Leasing - Frequently Asked Questions
Leasing is probably the most popular method of financing new equipment today. Virtually any item of equipment can be leased from £250 to several hundred thousand pounds.
Should I pay cash or lease?
You may be able to afford to buy the equipment outright, but before you make this decision you must consider the following:
- All leasing payments are rental payments and as such are an allowable business expense, therefore if a business is making profits they reduce the profit by the amount of the rentals you pay each year which in turn reduces your tax bill.
- Lease payments are the same throughout the lease contract. This means that increases in interest rates do not affect you and enables you to budget your cash flow more effectively.
- Leasing enables you to save your cash for other purchases such as new stock, staff training, advertising, new business opportunities and unexpected happenings.
Do my payments increase if Inflation or Interest Rates rise?
No. Your monthly payment is fixed at the start of the lease and so are unaffected by interest rate rises. This enables you to budget your cash flow more accurately. As inflation rises, because your payments are fixed, the cost of the equipment reduces in real terms.
Are there tax benefits associated with leasing?
Yes. Any business wishing to acquire capital equipment should seek the most tax efficient way when doing this. All lease payments are treated as an allowable business expense and therefore attract tax relief for the full duration of the lease agreement. Your accountant will be able to confirm this and give you a breakdown of the cost savings.
How do I make my payments?
Payments are normally made on the same date each month or quarter. This allows you to budget effectively.
Should I go to my bank?
Using your bank for all your business funding is not a good practise. If you use all your overdraft facilities you leave yourself in a vulnerable position to react to any unexpected needs of short-term borrowing. Your bank may change the interest rate mid-way through a loan or reduce your overdraft facilities, which can dramatically affect the cash flow of your business. Sometimes banks will limit the amount they will lend you without further security such as taking a charge on your home. It is not financially prudent to have all your eggs in one basket.
Do I need to offer security?
No. The "equipment" is the security. You may, of course, have your assets as security for other business loans, overdrafts or mortgages.
Nearly every market sector large or small benefits from leasing, from new start business to large established companies.
How does a lease work?
A lease agreement is a contract between you - 'the customer' and a leasing company. This enables you to use equipment over a period of time on payment of "rentals" to the leasing company. The leasing company effectively "pays" for the equipment from the supplier for you, meaning the supplier gets 100% of the invoice value.
Will leasing mean I have the best equipment?
With leasing, you can have the best equipment for your business - not the cheapest. This effectively means potentially increased profits from offering the best service or product. Many lease agreements can also include maintenance contracts; at the end of the lease agreement it's possible to either own the equipment for a title fee, or upgrade to the latest "must-have.
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