Alternative Financing for Wholesale Produce Distributors

Equipment Financing/Leasing

One avenue is equipment financing/leasing. Equipment lessors help small and medium size businesses obtain equipment financing and equipment leasing when it is not available to them through their local community bank.

The goal for a distributor of wholesale produce is to find a leasing company that can help with all of their financing needs. Some financiers look at companies with good credit while some look at companies with bad credit. Some financiers look strictly at companies with very high revenue (10 million or more). Other financiers focus on small ticket transaction with equipment costs below $100,000.

Financiers can finance equipment costing as low as 1000.00 and up to 1 million. Businesses should look for competitive lease rates and shop for equipment lines of credit, sale-leasebacks & credit application programs. Take the opportunity to get a lease quote the next time you're in the market.

Merchant Cash Advance

It is not very typical of wholesale distributors of produce to accept debit or credit from their merchants even though it is an option. However, their merchants need money to buy the produce. Merchants can do merchant cash advances to buy your produce, which will increase your sales.

Factoring/Accounts Receivable Financing & Purchase Order Financing

One thing is certain when it comes to factoring or purchase order financing for wholesale distributors of produce: The simpler the transaction is the better because PACA comes into play. Each individual deal is looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Is PACA a Problem? Answer: The process has to be unraveled to the grower.

Factors and P.O. financers do not lend on inventory. Let's assume that a distributor of produce is selling to a couple local supermarkets. The accounts receivable usually turns very quickly because produce is a perishable item. However, it depends on where the produce distributor is actually sourcing. If the sourcing is done with a larger distributor there probably won't be an issue for accounts receivable financing and/or purchase order financing. However, if the sourcing is done through the growers directly, the financing has to be done more carefully.

An even better scenario is when a value-add is involved. Example: Somebody is buying green, red and yellow bell peppers from a variety of growers. They're packaging these items up and then selling them as packaged items. Sometimes that value added process of packaging it, bulking it and then selling it will be enough for the factor or P.O. financer to look at favorably. The distributor has provided enough value-add or altered the product enough where PACA does not necessarily apply.

Another example might be a distributor of produce taking the product and cutting it up and then packaging it and then distributing it. There could be potential here because the distributor could be selling the product to large supermarket chains - so in other words the debtors could very well be very good. How they source the product will have an impact and what they do with the product after they source it will have an impact. This is the part that the factor or P.O. financer will never know until they look at the deal and this is why individual cases are touch and go.

What can be done under a purchase order program?

P.O. financers like to finance finished goods being dropped shipped to an end customer. They are better at providing financing when there is a single customer and a single supplier.

Let's say a produce distributor has a bunch of orders and sometimes there are problems financing the product. The P.O. Financer will want someone who has a big order (at least $50,000.00 or more) from a major supermarket. The P.O. financer will want to hear something like this from the produce distributor: " I buy all the product I need from one grower all at once that I can have hauled over to the supermarket and I don't ever touch the product. I am not going to take it into my warehouse and I am not going to do anything to it like wash it or package it. The only thing I do is to obtain the order from the supermarket and I place the order with my grower and my grower drop ships it over to the supermarket. "

This is the ideal scenario for a P.O. financer. There is one supplier and one buyer and the distributor never touches the inventory. It is an automatic deal killer (for P.O. financing and not factoring) when the distributor touches the inventory. The P.O. financer will have paid the grower for the goods so the P.O. financer knows for sure the grower got paid and then the invoice is created. When this happens the P.O. financer might do the factoring as well or there might be another lender in place (either another factor or an asset-based lender). P.O. financing always comes with an exit strategy and it is always another lender or the company that did the P.O. financing who can then come in and factor the receivables.

The exit strategy is simple: When the goods are delivered the invoice is created and then someone has to pay back the purchase order facility. It is a little easier when the same company does the P.O. financing and the factoring because an inter-creditor agreement does not have to be made.

Sometimes P.O. financing can't be done but factoring can be.

Let's say the distributor buys from different growers and is carrying a bunch of different products. The distributor is going to warehouse it and deliver it based on the need for their clients. This would be ineligible for P.O. financing but not for factoring (P.O. Finance companies never want to finance goods that are going to be placed into their warehouse to build up inventory). The factor will consider that the distributor is buying the goods from different growers. Factors know that if growers don't get paid it is like a mechanics lien for a contractor. A lien can be put on the receivable all the way up to the end buyer so anyone caught in the middle does not have any rights or claims.

The idea is to make sure that the suppliers are being paid because PACA was created to protect the farmers/growers in the United States. Further, if the supplier is not the end grower then the financer will not have any way to know if the end grower gets paid.

Example: A fresh fruit distributor is buying a big inventory. Some of the inventory is converted into fruit cups/cocktails. They're cutting up and packaging the fruit as fruit juice and family packs and selling the product to a large supermarket. In other words they have almost altered the product completely. Factoring can be considered for this type of scenario. The product has been altered but it is still fresh fruit and the distributor has provided a value-add.

Commercial Loan Calculator Is A Life Saving Tool

More and more people are using commercial loan calculator to easily compare interest rates and payments. It also helps you figure out how much you can borrow and what your payments will be on commercial space.

Commercial loan is very important to businessmen because they can be utilized in several ways to enrich or boost the business' stability. It helps you find the one that will fit the business' needs. Some loans are used to acquire new equipment and others are used to put money into real estate properties for business. In your business, there is no harm in using the calculator for your loans or for whatever reason it is, in getting the loan application.

It can quickly and easily calculate a loan payment; total interest and loan costs. Also, commercial loan calculator is a very useful calculator that calculates not only monthly payments, but also how much interest you'll save by paying the principal earlier than usual on your loan. The calculation is based upon an amortization schedule that tells if you qualify for a new business loan. To give you an example, the calculations go like this, factor in an additional payment on a monthly basis, the yearly or the one lump sum pay-down. In Addition, see a full chart of your amortization schedule broken down month by month to see the reflection of the additional pay-down. You can easily solve this using a commercial loan calculator.

There are several commercial loan calculators available online that you can use for free. But always make sure that you are using the right calculator before starting to make your computations. Mostly, there are online sites that provide definitions of terms for the loan calculator. Using commercial loan calculator, it can really help you know the approximate payments. A lifesaving tool, as they say, the commercial loan calculator is free for your convenience and just by clicking the submit button, the result for the payments will be ready for you.

Besides understanding the basic process of commercial loans, you also have to know the steps you need to take before getting one. First, you have to ensure that you have a good credit score. As one of the principal basis of lenders, your credit rating must be able to persuade them that you're a good candidate for a loan. Also, your business must be able to project a steady cash flow. Lastly, you have to shop for options. Use the commercial loan calculator and try to evaluate the loans they provide. Choose the one which offers the best deal with the smallest interest rates possible.
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More of compound interest formula and other loan calculators visit William Ava's Blog Site click here.

Commercial Mortgages Explained

One typical way for people to acquire business property is to procure a loan, also known as a mortgage. When they are going to be using the property for business functions, the loan will be a commercial mortgage. These types of loans can be used to buy a structure where specialists will operate the business. The other choice is to acquire a house or apartment building that will be leased to other people.

Options for Professionals

Some people may be able to obtain a mortgage with no money down. These people are generally professionals who will use the property to perform services for their clients. Instead of a down payment, these professionals can offer the lender an asset that will be collateral for these 100 percent loans. In these cases, the lenders are offering a secured loan that is less risky for them because they will be able to sell the asset offered as collateral if the borrower cannot make the payments on the loan.

Because there is no down payment required for these 100 percent mortgages, the interest rate will be higher, but these types of loans can be advantageous to those who have not started their businesses yet. These professionals may need to have cash to begin setting up their practices, and they will have the opportunity to do that with no money down.

Mortgages for Other Purposes

The other type of commercial mortgage requires that the property be placed as collateral for the loan. The terms of these loans will be different from the typical mortgage that can have a term as long as 30 years. With loans used to purchase commercial property, the term can be much shorter, a couple of days, or it can also be 30 years. The business owners will make monthly payments just like for their residential properties, but they will, most likely, have a balloon payment after a determined number of years.

For example, if the term for the loan is 10 years, the business owners will make monthly payments for this amount of time. At the end of the term, the full balance will be owed to the lender, called the balloon payment.

Qualifying for the Loan

Qualifying for these loans also is similar to obtaining a loan for a home because the business will need to have a credit check. Although a lower credit score will not necessarily disqualify a business from borrowing money, a higher credit score is preferable for lenders.

What is very important to lenders is how well the business is currentlyperforming. If the business has been very profitable up until the present time, it will be easier for these business owners to receive the money they need to purchase their properties. The lenders may also require that business owners offer them a business plan that will demonstrate how their businesses are going to benefit from the purchase of the property. If the plan can rhow that business profits will increase, lenders can be secure that they will receive the money back that they lend to these business owners, an important factor in deciding whether or not to lend business owners money.

Multifamily Financing Tips

Apartment buildings are hot today. As a matter of fact those who own them benefit from this real estate bear market. If you wonder how's that, just think of the millions of homeowners whose properties have been foreclosed or were forced to short sale their homes. These folks are now renting, they can't qualify to buy another house, at least not for a few years. In the meantime, banks are in no hurry to dispose of the recently foreclosed homes as the government has helped them eliminate their losses (through bailouts). While these homes are sitting vacant for months, if not years, the apartments are getting full and more demand is thus created.

Before rushing in to look for apartment buildings be sure to learn what it takes to qualify for a mortgage nowadays. Skin in the game is a must, there are no 100% loan programs available today no matter what the internet says. Financial strength is also required, the lender must feel comfortable that you'll have sufficient reserves/net worth to cover for the mortgage payments should high vacancy occur or major repairs must be made. And last but not least, it's the background in owning and managing apartment buildings. Owning and managing residential properties is not sufficient experience, yes both are real estate but completely different breeds. For more details on how to position yourself first in line for financing read my past article titled "Reality vs Fantasy in Commercial Financing".

As far as apartment building loan programs there are a few that most seasoned owners/investors are currently taking advantage of. For example, there is a Multifamily Small Loan Program that streamlines the entire loan process for multifamily acquisition and refinancing for loans between $1 million to $3 million ($5 million in major MSAs). Why is this loan so cool? First of all because once you have it you won't need to refinance after a few years. You see, most bank loans have terms of three, five, seven or ten years (with balloon payments and longer amortizations), after which owners simply are forced to refinance. Not with this loan! You get a low rate and save money - and equity - by not having to refinance in the future.

Does it appear too good to be true? No, not really, because as mentioned earlier a substantial down payment (if purchase) or equity (if refinancing) is required. Expect an average of 70 to 80% LTV (Loan to Value) with no exceptions above this limit. Expect to provide evidence of previous multifamily ownership and a solid PFS (Personal Financial Statement). If you're half way there here is an idea. Find a trustworthy partner with whom to join forces, and remember the word "trustworthy".

When it comes to rates while they are low they won't be as low as residential rates. However, the lower the LTV the better the rate. For example a loan with a forty percent equity and a higher debt service ratio will benefit in form of lower rates due to its lower risk. (For a rate quote please contact me). The other difference is that residential loans today tend to come with no prepayment penalties while many commercial loans do. So what should a borrower expect? Up to five years with a penalty determined when the loan is underwritten. Yet, this should not be considered a big detriment unless you plan on selling the property during the next few years. This loan program is best used for those planning on holding on to the property in longer term (more than five years) otherwise, there are better programs for short-term investors.

Properties best suited for this program are those in good to great condition and with high occupancy rates of 90% or above. I see plenty of requests out there for distressed multifamily properties and yes, there are great opportunities in buying and stabilizing such properties. And hard money or private money may be the temporary solution. After the property is fully stabilized it may then qualify for the Multifamily Small Loan Program.

Please try to forget the guidelines from the past decade. Forget the no down payment or little down payment programs. Forget the stated income, no income and no documentation programs. They are fantasy, unrealistic, time-wasting thoughts. They are gone and not coming back for a long time. Seasoned investors know this and that's why they work rather efficiently when they are in need of financing. Their goal is a successful closing and they know what it takes to get there...a viable project and a viable borrower with more than enough proof to provide to the lender.

One last piece of advice. If you're looking to finance apartment buildings in Croatia or Australia or some other far-off land you won't get funded by American lenders. No matter how appealing your project is it won't happen. Why? The problem is one of taxation. If a foreign bank were to make a big loan here in the states, the US government would levy a foreign lender tax of 30% of its interest income. Conversely, an American lender doing a loan in another country would subject itself to a similar tax imposed by the foreign country (check with your tax adviser for more details). There is one exception, however, and that is if an Australian bank starts a subsidiary bank here in the US and the subsidiary makes loans in the US. Generally speaking, if you are seeking a loan in Croatia, save time and energy, and go local.
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The Lending industry is quite chaotic and unpredictable, especially in today's economic environment. Banks will like your deal today and hate it tomorrow. Most commercial loans are originated today as Portfolio Loans. This means the lender keeps the loan in their portfolio for the entire term. So, if they find today they have too many retail centers in their portfolio, they will decide - over night and without a warning - to shift to apartment buildings.

I have a system of shopping for your loan to hundreds of lenders nationwide and target the ones that are currently lending for YOUR particular need. Visit my site for more information at