, at a discount. The factor then assumes responsibility for collecting the outstanding invoices from the business’s customers and receiving payment directly from them. Factoring provides immediate cash flow to the business, allowing it to access funds tied up in unpaid invoices and meet its short-term financing needs.

Key features of factoring include:

Sale of Invoices: The business sells its accounts receivable, typically in the form of unpaid invoices for goods or services provided to customers, to the factor. The factor purchases the invoices at a discount, usually a percentage of the total face value of the invoices.

Immediate Cash Flow: Factoring provides the business with immediate cash flow by converting its accounts receivable into cash. This allows the business to access funds quickly to cover operating expenses, invest in growth opportunities, or address short-term financing needs.

Transfer of Credit Risk: By selling its invoices to the factor, the business transfers the credit risk associated with collecting payment from its customers to the factor. The factor assumes responsibility for collecting payments from the customers and bears the risk of non-payment or late payment.

Debt-Free Financing: Factoring is not considered a loan, as it does not create debt on the balance sheet of the business. Instead, it is a form of off-balance-sheet financing that provides immediate liquidity without requiring the business to incur additional debt.

Flexible Financing Option: Factoring is a flexible financing option that can be tailored to the specific needs of the business. Factors may offer recourse or non-recourse factoring arrangements, where the factor assumes varying degrees of responsibility for collecting unpaid invoices and absorbing credit losses.

Confidentiality: Factoring arrangements can be structured to maintain the confidentiality of the business’s relationship with its customers. In some cases, the factor may operate on a non-notification basis, where the business retains control over the collection process and customer interactions.