The number one concern most business owners have – especially in the beginning – is how to manage their cash flows. It’s not just about generating the sales – but getting those clients to pay. Pay on time. So you can pay your bills on time. And just because you aren’t getting paid doesn’t mean that your vendors will excuse your late payment. And so we find ourselves in this cash flow paradox of you need money to pay your bills, but what do you do when your clients just aren’t paying you?
The reality is cash flow ups and downs happen in any business and the excuse of your clients aren’t paying you does not bode well with most vendors. You need to be prepared for this and have a plan. The solution is a business line of credit.
For some reason most entrepreneurs do not want to get a business line of credit. Perhaps they’re afraid they’ll abuse the credit available or they need to personally guarantee it. But the fact of the matter is, you will inevitably need it at some point. Here are the two mistakes I see the most when it comes to borrowing money.
Getting a line of credit can be a challenge for many business owners. If you’re a new business you don’t have enough credit established as a business and many banks will deny you unless you personally guarantee the loan. If you’re an established business, but have a lot of debts, you can also be denied the loan. Or If you’re an established business, the banks can question why you need a bank loan now when you’ve been in business for X years already. It can be a red flag to all of a sudden need to borrow money unless you have an expansion or specific tangible purpose.
Typically banks and creditors like to support clients in either the start-up phase or the expanding phase. So getting a line of credit established early on – even if you have to personally guarantee or put up some collateral – is advisable. You can support your business case by citing all the start-up costs that require immediate cash flow (website, advertising, space rental etc) and banks understand that in the beginning there will be more money out than in. Versus, needing money to just survive. The latter is a guaranteed loan denial. So ask for the line of credit application when you’re starting your business! You don’t have to use it, but it’s easier to not use it when you have it, than be denied when you need it.
- Borrowing the wrong way.
Yes, there is a right and wrong way to borrow. The right way includes a nice tax write off! If you borrow money for business purposes, the interest you pay on that loan is TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Yay!
Often what I see happen is entrepreneurs put their SAVINGS in the business and then BORROW to fund their PERSONAL lives. Borrowing for personal purposes is NOT tax deductible. So only use your personal savings into the business if you have enough to cover your personal needs. Otherwise, see point 1 about getting a line of credit.
Note: even if you use your personal line of credit for business purposes the interest is still tax deductible. Either way, you need to be able to support the “business purpose” with a paper trail.
“Behind Every Great Business is a Great Accountant”
For more information on how to keep your business tax efficient, or to get a consultation on whether you are making all the right tax choices for your business, contact Dharna CPA. www.dharnacpa.ca. Info@dharnacpa.ca