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calendar    Jan 10, 2024

Recourse and non-recourse factoring: which one is right for your business

Business finance can be complex, and understanding the best cash flow solutions for your unique situation can help streamline operations. Factoring, a widely used method for managing receivables, allows businesses to create a steady cash flow while maintaining operational efficiency. At its core, factoring involves selling your accounts receivable to a third party, a factor, in exchange for immediate cash.

There are two primary types of invoice factoring: recourse and non-recourse. While both these options provide immediate financial relief, they come with different terms and conditions that can significantly impact your business. It’s essential for business owners to understand this distinction when optimizing their cash flow, and we hope this guide can help you better understand factoring as well as the best course of action for your business.

If you are looking for ways to improve your business's cash flow, among other financial benefits, Resolve can help. It's important to note that while not a traditional factoring company, Resolve offers turnkey, non-recourse options for invoice management. This approach helps alleviate the risks and limitations commonly associated with factoring, but we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. 

Let's explore the different types of factoring, see if it might be right for your business, and learn how Resolve can help optimize your cash flow.

Quick overview of factoring types 

Factoring is a versatile financial tool that comes in various forms. Each form is designed to cater to specific business needs, and understanding them can help you make more informed decisions about your cash flow management. Here's a brief overview:

Recourse and Non-Recourse Factoring: The most common types. In recourse factoring, the business must buy back unpaid invoices. Non-recourse factoring transfers the risk of non-payment to the factor.

Full-Service Factoring: This comprehensive service includes managing sales ledgers, collection services, and credit control, apart from financing invoices.

Domestic and Export Factoring: Domestic factoring deals with receivables within the same country, while export factoring involves international invoices.

Spot versus Regular Factoring: Spot factoring allows businesses to factor in single invoices as needed, whereas regular factoring involves a continuous, ongoing arrangement.

Maturity and Advance Factoring: Maturity factoring pays the invoice value at the maturity date without advances. Advance factoring provides immediate cash advances on receivables.

Disclosed and Non-disclosed Factoring: In disclosed factoring, customers are aware their invoices are factored. Non-disclosed factoring keeps this arrangement confidential from customers.

Bank Participation Factoring: This involves a bank and a factor, where the bank provides a part of the financing.

Limited Factoring: A selective form where businesses can choose specific invoices or customers for factoring.

Supplier Guarantee Factoring: The factor guarantees invoice payment to suppliers, improving the business’s supply chain relations.

Reverse Factoring: Tailored for large buyers, this type prioritizes paying suppliers early, often at discounted rates, benefiting both the buyer and the supplier.

Each of these factoring types offers unique features and benefits. While not the focus of our discussion, understanding the diverse strategies available for managing receivables and enhancing cash flow can be helpful.

What is recourse as it relates to selling receivables? 

Regarding receivable factoring, "recourse" refers to a financial arrangement where the original seller of the invoices (the business) retains the risk of non-payment. If a customer fails to pay an invoice, the business is responsible for covering the loss. The concept of recourse helps us better understand the benefits and risks of different types of factoring.

What is recourse factoring?

Recourse factoring is a form of factoring where businesses sell their invoices from their accounts receivable to a factoring company for immediate funds. The 'recourse' aspect means the business must compensate the factoring company if the customers do not pay the invoices. This compensation could involve repaying the advanced amount or providing other invoices as collateral. Businesses often choose recourse factoring for lower fees and favorable terms, accepting the risk of their customer's credit risk and potential non-repayment.

What is non-recourse factoring?

Non-recourse factoring, in contrast, shifts the risk of customer non-payment from the business to the factoring company. When a business opts for non-recourse factoring, it sells its invoices to a factor, which assumes the financial risk of unpaid invoices. This type of factoring provides businesses with a safer option, as they are not liable to cover the costs of outstanding invoices. It's particularly beneficial for companies looking for financial stability without the burden of potential repayment.


Recourse factoring

Non-recourse factoring

Advance Rate

Typically higher, as the risk to the factor is lower

                                                  Often lower, reflecting the higher risk the factor assumes


Lower, due to the business assuming more risk

Higher, as the factor takes on the risk of non-payment

Funding Speed

Usually faster, due to less risk assessment needed

May be slower, as the factor assesses the risk more deeply

Qualification Requirements

Often less stringent, since the risk of non-payment is on the business

More stringent, as the factor must be confident in the creditworthiness of the business’s customers

Risk of Failed Customer Payments

Born by the business; they must cover unpaid invoices

Born by the factoring company; the business is not liable for non-payments

Customer Interaction

Business maintains direct relationship with customers

Factor may interact directly with customers for payment

Impact on Business Credit

Can be neutral or positive if managed well

Generally positive, as debt risk is transferred to the factor

Key differences between recourse vs non-recourse factoring 

Understanding the differences between recourse and non-recourse factoring is vital for businesses considering them as options. A table provides a clear, easy, and concise way to display these differences, so let’s dive in and see how they compare: 

Ultimately, recourse factoring offers higher advance rates and lower fees but comes with the added responsibility of covering unpaid invoices. Conversely, while potentially more expensive and with stricter requirements, non-recourse factoring provides greater security against customer non-payment.

Resolve's offerings align well with businesses prioritizing financial stability and risk mitigation. Unlike traditional non-recourse factoring, Resolve provides competitive fees, flexible terms, and takes on customer repayment risk. These flexible terms make it a compelling alternative for businesses seeking to enhance their cash flow without the constraints of traditional factoring.

Choosing between recourse factoring and non-recourse factoring 

When choosing between recourse and non-recourse factoring, businesses must consider their unique needs, financial stability, and risk tolerance. While both options offer advantages, non-recourse factoring is often the more prudent choice for businesses prioritizing low-risk financial predictability.

Benefits of non-recourse factoring 

There are several significant benefits that come with non-recourse factoring:

  1. Risk Mitigation: Transfering the risk of customer non-payment from the business to the factoring company is particularly advantageous for businesses looking to safeguard their financial health against unpredictable customer defaults.
  2. Improved Cash Flow Management: By receiving immediate funds without worrying about customer delinquency, businesses can better manage their funds and avoid cash flow issues, contributing to more stable and predictable financial planning.
  3. Credit Protection: Since the factoring company assumes the risk, non-recourse factoring can have a less direct impact on a business’s credit rating, a crucial aspect for maintaining a healthy credit history, especially for growing businesses.
  4. Administrative Relief: Non-recourse factoring often includes the factoring company managing collections, which can relieve businesses of the administrative burden and costs of chasing down payments.

Drawbacks of non-recourse factoring

While advantageous, non-recourse factoring is not a perfect solution and comes with drawbacks:

  1. Higher Costs: To compensate for the additional risk, companies may charge higher factoring fees in their non-recourse factoring agreements. Businesses need to weigh these costs against the benefits of lower customer default risks.
  2. Stricter Qualification Criteria: Factoring companies might impose more stringent qualification requirements for non-recourse factoring, considering the higher risk they assume, and may include a soft credit check of a business’s customers.
  3. Potential Restrictions: Some non-recourse factoring agreements may come with certain restrictions or conditions, such as only covering specific types of customer non-payment (such as bankruptcy) but not others (such as disputes over goods or services).

Is non-recourse factoring your only choice?

Non-recourse factoring is a standard solution for managing receivables, but there are other options. Resolve offers an innovative alternative that addresses many of the drawbacks of traditional non-recourse factoring. Unlike standard non-recourse options, which often come with higher fees and strict conditions, Resolve provides competitive, affordable, and customizable financing solutions.

A key advantage of Resolve is its risk management approach. Resolve takes on the entire repayment risk, offering businesses up to 100% cash advance on approved invoices, often within one day. Resolve offers flexible repayment periods of 30 or 60 days, rapid funding, and non-recourse protection for highly competitive fees that cost less than credit card processing.

For businesses looking beyond traditional factoring for a flexible, risk-free financial solution, Resolve offers a strong alternative that supports business growth. To explore how Resolve can help your business’s growth, visit our contact page.


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