For many new businesses and a number of established ones credit can be one of the main things that can keep their business afloat. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to get the type or amount of credit they may need to keep their business going during a start up period, or when there are other issues that make times especially hard. For some they may think they can meet their needs, but may not be entirely certain since they will be stretched so thin. In such cases, many companies may need to acquire a letter of credit. However, in some cases, the bank will not issue one and they must go to a private part or a donor who can secure the letter of credit with their own collateral. This is generally referred to as a standby letter of credit. For many investing in standby letters of credit is a great way to help a new or troubled company.
When one decides on investing in standby letters of credit, it is important that they understand the risks they are becoming liable for. The first and foremost is that if the firm does not pay back the credit, the donor or investor will become liable for the amounts. In addition, if they are not able to pay the loan, then their collateral can and will be taken from them.
For many persons investing in standby letters of credit is worth the risks involved, but rarely do they assume these risks without doing some research on the company they plan to contribute to. A good investor will take the time to go over the books of the company so they can see what the past successes and failures were. In addition, they will pay close attention to the business plan and other financial reports so that they can ascertain the actual health of the business and in many cases, how it got to this point.
Investing in standby letters of credit can be a wonderful way to help a business without actually donating actual money to the operation. It also gives one an opportunity to be a bit more involved in what is going on with the business since in affect they have become a type of business partner in the endeavor. Of course, if unforeseen incidences occur, the loan is forfeited, and the investor loses his money or other assets, then it can be written off as a charitable deduction.