June 22, 2024
Purchase Order Financing: How It Works, Rates and Terms

What is Purchase Order Financing?

In buy order financing, a financial institution lends funds to a company’s supplier to meet the expenses of a purchase order that a client of the firm places.

P.O. finance providers give advances ranging from 70% to 100% of the order value. They pay the seller, hold onto the money until the buyer pays, then subtract their fees.

Immediately following delivery of the goods, it is not uncommon for a purchase order financing agreement to change into an invoice factoring deal. Later in this paper, we’ll cover P.O. financing and receivable factoring in greater detail.

How Does Purchase Order Financing Work?

How Does Purchase Order Financing Work
How Does Purchase Order Financing Work

A P.O. financing transaction involves four distinct parties:

  • Your company
  • Among your clients
  • Among your vendors
  • A business that finances purchasing orders

Here’s how the P.O. funding process works

  1. You obtain an estimate from your supplier, a purchase order from a client, and you get in touch with a PO financing provider.
  2. The PO finance firm verifies your supplier’s and client’s creditworthiness.
  3. The creditor pays your supplier 70–100% of the purchase order amount if it is accepted.
  4. The order is delivered by your provider.
  5. You send your client an invoice.
  6. The buyer pays the P.O. finance firm (or obtains conditions of payment and you factor the invoice; further information on this process may be found in the factoring section below).
  7. After deducting its costs and the amount paid to the supplier, the P.O. financing firm collects the money, pays the remaining amount to your bank account.

You may also like reading: Purchase Order Financing: What It Is & How It Works

Example of purchase order funding

Assume that Building Contractor Inc. issues a $100,000 purchase order for several electrical outlets that you distribute. You obtain an estimate for $60,000 from your supplier, Electrical Manufacturer LLC. Unfortunately, the cost of those commodities exceeds your available working capital.

  • You make a financing request to a purchase order finance business.
  • The P.O. finance firm reviews the order and examines your client’s credit history and financial history. Next, it applies the same logic to your provider. The loan is granted if the analysis is suitable.
  • Your company and the financier sign a P.O. finance agreement that has the following terms:
    • Financed: 80% of the estimated amount. You have to pay the last 20%.
    • Fees: 4% each thirty days.
  • Electrical Manufacturer LLC receives a letter of credit or vendor guarantee from the P.O. finance business.
  • The items are supplied to Building Contractor Inc. following a 30-day waiting period.
  • You are responsible for the remaining $12,000 after the P.O. finance business pays Electrical Manufacturer $48,000.

Who Uses Purchase Order Finance?

The following markets and business scenarios can profit from buy order financing:


  • companies whose credit history is too short or too negative to qualify them for bank loans.
  • Small business owners that lack the working money necessary to pay suppliers and must finance consumer orders.
  • Businesses having cyclical revenue peaks that require short-term working capital.
  • Businesses of all sizes when they get orders that are exceptionally substantial.
  • startups whose rapid expansion is generating more demands for cash flow.
  • In general, any organization with cash flow challenges and none or limited access to bank finance.


  • Distributors and wholesalers
  • Fabricants
  • Federal contractors
  • Outsourcers, drop shippers, and resellers

Advantages and Disadvantages of PO Financing

A cash-strapped company can gain a great deal from using buy order finance, but like with other alternative financing options, it has a lot of drawbacks when compared to standard financing. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to think about:


  • more easily qualified for than bank loans.
  • P.O. financing does not result in debt and is not a loan.
  • There is no requirement for recurring payments.
  • Not requiring collection management.
  • It is possible for applicants to be accepted who have no financial history or poor credit scores.
  • The client’s and supplier’s creditworthiness—not your own—is what determines approval.
  • Flexible funding option with no long-term obligations; use as required.
  • Personal assurances are not necessary.
  • Following approval, funding is sent out in a matter of days.
  • Permit small business owners to take on new contracts that they would not typically be able to complete.
  • allows working cash to be allocated to other initiatives.
  • ideal for startups, small enterprises, and firms that are expanding quickly.


  • Obtaining 100% finance is difficult.
  • For your clients to be aware that a third party is involved, the cheques must be sent directly to the financing firm.
  • Providers of services are not eligible.
  • When compared to other conventional financial options, it might become costly.
  • It can only be utilized to fund the purchase order for which you have been authorized.
  • A lot of lenders only fund larger orders.
  • Only when your supplier and client have solid financial histories will you be accepted.

What Does Purchase Order Financing Cost?

What Does Purchase Order Financing Cost
What Does Purchase Order Financing Cost

The following are the most common terms found in P.O. financing agreements in the market these days.

Purchase Order Financing Rates

P.O. Funding is essentially an unsecured loan; the discount costs are commensurate with the level of risk associated with each transaction. All the same, the expenses are little when compared to short-term alternative loans.

Amount Financed

Funding advances for purchase orders (P.O.) are given to cover the cost of supplies, usually to the extent of 70% to 90% of the total buy order amount. While extremely rare, 100% financing is not impossible to get.

Funding Speed

When you apply for financing for a particular customer or supplier for the first time, the funding process may take one to two weeks. Relationships that are ongoing and repeatable may finance in a matter of days.

Purchase Order Financing and Factoring

Because factoring is less expensive than purchase order funding, it is highly typical for firms to factor the bills as soon as the orders are delivered. By utilizing the 1 to 3% invoice factoring rates, you can save money in place of paying the usual 3 to 6% monthly purchase order finance costs while you wait to get paid.

This is how it operates:

  1. Factoring begins as soon as the supplier delivers the products and the company issues a bill.
  2. The purchase order financing amount and any associated costs are settled with part of the invoice factoring advance.
  3. The agreement turns into an invoice factoring agreement that is funded until the debtor makes payment.

This tactic helps you avoid cash flow problems and save money by significantly lowering the amount of borrowing costs you must pay.


In the complex landscape of business finance, purchase order financing emerges as a versatile solution. While it comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages, understanding its mechanics and integration with factoring opens up avenues for businesses in need of working capital.


Is purchase order financing suitable for startups?

Yes, purchase order financing is ideal for startups facing rapid expansion and increased cash flow demands.

What industries benefit the most from P.O. financing?

Distributors, manufacturers, federal contractors, and various resellers find substantial benefits from purchase order financing.

How fast can P.O. financing be secured for recurring relationships?

For ongoing and repeatable relationships, P.O. financing can be secured in a matter of days.

Can purchase order financing be utilized for service-related orders?

No, purchase order financing is typically not applicable to service providers.

What distinguishes purchase order financing from traditional bank loans?

Purchase order financing is more easily qualified for, involves no debt, and has no requirement for recurring payments.

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