What is A Factoring Reserve?

A factoring reserve is a critical component of a factoring agreement, designed to protect both the business and the factoring company by providing a financial buffer. For a UK audience, understanding the factoring reserve helps in comprehending how cash flow is managed and risks are mitigated in the factoring process.


Key Aspects of a Factoring Reserve:

  1. Definition:
    • A factoring reserve is a portion of the invoice value that the factoring company retains when advancing funds to a business. This reserve acts as a security buffer to cover any potential adjustments, disputes, returns, or non-payments related to the invoices.
  2. Purpose:
    • Risk Mitigation: Protects the factoring company from potential losses due to disputes, returns, or bad debts.
    • Financial Security: Ensures that funds are available to cover any discrepancies or deductions from the invoices.
    • Adjustments: Provides a mechanism for adjusting payments based on the final amount collected from customers.
  3. How It Works:
    • Invoice Submission: The business submits its invoices to the factoring company.
    • Advance Payment: The factoring company advances a percentage of the invoice value (typically 70-90%) to the business.
    • Reserve Holdback: The remaining percentage of the invoice value is held as the factoring reserve.
    • Final Settlement: Once the customer pays the invoice in full, the factoring company releases the reserve amount to the business, minus any fees and adjustments.
  4. Example:

    A UK-based manufacturing company uses factoring to improve its cash flow. It submits an invoice worth £100,000 to the factoring company.

    • Advance Payment: The factoring company advances 80% of the invoice value, providing £80,000 immediately.
    • Reserve Holdback: The remaining 20% (£20,000) is held as the factoring reserve.
    • Customer Payment: The customer pays the full invoice amount of £100,000 to the factoring company.
    • Final Settlement: After deducting the factoring fee (e.g., 2%, or £2,000), the factoring company releases the remaining reserve amount (£18,000) to the manufacturing company.
  5. Benefits:
    • Improved Cash Flow: Provides businesses with immediate access to most of the invoice value, improving liquidity.
    • Risk Management: Mitigates the risk of non-payment or disputes, protecting both the business and the factoring company.
    • Financial Stability: Ensures that businesses have a predictable and steady cash flow, even when dealing with uncertain payment terms.
  6. Considerations:
    • Fee Structure: Understand the fees associated with the factoring reserve and how they impact the overall cost of factoring.
    • Reserve Release Timing: Be aware of the conditions and timing for the release of the reserve amount to manage cash flow effectively.
    • Contract Terms: Carefully review the terms of the factoring agreement to understand the reserve requirements and any related conditions.
  7. Choosing a Factoring Company:
    • Reputation: Select a factoring company with a solid reputation and experience in your industry.
    • Terms and Conditions: Ensure the terms of the agreement, including the factoring reserve, are clear and favorable to your business needs.
    • Service Quality: Consider additional services offered by the factoring company, such as credit assessment and collections management.


A factoring reserve is a crucial element of a factoring agreement that helps protect against potential risks and ensures financial stability for both the business and the factoring company. For UK businesses, understanding how the factoring reserve works and its implications can help in making informed decisions about using factoring as a financing tool. By carefully reviewing the terms and choosing a reputable factoring company, businesses can optimize their cash flow management and mitigate risks effectively.