A Guide to Invoice Financing for Vets

Veterinarians, very much like some other business, need monetary adaptability to develop and succeed. Vets looking for a way to control their cash flow and get paid on time may want to consider invoice financing. A solution for financing your business that involves a third party agreeing to purchase your invoices in exchange for a fee is called invoice financing. This gives you immediate access to funds that you can use to pay bills, invest in your business, or expand your practice. We will discuss the ins and outs of invoice financing, how it works, and how veterinarians can benefit from it in this post. This guide will help you understand all the important aspects of invoice financing and how you can use it to achieve financial flexibility for your veterinary practice, whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years.

What is invoice financing?

Invoice financing is a financial arrangement for businesses where they can use their unpaid invoices as collateral to secure a loan. It is also known as accounts receivable financing, invoice factoring, or invoice discounting. In this arrangement, the lender (also known as the factor) provides a loan to the business based on the value of their outstanding invoices. The business can receive immediate cash flow by selling their unpaid invoices to the lender at a discount. The lender then collects the payment from the customer when the invoices are due, and the business repays the lender the amount borrowed plus a fee.

Invoice financing is particularly beneficial for businesses that have a long payment cycle or have customers who take a long time to pay their invoices. It provides a quick and easy way to access cash flow and helps businesses meet their immediate financial obligations, such as payroll, rent, and supplier payments. Moreover, it also helps businesses focus on their core operations, such as sales and production, instead of chasing payments from their customers.

Invoice financing is a popular financing option for many industries, including healthcare, where medical practices, clinics, and hospitals often have to wait for insurance reimbursements. Additionally, invoice financing can be particularly useful for veterinarians who are looking for financial flexibility to manage their cash flow and grow their practice. By using invoice financing, vets can focus on providing quality care to their patients without worrying about their financial bottom line.

Click here to read our article: Raising Finance for a Veterinary Clinic

How invoice financing works for veterans

Invoice financing is an adaptable monetary answer for veterans who own a business and need income. It works by letting veterans sell unpaid bills to a financing company, which gives them a cash advance. This loan is normally up to 90% of the complete worth of the invoices, and the remaining balance is paid to the veteran once the client covers the receipt.

The ability for veterans to obtain the funds they require without having to wait for their customers to pay is invoice financing’s greatest advantage. Veterans who are experiencing payment delays or a prolonged payment cycle may benefit most from this. In addition, invoice financing is a good option for veterans with low credit scores because financing companies tend to focus more on customers’ creditworthiness than veterans’ own.

In general, veterans who require financial flexibility and are seeking a quick and simple solution to their cash flow issues may find that invoice financing is an advantageous option.

Benefits of invoice financing for veterans

Veterans who own small businesses may benefit greatly from invoice financing. By preventing them from having to wait for payment from their customers, it can assist them in overcoming cash flow issues. People who are just starting out or run seasonal businesses that face cash flow fluctuations may benefit most from this.

Financial flexibility is one of invoice financing’s main advantages for veterans. It permits them to approach finances that they can use to put resources into their organisations, pays their workers, buys a stock, or cover any unforeseen costs. This can assist them with developing their business and making the most of new open doors without stressing over income issues.

Invoice financing has the additional benefit of assisting in the management of cash flow. Veterans can better manage their finances and avoid missed opportunities by receiving payment in advance. This can likewise assist with building more grounded associations with clients, as an entrepreneur can satisfy their commitments on time and make a positive standing in their industry.

In general, veterans who own small businesses may find invoice financing to be a useful financial instrument. They get the flexibility and control over the cash flow they need to expand and succeed in their industry from it.

Eligibility requirements for invoice financing

Invoice financing is a great option for small businesses, including veterinary practices, to get quick access to cash flow. However, there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met before applying for invoice financing.

Firstly, you need to have a business-to-business (B2B) model. This means that your veterinary practice should be dealing with other businesses instead of individual customers. As invoice financing is based on the invoices you issue to your clients, it is necessary for your clients to be other businesses.

Secondly, your veterinary practice must have a track record of invoicing and generating revenue for at least six months. This is important as invoice financing companies rely on your past invoicing history to determine your eligibility for financing.

Thirdly, your veterinary practice must have invoices that are due within 90 days. Invoice financing companies generally do not finance invoices that have a due date beyond 90 days.

Lastly, your veterinary practice must be free from any legal or tax issues. Invoice financing companies will conduct a background check on your business before approving your application.

In conclusion, eligibility requirements for invoice financing are straightforward and can be easily met by small businesses, including veterinary practices, that have a B2B model and a track record of generating revenue through invoicing.

Click here to read our article: 5 Reasons Why You Should Outsource your Veterinary Practice’s Accounts

Documents required for invoice financing

Lenders may require a number of documents from applicants seeking invoice financing. Because they assist the lender in determining the applicant’s risk and eligibility, these documents are essential to the invoice financing procedure.

Some of the documents that might be needed are as follows:

1. Invoices: The primary document upon which invoice financing is based is this. Moneylenders will require a duplicate of the receipt to check the sum and terms of installment.

2. Evidence of delivery: This document demonstrates that the customer received the goods or services. It could be a courier receipt or a signed delivery note.

3. Order for purchase: The customer’s order for the goods or services is shown on this document. It is significant because it demonstrates the customer’s acceptance of the sale’s terms and conditions.

4. Check of credit: Moneylenders might require a credit mind the client to survey their financial soundness and capacity to pay.

5. Expenses of the company: To assess the business’s financial health, lenders may require financial statements like balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statements.

6. Documents needed to register a company: A certificate of incorporation or business license may be required by lenders as evidence of a company’s registration.

Giving these records in an ideal and precise way can assist with accelerating the invoice financing process and improve the probability of endorsement. It’s critical to work with a lender whose requirements are clear and who can walk you through the application process.

Vet Finance

How to choose an invoice financing company

There are a few things to think about when selecting an invoice financing company. One of the most significant is the charge structure. You should check the company’s fees to make sure they are reasonable and that you know exactly what you will be paying for them.

Another significant component is the degree of client support given by the organisation. You want to go with a company that is easy to work with and responsive to your needs. Find a business with a dedicated account manager who will serve as your primary point of contact.

Taking into account the particulars of the supporting agreement is additionally significant. Ensure you comprehend the reimbursement plan and any punishments for late instalments. Additionally, you should inquire about any financing restrictions or limitations, such as a maximum or minimum amount that can be financed.

Last but not least, you should investigate the invoice financing companies you are considering and read customer feedback. Search for organisations that have a decent standing and positive surveys from different organisations in your industry.

You can choose an invoice financing company that meets your needs and gives you the financial flexibility you need to grow your veterinary practice by taking these factors into consideration.

Tips for using invoice financing wisely

Invoice financing is an incredible method for getting a money infusion into your business without hanging tight for installment from your clients. However, as with any form of financing, prudent use is essential.

To help you get the most out of your invoice financing, here are some pointers:

  1. Before submitting an application, ensure that you are aware of the invoice financing’s terms and conditions. Check that the terms are favourable to your company and that you are aware of what you are getting into.
  2. Only use invoice financing when absolutely necessary. Try not to depend on it for ordinary costs, as it can turn into an expensive propensity.
  3. Ensure your clients are financially sound before you consent to receive funding. You will be responsible for repaying the money you borrowed if your client does not pay.
  4. Compare rates and terms of various invoice financing options. Do not select the first business that comes to mind.
  5. Keep your invoices up to date and accurate. This will assist with guaranteeing that your receipt funding application is endorsed rapidly and that you get the cash you really want when you really want it.

You can use invoice financing to your advantage and support your business’s growth and success if you follow these recommendations.

Frequently asked questions about invoice financing for veterans

If you’re a veteran who is considering invoice financing, you may have a few questions about how the process works.

Here are some frequently asked questions to help guide you:

1. What is invoice financing?

Invoice financing is a financing solution that allows business owners to sell their outstanding invoices to a factoring company in exchange for immediate cash.

2. How does invoice financing work?

After a business owner sells their outstanding invoices to a factoring company, they receive an advance payment for a percentage of the total invoice amount. The factoring company then takes over collecting payment from the customer.

3. Is invoice financing only for large businesses?

No, invoice financing is a solution for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses and startups.

4. Do I need good credit to qualify for invoice financing?

No, invoice financing is based on the creditworthiness of your customers, not your own personal credit score.

5. How long does it take to get funding through invoice financing?

Invoice financing is a quick and easy financing solution. Once you submit your invoices, you can receive funding in as little as 24 hours.

6. What are the fees associated with invoice financing?

The fees associated with invoice financing vary depending on the factoring company and the terms of your agreement. However, most factoring companies charge a small percentage of the total invoice amount as a fee.

7. Can I choose which invoices to finance?

Yes, you can choose which invoices to finance. This allows you to maintain control over your cash flow and only finance the invoices that you need to.

8. Will my customers know that I am using invoice financing?

No, your customers will not know that you are using invoice financing. The factoring company will handle all communication and collection efforts on your behalf.

We hope that veterinarians looking for financial flexibility will find this comprehensive guide to invoice financing helpful. We are aware that financial management can be difficult, particularly for those working in the veterinary industry. We hope that this guide has given you a clear understanding of how invoice financing works and how it can benefit your business. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any additional inquiries. I wish you and your veterinary practice every success!

Click here to read our article on how finance a healthcare business.

Business Loans for Healthcare Businesses

We’ve been helping to fund the future of British healthcare businesses for over 20 years and our team are made up of former bankers with decades of experience in the UK’s healthcare lending sector.

You can find out more about working with Samera and the financial services we offer by booking a free consultation with one of the Samera team at a time that suits you (including evenings) or by reading more about our financial services at the links below.

For more information on raising finance for your healthcare business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here, full of articles and webinars like our How to Guide on Financing a Dental Practice.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Outsource your Veterinary Practice’s Accounts

An average day at a veterinary practice can turn out to be tedious and challenging. Having to practically do everything by oneself does not ease things too. If you are running a veterinary practice and are thinking about how you can unburden and focus more on your core job which is tending to pets, you need to identify tasks that you can have an outsourcing partner do for you. One important back-end operation that your veterinary practice can outsource is accounting. Having outsourced veterinary accounting support can help accelerate your practice growth and improve profitability.

Veterinarians must keep accurate records of each patient’s financial information as well as the animal’s medical history. In order to maintain a healthy cash flow, accounting must also be handled meticulously, which means transactions must be recorded and spending and income logs must be carefully monitored. Since finding a qualified veterinary bookkeeper and accountant is quite difficult, outsourcing your veterinary practice’s accounts to a seasoned firm will help in increasing accounting and bookkeeping efficiency.

Let us look at 5 reasons why you should consider outsourcing your veterinary practice’s accounts.

Reduce Business Complexity

It is possible that a part-time or internal accountant won’t be able to assist your practice with other duties like payroll or billing. Also, a team or individual with less experience in veterinary accounting might result in several inconsistencies in bookkeeping and accounting. This might have an impact on how taxes are filed, among other things. It can be challenging for veterinarians to handle because of the stress it can cause. Veterinarians can feel less stressed and concentrate more on their core duties by outsourcing to professionals.

You can be confident that your books are current and that you always have strong visibility into your cash flow when you opt to outsource your bookkeeping. You may get cash flow statements from your outsourced bookkeeper to better understand how much money you have on hand and what costs you have coming up. By doing this, you can be certain that your chemist always has enough operating cash to fulfil its responsibilities.

Action Plan

Outsourcing your veterinary practice’s bookkeeping alleviates the burden of managing various financial tasks, ensuring consistency and reducing stress for veterinarians while providing better cash flow visibility.

Better Prepared for Tax Season

Dealing with tax-related issues is quite difficult, and if the accountants are not experienced, they can lead to several issues, not to mention, errors in tax filing might result in huge fines. This means that bookkeeping gets neglected until tax season your books are always out of date and you never have full access to the financial data you need to proactively spot problems before they develop.

When you outsource your veterinary accounts, your outsourced bookkeeping service provider will effectively and precisely maintain your books up to date throughout the year. They will make sure that you have access to a qualified bookkeeper with the understanding of the veterinary sector to assist you with your books and all your accounting needs. Practices could also save money on hiring accountants, integrate with the HMRC’s Making Tax Digital plan, and receive greater value for their money on their information technology needs by offshoring tech support and upgrading their books to cloud-based accounting solutions.

Action Plan

Outsourcing veterinary bookkeeping ensures up-to-date records, reducing tax season errors and fines. With professionals managing accounts, proactive financial oversight is enabled. Cost savings, HMRC compliance, and IT improvements are also benefits of outsourcing.

Improved Business Scalability

It’s crucial to have a staff that can expand along with your company when choosing an outsourced accounting company to work with. Due to the fact that in-house and part-time bookkeepers typically have a limited capacity for development and the amount of new work they can take on, you will need to hire more staff to keep up with this expansion.

Teams that handle your books on an outsourced basis have additional personnel to grow with your company. They will be better equipped to offer you additional help if you are expanding your veterinarian practice into new areas or handling more transactions. They can even assist in monitoring the effectiveness of different practices. By opting to outsource your veterinary accounts, you may lessen your burden so that you can focus on pet health and make sure that your important financial information is in the hands of an expert.

Action Plan

Outsourcing veterinary bookkeeping ensures scalability, as external teams can adapt to business growth. Unlike in-house staff, outsourced providers have the capacity to handle increased workload and expansion into new areas. This allows veterinarians to focus on pet care while experts manage financial data efficiently.

Cost-Effectiveness with Automation

Costs associated with in-house accounting include hiring, training, allocating resources, and others. Also, the majority of these accounting duties are performed manually by accountants who may not be familiar with the specifics of the veterinary industry. That means the investment is high but the turnaround on returns is long. However, with the help of outsourced accounting, these expenses will be significantly reduced by outsourcing and it will enable substantial cost savings for these tasks.

Veterinarians can also avoid buying separate accounting software by outsourcing their accounting needs. All the accounting software required to perform pertinent tasks will be available at outsourced companies. Accounting software can simplify tasks and increase accuracy. Further, your outsourced bookkeeping team will advise you on how to link your front-end systems with your accounting software and how to connect your veterinary business with them. This would not only simplify the billing process but also aid to reduce mistakes. This will make it simple for you and your staff to send your bookkeeper copies of your invoices and receipts while you are on the move.

Action Plan

Outsourcing veterinary accounting saves costs by automating tasks and providing integrated software, streamlining processes for efficient financial management.

Extra-Accounting Support

Accounting does not always end with a perfect-matching balance sheet. Say for instance your taxes have been submitted on time, but nobody is investing the time to regularly analyse financial data like profit and loss statements. This implies that nobody is keeping an eye out for anomalies or possible issues, such as inventory costs that are excessive sales, falling revenue from particular services, or payroll expenses that are greater than advised percentages.

In addition to doing monthly or quarterly inspections of financial statements to check for these and other problems, your outsourced accounting staff has a wide range of knowledge and resources that your in-house tax adviser most likely does not. They can assist you with your payroll requirements as well. Due to the fact that the majority of outsourcing companies employ payroll compliance specialists, they may assist you with processing payroll for your employees and remitting payroll deductions to the CRA, ensuring that your pharmacy remains in compliance with all payroll laws.

Action Plan

Outsourced accounting provides extra support beyond basic bookkeeping, offering regular analysis of financial data to identify anomalies and potential issues, along with specialized payroll services to ensure compliance with payroll laws.

Conclusion

Being able to comprehend and accept an outsourcing-based business model is essential to owning and managing a profitable veterinary office in today’s cutthroat industry. It is becoming more critical for owners of veterinary practices to understand and analyse the cost-benefit relationship of outsourcing their veterinary accounts as running a practice grows ever more challenging.

Thankfully, there are ever more veterinary accounting outsourcing providers who cater to the requirements of veterinary clinics. The availability of alternatives and affordable pricing will benefit veterinarians looking to outsource to more credible partners. Most importantly, it makes practices more effective, improves accounting accuracy, and gives practitioners and their staff more time to concentrate on critical responsibilities like improving pet health and pet-parent experience.

Further Information on Accounts & Tax

Our team of specialist accountants and tax experts can help manage, process and structure your business’s finances. From management accounts and payroll & pensions to tax planning and cash flow management, we can take care of the full back-office function of your business.

Book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of the team to find out how we can make your accounts & tax easier, quicker and cheaper.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Gootkit Malware Update

In this video, Uros takes a look at Gootkit Malware and how it can affect your business.

Get Started: Cyber Security for Healthcare

Cyber security is an essential part of keeping your patients, data and business protected online.

With Samera Cyber Security, you get the tools you need, the know-how to use them and digital copies of all your data. This three-pronged approach means you can keep your business safe and your data safe.

Contact us today to find out more about how our cyber security training, digital protection products and back-up contingencies can help you.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

How to protect your dental practice online

In this webinar, Arun and Uros discuss the different threats facing your dental practice online, and what you can do about it.

Click here to read our articles.

Get Started: Cyber Security for Healthcare

Cyber security is an essential part of keeping your patients, data and business protected online.

With Samera Cyber Security, you get the tools you need, the know-how to use them and digital copies of all your data. This three-pronged approach means you can keep your business safe and your data safe.

Contact us today to find out more about how our cyber security training, digital protection products and back-up contingencies can help you.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

A Guide to Inheritance Tax

The inheritance tax nil rate band has been frozen at its current level of £325,000 since 6th April 2009. The nil rate band is the amount of your estate that is exempt from inheritance tax. 

It will remain at its current level of £325,000 until 5th April 2026 – a 17-year freeze! However, since 6th April 2017, a new additional nil rate band has been available for the ‘family home’.

Click here to read our guide on income tax and National Insurance.

Generally speaking, effective inheritance tax planning should be carried out on a long-term basis. However, it is worth remembering the following points, which should be considered on an annual basis. 

Annual exemption

The first £3,000 of gifts made by any individual during each tax year is completely exempt for inheritance tax. In addition to this, if the previous year’s annual exemption was not fully utilised, it can be carried forward into the following (current) tax year.

This means, in one tax year you are able to have up to £6000 of gifts that will be exempt from any tax only if you have not made any gifts during the previous tax year.

This exemption is specific to a per person basis, so married couples can also make gifts of £3,000 each.

Small Gifts Exemption

Gifts of up to £250 per tax year made to any one individual are also exempt from any inheritance tax and do not count towards the annual exemption. These types of small gifts are an exemption for you as you can make as many of these gifts as you like to different people.

However, the annual exemption cannot be used for further gifts to the same recipient in the same tax year. 

Habitual Gifts Out of Income

Habitual gifts out of income are an exemption from inheritance tax, in order for these gifts to be classed as ‘habitual’, they need to be made consistently for a number of years. Which is why it is important to remember to keep these up every tax year. 

The Family Home

An additional nil rate band is available for the ‘family home’ for any deaths occurring after 6 April 2017. This exemption is only available on a property which has been the deceased residence at some point during their life. If the deceased has passed while owning more than one or multiple qualifying properties, the personal electives can elect which property this exemption should apply to.

The exemption is only applied once the property is passed. This is usually done to a direct descendant of the deceased and in this case, any stepchildren, foster children or adopted children are all accorded the same status as one another for this sole purpose.

Similar to the £325,000 nil rate band, any unused proportion of the exemption will pass to the deceased’s partner or spouse.

When a person downsizes or ceases to own a home after 8 July 2015, the residence nil rate band is available to them as well as assets of an equivalent value, up to the value of the additional nil-rate band, are passed to direct descendants.

The residence nil-rate band that was introduced in 2017/18 and increased from £100,000 to its current value to £175,000. This level is set to remain until 5 April 2026.

Click here to read more about inheritance tax.

Inheritance Tax: Example

Margaret divorced her husband many years before her death in June 2021.

She leaves her estate, worth £600,000, to her daughter.

Margaret’s estate includes her former home, which is worth £250,000 at the time of her death. The residence nil rate band available for 2021/22 exempts £175,000 of the value of Margaret’s former home. This reduces her taxable estate to £425,000 before deduction of her main nil rate band of £325,000, which reduces it to £100,000.

The IHT payable on Margaret’s estate at 40% is thus £40,000. The residence nil rate band is withdrawn from estates worth in excess of £2 million (this threshold is also frozen until 5th April 2026).

This withdrawal is at the rate of £1 for every £2 by which the estate exceeds £2 million. Any mortgages or other loans secured over a property will have to be taken into account when allocating the exemption. For example, where the deceased held a property worth £250,000 which was subject to a mortgage of £180,000, the exemption will be limited to just £70,000.

Further Information on Accounts & Tax

Our team of specialist accountants and tax experts can help manage, process and structure your business’s finances. From management accounts and payroll & pensions to tax planning and cash flow management, we can take care of the full back-office function of your business.

Book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of the team to find out how we can make your accounts & tax easier, quicker and cheaper.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Raising Finance for a Veterinary Clinic

The UK veterinary sector

The veterinary service industry has seen an average of 3.2% per year between 2017 and 2022, faster than the UK economy. The UK vet industry is expected to increase 12.2% in 2022.

You can find out more about the growth of the UK’s veterinary sector here.

The growing popularity of owning pets has raised the demand for quality pet care at competitive prices – which is great news for veterinary practice business owners. 

Veterinary practices can often be quite expensive to start up. However, how much is costs to start a veterinary clinic is dependent on a few things, such as the location and size of the practice, how well-equipped it is, and several other important factors. It is essential that you are ready for what to expect from the get-go.

You will most likely need to secure some level of commercial funding through loans, investors or a combination of both to fund equipment, real estate, renovations and more. 

Action Plan

The UK veterinary sector has seen robust growth, averaging 3.2% annually from 2017 to 2022, outpacing the wider economy, with a projected 12.2% increase in 2022. Rising pet ownership is driving demand for quality pet care services, but starting a veterinary practice can be costly, requiring commercial funding for expenses like real estate, equipment, and renovations.

How We Help Vets Raise Finance

We support vets who need to raise finance for their clinic, so they are able to do what they love without the big financial strains of property, equipment or marketing. While many veterinarians choose to happily work as associates within an established practice, some decide to venture out on their own and build a new veterinary practice from the ground up.

Starting any business can be a difficult and expensive task, which is where our expertise and experience can help. We can help source the financial help you will need to start, buy, run or grow your business. Our in-house finance brokers are all former bankers. They can help make sure that you carefully plan out the entire process to ensure a smooth and successful application process from start to finish.

Action Plan

We specialize in assisting veterinarians in securing financing for their clinics, alleviating the financial burdens associated with property, equipment, and marketing. Our team of former bankers ensures a seamless application process, helping you plan meticulously for success.

Please click here to find out more about raising finance with Samera.

Loans for a veterinary practice 

We are able to arrange a variety of veterinary loans and asset based finance tailored to you and your specific business needs. Whether you are looking to raise finance, need  accounting help, raise working capital, VAT or arrange a corporate tax loan then we are the experts here to help you.

Please click here to book a free consultation with the Samera finance team.

Do you have to be a vet to own a vet clinic in the UK?

In the UK you are allowed to start up and run a veterinary practice without being a qualified veterinarian. You will of course need to employ veterinarians to work in the practice and abide by national industry regulations.   

Hiring your team and having a plan 

There are so many things that need to be done before opening your veterinary practice. After finding the perfect property and location for you, you will need a business plan and a team. Whether your background is within veterinary medicine or not, you will need experts to assist you in other areas of your plan, specifically within the accounting and finance area. 

Most people hire a business manager or advisors such as Samera early in the process in order to secure the services of experienced financial advisors and accountants. Ideally, you would want your team to all be experienced in the healthcare sector. It is also a great idea to hire a marketing professional early in the process to help gain some traction before you are ready to announce your launch.

Action Plan

We provide customized veterinary loans and asset-based finance solutions. Book a free consultation with Samera today.
In the UK, you can own a veterinary practice without being a vet, but you must employ qualified veterinarians and follow regulations.
Before opening your practice, create a solid business plan and assemble a skilled team, including financial advisors like Samera and a marketing professional.

Creating a business plan for a veterinary clinic

Your start-up veterinary clinic’s business plan will be crucial to your application for a commercial loan. It will also help you let out your goals, plan your next steps and manage your finances properly.

There are several things you need to include in your business plan for it to stand a chance of being accepted by lenders. these include:

  • The aims and objectives of the clinic
  • The services you intend to provide
  • Information about the market and your local competition
  • Costs of purchasing or starting the business
  • Costs of running the business
  • How you intend to run the business (hours, staffing, roles etc)
  • Financial forecasts

Your business plan should be split into 3 sections, the executive summary, the narrative and the financials.

Action Plan

To ensure your veterinary clinic’s success and secure financing, craft a detailed business plan covering your clinic’s mission, services, market analysis, operations, and financial projections.

For more information on creating a business plan for a healthcare business, click here.

How much does it cost to set up a veterinary clinic?

Setting up a new vet practice, like any other business, can be very daunting, especially once the bills come in. You want to set up a service that provides quality care, while also making enough money to keep the business afloat at a minimum. One cannot thrive without the other doing well.

Contact us to find out more

The costs for setting up a veterinary clinic are both expensive and extensive. While you need to be aware that there are a lot of hefty upfront costs to cover that will often require funding. We believe that usually the clinic should be able to generate a positive cash flow after 12-18 months.

Action Plan

Setting up a veterinary clinic involves substantial upfront costs, covering equipment, renovations, licenses, and staff salaries. Expenses can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds, but with proper planning, a clinic can become profitable within 12-18 months.

Location Costs 

There are several aspects of your practice that will affect your costs. The first being the location of your clinic. Choosing the optimum location for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business venture. 

Your location will impact how much business you will get. The location should also reflect if the practice is easily accessible or visible to potential customers who are simply passing by. Is there on-site parking nearby? Most importantly, is there already competition in the area?

If you are looking for a great location you may want to begin with a place that does not have a lot of veterinary services already, that way you will be finding the gap in the market rather than setting up shop in a place that is already crowded, struggling to define yourself as different from the others.

You will also need to look at the demographics in the area you have chosen. Is this area likely to be made up of affluent pet owners who will be your future clients? Your building may be nice but if you will not have the clientele close to to you, it’s likely that you may struggle to 

How big do you need your vet clinic to be?

Your practice does not need to be huge but it does need to include specific rooms. You will need a consulting room, a waiting area and a reception at the least. Many veterinary practices will also have a theatre, lab space and kennels. Some surgeries can get away with offering consultations only. However, if this is your main or only practice site, clients will usually expect both medical and surgical provisions. 

Marketing your vet practice

In order to attract the number and quality of clients you’ve estimated in your business plan, you’ll need to market your new clinic both before and after the launch. Building awareness is your first and arguably most important task. Your next one is trust. Building both trust and awareness in your local community is the best way to achieve sustainable growth. 

Marketing is very important and needs to be continuous and frequent. The idea is to create momentum for your business and keep it up. Old forms of marketing such as flyers or newspaper ads tend to be quite outdated, expensive and are not really effective anymore.

Starting out on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram or Facebook are a great way to start gaining traction to your new business, they also are cheaper and far more effective options.

No matter which strategy you choose to use, your marketing campaign should tie in your brand, ethos and services all together. A unified message will help build momentum as you develop your vet practice over time. 

Remember, your marketing campaign is just the promise. You need to follow through with your prospective clients and ensure that you are offering high quality medical services, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and excellent customer service. Word of mouth is the biggest and best marketing tool you have. No matter how good your marketing is, if people have a bad experience in your practice, they will make it known and before you know it, word will spread. 

Action Plan

Your vet clinic needs essential rooms like a consulting area, waiting room, and reception. Marketing efforts should focus on building trust and awareness in the community through social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Prioritize delivering high-quality care and excellent customer service to build a positive reputation.

For more tips on marketing for medical businesses, please click here.

What are the ongoing expenses for a veterinary practice? 

Clinics are expected to keep a steady supply of prescription medicine that is in date, on hand at all times, similar to pharmacies. Often their patients’ lives depend on receiving specific medication in a timely manner. While your monthly rent and start-up costs are admittedly going to be a big expense, once you open up, your inventory of medicine and a range of specialty food that you will need will probably be one of your biggest ongoing expenses. 

Action Plan

Ongoing expenses for a veterinary practice include the steady supply of prescription medicine, which is crucial for patient care. Additionally, expenses such as rent and inventory of specialty food contribute significantly to the clinic’s operational costs.

Contact us to find out more

Renting, Leasing or Buying

Renting and leasing rates vary depending on the location you are in. Renting is the best option if you don’t want the headache of owning a property and prefer to have more cash flow than equity. Renting a space often offers you the option to work out of a smaller space while you are getting started. You need the property you choose to have the potential to expand. That way, when you want to expand or add an extra room or two, all you have to do is rent the extra space rather than packing up and having to start up again in an entirely new location. 

Action Plan

When deciding on a property for your veterinary practice, consider factors like flexibility, financial situation, and long-term goals. Renting offers cash flow benefits and flexibility, while leasing provides similar advantages with a longer-term commitment. Buying a property offers stability and potential long-term benefits but requires a significant upfront investment. Tailor your choice to your business needs and financial capabilities.

Please click here for more information on commercial mortgages.

Equipment 

Your basic equipment needs are likely to include a veterinary stethoscope, digital X-ray imaging machine, veterinary ultrasound and believe us, many, many other quite expensive pieces of equipment. Nowadays, many veterinary practices have in-house labs for blood tests and blood analysers as many clients expect all services to be carried out under one roof.

Along with specialised equipment, your veterinary practice will also need normal business equipment. This will include computers, CCTV, and related IT services. What you may also need is access to a vehicle for home visits, this would be an extra service you may want to offer to a wider range of clients and perhaps make you different to your competition. Asset finance covers a range of solutions designed to let you spread the costs of any equipment you may need. 

Asset finance will help you fund not only new but also used equipment that you need to buy. This means that you could get the equipment you need for a fraction of the price of a new one. 

Please click here to find out more about asset finance.

New or used equipment?

Buying new equipment outright can be quite expensive. A good alternative for a new business could be to buy used equipment. If you are setting up a new practice there will be a lot of steep costs. Buying good quality used equipment can provide a solution not just for the clinical equipment that you need but also for any items that you need in your practice. 

Action Point

Consider your veterinary practice’s equipment needs carefully, including specialized tools like stethoscopes, X-ray machines, and ultrasound devices. Additionally, invest in basic business equipment such as computers and CCTV systems. Asset finance offers solutions to help you acquire both new and used equipment, allowing you to manage costs effectively. Assess whether new or used equipment is the best fit for your practice’s requirements and budget.

Please click here to find out more about refinancing.

Finance options for your veterinary practice

The veterinary profession, like many others in the healthcare sector, is highly competitive. As the demand for local and mobile vets is continuously increasing, you will be able to find a lot of veterinary practices dotted around in your area, many of which are large chains or franchises. If you are working as an independent practice you will need to find a way to provide the same level of equipment as they do which is one aspect that Samera specialises in. 

We can help you find the right type of funding for all your Veterinary needs such as: 

• Setting up a new veterinary clinic

• Acquiring new premises for your veterinary practice 

• Paying tax 

• Providing capital for growth 

• Acquire assets and equipment 

We help to provide vets and veterinary owners with lenders and loaning options that are best designed and suited specifically to you and your business in order to assist with the growth and development of your business.

Contact us to find out more

The market for loans and finance options is so crowded that you may need assistance with finding the right financing option for you. This is where we are able to use our contacts and expertise to help you build your business in the most cost effective way.  

Action Plan

In the veterinary sector, accessing the right financing is vital for independent practices to compete with larger chains. Samera specializes in tailored loan options, connecting professionals with lenders to support growth. With our expertise, we navigate the market to find cost-effective solutions.

Traditional Bank Loans

Usually the first place many people will go is to the bank for a loan. While it is true that banks are able to offer lower interest rates and usually higher loan amounts, for young veterinary practices this may not always be the most viable route for you. 

High street banks are a great option for loans. However, there are several brokers and lenders willing to lend money to veterinary SMEs. These loans can be either both secured or unsecured depending on the size of your loan and your individual circumstances. The loan can also be either short or long-term. 

Action Plan

Traditional bank loans are often the first choice for financing, offering lower interest rates and higher loan amounts. However, for young veterinary practices, alternative lenders may be more accessible, providing secured or unsecured loans tailored to individual circumstances. These loans can be short or long-term, offering flexibility for business needs.

Tax and VAT loans for veterinary practices 

Tax loans are helpful for many startup businesses as they can help you to spread the cost of quarterly VAT and annual tax demands by allowing you to pay them off with manageable, affordable monthly payments in turn, helping your cash flow. These types of loans are becoming increasingly popular amongst many companies all over the UK. 

Action Plan

Tax and VAT loans offer startup businesses the flexibility to manage quarterly VAT and annual tax payments by spreading the costs into manageable monthly payments. This helps improve cash flow and is increasingly popular among companies across the UK.

Credit cards for your practice

You need to start somewhere with the credit of your business. You can build up your business’ overall credit by getting a business credit card. This can be helpful to you as business credit limits are often a lot higher than those for personal use and when used correctly, it can help you build the credit for your business. Many credit providers also offer cash back and reward points that can benefit you and your business. Keep in mind that this will only work well for you and your veterinary practice if you keep up with your credit repayments. 

Action Point

Utilizing a business credit card can be a valuable tool for establishing and building your practice’s credit. Business credit cards often offer higher credit limits than personal cards and can earn rewards or cash back, providing additional benefits. However, it’s crucial to maintain timely repayments to ensure the effectiveness of this credit-building strategy for your veterinary practice.

Hire purchase

Hire purchase will allow you outright ownership of the given asset and also allows you to spread the cost over time at a manageable rate that suits you. This is a great option for capital preservation, it means you do not have to buy any equipment outright and any existing funds you have can be used elsewhere.This also enables an easier cash flow budgeting for your business as repayments are fixed.

Hire purchase also means that you get outright ownership of the goods on completion of the agreement. It is important to note that interest charge can be offset against profits for taxation.

Action Point

Hire purchase offers outright ownership of assets while spreading costs over time, preserving capital and facilitating predictable cash flow management for your veterinary practice. Ownership is granted upon completion of the agreement, and interest charges may be offset against profits for taxation purposes.

Leasing 

Leasing will allow you to maximise the use of your equipment without the responsibility of actually owning it. If you need more freedom and flexibility, leasing is the best option for you. Leasing equipment, whether it is IT equipment, vehicles or any specialist equipment / machinery, usually with no upfront payments on deposits required. It allows you to have up to date equipment without having to buy it outright while also preserving your capital and staying ahead of your competitors. Leasing will consist of fixed monthly repayments, not only does this mean easier cash flow budgeting but repayments are also tailored to suit your individual circumstances. 

Action Plan

Leasing offers the flexibility to utilize equipment without the burden of ownership. It requires no upfront deposits and provides access to up-to-date equipment, preserving capital and staying competitive. With fixed monthly repayments, leasing facilitates cash flow management tailored to your needs.

Personal Loans

A personal loan is quite different to a business loan. It is a form of borrowing finance that can literally be used for any purpose you deem fit which is both easy and convenient for you as a business owner and allows you great flexibility. As this type of financing is not based on any particular spending, you can use this loan for equipment, rent, designers, staffing or anything you see fit for your veterinary practice. 

Acquisition finance 

Acquisition finance is the capital you need to obtain for the sole purpose of buying another business. Acquisition financing may be the best financing option for you as it provides immediate resources to users that can be applied to the transaction allowing you to meet your acquisition aspirations quickly. 

Action Plan

Personal loans offer flexibility as they can be used for various purposes in your veterinary practice. They provide easy access to funds for equipment, rent, staffing, or any other needs. Acquisition finance, on the other hand, is specifically tailored for purchasing another business, providing immediate resources for such transactions.

Business loans 

Business loans can often be quite timely to obtain however, they are often quite necessary when buying into or starting up a new business. Starting your own veterinary practice will be quite a costly task so one of the first areas of borrowing finance you may want to look for is a business loan.

Be sure to keep a detailed record of your credit history and have a very in depth, detailed business plan, your loan will be highly dependent on it. This loan can be also used for acquisition finance, Buy ins / Buy Outs, capital injection and refurbishment projects. 

Consolidation loans

There are various loan options out there for you based on your individual circumstances. If you are an individual who has a number of existing credit card balances, existing agreements and various other regular finance overhead, a consolidation loan may be the best loan for you. 

Action Point

Business loans are essential for starting or expanding a veterinary practice, providing necessary funds for various purposes like acquisition, capital injection, or refurbishment. It’s crucial to maintain a good credit history and a detailed business plan to secure these loans. Additionally, consolidation loans can help individuals manage multiple existing financial commitments by combining them into a single loan.

Asset Finance 

Asset finance offers funding, usually raised by a third party company, to either purchase or hire the necessary assets you need for your veterinary practice. Asset financing can work in a number of different ways and the terms of your loan will vary and be heavily dependent on the provider you choose. Samera can ensure you the best terms for your assets and equipment finance. 

We know that it is daunting to start a new veterinary practice, especially one with a new name without any existing clients and not knowing whether you will make enough revenue to pay your expenses and turn a profit. 

As an entrepreneur, you are ready to tackle this challenge. You believe in your vision and your drive and that your practice will be successful and with the help of Samera, it will be successful as well as profitable.

If you do not have all the answers to your questions from this article, we have a great team of advisors on hand that can talk to you about your individual circumstances and where you are in your journey of acquiring or starting your own veterinary clinic. This is the first step for you to achieve the purpose, the mastery and the autonomy of owning your own practice. 

Action Plan

Asset finance offers funding options to acquire or lease necessary assets for your veterinary practice. With Samera, you can secure the best terms for your equipment finance needs. Starting a new veterinary practice can be daunting, but with our expertise, we can help make it successful and profitable. Our team of advisors is ready to assist you based on your individual circumstances, guiding you through the journey of owning your own practice. Contact us today to take the first step towards achieving your goals.

Click here to read our article on How to finance a healthcare business.

Business Loans for Healthcare Businesses

We’ve been helping to fund the future of British healthcare businesses for over 20 years and our team are made up of former bankers with decades of experience in the UK’s healthcare lending sector.

You can find out more about working with Samera and the financial services we offer by booking a free consultation with one of the Samera team at a time that suits you (including evenings) or by reading more about our financial services at the links below.

For more information on raising finance for your healthcare business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here, full of articles and webinars like our How to Guide on Financing a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

A Guide to Tax Loans

Tax bills are a recurring expense for all businesses including dental practices that can often take their toll. This is where tax loans come in and help manage this overbearing expense by helping you take control of your cash flow. They also help ease the costs of taxes by spreading the costs of your tax bill into manageable monthly payments. 

The amount of taxation that a business incurs is based on current tax laws that determines their tax liability. Tax liability is the amount of tax debt owed by an individual, business, corporation or any other entity. Tax liabilities are therefore incurred from earning any income from a business, a gain on the sale of an asset, estate or other taxable events. 

When a business’s tax liability is due, as a dental practice, they have to ensure that they have enough cash flow at hand to meet the demand of the tax laws in place. Unfortunately owing tax isn’t an easy debt to get out of. A tax bill cannot be put off until the business itself pays the bill. HMRC do not hesitate in issuing penalties for late or non payments. The tax rules are very strict and failure to adhere to them can become very costly for you and your business. 

In some instances, late penalties are one of the more tranquil consequences that the HMRC gives out. Penalties for late payment or non payment can have very bad consequences on your business. If you default on your payments for a very long time, the interest of your tax bill increases and so does your fines. This could lead to you having to liquidate a company in its entirety or its assets in order to fully pay HMRC what is owed through your tax liabilities. 

It is normal for a business’s cash flow to fluctuate over the different seasons, however, it is imperative that funds are put aside in order to meet tax obligations. However, this is often not always the case. The cash flow may not always be there and unforeseen circumstances do occur to hinder you from being able to pay your taxes. This is where tax loans come in handy for businesses. 

VAT and corporation tax payments come around regularly but they can still be a problem if your business does not have sufficient funds. Tax loans are designed to help manage your cash flow. Tax loans can fund personal tax, corporation, capital gains, inheritance tax amongst other overbearing tax bills you may incur. Tax loans allow you to spread the cost of your tax demand into more affordable monthly payments, allowing you to pay your tax bill comfortably. 

Contact us to find out more

What is VAT funding?

When quarterly VAT payments are looming for your dental practice and there is limited cash in the business to secure paying this bill, access to additional finance is very useful. 

VAT funding enables businesses to pay your quarterly VAT payments over the course of an agreed term (usually 12 months). This will be paid back over a series of monthly payments. This loan provides the liquid funds needed for businesses to settle their VAT bill without provoking any consequences from HMRC. Obtaining this loan will boost the company’s overall cash flow position as well as pay your VAT bills smoothly. 

As a business owner, there are a few things that may be worrisome for you. Owing the government funds can unfortunately often be part of that worry. A lot of business owners are not aware of the options that are available to them when they do not have enough working capital to pay the necessary bills. 

Businesses try to optimise their profits and strive to have working capital to reinvest and take advantage of business opportunities. For this reason, tax loans are becoming increasingly popular. These loans allow businesses to free up cash flow while meeting the demands of HMRC on time.

Forfeiting a tax payment or paying late is something you must try to avoid at all costs. Owing a debt to the HMRC is not something to be taken lightly. Often those who default on their tax payments are dealt with enforcement actions being taken against them. 

Regardless of what your business is, taking out a tax loan can be the financial solution that you need as it will enable you to spread out the cost of your tax bill over the course of  a 6-12 month term helping businesses navigate through the costs of tax while avoiding the wrath of HMRC and racking up late payment charges. 

Why are tax loans useful?

Tax loans are incredibly helpful and convenient to help pay your tax bill on time. On the one hand, it is in your best interest to stay within HMRC’s good graces by paying all your tax bills on time while on the other, you also want to leave yourself available cash for the essential day to day running of your business. Tax loans help you do both, very comfortably. 

Many lenders design your loan specific to your needs, there are loans that are specifically designed to pay tax bills. In some cases, funding a VAT bill can have tax benefits. This is because interest payments are often offset against corporation tax later in the financial year. 

Benefits of tax loans

  • Improved cash flow as well as control of cash flow
  • Easy, fixed monthly repayments
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Easy quick and simple to arrange
  • HMRC receive payments directly and on time
  • Protects existing bank facilities
  • Keeps your bank funding lines open
  • Fixed rates
  • Fast decisions and fast funding
  • Personal service and dedicated account manager 

Many tax loan facilities operate in ways to enable you to receive the funds you need in a simple and timely manner. The main benefits tax loans have to businesses is that this loan will allow their cash flow to remain in their control, lift the weight of their tax bills by spreading out the costs into manageable monthly payments and avoiding any late payment consequences. 

How do I apply for tax bill funding?

As a dental business owner, VAT or tax payments can be detrimental to your business profits. Time constraints are very common, especially when it comes closer to the time to pay your tax bills. This is why the process of applying for funding is quite quick and simple. 

Unlike many other loans, detailed business plans and security assets are not needed, nor is it necessary to make long winded appointments to discuss the security of your loan. Many processes are flexible and quick with great affordability and transparency. 

Tax refund

Loan against tax refund

Taking out a loan against your tax refund is also known as a refund-advance loan. It is a type of secured loan. This means that you need to put up something in this loan to use as collateral. Usually this would mean an asset or an estate but in this case collateral refers to your anticipated tax refund. 

Tax refund loans are short term loans that must be repaid when you receive your tax refund. You will often receive this loan as a deposit into your bank account . When you get your tax refunded, it will be deposited into that same bank account and the loan amount will be deducted from the amount given. Interest and other fees will also be deducted from the amount of tax refund given to you. 

Pros and cons of tax refunded loans

Here are a  few things to consider before you take out a tax-refund loan. 

Pros of tax-refunded loans

Fast funding

When you apply and are approved for a ta-refund loan, the funds are available to you as little as 24 hours after you are approved. Usually the time it takes from your tax to actually be refunded to you is a minimum 21 days. 

Cons of tax-refunded loans

Fees

Unfortunately getting a tax refund loan may often involve paying interest on said loan. This is not the case with all tax refund loans, there are some lenders that are able to give you an interest free loan. However, even with an interest free loan, there still may be fees you will need to pay, for example, administrative fees that are associated with transferring your refund.

High risk 

There are potential risks with this kind of refund loan. The key risk being that the amount of the loan is based on how much you anticipate getting back in the refund. This may not accurately represent how much your tax refund will actually be. There are several factors that could impact that amount you are expected to receive and the actual amount you are given. 

An example of this is that if you owe a state debt such as a student loan or back taxes. These debts will be taken from your tax, therefore, your tax refund will be reduced. This will result in you receiving less funds than you had anticipated when taking out the loan. 

Tax refund loans

While tax refund advance loans can be a helpful and timely option to get the quick cash flow you need, there are many factors you must keep in mind before you decide to apply for this type of loan. 

If you do decide to apply for a tax-refund advance here are a few things we advise: 

Proceed with caution:

These loans can often come with a high interest rate and hidden fees.

Read the terms and conditions carefully:

To allow yourself to make the most out of this loan, you must ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the loan and all the costs in their entirety. This includes any contractually included late fees or any prepaid card costs associated with the loan. 

Contact us to find out more

Corporation Tax Loan 

Corporation tax is the one of the most important taxes your business, however large or small, will pay. If you are unable to pay your corporation tax bill, you will be hit with penalty charges which will increase the longer you default on your payment and will exceed the overall amount you originally owed, fundamentally resulting in you being in a worse financial situation.

Charges begin from the day your payment is late, the interest of the lay payment will also continue to rack up over time so it is important to meet your payment deadlines.

If you are unable to pay your tax bill because the time for paying your taxes has come at a very inconvenient time for you, then a corporation tax loan would be ideal for your situation. It is an effective way to spread your tax demands across monthly repayments that are affordable for you.

What is corporation tax?

Corporation tax is a tax that all limited companies must pay. It is a tax that is payable against the profits the company makes. A corporation tax bill is based on the level of income a business has earnt through trading. It is the income derived from taxable events throughout the tax year such as asset sales. You are liable to pay corporation tax if your business is a member’s only club, a trade association, a limited company, a trade or housing association, or a group of individuals outside a partnership operating as a business. 

The current rate in the UK for corporation tax is 20%. This also applies to any companies you may have overseas but have an office or branch residing in the UK. HMRC usually calculates your corporation tax bill roughly 9 months after the business accounting year comes to an end. 

If your tax liabilities are not paid on time, similar to your business tax expenses, there will be penalties issued by HMRC. If your tax bill is quite high, the business itself could be forced to liquidate completely in order to pay your tax bill. The real truth for many businesses is that they sometimes simply are not in a position to be able to pay their bill which is why corporation tax bills can be very useful. It is important to note that HMRC will not send reminders about your tax bill until you are overdue.

This is a difficult situation to be in, especially if your current available capital does not allow you to meet the demanded amount of the corporation tax bill. Ideally, the best option is to set aside funds during the year to meet your tax bill however, It is normal for cash flow to fluctuate over the year based on different activities. This makes it hard to put a large amount of money aside especially when you have unexpected costs to pay. This is why corporation loans are becoming increasingly popular to help regulate cash flow and pay for a business’s tax bill. 

Who pays corporation tax?

All limited companies are liable for corporation tax. The tax is also aligned to the financial year of the business. However, there are a few exceptions such as when a new business changes its year end accounting date. 

Businesses are bound to pay taxes on any profits the business makes in its financial year. Corporation tax is also due on any money the business makes from investments and any chargeable gains. 

Benefits of a corporation tax loan

Corporation tax loans improve a businesses cash flow which is why they are increasing immensely in popularity amongst many different types of businesses. This added stable cash flow allows businesses to take advantage of this added capital to their business to fund unexpected costs or any drops in income.

A major benefit of a corporation taking a loan is the added cash flow to your business. The loan also helps avoid the risk of high and very costly charges for late or non payment of your taxes. The loan itself will improve the flow of your capital, this means that when your next corporation tax loan is due, you will be in a much better position to comfortably pay the bill. 

Regardless of the type of business you operate, it is possible for you to qualify to apply and receive a corporation tax loan. The loans have various options that are flexible for you and they will enable you to spread your tax bill over the course of several months. You will have fixed monthly or quarterly payments to repay your loan. 

There are a variety of lenders who specialise in commercial finance loans. They are able to design a plan that is flexible and suited to your specific repayment abilities to ensure that you will be able to pay your tax bill comfortably with monthly installments. 

Using corporation tax funding allows businesses to avoid the potentially costly HMRC penalties for late or non payments. You can usually get a decision on your corporation tax loan inquiry within as little as 24 hours in most cases. 

Where to apply for a corporation tax loan

There are a number of lenders who specialise in finance loans specific to paying tax such as corporation tax loans, which gives you many options to choose from. There are various online comparison tools that will be perfectly aligned to the needs of your business. These comparison tools and websites will also help you filter through different loans that are best suited to you with the lowest interest rates. 

Click here to read our article on How to finance a healthcare business.

Business Loans for Healthcare Businesses

We’ve been helping to fund the future of British healthcare businesses for over 20 years and our team are made up of former bankers with decades of experience in the UK’s healthcare lending sector.

You can find out more about working with Samera and the financial services we offer by booking a free consultation with one of the Samera team at a time that suits you (including evenings) or by reading more about our financial services at the links below.

For more information on raising finance for your healthcare business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here, full of articles and webinars like our How to Guide on Financing a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

A Guide to Bridging Loans

What is a Bridging Loan?

Bridging loans are a short term financing option that are quite different from a standard bank loan. They are often used by property buyers to essentially ‘bridge’ the financial gap between the sale of their current home and the final sale of their next property investment. However, these loans can be very helpful in many ways for businesses to use immediate funds to obtain quick capital for their dental practice, integrate cash flow or make necessary refurbishments. They are one of the most useful and viable options when you need to move quickly to buy a property. 

Bridging loans are usually offered between 1-18 months, with the loan repayable in full at the end of the term. An open bridging loan does not have a repayment date, but will still be a short term loan. For example, a 12 month bridging loan must be repaid on the 12th month or before the 12 month period ends. It is in your interest to repay the loan as early as possible in order to save on interest payments.

Bridging loans are very easily accessible and immediate financing which means that they typically have high interest rates and fees. 

What is Bridging Finance?

Bridging finance is a kind of commercial property finance which is usually used by companies and sole traders to quickly fund the purchase of a property. Traditional commercial mortgages often take months to arrange. Bridging finance companies can lend money much faster. This type of funding allows clients to obtain immediate funds to complete the purchase of a property or to bridge the gap between selling and buying a new estate. The loan will usually be secured against a charge of the property you are purchasing. 

How Much Can I borrow with a Bridging Loan? 

The amount that you can borrow is solely dependent on the value and the type of security property that you use. Bridging lenders will quote a maximum loan to value (LTV), this is usually between 65-80%. You are able to get a bigger loan depending on your exit strategy. 

Bridging loans are only meant for short term periods, so attempting to get a very large amount of money through a bridging loan without an adequate exit strategy is quite unlikely. 

Why is Bridging Finance Useful?

Bridging finance is useful for dental practice businesses because it is a loan option that is fast and flexible. This short term property loan option can be approved and released so quickly that it could be done in a matter of days. In many cases, this is a very valuable asset to obtain in the property industry. 

These loans are a highly useful tool for businesses to bridge the gap between two property transactions. Bridging loans are a practical solution for those who need extra time to sustain suitable long term finance. 

Contact us to find out more

What is Bridge Capital?

Bridge capital is temporary funding that helps businesses cover its costs until it can get permanent capital. The repayment terms for bridge capital vary on the individual, but usually payment is made in full when the loan reaches the end of the term. Usually, by this time, the company receives the necessary capital from their investment or a longer term loan. Bridging loans are typically secured on any real estate asset a borrower can offer. This can include commercial or mixed-use properties. 

How do I get a Bridging Loan?

Bridging loans are not widely available and are not offered by a lot of high street banks. Bridging loans are usually highly available from mortgage brokers and advisers. 

Although bridging loans are generally quicker to arrange than a mortgage, do not make the mistake that they are easier because lenders are less thorough. Lenders still make thorough checks of your current finances, the value or your perspective property and your current home. 

How Much do Bridging Loans Cost?

Bridging loans can end up being very expensive because they charge you a range of fees as well as interest. You will be charged monthly interest on your loan. Your lender will not quote the annual percentage rate (APR) as most bridging loans do not even last a whole year. 

You will be charged interest on your loan in 1 of 3 ways:

  1. Monthly interest: This is the most common way interest will be added to your loan. You will pay the interest each month, and it will not be added to the balance of your loan. You will pay off the full balance at the end of the term.
  2. Rolled up interest: This is when you pay all of the interest including your original loan, at the end of the term. The interest will be added each month and accumulated this way, however you will just pay the full amount when your term comes to an end.
  3. Retained interest: Your lender will calculate the amount of interest you will have to pay over the time-frame of your term when you first take out your loan. You will borrow the interest amount from the bridging lender when you apply for your loan including your initial figure. This will cover the monthly interest payments for a set period. You will then pay the loan back and the end of the term including the extra money borrowed for interest payments. 

Exit Strategies for Bridging Loans

An exit strategy is the term used to explain how the bridging loan will be repaid at the end of the term. A strong exit strategy is a vital part of any bridging loan application. It is having a strong exit strategy that makes the process of the loan application faster and lenders to be more flexible with your requests. 

Why is an Exit Strategy Important?

Having a preplanned and strong exit strategy is very important on a bridging finance provider’s checklist. These loans are based on an interest only basis. How you plan to settle the end of your loan at the end of its term is the most crucial part of your loan.

When your term has come to an end, your lender will expect your loan to be paid back in full as agreed. In the case that you are unable to do this, your account will then be put into default. If this happens it could affect your credit record. In order to avoid this situation you will need to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Here are a few options for you:

  • Extend your loan with your lender. This may mean that you will continue to add interest on your current loan if you are near your maximum loan to value. It is also important to note that your lender may not agree to renew the loan. If they do agree, they may charge a higher interest rate in exchange for the renewal.
  • Refinance to a new lender. This option could get very expensive for you as you will have to restart the process and pay all setup costs again. 

Remember that if you do refinance your loan, you still need to consider what your exit plan is for your new loan. Refinancing blindly is a temporary solution, you will just be delaying the inevitable unless you plan a way to properly pay back the loan.

What if I can’t Pay Back the Loan by the End of the Agreed Term?

Bridge loans in their nature are arranged for short term requirements and the lender expects all clients to contractually abide by the terms of repayment within the set time frame agreed. 

Bridge loans, like many other loans, are set up with a set plan to arrange how the loan will be repaid. Usually, the lender will not allow the loan to proceed if there are any hesitations about your ability to repay the loan. 

When you hit the end of your term, you are expected to repay the loan in full. Acceptable exit methods are usually sale of property or refinance. There are a range of different exit strategies that may work for you. 

Loans are a contractual agreement, however, it is inevitable that some loans will overrun the agreed term. The lender will often contact you (the borrower) at least 3 months prior to the end of the agreed term to examine how things are going for you and determine whether you will be able to pay back the loan in time of the agreed term. If the lender believes that it is not likely, they will usually recommend other steps that you can take to ensure that you can get back on track and eventually, you will be able to fully repay your loan.

The lender will obviously want the loan repaid as and when agreed but they will normally work with borrowers who have over run their term only if the borrower is open about their situation and is in continuous regular contact with the lender. This way you and your lender are able to work out a plan to get you back on track together. 

We always recommend that when taking out a bridging loan, you opt for the longest term available as many plans can over run the expected timeframe. 

How Long Can I Take Out a Bridging Loan for?

The average term for a bridging loan is approximately 6-7 months. In different circumstances, longer terms can be discussed and arranged. It is often dependent on how much your loan is for that your term can be extended. 

Are Bridging Loans Regulated?

A bridging loan becomes ‘regulated’ when the loan is secured against a property that is or will be occupied by the borrower. A regulated loan can be secured by a first or second charge, the bridging loan will be regulated by the FCA. 

Bridging loans that are unregulated are usually associated with commercial buy-to-let properties. 

Can I Get a Bridging Loan Without a Credit Check?

No. Like most other loans, bridging finance involves a thorough check into the finances of the borrower. 

Applicants with clean credit history are often more attractive to lenders which results in these applicants receiving favourable rates. However, good credit is not only what lenders look for. There are other aspects and details of your loan that will help you get approved by your lender even though you may have a bad credit history. 

Can I Still Get a Bridging Loan if I Have Credit Issues?

Although thorough checks into your credit history will be taken before you take out your loan, bridging loans can still be available to you even if you have a poor credit rating. Your bridging finance is often determined by the security of the property being offered as well as the exit route. Your lender will also take into account the size of your deposit and the assets you put up as security. 

A lender’s biggest concern is that having poor credit history will prevent you from repaying the loan at the end of the term. It is highly dependent on what you put up as security and what your exit strategy is. If you have a strong exit strategy such as, to sell the property or another estate, then there is a lesser chance to have an impact on you taking out the loan. 

Closed-Bridge and Open-Bridge Loans

What is a closed bridging loan?

A closed bridge loan is for people who have set a fixed date to repay the loan. A closed bridging loan includes a feasible exit strategy as part of the lender’s application. If you are able to produce proof to your lender that you are able to repay the debt as soon as your transaction is completed, then a closed bridging loan is the most effective and sensible option for you. They are defined by the set repayment date and are the most common type of bridging finance option available. Closed loans are usually offered with lower interest rates and have the highest rates of approval.

What is an Open Bridging Loan?

An open-bridging loan differs from a closed bridging loan as an open loan does not require a clearly defined exit route in place to provide to the lender.

Due to the unpredictable nature of repaying an open bridging loan, they are a lot harder to arrange. However, if this is your preferred loan type, it would be in your best interest to be able to provide enough security, so that it is more likely that you are able to be approved for this type of finance. 

What is the Interest Rate on a Bridge Loan?

The interest rate on a bridge loan is generally between 1% and 1.5% per month. That being said, there are some lenders who have better rates than others. Because of this, it is always useful to shop around or use the services of brokers in order to get the best possible deal for your loan. 

How Much Can I Borrow for a Bridging Loan?

You are usually able to borrow from 80% – 100% of the property value purchase price with bridging loans. It is important to understand that all lenders are different and have different terms. If you are looking to borrow more, you may need to offer additional security in the form of an additional property or several other properties. 

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How Much Does a Bridging Loan Cost?

There are four main factors that will impact the cost of your loan and they are:

  • The term of your loan
  • The amount borrowed
  • The lenders agreed interest rate
  • Start up fees 

The general trend with bridging loans is that your costs will generally increase the longer your term is. This is also the case the larger your loan is. 

To minimise the cost of your loan, it will help your expenses if you compare the total cost of borrowing the funds, not simply the interest rate and arrangement fees on their own. 

There are many fees that are charged in addition to the interest and arrangement fee. Different lenders include their own fees. Here are some common fees charged in addition to your interest rates.

  • Exit fees
    These exit fees are payable on repayment of the loan. There are some lenders that do not charge an exit fee where some others charge from 1 to -1% month’s interest.
  • Valuation fees
    These fees are payable for surveyor’s costs in order to ensure your property is suitable security. Some lenders do not require a valuation.
  • Legal fees
    These fees are to pay lenders own legal costs while they are setting up the loan.
  • Admin fees
    These can also be labelled as asset management fees. These are costs that are payable to the lender as they handle the setup of your loan. 

Pros and cons of Bridging loans

Pros of Bridging Loans:

Bridging finance is quick to arrange. Applications can be completed and authorised quickly allowing you to obtain the funds you need quicker than you could with any other type of loan. Many property deals are highly dependent on factors that are rapidly changing within the business. Being able to obtain funds quickly can be a major attraction.

Bridging loans allow you to complete a property transaction that would otherwise not be possible.

You are able to get funds up to 100%. Usually the most you are able to borrow is 80%, however, provided the security put in place is sufficient, lenders will allow you to borrow up to 100%.

Often with bridging loans there are no monthly repayments, this allows the loan to raise capital for your business where cash flow is tight, while you have assets that can pay back the loan. 

Cons of Bridging Loans

Your home / property you put up as security is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a bridging loan. 

There are usually several fees which you will have to pay which makes bridging loans more expensive than traditional mortgages. These fees include an arrangement fee, broker fees, valuations fees and sometimes even legal fees, before you are able to take out your loan. If you are borrowing for a long period of time, the interest charges are a lot more expensive than a standard loan.

As most loans are short term, if you have issues with your repayment method, you could potentially face major issues. Failure to repay your loan at the end of the term could have major repercussions. It could lead to your property being repossessed. 

When Would you Need a Bridging Loan?

When a buyer pulls out on an investment into your property, your finances on the offer of your next home and potential deposits could be put in jeopardy. A bridging loan will be able to tide you over until your home is back on the market and is under offer again. 

Bridging finance allows you to buy a second property before selling the first. 

As long as you can provide your lender a valid exit strategy, the money you obtain for a bridging loan can be used for a variety of business reasons from providing your business with working capital to covering cash flow issues. 

Auctions: Bridging loans allow you immediate funds when you are bidding for properties at an auction.

Bridging loans could also be used if you wanted to buy a property with a short lease. You could use the loan to buy the property, then add value by extending the lease. This would also provide a valid exit strategy. 

Refurbishment projects: You can use residential bridging loans for cash flow to refurbish a property before full capital is available.

What is a Commercial Bridging Loan?

Commercial bridging loans are similar to residential bridging loans, they are used when there is a gap in financing that needs to be filled quickly. 

For a commercial bridging loan, the overall use of the property has to be more than 40% commercial. This means that retail units with residential flats on top or at the back have to occupy more than 40% commercial space of the property.

The exit strategy for residential bridging loans usually include landlord or landlord companies to refinance the loan into a buy-to-let mortgage. This is usually done after the loan is used for renovations to make the property more attractive or suitable for rental.

For commercial units that are bought specifically by using a commercial bridging loan, the exit strategy usually involves selling or refinancing the property on to a conventional commercial mortgage after buying or refurbishing the property.  

What is a Bridge-to-let Loan?

This type of bridging loan is specifically aimed at the buy-to-let market. The loan is used to secure a property that is fully intended to rent out without having a basic mortgage organised. This loan would be based around your ability to obtain 100% rental income. This means that your potential rental income should equal your payments. 

You can use this type of bridge loan for both residential and commercial properties. The exit strategy would be to refinance the property on to a conventila buy-to-let mortgage and gaining capital by renting the property out either in part or fully. 

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Defaulting on your Bridging Loan

With all bridging finance, you have to put up security therefore, defaulting on your loan will not only affect your credit score, but will also put your asset at serious risk. Even though bridging loans are able to be authorised quickly, all lenders are very thorough with background checks and legal rights.

There are a variety of legal options your lender has at their disposal in order to compel you to pay what is owed to them. This not only includes the right to your security asset but could also include county court judgments, or statutory demand letters which would ultimately force your company into liquidation. 

Breaching the Terms of your Bridging Loan

Bridging loans have many terms and conditions that are different to standard mortgage loans.  A lot of lenders are at liberty to insert their own terms and conditions which is why it is imperative to read the fine print carefully before signing all contracts to understand the fees, repayments, charges and when they are all due. 

Click here to read our article on How to finance a healthcare business.

Business Loans for Healthcare Businesses

We’ve been helping to fund the future of British healthcare businesses for over 20 years and our team are made up of former bankers with decades of experience in the UK’s healthcare lending sector.

You can find out more about working with Samera and the financial services we offer by booking a free consultation with one of the Samera team at a time that suits you (including evenings) or by reading more about our financial services at the links below.

For more information on raising finance for your healthcare business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here, full of articles and webinars like our How to Guide on Financing a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

A Guide to Working Capital Finance

What is working capital

Working capital is the amount of available money a business has at its disposal for its day-to-day operations and expenses. Working capital is not the same as the overall value of your dental practice. It is not calculated by adding up everything the business owns.

Working capital is the cash or cash equivalents your dental practice has, or can raise in a year. Working capital is calculated by subtracting the value of the business’s liabilities from its assets. It is essentially the amount of money left over once a practice pays all its standing debts. 

If your dental practice is unable to meet its debts with your existing assets, you may need to apply for working capital finance.

Working capital reflects the short-term financial health of your dental practice, as well as its ability to conduct regular operations. Without adequate working capital, your practice will be unable to meet its everyday obligations. 

For instance, staffing costs, rent on the premises, marketing and taxes should all be covered by the business’s available cash – its working capital. Ant given business should not need to sell off long-term assets or borrow money to meet these responsibilities. Its ability to do so is dictated by the amount of working capital. 

Working capital represents the liquid cash which isn’t tied up in its long-term assets.

The most common definition is; the difference between the business’s current assets and its current liabilities.

Working capital vs cash flow 

Although they are similar, related concepts and are often confused, working capital and cash flow are not quite the same thing. 

Your dental practice’s cash flow is the amount of cash that moves through the business over any given period. It is the amount of money that your business can generate. Cash flow does not take into account your liabilities. Working capital, on the other hand, takes into account all your current liabilities, as well as current assets. 

A working capital ratio is a representation of the financial health of your dental practice as a business overall. It is a broad picture of your business’s ability to pay off debt in the short-term. Cash flow is more concerned with the cash that can be generated. This means you could have a weak working capital but a strong cash flow. Your business is generating a lot of money, you just owe nearly as much as you make.

Therefore, even with a strong cash flow, low working capital can make it difficult to pay your debts off on time. If this is the case, you may benefit from raising working capital finance.

How to Calculate Working Capital.

Working capital is the amount left over once your dental practice has met all of its financial obligations. Working capital can be calculated with one fairly simple equation. 

That equation is: current assets minus current liabilities equals working capital. 

The number left over is the amount of ready cash that a business could feasibly spend without having to sell off long-term assets or borrow money from a financial institution. It can often simply be the value of the entire inventory of your dental practice added to the current bank holdings. 

For example, lets say your business has £10,000 in a business bank account, a customer owes £1,000 and the business’s inventory totals £10,000. Your business has current assets totalling £21,000.

Let us also assume that the business owes £15,000 in total, spread across suppliers, debts and tax bills. 

Once the business has paid off its £15,000 current liabilities from its £21,000 in current assets, there is £6,000 left over as working capital. Although the business could raise more money by selling off more long-term assets, this £6,000 is the amount it can liquidise within a 12 month period. Therefore, the entire dental practice has a working capital worth £6,000.

Current Assets

Current Assets vs Fixed or Long-term Assets

Current assets are not to be confused with the long-term assets of a business. Long-term assets are the assets that your dental practice will expect to keep for longer than 12 months, which could include a lot of necessary dental equipment. They are essential parts of the business that cannot just be sold off to pay the tax bill. They also include assets that cannot be sold off for liquid cash in a year. 

They are sometimes known as fixed assets.

Although a piece of heavy machinery or a company car is an asset to the business, it is not included as a current asset in the working capital calculation as it cannot be quickly sold off for cash. It would also disrupt the day-to-day business operations to do so.  

Long term assets include items such as land & property, machinery & vehicles and intangible, soft assets such as copyrights and patents. Inventory will usually be included as a current asset, since it can often be expected to be sold in 12 months. However, heavier pieces of inventory may not be included and will have to be judged individually. 

Current assets, on the other hand, are the assets which can be, or will be expected to be, sold off or otherwise liquidised within a 12 month period. 

Examples of current assets include:  

Cash and bank balance 

Most businesses have some form of account with a bank or similar financial institution. Most also have some form of ready cash available. This could range from a small petty-cash stash in the office to a locked safe containing thousands of pounds. These are immediate, liquid cash which can be instantly used to fund business operations. 

Inventory 

Certain pieces of inventory are often considered current assets. Whether inventory items will be listed as a current asset or not depends on whether it can be sold off for liquid cash within a 12 month period (or before the end of the business cycle).

For instance, a warehouse full of food can be reasonably expected to be sold within a 12 month period. Therefore, it is a current asset, since within a year you know that your business will exchange those foodstuffs for liquid cash. 

However, the heavy machinery that the business used to process or harvest that food may not be expected to be sold off within that same 12 month period. Therefore, it would usually not be included as a current asset. Likewise, the property your business owns may be its most valuable long-term asset. However, you are not going to sell it off to pay a quick bill. Therefore, it is not considered a current asset. 

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Accounts Receivable 

Accounts receivable are the bills owed to your business (but not yet paid) for goods or services already rendered. For example, if you sell a customer a car and the deal includes them not having to pay any money for the first 6 months, you have an account receivable. This can often include long term dental services that can be billed at the end of a treatment.

Although you do not have the money in your business’s bank account at the moment, it is owed to your business. You may not be able to call it in earlier, but you know that it will be in your bank account in 6 months – unless the customer defaults! 

As long as accounts receivable are expected to be paid within a 12 month period, they are considered current assets. 

Marketable securities. 

Your dental business’s marketable securities are the debts and securities that you can expect to redeem or trade in with a 12 month period. If they are not redeemable within that 12 month period they are considered a fixed asset. They are financial instruments which can be easily liquidated into their market value in cash in one year.. 

Examples of marketable securities include things such as Government bonds and treasury bills, certificates of deposit and stock. 

Prepaid expenses 

Prepaid expenses are the expenses paid by the business before a good is received or a service is rendered. For example, leasing a piece of equipment or office space, or even insurance payments are considered prepaid expenses. 

Prepaid expenses are considered current assets if they are expected to be completed within 12 months. If your business leases a piece of equipment for less than 12 months, it is considered a current asset. If it is leased for longer than 12 months, it will be considered a fixed asset. 

Since the expense has already been paid, this means other working capital can be used for business operations. If you prepay £12,000 for 12 months rent at £1,000 a month, that £1,000 still shows up on the balance sheet. However, since you have already paid it, you essentially have £1,000 extra as working capital.

Current Liabilities 

Current liabilities are the financial obligations a business has that it is expected to pay back within a 12 month period. These are the debts that a business needs to pay back within a year, in other words, the business expenses. Debts that you are not expected to repay within that year are not considered current liabilities, they are known as long-term liabilities. 

Current liabilities are normally paid off using the current assets. Most businesses will have several current liabilities owed at the same time to suppliers and creditors. Most of the everyday costs of operating a business are paid monthly or as needed, and are therefore considered current liabilities. For instance, utility payments for the offices or warehouses, materials and supplies or business loan repayments. 

Examples of Current Liabilities 

Accounts payable

Accounts payable are the debts owed by your business for goods or services that have been already received or rendered. They are the outstanding invoices to your suppliers and vendors that are due to be repaid within 12 months. 

Any debt that is due within that period is considered a current liability. Debts that are not expected to be repaid in a year will not be listed on your balance sheet as current liabilities. 

Accounts payable will cover debts such as supplier invoices, utility bills and invoices from external companies such as legal and marketing services. 

Short term debt

Short-term debt, otherwise known as operating debt, are the short-term financial obligations your business has. Operating debt usually takes the form of short-term loans from a high street bank or another financial lender. They can also be issued as commercial paper. 

These debts are normally taken out to cover short-term operating costs of the business, such as supplies, bills and invoices. If the debt is expected to be paid within 12 months, it will be considered a current liability. 

If you have debt with a loan term of 10 years, that is considered a long-term debt. However, in that final year, it will appear on the balance sheet as a current liability since it is due within 12 months. 

Dividends payable

If your dental practice has shareholders who are paid dividends, they may be included are current liabilities on your balance sheet. Once it has been decided that a certain amount should be paid in dividends to the shareholders, they are considered current liabilities until they are paid. 

Accrued expenses

Accrued expenses are the expenses which the business knows will have to be paid within a year. They are listed as expenses on the balance sheet but have not yet been paid. Therefore, they are considered current liabilities. 

Accrued expenses can cover a range of different payments. For instance, accrued expenses could cover interest payments, including interest for long-term debts, payroll and tax.

Working capital ratio 

It is common for a dental business’s working capital to be expressed as a ratio, the working capital ratio. This is a numerical expression of the financial health of the business. A healthy working capital ratio would be between 1.2 and 2.0. 

Working capital ratios are calculated by dividing your business’s current assets by its current liabilities. For example, let’s say your business has current assets totalling £750,000 and your current liabilities come to £500,000. We divide the two and get a working capital ratio of  1.5. 

If the same business’s liabilities raise to £650,000, the working capital ratio changes to about 1.15. This business is approaching negative working capital, i.e. having more in liabilities than it does in assets.  This business may need to apply for working capital finance to pay its debts.

However, if the liabilities fall to £250,000, the working capital ratio is 3. Although it may appear at first sight that the higher the ratio the better, this is not necessarily the case. With £500,000 more in assets than it does in liabilities, this business has an excess of working capital that it should be using to grow the business. 

What can cause changes to working capital

A dental practice’s working capital is affected by a wide range of different factors. You can expect your working capital number or ratio to change almost daily. 

The most obvious are times when you makes large short-term purchases or sales for your practice. Purchasing new inventory or office supplies will cause your working capital to decrease by increasing the current liabilities. Likewise, selling off property or inventory will increase your working capital ratio by increasing current assets. 

The ratio will also change due to long-term assets and liabilities changing in status. For example, a 25 year mortgage is a long-term asset until the 24th year. In that final year the remainder is expected to be paid within a 12 month period, therefore making it a current liability.

There are also instances where customers default on their debts and you may not be able to bring in the accounts receivable that you had planned on. Changes to markets may also mean that your inventory is subsequently valued at less than you purchased it for. This reduces its value and creates a discrepancy with the balance sheet. 

If your practice is struggling to pay its debts, whether this be due to an increase in the liabilities or a decrease in the asserts, you may need working capital finance.

When you will need Working Capital Finance

Working capital finance loans are those loans taken out by any business including dental practices to cover short-term expenses. They are not taken out to cover purchases of long-term assets or investments such as property. Businesses apply for working capital finance loans when their current assets and cash flow cannot cover necessary short-term payments. 

For instance, a business may take out a short-term working capital loan to cover expenses such as payroll, tax payments, interest payments or inventory purchases. 

In a perfect world, all businesses and dental practices would use their own liquid cash or cash equivalents to cover these expenses. However, if a business has a weak cash flow or insufficient working capital in the form of current assets, they may choose to borrow the money to make payments in the form of working capital finance. 

Alternatively, businesses may not wish to relinquish any of their current assets to pay liabilities and may prefer to borrow money to do so. 

Businesses that experience a high degree of seasonality in their operations, for instance hospitality companies or businesses based in a tourist-centric region can often benefit from working capital finance. If they are unable to cover expenses in their off-season, a working capital loan can allow the business to make necessary purchases. 

Dental practices looking to grow quickly, or in the process of doing so, may also apply for working capital finance loans. 

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The term working capital loan is essentially an umbrella term for any short-term business support loan used to cover business expenses like payroll and tax.

As such, there are several different types of loans and methods of financing that can raise the working capital required to make important purchases and payments.

Options for raising working capital finance include: 

Commercial Loans 

Commercial loans are perhaps the most common form of working capital finance. These are simply commercial loans that have been received from a financial lender such as a high street bank.

Any loan that is intended to be used to make short-term purchases, as opposed to long-term investments, can be considered a working capital finance loan.

Equity Finance

Many dental practices choose to use equity financing to fund short-term payments. Equity finance is when a business sells part ownership of the business itself in the form of shares in exchange for capital. 

Although you can raise a lot of quick capital with equity financing, you will lose at least some control over the operations and strategy of the business. 

Equity finance can be raised in a number of ways. For instance, venture capital investors or business angels will purchase shares in exchange for capital. Similarly, you can float the business publically and offer shares out to the wider public. 

Mezzanine Finance

Mezzanine is a hybrid form of financing that acts as a middle ground between traditional commercial loans and equity finance. Mezzanine finance takes the form of a normal commercial loan that is guaranteed with business equity. 

In other words, you receive a loan in return for regular payments with interest. If you are unable to meet these payments, the lender has the right to receive payment in the form of equity. You will give up part ownership of your business to the lender if you are unable to repay in full. 

Overdrafts

It can be possible to obtain a business overdraft from certain banks and sources of alternative lending.

Overdrafts of your dental practice are, in effect, a form of unsecured loan. However, being unsecured does limit how much you can borrow. You will need to demonstrate a strong credit history and ability to repay loans on time to be able to secure meaningful funding in this way. 

However, should you be able to do so, overdrafts can be a good way to quickly raise short-term capital. 

Revolving credit facilities 

Revolving credit facilities can be another way to raise short-term working capital finance for business growth and necessary payments and are similar to overdrafts. A revolving credit is essentially a line of credit offered to businesses from banks and other financial lenders. 

A certain limit of credit will be agreed upon between the business and the lender. The business in question, i.e. your dental practice can proceed to then borrow anything up to this limit at any time. Interest is charged on the outstanding debt until it is paid. 

Revolving credit facilities are ongoing agreements between creditor and debtor, they are not a fixed loan amount like a traditional commercial loan. 

Revolving credit facilities can be a great way to regularly and reliably raise short-term capital.

Invoice finance

Invoice financing is a way for dental businesses to free up working capital that is currently tied up as a current asset in the form of outstanding invoices. 

When businesses sell to customers, this is often done so on credit. This is especially true for larger businesses who do not expect customers to pay immediately or for big dental treatments that are paid in instalments or after the treatment has been completed to its end. Instead, the customer is issued an invoice and they pay on or by an agreed upon date.

However, since the goods or services have already been purchased, their value is now tied up in that invoice. Until the invoice is paid, that value is absent from the business. 

Invoice financing is a way to free up that working capital by selling the invoice to an invoice factoring company. These companies buy the invoice for a charged percentage. The owed business can then be paid the value of the invoice quicker than if they had waited for the customer to pay on the due date. 

This frees up working capital that would otherwise be tied up as a current asset.

Asset Refinancing

Asset refinancing is a way for dental businesses to free up working capital that is currently tied up in their long-term assets which many dental practices usually have in spades. Through asset refinancing, your business can gain access to some of the cash value of the asset without having to sell it off. 

Refinancing allows you to borrow money against equity in the asset. This means that you can borrow money against assets you do not fully own. Your loan will be valued against the value of your equity. 

When you refinance an asset, you transfer ownership of it to the lender. However, you still maintain the use of it and the lender does not take it away. Once the loan has been fully repaid, full ownership of the asset is returned to you or at least your portion of equity is returned to you. 

If you are unable to repay the debt, the lender takes full control of the equity you laid against the loan. 

Asset refinancing can be a great way to gain access to value currently tied up in your fixed assets, whilst still keeping them in the business. 

Merchant cash advances

Merchant cash advances are a relatively new method of accessing working capital finance. Merchant cash advances allow businesses to borrow money valued against their average monthly profits. The loan is then repaid as a percentage of revenue each month. 

If a business makes lots of transactions using a credit card, merchant cash advances allow lenders to forward money based on the monthly credit card takings. This makes them a great option for retail businesses that have a good cash flow but not that much in the way of valuable assets. 

If your business made £10,000 last month, lenders will usually agree to lend you the same amount. You usually cannot borrow more than you make in an average month as you will be less able to pay the loan. 

Once the money has been advanced, the balance is paid back each month as a percentage of revenue.

Government support

In certain cases and in certain healthcare industries (including dentistry), you may be able to apply for government support to help cover working capital finance for your dental practice.

Many local councils offer financial support and advice to local businesses. It is worth contacting your local council to find out what support and signposting services they offer. You may qualify for a grant or loan directly from them. In other cases, they may direct you to external organisation who may be able to help.

The UK Government is also currently offering help with working capital finance to exporting businesses. The Export Working Capital Scheme aims to help businesses who are operating in the UK but exporting goods outside of the nation by assisting access to working capital finance.

The UK Government will guarantee up to 80% of risk to the lender to help fund pre and post shipment costs.

Click here to read our blog on How to finance a healthcare business.

Business Loans for Healthcare Businesses

We’ve been helping to fund the future of British healthcare businesses for over 20 years and our team are made up of former bankers with decades of experience in the UK’s healthcare lending sector.

You can find out more about working with Samera and the financial services we offer by booking a free consultation with one of the Samera team at a time that suits you (including evenings) or by reading more about our financial services at the links below.

For more information on raising finance for your healthcare business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here, full of articles and webinars like our How to Guide on Financing a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Why Was My Business Loan Denied?

How to make sure a business loan application is successful

Why was your business loan application denied?

If you have recently applied for a business loan and your application was declined, it may feel insulting or demeaning, but the first thing you need to understand is that it is nothing personal. There are several potential reasons for having a business loan denied. 

It is important to note that there are many lenders out there with different lending conditions which means that if you get rejected for a certain reason by one lender, you may get accepted elsewhere because a different lender has different loaning options. There are various options that are available to you in order to improve your chances of getting approved the next time you apply. 

There are many reasons as to why you may have had a business loan denied, the good part is that it is not at a lender’s discretion to explain why. Usually, you will receive what’s called an adverse action letter from the lender explaining the reasons why you were rejected for a business loan. 

There are usually two main factors that lead to lenders denying business loan applications, these are predominantly problems with credit and problems with income. 

Here are some of the reasons you might have had a business loan denied.

Poor credit history

Lenders primarily look at your borrowing history which is reflected through your credit scores. This is because lenders want to know if you are able to pay back the loan, seeing a solid history of borrowing and repaying will put the lenders at ease to know that their loan will be repaid back to them.

However, if you have not borrowed much in the past, your lack of credit history may lead to your loan being declined or if you have experienced complications with repaying loans in the past.

Brief credit history

The length of your credit history is important to show your creditworthiness to lenders. They need to be able to see that you have an established history with credit products. No history does not reflect a good history. No history means nothing to base the fact that you will be a responsible borrower.

If you keep up responsible habits such as consistently paying off your bills with a credit card or any other form of credit, in time your score will reach its full potential. This can help reduce the chances of having a business loan denied.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy will affect your credit rating therefore making it quite difficult for you to get a loan from many lenders. It is also against the law to borrow more than £500 from any lender without telling them that you are bankrupt until you are discharged from your bankruptcy.

Insufficient/unverified income

Lenders look at your work, investments, and other sources of income in order to assure them that you will be able to repay the loan. With some loans, lenders are required by law to calculate your ability to repay the loan through your income.

Even if you have a good credit history, if the numbers do not add up in the end, lenders may decline your loan for that reason. Either because you don’t earn enough to repay the loan or your income cannot be verified with the information you have provided.

Debt-to-income ratio

This ratio is the comparison of how much you owe each month to how much you earn. Most lenders use your own debt-to-income ratio in order to determine whether you will be able to handle the repayments after the approval of your loan.  You may see your business loan denied if the numbers add up and it looks like your business will not be able to handle any new debts.

Collateral

With some loans, you are able to personally guarantee the loan with your lender by essentially pledging a personal asset as collateral that is valued at the same amount of the loan. If you have a poor or brief credit history as well as no collateral, the chances of getting approved for a loan are much lower.

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Too many credit inquiries

You may think that applying for several loans at once with different companies may increase your chances of getting approved, but think again. When you apply for more than one loan or credit within a short period of time, it negatively impacts your credit rating. There is no limit or rule to determine how much credit you can apply for or the number of applications you wish to make however, there are consequences to your credit rating if you are making multiple applications for credit.

Making multiple loan applications also makes it seem like you are desperate for money which does not sit right with a lot of lenders, the argument is that, if you look like you need the loan so badly, you may struggle to repay it. As this will also reflect badly on your credit rating, it will make it difficult for you to receive credit or loans in the future as with any loan that you apply for, the lender will complete a credit check.

Change in income

The figure on your pay check every month does not affect your credit score. But lenders look at your income to determine whether that income will be sufficient enough to repay the loan. Therefore, affecting your eligibility for certain new credit accounts.

Recent late payments

You may be very responsible when it comes to paying your monthly credit card bills and you may have done it for years, slowly building up your credit score, but you had an off month and out of nowhere you accidentally miss a few payments. Unfortunately this can affect you pretty badly. The higher the score, the harder it falls when something occurs to hurt your credit rating. This, in some cases, can hurt your loan application more than consumers who had poor credit to begin with.

Foreclosure

Usually, for conventional borrowers, there is a waiting period of typically seven years after a foreclosure for the borrower to be eligible for another loan. For mortgage loans, the waiting period is a minimum of three years until you will be able to apply for a mortgage, this is three years from the time that the foreclosure case has completely ended.

Other issues

In some instances, you can have a business loan denied for less obvious reasons. This could include mistakes such as submitting an incomplete application, or perhaps a problem with your business model.

Action Points

  • Credit Challenges: Issues with poor credit history, brief credit history, or bankruptcy can lead to loan application denial. Lenders assess your borrowing and repayment history to gauge reliability.
  • Income Verification Problems: Insufficient or unverifiable income may result in loan rejection. Lenders need to ensure your income is adequate for loan repayment.
  • High Debt-to-Income Ratio: If your monthly debt obligations compared to your income are too high, lenders may doubt your ability to manage additional loan payments.
  • Lack of Collateral: For loans requiring collateral, not having sufficient assets to secure the loan can lead to denial.
  • Excessive Credit Inquiries: Applying for multiple loans in a short period can negatively impact your credit rating and make you appear desperate for credit, which is a red flag for lenders.
  • Income Stability Concerns: Any recent changes in income or employment can affect loan eligibility, as lenders look for stable income for repayment assurance.
  • Recent Payment Delinquencies: Late payments, especially recent ones, can significantly impact your credit score and loan application, regardless of a previously good credit standing.
  • Foreclosure History: A recent foreclosure can impose a waiting period before you’re eligible for certain types of loans, affecting your loan application.
  • Application Errors or Business Model Concerns: Incomplete applications or issues with your business plan can also be reasons for loan denial.

I’ve had a business loan denied – What do I do next? 

Having a business loan denied can be disappointing and frustrating but the good news is there are some steps that you can take to get your application reconsidered.

Find out why you were rejected

You need to find out why you were rejected in the first place and also have a lawful right to know. Most lenders will be more than happy to explain why you were rejected and what is required from you to be reconsidered. You have the right to ask the reason behind the rejection within 30-60 days and the lender will be required to inform you the reasons. It is important to note that failure to meet “minimum standards” is not an accepted reason, it has to be a more specific, concrete reason.

It may be a bit soul-crushing reading through a list of why you did not meet a lender’s requirements, but more often than not, it is all about the numbers. The rejection is not personal. You can view the specifics and amend them or change aspects of your lifestyle or business to ensure that next time you will get approved.

Look for errors in your application

You need to thoroughly check through your application, double-check that you have not forgotten to report any source of income or accidentally embellished an additional zero to any numbers.

Review your own credit score

It does not harm your credit score for you to check your own credit. It is a good idea to check in periodically on your credit score to see what is affecting it in a positive or negative way. You are entitled by law to get a free credit report, that way you can see what the banks can see.

Request reconsideration

If you have noticed an error in your application that can be corrected or suspect that you just barely missed the mark to qualify for the loan, it is worth calling the lender to discuss your case. This conversation should be a formal discussion, not you begging to be approved for the loan. How you act affects your image with lenders, go through all the points clearly that you have to get your loan reconsidered and accept whatever their response may be.

In conclusion, these steps might help you convince a lender to reverse their decision as well as improve your application. Unfortunately there is no guarantee however, there are other options out there for you. 

If you have had your business loan denied or you have concerns over your application, contact us today, Our team can help make sure your loan application has the greatest chance of success. We can also advise you on the best alternative funding options for your business if you cannot secure a bank loan.

Action Plan

  • Identify Rejection Reason: Request the specific reason for your loan denial from the lender, as understanding this can guide improvements.
  • Review and Correct Application: Double-check your application for accuracy and completeness.
  • Assess Your Credit: Check your credit report for errors or areas of improvement.
  • Seek Reconsideration: If an error is found or circumstances have changed, formally request a loan reconsideration with the lender.
  • Consider Alternatives: If still unsuccessful, explore other funding options suitable for your business needs.

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