• BLOG
Lane Auth, March 27 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Debt Service Coverage Ratios

Let's discuss one of the most important pieces of buying a business. You have to know you can cover debt service and make money when purchasing a business. Using debt service ratios is the best way to decide whether or not to go through with the acquisition. 

What you need to know first about DSCR:

DSC is a credit metric that’s widely used to understand a business borrower’s ability to service debt obligations using its operating cash flow. DSC is rarely measured in isolation when analyzing a company; leverage and liquidity are usually assessed concurrently. A higher DSC ratio is better than a lower one, with a typical minimum requirement of 1.25x. Many lenders make adjustments to the DSC formula based on their risk appetite and the nature of a financing request.

When buying a business, it's crucial to understand your ability to service the debt and still make a profit.

Here's how you can do it:

1. Thoroughly analyze the business's financials. Look at the profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. It is important to conduct a comprehensive and detailed examination of the business’s financials. This is not a cursory look but an in-depth study to understand the financial health of the business.

Profit and Loss Statements: These summarize the revenues, costs, and expenses incurred during a specific period. They’re crucial for understanding the profitability of the business. \

Balance Sheets: These give a snapshot of a company’s financial condition at a specific moment in time. They show what a company owns (assets), what it owes (liabilities), and the value of the business to its stockholders (owner’s equity). 

  Cash Flow Statements: These show how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents. They reflect how a company generates cash to fund its operations and future growth.

 2. Calculate the Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR). It's the net operating income divided by total debt service. A DSCR of 1 means your income covers your debt exactly. Anything less, you're in the red. Aim for a DSCR 2 or greater.

3. Understand the market. Is the industry growing? Is there a demand for the product or service? These factors will impact your ability to increase profits and cover debt.

4. Negotiate the purchase price. Remember, the lower the price, the less debt you'll have to service.

5. Finally, have a solid business plan. This should outline how you'll increase revenues, decrease costs, and ultimately, service your debt and make a profit.

Buying a business is a significant investment. Do your homework, understand the financials, and plan for success. Thanks for watching and if you need help buying or selling a business, reach out! We’re happy to help!

Written by

Lane Auth


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