Unleashing Growth in UK Startups: A Comprehensive Guide to Purchase Order Financing

Capitalising on Opportunities and Mitigating Risks through Effective Financial Tools

3 mins read

Key Takeaways

  1. Purchase Order Financing (PO Financing) is a lifeline for startups grappling with large orders and insufficient funds.
  2. PO Financing isn’t without its challenges, with high fees and limited flexibility among the cons.
  3. Several financial tools can serve as alternatives to PO Financing, such as traditional loans, credit cards, and asset-based lending.
  4. Startups can leverage various providers such as Payitmonthly.uk, Fundingcircle.com, Trade Credebt, and Got Capital for their financing needs.

The Lifesaver for UK Startups: Purchase Order Financing

Purchase order financing in the UK has become an attractive solution for small businesses striving to fulfill large orders without sufficient funds at their disposal. Especially in the early growth stages, startups may encounter cash flow problems that can stifle growth due to expenses such as supplies and packaging.

As detailed in the British Business Bank’s purchase order financing guide, this unique financial solution allows companies to access funds ahead of the delivery of goods. In contrast, invoice financing necessitates the delivery of goods before settling the invoice.

The Mechanics of Purchase Order Financing

The process of obtaining PO financing can differ between financial institutions. However, a standard procedure includes the following steps:

  1. The startup receives a purchase order from a reliable and financially stable customer but lacks the necessary funds to pay suppliers and deliver the order.
  2. The startup contacts a finance company, which agrees to provide PO financing of up to 100% of the supplier’s costs.
  3. The finance company provides the funds according to agreed terms, which the startup uses to pay the supplier.
  4. The startup delivers the order and sends an invoice to the end customer and the PO financing company.
  5. The PO financing company collects payment from the end customer.
  6. After deducting their fees, the PO financing company sends the remainder of the end customer’s payment to the startup.
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Table 1: The PO Financing Process

1Receive a Purchase Order
2Contact a Finance Company
3Obtain Financing
4Deliver Order & Send Invoice
5Financing Company Collects Payment
6Receive Payment Remainder After Fees

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Like any financial tool, purchase order financing presents its own pros and cons that startups must carefully consider. On the positive side, PO financing allows businesses to take on larger orders and accelerate growth, even with limited funds. It’s a quick solution with applications typically approved faster than traditional bank loans. Moreover, the finance company manages payment collections, reducing the risk of non-payment for startups.

Table 2: Pros and Cons of PO Financing

Enables larger ordersHigh fees
Quick to accessLack of flexibility
Manages payment collectionsPerception concerns

On the flip side, PO financing can be quite costly due to fees that typically range between 1.8% and 6%. Additionally, it lacks the flexibility of a traditional loan, as funds can only be used to fulfill the approved order. Finally, a startup’s customers may develop a negative perception of the business’s financial health due to the finance company’s direct involvement in invoice settlement.

Alternative Financing Options

If PO financing doesn’t align with your business’s model or needs, several other financial solutions are available. These include traditional loans, overdrafts, credit cards, leasing and hire purchase, invoice financing, and asset-based lending.

Navigating the Financing Landscape: Provider Insights

There are several financing providers in the UK that startups can consider for their PO financing or other financing needs.

  • Payitmonthly.uk offers comprehensive financing solutions that can help startups meet their growth objectives.
  • Fundingcircle.com provides flexible invoice financing loans for small businesses.
  • Trade Credebt specializes in trade finance and shipping finance, providing another avenue for startups to explore.
  • Got Capital offers a diverse array of funding options for small and medium enterprises.
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By making well-informed decisions and leveraging effective financial strategies like purchase order financing, UK startups can bolster their financial stability, cater to larger orders, and set the stage for successful growth and expansion.


Purchase order financing is a powerful tool for UK startups that helps overcome the challenge of cash flow issues when dealing with large orders. With this finance option, even small businesses with limited capital can take on large, valuable orders, fueling growth and expansion.

The financing landscape in the UK is replete with providers offering varied and flexible finance solutions to cater to the unique needs of startups. By exploring these options and leveraging tools like PO financing, startups can navigate the path to growth with confidence and financial security.

Remember, financial decisions should be made carefully, considering all the pros, cons, and alternatives. It is crucial for startups to conduct thorough research, possibly seek advice from financial experts or mentors, and choose the best option that aligns with their business objectives and growth plans.

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