Have You Kept Up With The Newest Alternative In Business Credit Lines?

OVERVIEW – Information on the ABL asset based lending business credit line . Simplifying

business borrowing in Canada

The business credit line in Canada. Have you kept up with the newest alternative for this key Canadian business financing tool? Its ‘ ABL’… which is the acronym for ‘ asset based’ lending in Canada. Specifically we’re talking about a non bank revolving credit facility. Let’s dig in.

In business it’s all about benefits. So what then is so beneficial about asset based lending business credit? Easier to obtain is frankly one key benefit, given that lenders everywhere, including of course here in Canada have tightened credit standards over the last 4-5 years .

The concept of the credit line is simple – it’s an overdraft allowing a company to enjoy flexibility in the financing of current assets such as inventory and receivables. When banks put such a facility in place they focus on certain restrictions and are structured in such a way that when things go wrong the revolving loan is ‘called’.

While we have identified ABL asset based lending as fundamentally a business overdraft it’s important to realize that it’s a solid tool for a number of different business circumstances.

Those circumstances? They include:

The refinancing of an existing bank line of credit

A Corporate restructuring – this often allows business owners to maintain ownership without seeking additional equity dilution

Acquiring a business or competitor in a merger/acquisition type scenario

High growth situations – ( It’s an irony of business that traditional lenders such as banks steer away from explosive high growth situations – it throws the ratios out of whack!)

Management buyouts utilizing the assets of the company as a key financing mechanism

Another key focus of the ABL business credit line is the ability of the business owner/financial manager to borrow higher amounts than in a traditional bank scenario. Managers of ABL firms have a laser like precision focus on the value of your current and fixed assets. Fixed assets ? Yes, because a true asset based non bank line of credit will allow you to borrow, under one umbrella, against A/R, inventory, and fixed assets that are not otherwise collateralized.

While Canadian banks continue to be the most respected (and liquid) lending institutions in the world Canadian business has simply realized there are other alternatives available when it comes to business credit. (ABL is a lot more popular in the U.S. where it originated, given bank liquidity there is a whole different kettle of fish.)

While we have spoken of a ‘ true’ asset based lending credit line there are some solid ‘ subsets’. They include:

A/R Financing
Inventory Financing
Tax Credit Financing
Purchase Order/Supply Chain financing

These can be singularly considered for any firm seeking business credit, or combined in a number of ways that make sense for your operational and growth needs.

While any type of business is theoretically eligible to be considered for non bank credit lines certain industries such as manufacturing, wholesalers, etc are perfect for this type of business solution.

While we focus a lot on the benefits of the asset business credit line it’s important to note that these facilities are more often than not more costly from a financing point of view. The simple explanation? Non bank lenders borrow from banks… so it’s a higher cost of capital for them. Typically the risk premium is often higher also as companies financed cannot meet the same level of liquidity and meet traditional lender criteria such as acceptable profits, debt to equity covenants, etc.

That cost though is offset nicely by the ability to get approved. Fundamental requirements are your ability to provide monthly financial reporting and acceptable turnover of A/R and inventories. Appraisals will often be required if you’re throwing fixed assets into the mix.

While there is no upper limit on asset based lending typical deals will start on the low end in the 250k range. However, as we have noted, there’s no ceiling in business credit in ABL and it may come as a surprise to many that some of Canada’s largest and well known corporations abandoned traditional commercial banking for this type of credit.

Don’t get caught being up to date on financing solutions that are available to your firm. Seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of delivering solid financial solutions for your firms growth needs.

Author: Stan Prokop – founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial


Originating business financing for Canadian companies, specializing in working capital, cash flow, and asset based financing. In business 10 years – has completed in excess of 90 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations. Core competencies include receivables financing, asset based lending, working capital, equipment finance, franchise finance and tax credit financing.
Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details:


Greg LaBella
7 Park Avenue Financial
Phone = 905 302 4171
Email = greg@7parkavenuefinancial.com