How much does it cost to factor invoices?

What is the Cost of Invoice Factoring?How much does it cost for Invoice factoring? what are the rates associated with it? Factoring can prove to be an excellent financial solution for small businesses in need of a rapid injection of cash.

As with any business decision it comes down to costs of invoice factoring facility. As all quotations are for factoring are unique the costs are dependent on a number of different situations.

Our insight may help explore these in detail throughout this article. Invoice Factoring is a flexible funding solution and a form of Asset Based Finance that allows you to sell your outstanding invoices to an Invoice Factoring provider, who gives you an immediate cash advance of 80% to 95% invoice value and takes over your customer collections.

What does invoice factoring cost?

In the UK, there are over 50 Invoice Factoring providers that are either independent companies, subsidiaries of financial institutions, or crowdsourcing platforms. Because of their different backgrounds, they also range in offerings, costs, and contracts, so all lenders have their own costs and rates.

Invoice factoring rates come in a different forms and your understanding of them may not be clear. Factoring charges are never a flat rate, so percentages start at point five of a percent. Knowing the facts about small business invoice factoring costs will enable you to negotiate well, and get the best  value for money for your small business. 

What is a factoring fee?

A factoring fee is a number of chargers which the lender has built in to the fee structure of the facility. In order for you to choose the right Invoice Factoring solution and provider, you need to understand and anticipate what costs are involved.

The elements of the make up of invoice factoring fee are:

  1. Set-Up Fee (Cost to set up the facilities and credit checks on your clients)
  2. Discount Fee (interest) offered
  3. Service or management fees
  4. Additional costs – eg for additional services such as credit protection
  5. CHAPS Fee for drawing down funds the same day
  6. Notice period for ending the service 

These are the main determiners of final invoice factoring fee. There may also be extra factoring costs incurred, but these are the primary ones.

Factoring rates example

The invoice factoring rate is also referred to as a factor rate. This is much like the concept of borrowing from a bank that you are likely familiar with. It is the cost the invoice factoring company charge you, usually on a weekly or monthly basis, for releasing the cash to you.

These factoring charges are worked out on a percentage basis of the invoice value, typically ranging between 0.5 – 5%. The of your sales ledger you fund, the lower the factor rate will be. Factoring fees are better if you factor higher value sales invoices. Please see the example of factoring costs below.

When taking into account the costs of a Invoice Factoring facility consider the following variables and hidden costs:

  • Volume of invoices per month and the amount
  • Customer Creditworthiness
  • Industry types
  • Stability of the business
  • Invoice Payment Terms

Should your business  be classed as a low risk by one of the credit agencies and submit a high volume of invoices to be factored, in theory a lower rate will be offered. 

Factoring rates example based on a £600,000

Type of Facility                                 Full Factoring

Initial Payments Percentage         75% of Approved Debts

Funding Review Limit                     £80,000

Set up Fee                                         £365

Service Fee                                        1.3% of Invoice Value, subject to a monthly minimum fee of £550

Discount Fee                                     4% over the base rate on Funds in Use, subject to minimum base rate of 0.5%

Selective Credit Protection            0.7% of invoice total, if required

Concentration Percentage             100% of Invoice Value of all outstanding Approved Debts subject to bad debt protection limits.

Recourse Period                                90 days from month end

Re-Factoring Fee                               1% against invoices outstanding after 90 days from month end

Factoring Fees Explained

  • Discount charge

The discount charge works in the same way as bank interest, just like you’d pay on a bank loan, overdraft or business credit card. It is the cost, calculated as a percentage of the invoice value, for releasing the cash to you. This charge will be applied usually on a weekly or monthly basis and will typically range from 0.5 – 5 percent. Generally speaking, the higher the value of the invoice you want to release funds from, the lower the discount charge will be. For that reason, it often represents better value to release funds from higher value invoices.   

  • Service Fee

The provider may charge a monthly fee to cover the administration costs associated with delivering the facility. The credit management fees for invoice discounting are typically lower then factoring because you retain the responsibility for collecting and managing your own debts, so there’s less work for the invoice finance provider to do.

The credit management fee for invoice discounting could range from 0.2 – 0.5 percent of gross turnover, while typical fees for a factoring agreement are likely to be between 0.75 and 2.5 percent of turnover.

  • Credit protection charges

These will be levied in non-recourse factoring arrangements, where the factor is liable for any bad debts. The amount will largely depend on the factor’s assessment of the level of risk. Typical charges range from 0.5 per cent of turnover to 2 per cent of turnover.

  • Notice period to end the service

This is the amount of notice an invoice finance provider requires in order to bring the arrangement to an end. This is typically a period of around three months but it can be as long as a year. During this time all of the charges will have to be paid.

  • Factoring Period

In a nutshell, the length of the factoring period is the amount of time it takes your customer to pay their invoices. Factoring fees reflect risk and patience for the factoring company. As the discount rates are paid as percentages, usually weekly or monthly, the longer the time your customer takes to pay, the higher the factoring charges. Therefore, if your invoices have a 30 days payment period you will pay considerably less than if they have a 90 day payment period.

What is the going rate for factoring?

The going rate for factoring in 2021 is between 1% and 4% depending on the factors above. When calculating factoring rates, the number of invoices you fund plays a large part, as lenders like a good spread of customers. Factoring a large number of invoices across a number of different customers means lower concentration which lenders will offer an equal lower fee. A number of factoring companies will offer volume discounts.

What Can Affect The Cost of Factoring?

cost of factoringLenders will have their set parameters of how they usually work out a factoring rate. This will look at two key factors that can effect the cost: the risk, and the volume of invoices. Generally speaking, the lower the risk and the greater the volume, the lower the factoring charges. Conversely, the higher the risk, and the lower the volume, the higher the invoice factoring costs.

Understanding this in more detail requires an understanding of exactly what an invoice factoring company will be looking for to calculate factoring charges. The invoice factoring company is going to assess your risk and volume using certain criteria.

Invoice Factors will consider:

  • How much you will be factoring: The greater the volume, the lower the rates. This is probably the biggest determiner of your invoice factoring rates.
  • The size of each invoice: No matter what the size of an invoice, the legwork for collection is exactly the same. Therefore it pays to have fewer larger invoices rather than lots of smaller ones. The invoice factoring company may seek to pass the costs of collection onto you, so consider which invoices you factor wisely.
  • Your business niche and industry: The invoice factoring company will assess your business niche and the track record of your industry when determining your invoice factoring rates. Certain industries, such as recruitment, tend to be considered low risk as payment is normally simple and straightforward. On the other hand, the building trade can find themselves facing higher rates as they are deemed higher risk.
  • The reliability of your clients: Reliable clients, who have a track record of paying on time, make for lower invoice factoring fees than those with a poor credit history. This does not always directly affect fees, but you may need to be more aware of overdue fees, or that the invoice factoring company may not accept invoices from certain clients at all.
  • Your business reliability, longevity and turnover: Many factoring companies in the UK will want you to have been trading for at least a year. This can pose a problem for some start-ups. They may also expect you to have a minimum turnover, perhaps in the region of £125,000. In the UK, some invoice factoring companies want you to be a limited company. Being able to prove reliability will help you negotiate lower rates.

Weighing Up the fees

When it comes to deciding if the fees for factoring are worth it for your venture, businesses will need to get a rough idea of how much the financing of each invoice is going to be worth to them. In a great many cases, the cost of the facility is negligible compared to the potential costs of having poor cash flow, which is why invoice finance is used by over 48,000 UK businesses.

Good cash flow can increase profits, and prevent the use of more expensive types of credit. It’s essential however to sit down and understand exactly how much the costings will be and whether they’re right for your business. This may mean that it’s worth consulting outside advisers or brokers.

The information on this page should help you to understand invoice factoring rates and charges better, and it should also help you to understand exactly what you will be paying for.

Need more help?

If you feel that this type of product maybe a cost effective way to finance your business, and would like an invoice factoring quotation from a lender. To get a quotation simply complete the online enquiry form. Once it is received a funding specialist will contact you by return. 

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