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What is a Factoring Company & How Does It Work?

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A factoring company specialises in invoice factoring (also known as debt factoring) and provides funds to companies against their unpaid invoices.A factoring company buys accounts receivable (invoices) from businesses and releases up to 90% of the invoice amount in as little as 24 hours. By opting for debt factoring, businesses don’t have to wait for customers to pay; hence, the cash flow doesn’t get disrupted. In the meantime, they can use the invoice funds from the factoring company to resume their business dealings. 

How does a factoring company work?

The factoring company pays a large portion of the invoices up-front (typically 70-90%) while the remainder is paid (minus fees) once the invoice amount is collected in full. The factoring company is an expert in collecting and managing invoice payments from customers so you can focus more on your high-leverage tasks. It takes responsibility for collecting payments from the customers.

Why use a factoring company?

Working with a factoring company appeals to a lot of small to major businesses that struggle with cash flow problems. If you are not an SME, but your business has long payment terms with your client,  you can still benefit from working with a factoring company.

If your business is not any of the above and you just need cash assistance, but your business does not qualify for a traditional bank loan, you would want to opt for the invoice factoring option. The probabilities are endless.

Invoice factoring remains an appealing option for businesses because it can get you immediate cash with other advantages like :


  • Quick capital access
  • Flexible qualification
  • No physical collateral is required
  • Saves time and resources

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How much does factoring cost?

There is no standard cost of factoring in the UK, as fees can vary widely based on a range of factors, including:

Reliability and performance of the business – A high turnover indicates the business is performing well and results in better discount rates for factoring. Many factoring companies want you to be trading for at least 6 months to a year and have a minimum turnover to ensure that your business is reliable.

Client’s creditworthiness – The creditworthiness of your clients directly impacts factoring costs.

Niche & industry of the business -Different industries might have different levels of risks associated with non-payment of invoices.

The volume of invoices you are factoring – Factoring larger volumes of invoices usually leads to lower rates because it reduces the risk for the factoring company.

Breakdown of factoring costs

Breakdown of factoring costs

To give businesses a clearer understanding of what to expect from a factoring company, here is a breakdown of the typical costs associated with factoring:

1. Discount rate

The primary cost of factoring is the discount rate, typically ranging from 1% to 5% of the total invoice value.

2. Additional fees

Apart from the discount rate, additional fees might apply. These can include setup fees, service fees, processing fees, or fees for credit checks on your clients. Be sure to inquire about any potential hidden fees before signing an agreement.

3. Creditworthiness and terms

A factoring company considers the financial reliability of your clients to decide the cost of factoring. This is to see whether your clients are reliable enough to pay the pending invoices. Clients with better credit might have lower rates. Moreover, longer payment terms could also affect the cost, as the longer an invoice remains outstanding, the more you’ll pay in fees.

4. Volume & duration

Some factoring companies might offer volume-based discounts or adjust rates based on the duration in which an invoice remains unpaid.

Choosing the right factoring company

There are a lot of options when choosing a factoring company for your business. So how do you know which factoring company is reliable? We have compiled a list of 5 questions that you can ask yourself before making the final decision :

How many years of experience does the factoring company have?

This is to make sure the company is reliable. If the company has been in business for a long time, this is a good sign because it means they have been consistent in their services to be able to still run their business.

What is the advance rate?

The advance rate is the percentage of the invoice value that the factoring company will pay at the start of your contract. Usually, this advance rate is somewhere between 70% and 90%. The higher the advance rate, the more cash you’ll receive.

What are the terms of the contract?

This question is important because you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a long-term contract without even knowing it. Ask if there’s a penalty for ending the term before it ends.

Does the factoring company require a minimum volume of invoices?

Some factoring companies don’t work with you if you have a small number of invoices. A lot of times, they require a minimum number of invoices  For small businesses, this can become a problem if your sales volume fluctuates a lot. 

How do they deal with customers to handle collections? 

Look into the reviews of the factoring company from previous businesses they have worked with. Learn about their process for dealing with unpaid invoices and how they communicate with your clients. Their collection practices must be professional to maintain a good image of your business

Finding the right factoring company is crucial for your business’s success & growth. Simplify your search with ComparedBusiness.

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We at ComparedBusiness are experts in saving your time and money when it comes to invoice or accounts receivable factoring. Just submit your requirements in less than 2-mins and ComparedBusiness will get back to you with Quotes from a list of top factoring companies. You can pick and choose the best option for your business.

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Factoring companies are different from traditional banks because they purchase your pending invoices instead of providing you with a loan. So you do not undergo a debt, and it does not impact your credit score negatively.

 You have to qualify for a bank loan; however, you don’t need to do that to work with a factoring company. You can be eligible for invoice factoring even if you don’t have a good credit score.

If your company deals with late client payments a lot and you think that it largely affects your revenue flow. Then you should go for invoice factoring, as it can be a good financial strategy for your business 

Yes, a factoring agent is just another name for a factoring company. The factoring company buys your pending invoices and provides you with cash in exchange for them. This cash is called the advance rate, and it is usually worth 70% – 90% of the invoice’s value.

It’s hard to compare factoring terms since there is a lot of competition and there are no standard factoring terms. But, a good way to compare them is to look at the discount rate.

For example, if one company gives you 80% of your invoice money at once but charges 2.5% of the total invoice as their fee and another company offers 85% upfront with only a 2% fee, the second company might be the better choice because they give you more money upfront for a smaller fee.

Written by:

Henry Baker
Henry Baker
Henry Baker, an adept financial & business copywriter in England, boasts a decade-long career collaborating with top-tier UK financial institutions. Renowned for his skill in translating intricate finance into captivating content, he's a trusted authority in simplifying complex concepts for diverse audiences.