Like most things in life, a company's options for commercial finance depend on its particular circumstances.
The term also covers a huge range of products, meaning there are plenty of things to consider.
One of the most basic forms of lending to a company is an overdraft on a business bank account.
Clearly accessing finance in this way is only really going to be suitable if the company needs a small amount of money for a short period of time, but their flexible nature means overdrafts are a handy form of credit for many firms.
Bridging loans serve a similar function to business overdrafts in that they provide a solution to short-term cash flow issues, albeit on a larger scale.
Usually, this form of credit will be obtained by a company which is awaiting funds from another source, including longer term loans, and will be paid off when the funds in question have cleared.
Companies looking at medium term financing options may want to consider a term loan - a product which offers a fixed or variable interest rate over a predetermined period of time.
Depending on the size of the loan, the lender may set out terms and conditions which ensure the borrower keeps it up to date about its financial situation.
The lender may also want to specify what the loan can be spent on to help protect its investment.
It is also important to remember the longer the term of the loan, the more interest will accrue over its lifetime meaning the overall cost will be higher.
Another option to consider is asset finance and leasing. In this case, a bank purchases equipment for a company to use in exchange for regular payments. This form of finance can ensure a firm has flexibility when upgrading vital assets.
Looking to the longer term, commercial mortgages allow companies to finance the purchase premises in much the same way a residential mortgage allows someone to buy a house.
As with any form of secured loan, it is important to understand the risks which go along with accessing finance in this kind of way, as failing to keep up with repayments will see the property in question repossessed.
The same caveat also applies to asset-based lending - a broader type of commercial secured loan.
In this case, the collateral does not have to be property and can range from things like machinery and equipment to money owed to a firm by its customers.
Such loans are seen as an excellent way for asset-rich businesses to access finance, especially if they do not have a strong credit history.
Using bond markets, also called debt capital markets, may also be an option to raise cash.
Issuing bonds works in much the same way as a loan, in that the company doing so enters into an agreement to repay borrowed money with interest over a fixed period of time.
There will also be a specified date when the bond matures, at which point the company must repay the full amount of the bond to the investor.
With so many finance options available, it pays to take the time to discover which is going to be best for a company.
Credit history, available assets, the size and term of the loan as well as the reason it is needed will help determine the best form of finance to access.