What Is Business Collateral?

Property or other assets that a company might use to obtain a loan are known as business collateral. If a loan is backed by collateral and the firm defaults on repayment, the lender may take the collateral and sell it to recoup their investment.

Most company loans demand collateral of some kind in order to be approved. You will probably pay a higher interest rate or get less favourable conditions if your company lacks collateral that may be used to obtain a loan since the lender will be taking on more risk with such a loan.

What is collateral?

An asset known as collateral may be used by a company to secure a loan. The asset cannot be pledged against an existing debt or have additional claims made against it in order to be used as collateral. The asset cannot be used as security for a loan unless it is owned and controlled by the firm.

In order for businesses to be eligible for certain loan products, collateral is often required. Because the asset protects the lender, you may get loans with better conditions and cheaper interest rates if you can pledge certain assets: If you don’t pay back the loan, they may sell the collateral to recoup their losses.

Real estate is widely used as collateral for commercial loans, and when most people think of collateral, they think of real estate. But equipment, stock, or business receivables may also be used as collateral for loans. The more stable the asset’s value is and the more tangible it is, the closer it is to cash and the greater security it provides the lender.

How collateral works with business loans

When you apply for a business loan, you must inform the lender whether you plan to use collateral to secure the loan and, if so, whose assets. Whether it’s an office, a storefront, a warehouse, a car, or some other piece of equipment, your company must own this property.

If you’re seeking for a loan to buy one of these assets, your loan will almost certainly be secured by the item you’re buying (unless the lender asks for collateral on top of the asset being purchased).

You will then be forced to sign a lien agreement while you are signing the loan paperwork, thus granting the lender a claim on the collateral used to secure the loan. The lender may seek to foreclose on the collateral and then sell it to reclaim any unpaid loan amount if your company subsequently fails on the obligation.

Your company will get any remaining funds if any once the lender sells the collateral (though there often isn’t any after the lender recovers legal costs, accumulated interest, and penalties).

The lender’s only option exists if the collateral is the sole thing holding the loan in place. But the majority of small company owners also have to personally guarantee business loans. This implies that if the lender doesn’t get their whole money back after seizing and selling the collateral for your firm, they may sue you personally for the unpaid amount.

What qualifies as collateral?

An asset must be owned and under the control of your company in order to be considered as strong collateral for a business loan. It must also be in excellent functioning shape, have a trustworthy value, and be free of any claims made against it by other lenders or other parties.

Common examples of collateral for business loans include the following:

Real estate:

Although it may sometimes refer to residential property being utilised for development or as a rental property, this is most often an office, shop, warehouse, or other facility.


Retailers often borrow against their inventory, and in order for their lender to make sure their loan is still adequately collateralized, they must regularly supply the lender with updated inventory listings. The merchant may need to pay off their debt if they have sold all of their goods without replenishing it.


This may apply to commercial cars, large machinery like cranes, office supplies, and even furniture.


A receivable is money that a client owes you for services or goods you’ve previously provided. Lenders often accept receivables that are less than 90 days old as good security since they see them similarly to cash.

Typically, you need to use some kind of collateral to get business loans. A signature line of credit is one example of a loan where the only security is a personal guarantee from the borrower. However, these loans are very uncommon and are often only offered to a lender’s favoured clients, who frequently have high net worth or high earnings.

How much collateral do you need?

Your credit history, the sector in which your company operates, how you plan to utilize the loan profits, and other considerations will all affect how much collateral you need to get a loan. These elements aid a lender’s assessment of a loan’s general safety and the chance that you will return it. Typically, lenders won’t lend more than 80% of an asset’s worth to protect themselves in the event that the asset’s value drops or they have to seize and sell it in a fire sale.

The quantity of collateral your company requires depends on how much you want to borrow since lenders won’t loan more than 80% of the value of the collateral. Typically, you must provide collateral that is at least 25% more in value than the loan you need. Therefore, if you wish to borrow $100, you need prepare to put up collateral worth at least $125 as security.

However, the loan may represent a bigger risk for the lender and call for more security if you have poor credit, have defaulted on a loan, have filed for bankruptcy, or operate a high-risk company.

Collateral is not required by all lenders. Check out our review of Rapid Finance to find out more about lenders that provide business loans without requiring collateral.

What types of business financing require collateral?

Nearly every company financing calls for a type of security. The kind and quantity of collateral needed varies depending on the kind of loan, your business’s credit history, and its sector.

There are very few company loan kinds that don’t demand some sort of security. One category that doesn’t need collateral is credit cards, however applicants with poor credit who need to start with secured cards may still need it. Unsecured lines of credit are the only other regular business loan that doesn’t need collateral, although they sometimes have higher interest rates than other secured alternatives and are frequently only accessible to the lender’s favoured clients.

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