What is Vendor Financing?

Vendor financing, also known as trade credit, is a business loan from a vendor to a business owner, allowing the latter to purchase the vendor’s products/services exclusively.

Vendor financing strengthens relationships between vendors and business owners, as it is built on trust between both parties.

Startups with limited funds commonly use vendor financing to kickstart their business processes.

An Example of Vendor Financing:

An importing company A in the United States regularly imports leather from company B Italy. In order to manage their working capital, company A in the US can request company B for a vendor loan to fund its purchases that company A can pay back after selling the final product in the domestic market.

Types of Vendor Financing

There are two types of vendor financing - debt and equity.

  1. Debt-based vendor financing:

In this case, the borrower agrees to pay an initial discounted price for the inventory. The remaining inventory price, with optional interest, is repaid at the agreed-upon maturity date.

If interest is part of the vendor loan agreement, it is generally higher than the interest rates of traditional bank loans.

However, as a more viable option financing companies like Drip Capital also offer debt-based loans that are similar to a vendor financing solutions to importers in the United States. We've mentioned more on that below.

  1. In equity-based vendor financing

In equity financing or inventory financing, the borrower transfers a portion of its own company's shares to the vendor in exchange for the inventory. The vendor is eligible for dividends and is also rewarded with decision-making power in the borrower’s company.

For reliable and seamless financing, you can check Drip Capital's inventory financing solutions here.

What Is a Vendor Note?

A vendor note is a short-term deferred loan with a maturity period between three-five years. Under a vendor note, a borrower may be subject to specific terms and conditions concerning financial ratios, business practices, or purchasing of other assets.

Vendor financing is commonly provided by B2B service or equipment providers such as security firms, maintenance companies, payroll management organizations, etc.

Benefits of Vendor Financing

Business owners with limited funds and startups often face challenges in raising capital. Bank loans require collateral and have lengthy procurement channels.

Vendor financing eliminates these barriers and enables business owners to quickly secure essential working capital for procuring equipment or consumables.

Since they secure the product and financing from the same vendor, the borrowers acquire better terms, ease of access, and lower upfront costs.

They also secure market validation as the vendor sees value in their company and is willing to grant them a loan which boosts their credit history.

From a vendor’s perspective, they increase their sales revenue, albeit with deferred payment.

In cases where a vendor is unable to provide financing directly, the buyer can opt for a purchase order financing solution to obtain required funds.

In specific scenarios, the vendor also receives interest on the deferred payment. The vendor builds strong relationships with business owners, which leads to follow-on business and a competitive advantage in its sector.

However, only a handful of vendors provide financing solutions to their customers.

Vendor financing is increasingly becoming an uncommon practice with rising competition and a wide range of easily substitutable buyers.

Nevertheless, fintech companies like Drip Capital have introduced several financing solutions like distribution financing to remedy this situation and aid buyers with their finances.

How Does Vendor Financing Work?

The borrowing company makes an initial deposit with the vendor to enter a vendor financing agreement.

Once the deposit is received by the vendor and the borrower has agreed to their terms, the vendor will make the delivery of the agreed goods. Finally, the borrower will repay the funds plus the agreed interest rate.

Infographic on how Vendor Financing works

Who uses Vendor Financing

Small to mid-size retail buyers and importers of equipments and machinery generally have vendor financing arrangements with their suppliers. However, this arrangement can span most industries.

Drip Capital for Vendor Financing Solutions

Drip Capital offers payable financing solutions as an alternative to vendor financing.

Accounts payable financing solutions is a buyer-led program that assists buyers or importers by directly disbursing funds into the vendor or supplier’s account at a financing cost that leverages the buyer’s credit profile.

This strengthens the liquidity position of the supplier without affecting the liquidity position of the buyer or the importer.

The unlocked liquidity can be used to further business growth.

The Drip Advantage

  • Collateral-free financing Fund sales growth with outstanding trade receivables without collateral.

  • Completely digitized onboarding and disbursing process An automated process ensures minimal manual intervention and quick disbursements to address business exigencies.

  • A personalized service A dedicated account manager to handle all interactions and promptly resolve any issues.


Vendor financing is a valuable solution for business owners looking to secure essential working capital.

This type of financing eliminates the barriers associated with bank loans and provides many benefits, including market validation and stronger relationships with the vendor.

Whether you are a small business owner or an importer, vendor financing is a solution worth considering.