Factoring, receivables factoring or debtor financing, is when a company buys a debt or invoice from another company. Factoring is also seen as a form of invoice discounting in many markets and is very similar but just within a different context. In this purchase, accounts receivable are discounted in order to allow the buyer to make a profit upon the settlement of the debt. Essentially factoring transfers the ownership of accounts to another party that then chases up the debt.
Factoring, therefore, relieves the first party of a debt for less than the total amount providing them with working capital to continue trading, while the buyer, or factor, chases up the debt for the full amount and profits when it is paid. The factor is required to pay additional fees, typically a small percentage, once the debt has been settled. The factor may also offer a discount to the indebted party.