Should You Lease or Buy Your Business Equipment
When starting or running a successful business there are many overheads to consider. You will have to pay for staff, premises, and equipment, amongst other things. Business equipment can be one of the most expensive initial costs for a company and cost a huge amount to keep maintained and in good working condition. When you consider your office equipment such as printers, copiers, and computers, you may not have even realized leasing is an option as opposed to purchasing your office gear outright. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of leasing vs buying equipment and help you decide which is the right choice for you and your company.
Leasing a copier, printer, computer, or any other office hardware works much like any other contractual loan you may have taken out in your life. Like a phone contract, for example. During the loan period, you will have sole ownership and use of the equipment and pay a rental fee to the company that owns it. With items like copy machines and printers, you will then pay a fixed price each month. As seen at Flat Rate Copiers, this loan would run for a contractually agreed time, usually, 1-5 years, at which point you’ll be free to extend the loan or order something different. There may also be the option to buy at the end of the contract which can either be mandatory or optional.
Now we’ve explained leasing it’s time to move onto our comparison. So, what’s better: leasing or buying your business equipment? Below we’re going to discuss some of the pros and cons before presenting you with our conclusion.
When considering the initial cost of leasing vs. buying office equipment, leasing comes out on top every time. This is especially important for new businesses or those with low cash flow. Leasing a copier or laptop, for example, could have as little as $0 upfront cost compared with $2-5000 for such equipment being purchased outright. The downside, though mild, is that you will then have a new regular monthly outgoing. This is only an issue if you see cash flow becoming a problem over the following months, and, as you are about to see, these monthly outgoings actually help pay for other benefits…
One of the main issues with owning equipment is maintaining that equipment. Especially if you are a smaller business that maybe doesn’t have its own IT department as of yet. This means when any of your business equipment breaks you’ll need to hire someone to fix it. Though this will rarely be an issue, it could become costly, especially if parts need replacing. When leasing, however, maintenance and emergency repair of the equipment is usually included. When a leased copier breaks, you simply call the loaner company and ask for a repair or replacement – easy! Over the years this could save you a great deal in repairs, spares, and payments to maintenance staff.
Technology moves fast. This is a fact in personal technology and in-office equipment, too. Before you know it, the scanner, copier, or laptop you are using is outdated, slow, and lacking in professional and modern features. Upgrading equipment can be extremely expensive. Think about it, how often do you purchase a new TV, laptop, or another home tech? Not that often. The problem is, with office tech, you need to be as up-to-date as your competitors. Here’s where leasing equipment comes in handy. Say you take out a two-year lease of a copier. At the end of those two years, you simply lease a more modern copier, again with a $0 upfront fee! This is far cheaper and easier than trying to sell your old copier and raise funds for a brand new one.
Finally, let’s talk about taxes. When purchasing equipment as a business you can claim back the standard amount of tax based on your local or state law. However, when leasing, the whole value of your lease can go down as a pre-tax payment. This means your business tax return will be far lower than if you’d purchased the equipment outright. This is, yet again, a win for leasing in our book.
So, what’s our conclusion to the question of whether you should lead or buy your business equipment? We think that leasing is the best option, especially for smaller businesses. Huge corporations with their own tech departments may not need to lease, but it seems a more economical and financial decision for all small-to-medium sized businesses in our book. If you are a new or small company, definitely look for leasing options in your area.