Introduction Corporations often need outside investment (Corporate Funding), or capital, to grow their company into new markets or regions, to engage in research and development, or to compete. While corporations generally strive to finance such initiatives with earnings from current operations, it is often more advantageous to seek external lenders or investors. Despite the many distinctions across the… Read More »


Corporations often need outside investment (Corporate Funding), or capital, to grow their company into new markets or regions, to engage in research and development, or to compete. While corporations generally strive to finance such initiatives with earnings from current operations, it is often more advantageous to seek external lenders or investors.

Despite the many distinctions across the world’s thousands of enterprises in different industrial sectors, all firms have access to a limited number of funding sources. Companies must raise funds in order to expand and invest in new ventures. In the end, corporations may only obtain money in three ways: via net profits from operations, borrowing, or issuing stock capital. External investors are often used to providing debt and equity money, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages for the company.

Different Modes of Corporate Funding

1. Retained Earnings

Companies exist to make a profit by selling a product or service for a higher price than it costs to manufacture. This is a corporation’s most fundamental source of finances and, preferably, the principal means of bringing money into the company. Retained earnings, or RE, is the net income that remains after costs and commitments have been met. This cash may be utilized to support initiatives and expand the company.

Instead, they are often used to reward shareholders via dividend payments or share buybacks. The rationale for this is that raising money from external investors is generally less costly for a firm, and enticing additional investors via shareholder incentives might prove to be more cost-efficient in the long run. Businesses seek to maximize profits by selling a product or providing a service at a greater price than it costs them to manufacture the items. It is the most basic kind of financing for any business.

After making a profit, a corporation must determine what to do with the money it has gained and how to best distribute it. The corporation may distribute the retained profits as dividends to shareholders, or it can start a stock buyback programme to lower the number of outstanding shares. Alternatively, the corporation may put the money into a new initiative, such as establishing a new factory or forming a joint venture with other businesses.

2. Debt Capital

Companies, like people, may borrow money. This may be accomplished privately via bank loans or publicly through debt issuance. Corporate bonds are debt issuance that enables a large number of investors to become lenders (or creditors) to the corporation.

The fact that the principal and interest must be paid to the lenders is the most important factor when borrowing money. Default or bankruptcy may occur if interest is not paid or the principal is not repaid. However, interest paid on debt is usually tax-deductible for the firm, and interest expenses are normally lower than those of alternative sources of financing. Private bank loans are used to secure debt finance for businesses. They may also raise money by issuing debt to the general population.

The issuer (borrower) issues debt securities such as corporate bonds or promissory notes in debt financing. Debentures, leases, and mortgages are all examples of debt concerns. Companies that issue debt are borrowers because they exchange assets for cash to carry out certain tasks. Following that, the firms will repay the debt (principal and interest) in accordance with the debt repayment schedule and contracts underlying the issued debt instruments. Borrowing money via debt has the disadvantage of requiring borrowers to make timely interest and principal payments. Failure to do so may result in default or bankruptcy for the borrower.

3. Equity Capital

A business may raise money by selling ownership holdings in the form of stock to investors who become shareholders. This is referred to as equity financing. The advantage of this strategy is that, unlike bondholders, investors do not have to pay interest, therefore this form of capital may be obtained even if the first is not profitable.

The most important aspect is that future earnings will be shared equally among all shareholders. Furthermore, equity shareholders have voting rights, which implies that if a firm sells more shares, it loses or dilutes part of its ownership control.

Equity capital is also one of the more costly sources of financing for a company, and it lacks some of the tax advantages that debt provides. Companies may raise cash from the general public in return for a proportional piece of the company’s ownership interest in the form of shares distributed to investors who become shareholders after acquiring the shares.

Alternatively, private equity financing may be an alternative if the company’s or directors’ network has businesses or people willing to participate in a project or wherever the money is required. When compared to debt capital financing, equity financing does not need a borrower to pay interest. However, one downside of equity capital financing is the long-term distribution of earnings among all owners. Additionally, as long as a firm sells more shares, shareholders weaken its ownership control.

4. Other Funding Sources

Except for private equity and venture capital, other funding sources include donations, grants, and subsidies that do not demand a direct return on investment (ROI). They’re also known as “soft financing” or “crowdfunding.” Crowdfunding is a method of generating finances to complete a project or start a business by soliciting modest sums of money from a large number of people. The majority of crowdsourcing is done online.

For start-ups—companies that have just been founded or are in the process of being formed—who are unable to obtain financing via the bond market or who desire to avoid debt or a public stock offering, private equity firms may be an attractive choice. Start-ups need capital to get their operations up and running, to grow, or to do further research and development. Corporations may also utilize a leveraged buyout (LBO) to finance the purchase of another subsidiary by another corporation. Private investors who earn a portion of the company’s stock may also be the most attractive choice.

Each of these choices may be chosen or rejected on the basis of their advantages and disadvantages, and the best option, or the best combination of options, will depend on the kind of company, its present business profile, its financing requirements, and its financial state.

It is practically impossible for a corporation to produce all of the capital it needs for expansion by merely selling goods and services for a profit in an ideal environment. To be sure, as the old saying goes, “money must be spent in order to make money,” and nearly every firm will need to raise cash at some point in order to innovate and expand into new areas.


A company’s key funding sources must be considered in their relative proportions while conducting an analysis. A company’s financial health might be jeopardized if it has an excessive amount of debt. A company may miss out on expansion prospects if it doesn’t take out a loan. For financial analysts and investors, calculating the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is an essential tool for making informed decisions.


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Updated On 8 Jan 2022 6:11 AM GMT
Mayank Shekhar

Mayank Shekhar

Mayank is an alumnus of the prestigious Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Under his leadership, Legal Bites has been researching and developing resources through blogging, educational resources, competitions, and seminars.

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