Operating leasing or loan - what is more profitable?

Service Business

The form of financing the entrepreneur chooses depends on many factors - the size of the company, the purpose of the investment, industry, cost, etc. The most popular ones still include credit and operating leasing, but recently it is often heard that the latter is more profitable. Is it really so? The answer is not obvious, but surely each of these forms has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Operational leasing - features

In this form of financing, the subject of the lease is classified as the lessor's property, and it is also required to make depreciation. The lessee includes in his tax deductible costs leasing installments, initial payment and costs related to the operation of the leased asset.

After the expiry of the lease agreement, the entrepreneur has the right to buy the leased asset. In such a situation, it becomes his property. What can be covered by an operating lease agreement? These can be new and used movable goods, means of transport, machines, devices, computer and electronic equipment and real estate (plots of land, buildings).

It is worth noting that operational leasing is more tax-profitable for entrepreneurs than the second type of this form of financing - financial leasing.

Features of the loan

A loan is the basic form of financing for most companies in Poland. The vast majority of banks offer financial products intended for entrepreneurs, but it takes some time to find a solution tailored to the company's current investment needs.

The loans include working capital and investment loans. The first of them are used to ensure liquidity in the day-to-day operations of the company (i.e. to settle receivables on time). Therefore, it is rather the latter that may compete with leasing.

The investment loan may be used for the purchase of fixed assets, construction and expansion, improvement of production capacity, purchase of patents, licenses, acquisitions of other enterprises and for any purpose.

The loan application process is complicated. You should take into account the necessity to prepare a large number of documents, opinions, certificates and statements. What's more - some of them cannot be older than a month. In addition, the bank may require a business plan.

In addition, each bank tests its creditworthiness on the basis of the documents it requires. It depends on the amount of the loan and how long it will be granted. It is assumed that the maximum loan period is 120 months (it may be extended). In addition, you should take into account the necessity to make a relatively high own contribution (usually 20-30% of the investment value) and to secure the loan, e.g. with a mortgage. Nevertheless, the undoubted advantage of the loan is the fact that the purchased item becomes the property of the borrower, not the bank.

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Loan and operating lease - comparison

It should be noted that leasing and credit cannot be considered as completely substitutable financial products. This is due to the fact that each of them has a completely different function. Leasing is intended for companies that want to purchase equipment intended for consumption. On the other hand, a loan, due to the longer financing period, will be better when buying a property. Therefore, when considering which option to choose, the entrepreneur should first of all define what his needs are.

Below we present a brief comparison of the loan and operating lease.

Standard Features



own contribution

from 0 to 45 percent

from 0 to 90 percent

financing period

from 24 to 60 months

from 1 to 120 months


not many documents, higher creditworthiness limits

the need to prepare many documents


high, but tax refundable

lower installment, but longer loan period


e.g. blank promissory note

required security - e.g. a mortgage

owner of the item



loss of the leased asset, e.g. by theft

the insurance goes to the lessor, any shortages are paid by the entrepreneur

the insurance covers the outstanding installments, the surplus is returned to the borrower

When is a loan more profitable than an operating lease?

In certain situations, a loan, despite its drawbacks, may turn out to be a better solution than operating leasing.

An example would be the loss or destruction of an item. In this case, the way in which the item is financed is of great importance. In the case of an operating lease agreement, due to the fact that the owner of the property is the lessor, all remaining installments and the redemption fee will become immediately payable. However, in the case of a loan, the loss of the item acquired from the funds obtained from it will not result in the need to repay the entire debt.

In addition, the settlement of VAT on the loan is made on a one-off basis on the basis of the purchase invoice received. When leasing, VAT is added to each leasing installment and thus spread over time.

The downside of operating leasing may also be the fact that leasing companies are reluctant to finance used items, and it does not matter for the bank whether the financed item is new or used.

The advantage of the loan is the right to a one-time, favorable depreciation of fixed assets (except for passenger cars), due to de minimis aid, which is not payable in the case of an item financed by a leasing contract.

Both the loan and leasing have their advantages and disadvantages. While the loan has been known from the beginnings of banking, leasing has been available in Poland for a short time - only for 20 years. It is a relatively complicated form of investment financing, unfortunately much more difficult to understand than an "ordinary" loan. However, taking into account the possibilities offered by each of these forms of financing, it is worth taking an interest in each of them and choosing the perfect solution for your needs.