Most businesses have an account with a bank. The bank deals with all the deposits (money put into the account) and withdrawals (money taken out). Most banks know that businesses do not always receive money from sales straight away. If you run a sandwich bar in a local trading estate then you might get money straight away when you sell your sandwiches. If you are a business selling electrical equipment to an electrical retailer then you may not get paid straight away when you deliver your goods.
This is a period of time given to a business to pay for goods that they have received. It is often 28 days but some businesses might not pay for 6 months and on some occasions even a year after they have received goods.
A credit card works very much like trade credit. If you buy something using a credit card, you will receive a statement once a month with the details of the amount spent during the last month. You then have a certain period of time to either pay the full amount or a minimum amount.
Most businesses have to buy equipment and machinery of some sort. Many firms have a fleet of company cars which certain staff uses or vehicles that they use for distribution. There are a number of ways of buying these things. The business might go to the bank for a loan, arrange some sort of finance deal with the supplier, and use cash they have in the business or arrange a lease option.
Bank loans are very flexible. They can vary in the length of time that the loan has to be repaid. Loans arranged with a bank that are less than one year are regarded as short term finance. As with any other form of loan there are interest payments to be made and this can be expensive and also can vary.
A share is a part ownership of a company. Shares relate to companies set up as private limited companies or public limited companies (plcs). There are many small firms who decide to set themselves up as private limited companies; there are advantages and disadvantages of doing so. It is possible, therefore, that a small business might start up and have just two shareholders in the business.
Venture capital is becoming an increasingly important source of finance for growing companies. Venture capitalists are groups of (generally very wealthy) individuals or companies specifically set up to invest in developing companies. Venture capitalists are on the look out for companies with potential.
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