Understanding Working Capital

Every small and medium sized enterprise requires a certain amount of working capital to ensure smooth business operations. Working capital is nothing but the equity or funds available to owners to meet their short-term financial commitments and expenditures. Calculated by subtracting the value of current liabilities from the current assets of a business, the available capital stands testimony to the financial health and efficiency of an enterprise, particularly in the short-term perspective.

There are various types of working capital such as fixed working capital, temporary working capital, gross and net working capital, etc. to name a few. Since it is the fundamental building block for any enterprise, working capital is a basic requirement that can never be compromised upon. This is why Working Capital Loans are regular finance products offered by any banking entity, and is the most demanded of loans by small, medium and large enterprises.

Benefits of Working Capital Loans

Working capital loans are short term financing options that are used to cover accounts payables, wages and investments on short term assets. SMEs whose business are reliant on seasonality or manufacturers who depend on traders can opt for these loans until their business picks up or they receive payments. Since working capital loans can be used as the SME deems fit and can be availed for shorter terms, they are extremely beneficial to resolve any immediate financial crunch. Moreover, since these loans are disbursed quickly with fewer documentation requirements, owners can be relatively stress-free regarding daily/monthly expenses of wages, purchases, infrastructure bills, etc. till they can keep their businesses afloat.

Types of Working Capital Loans

Though all businesses are eligible to get working capital loans, finance providers will require business owners to meet certain prerequisites or conditions, depending on the scale of their operations. Traditionally, a security deposit or guarantee is required of them, and the working capital loan offered by lending institutions will significantly depend on the enterprise’s credit repayment history, among other things. However, several NBFCs now provide unsecured loans after an analysis of the business’ books. New-age lenders are now comfortable with extending collateral-free working capital loans to SMEs and even micro businesses.

Some of the most common working capital loans available for businesses are:

1. Short Term Loans
These loans are disbursed at a fixed rate of interest for a fixed payment period, which is usually up to 12 months.

2. Bank Overdraft and Loan Facility
The availability and terms of this type of loan are wholly dependent on an enterprise’s relationship with the lender. For this type of loans, the rates of interest are usually one or two percent above the prime interest rate levied by the lender.

3. Account Receivable Loans
Being the most popular of working capital loans, account receivable loans are most sought out by SMEs. This type of finance is the best choice for businesses requiring equity to meet expenditures such as fulfilling a sales contract, investing in an asset, etc.

Features of a Working Capital Loan

There are several banks and NBFCs in India licensed to offer working capital loans to businesses.  Smart SMEs would thoroughly research parameters like loan tenures, rates of interest, repayment terms, security requirements, etc. before opting for a lender, as this choice will have a lasting impact on the way you conduct business and on larger credit needs in the future.

Loan Eligibility – The number of years the business has been in operation, your CIBIL score and annual business turnover are some factors that will affect the loan eligibility, amount, tenure and rate of interest charged on your working capital loan.

Availing the Loan
– Below are some points that an SME should know before entering into discussions with an NBFC for working capital loans.

1. Most working capital loans are offered for a 12-month tenure.
2. Depending on the loan amount, the scale of business and the kind of lender, an interest rate of 12-16% per annum will be charged on the loan amount.
3. Traditionally, lenders would require collateral from SMEs in return for providing a loan. Even today, some lenders need a guarantee to know that the business they are investing capital into is up and running and if the loan amount will be returned.
4. However, several NBFCs now offer collateral-free loans to help SMEs manage their short-term expenditures without compromising on business goals. But the terms and conditions of the NBFC will dictate the type of loan an SME can avail.
5. Remember, bankers and lenders use the working capital ratio as a quick way to determine a company’s financial health.

Documents & Other Prerequisites – An SME needs to furnish certain documents to confirm the intent of repayment or as a measure of security as per the NBFC’s bylaws. Another prerequisite that business houses may require is to be registered under The Company Act 2013 of India as either of the following:

1. sole proprietorship
2. partnership
3. private limited firm
4. public limited firm

KYC documents, ITR financial statements, VAT returns, etc. are some documents that you will be required to show or upload while applying for a loan.

Choosing a Lender – Since the future of a business, its longevity and its ability to operate efficiently could rest on the working capital loan and the relationship with the lender, it is advisable to choose a reputable lender. Look for lenders who offer simple online documentation, customized business loans and quick disbursal before proceeding with one. It is always safe to choose a well-known lender with a modern outlook and flexible conditions to ensure a seamless experience.

It is clear that a company’s balance sheet indicates the amount of working capital available. This capital, equity or funds meet the necessary day-to-day expenses of every organization and are crucial to an enterprise’s success. Though big businesses are more likely to keep aside abundant working capital to meet their expenditures, startups and SMEs can avail working capital loans to ensure that there are no gaps in meeting expenditures to keep their enterprises running smoothly.

Capital Float is a reputable digital lender with a deep understanding of the unique requirements of a business. Our loan packages are designed to fulfil every short term expense that you will come across.