Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Ways to Finance a New Business


2
Trade Credit

Trade credit is the lifeblood of most established businesses. It works very simply. When you buy parts from a supplier, the supplier delivers those parts with an invoice for the amount due. Because you have an established relationship with the supplier, he doesn't ask you for cash on delivery (COD). Instead, you have a period of time to pay him back without incurring any interest or penalties. That's called trade credit.

Trade credit is based on trust. As a new business, you're at a disadvantage, because you don't have an established track record of paying invoices on time. If you want to win the confidence of suppliers, you'll need to present them with the same credentials you might give a bank: a business plan, collateral, financial statements and other proof that you have your act together [source: Entrepreneur].

One of the greatest advantages of trade credit is that it's interest-free for a fixed period of time, perhaps 30 or 60 days. Even better, some businesses offer discounts if you pay the invoice within a very short period of time, maybe a week or 10 days. As a new business, it might take a lot of legwork and a little luck to secure trade credit, but it's worth it.