Interesting Facts About Factoring

Factoring has been a part of business since the 14th Century and has been considered as one of the best tools for small businesses to raise quick capital. This is known as accounts receivables financing and receivable funding globally. Factoring is when a company sells its commercial invoices at a discounted rate to investors. The investor or factor takes on the responsibility of collecting payment and the risk of a customer being unable to pay. While some of the largest companies have used factoring in the past, it is mostly used by start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses today.

Here are some interesting facts about factoring:

  • Factoring was an early form of banking and has since evolved into its own.
  • In the early 19th century, factoring was mainly used by cotton mills to cover operating costs while they waited for payment for their exports.
  • Walter Heller, the founder of Walter E Heller & Co, is considered an authoritative expert in the field of factoring and has pioneered many of the methods used by today’s factoring companies.
  • was the first online marketplace for business owners to auction their invoices themselves, prior to which they had to sell at the discount rate set by factoring companies. Today, over 100,000 members auction their invoices on a daily basis.


1. What is factoring and how does it work?

Factoring is a financial transaction where a company sells its accounts receivables to a third-party, known as a factor. The factor then collects the outstanding debts from the company’s customers and pays the company an amount equal to a percentage of the total value of the accounts receivables. The factor then keeps the remaining amount as its fee for the service. This helps the company to improve its cash flow and avoid the risks associated with bad debts and delayed payments.

2. What are the benefits of factoring?

Factoring provides several benefits to companies, including improving their cash flow, reducing the risks associated with bad debts, and eliminating the need for in-house collections. Factoring also allows companies to focus on their core business activities and reduces the administrative burden associated with managing accounts receivables. Additionally, factoring can help companies to access funding quickly and easily, without the need for collateral or credit checks.

3. Are there any disadvantages to factoring?

While factoring can provide many benefits, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. Factoring can be more expensive than other forms of financing, as factors typically charge fees ranging from 1-5% of the total value of the accounts receivables. Additionally, factoring can affect relationships with customers, as the factor will be responsible for collecting the outstanding debts. Finally, factoring may not be suitable for all types of businesses, as some industries may have low profit margins or require long payment terms.

4. How do companies choose a factor?

When selecting a factor, companies should consider several factors, including the factor’s reputation, experience, and fees. It is also important to ensure that the factor has a good understanding of the company’s industry and customers, as well as the ability to provide timely and efficient collections. Companies may also want to consider the factor’s level of customer service, as this can impact the relationship with customers and the overall success of the factoring arrangement.

5. Is factoring a common practice?

Factoring is a common practice in many industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and construction. It is especially popular among small and medium-sized businesses that may have limited access to traditional forms of financing. In fact, the factoring industry has grown significantly in recent years, with global factoring volumes reaching over $3 trillion in 2020. As such, factoring is likely to remain an important financing option for businesses of all sizes and industries.

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