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Choosing the right equipment lease

So where are you going to get an equipment lease? Most companies wishing to lease work directly with either a broker, captive leasing company, or independent lessor.

If you're unsure which type of lessor to use, your existing bank or one of your current clients may be able to refer you to the right source. You can also go to other equipment dealers you work with and see if they have a leasing option or if they can recommend a business that does. While brokers are a bit more expensive, it's worth the additional cost because they do all of the legwork for you. That way, you get the best leasing options without having to spend a lot of time.

Regardless of which lender you work with, always perform your own due diligence – even if you have a broker helping you find potential lenders. You should make sure each one can tend to your needs, answer your questions, and provide strong customer service even after you reach an agreement.

Look for a lessor with the most experience. If one has been around for a long time, it's usually a good sign. If possible, see how they've helped businesses similar to yours. For example, if you're in the market for a forklift, see if they've helped other businesses secure forklift leases and learn how that experience went.

And as you would with any major purchasing decision, always check references. Contact prior clients of the lessor and see how each person's experience was from start to finish as well as after the agreement went into place.