A contract for payment might include one of the following terms: milestone payments or progress payments. For a lender, these distinctions are critical to securing financing. Milestone payments in a contract are very specific deliverables outlined in the agreement whereby when the milestone has been finished, the customer will pay an agreed amount. Progress payments, on the other hand, only allow for regular percentage payments of the entire contract. For example, on a one-million dollar contract, the customer agrees to pay the business $100,000 a month. The difficulty with this arrangement for a lender is if, for whatever reason, the customer is dissatisfied with the work they will stop making payments. This puts the lender in jeopardy trying to recover any capital advances. Many banks and finance companies will not make a loan on a progress billing contract.
By specifying very tangible work events, for example, the customer can verify they received a product or service outlined in a contract, the finance company can feel satisfied to make an advance on the future payment. By knowing this distinction ahead of time, and negotiating the necessary changes to the contract, it will better guarantee access to outside capital further on down the line.
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