Unexpected Ways To Use Equipment Financing 

6 min read • Jun 12, 2020 • Ben Glaser

Equipment financing is exactly what it sounds like: a loan to purchase business equipment. It offers numerous advantages to any small businesses that want to expand without depending on existing funds, a line of credit, or a different kind of loan. For one, the equipment you’re purchasing can act as its own collateral in some cases.

The application process for equipment financing is also much more streamlined than the in-person small business loan process. Lendio can determine what you qualify for with a free 15-minute application—and you might be eligible for funding in as little as 24 hours.

Your eligibility will depend on several factors, including your credit score, your business revenue, and the amount of time you’ve been in business. Loans can range from $5,000 to $5,000,000 with terms from 1 to 5 years. Interest rates start at 7.5%.

The most common uses for equipment financing are to procure heavy machinery, like construction vehicles or ranges for restaurant kitchens. But equipment financing actually covers a whole host of items for every small business. Here are some of the less expected, but very useful, things you might pay for with equipment financing:

Office Furniture and Furnishings

Offices are essential for many small businesses, and an empty office wouldn’t be very productive. The list of office furnishings that could be covered by equipment financing is fairly extensive: 

  • Desks and desk chairs
  • Filing cabinets
  • Bookcases
  • Light fixtures
  • Cubicles
  • Rugs or flooring

IT Equipment

Computer equipment might seem small compared to the heavy machinery often financed by equipment financing, but the right hardware is incredibly important for most small businesses—including networking infrastructure. Equipment financing can cover:

  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Peripherals (keyboard and mouse)
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Phones
  • Data center components
  • Server equipment
  • Networking systems
  • VoIP equipment
  • Routers and hubs
  • Backup systems
  • Wiring hardware
  • Conference room technology

Break Room Appliances

Regular breaks contribute to increased productivity and employee wellbeing. Those breaks often include a healthy snack or meal, and employees need somewhere to store and prepare that food. Equipment financing can help keep your employees satisfied with items including: 

  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Coffee maker
  • Refrigerator
  • Blender

Waiting Areas

Client-facing businesses need somewhere for those clients to sit. Comfort can play a big role in customer psychology—something as simple as a warm beverage or the right music is proven to put the person in the mood to buy. Outfit your waiting area with comfort-inducing trappings like: 

  • Water cooler
  • Tea/coffee maker 
  • Aquarium
  • Sound system
  • Mini fridge
  • Television 
  • Sofas
  • Tables

POS Systems

Not all necessary equipment is the size of a tractor—some of it can fit into the palm of your hand. Point-of-sale (POS) systems are just as important to retail operations as industrial equipment. That includes:

  • Cash registers
  • Tablets
  • Barcode scanners
  • Card scanners
  • Receipt printers

Software

Some equipment isn’t even physical equipment at all! Software may not be tangible, but it is still a necessary purchase for your business operations. Some eligible types of software include:

  • Operating systems
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Accounting and bookkeeping software
  • Asset management software
  • Invoicing software
  • Payroll software
  • Email management and marketing programs
  • E-commerce and shopping cart software
  • Employee scheduling software
  • Time and attendance software
  • Security software
  • Cloud software programs
  • Inventory and supply chain management software
  • Big data analysis and storage software
  • Human resources and talent management software

Facilities Upgrades

Maintenance of and major upgrades to your space can be paid for with equipment financing. And we don’t just mean cutting the lawn or doing simple repairs: you can use equipment financing to make significant improvements essential to your company’s long-term success. That includes things like: 

  • Security systems
  • HVAC systems
  • Parking kiosks
  • Solar panels

Vehicles

If vehicles are essential for your business, they might be covered by equipment financing. That includes:

  • Delivery vehicles
  • Company cars
  • Small electric vehicles (for navigating large spaces like warehouses)

Industry-Specific Equipment

The examples listed above are all fairly broad and could be used by almost any small business. But equipment financing covers industry-specific equipment as well. We’ve already mentioned the restaurant and construction sectors as industries that often take advantage of equipment financing. Others include:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Printing
  • Gyms
  • Auto Repair
  • Manufacturing
  • Landscaping

Equipment financing is a flexible and useful tool—whatever your business’s needs, consider if equipment financing is right for you.

Ben Glaser

Ben Glaser

Ben has almost a decade of experience covering personal finance and business. From 2014–2017, he was blog editor and spokesperson for the shopping website DealNews.com, where he regularly appeared on programs like Good Morning America and Fox and Friends to offer consumer advice. Ben graduated from Harvard with a BA in English and lives in the Hudson Valley of New York.