Finance Lease or Operating Lease - What Is The Difference?

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Grip Invest
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Nov 25, 2022
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    Today, companies do not directly incur the cost of financing the asset. Many businesses today choose leasing agreements. Thus, leases are becoming a popular source of alternative investments in India.

    Before we dive deep into the differences between a finance lease and an operating lease, let us first understand the meaning of a lease contract.m  

    What Is A Lease Contract? 

    In a lease, the lessor (the asset's owner) buys the item and grants the lessee (the asset's user) a limited usage time in exchange for regular payments, also known as the lease fees. The lease deed contains a list of the lease's terms and restrictions.

    Types Of Leases

    Now, let us talk about the different types of leases. There are two types of leases: a finance or capital lease and an operating lease. The risk and rewards are also transferred when an asset is passed to the lessee under a finance lease. This contrasts with an operating lease, where the risks and benefits are passed along with the asset.

    An operating lease uses assets but does not want to list them in the accounting records. 

    A finance lease and an operating lease differ significantly. The former cannot be terminated during the primary lease period, while the lessee may terminate the latter.

    Let us elaborate a little more on this. 

    Finance Lease

    Long-term, non-cancellable leases are known as finance leases or capital leases. It is less of a lease and more of a financial arrangement. In circumstances other than leasing, a company must borrow money or use its capital to finance its assets. However, if a company's capital is insufficient to purchase the asset, it must borrow money or pursue other options, such as leasing.

    A finance lease is nothing more than the lessor financing the asset while collecting interest on their investment. 

    Operating Lease

    An operating lease is where the lessor buys the asset and rents it to the lessee for a brief and limited term. In contrast to a finance lease, a service lease is one in which the lessor offers a few other related services in addition to the leased assets. The lessor retains ownership and liability for the asset and does not rely on a single lessee to pay the whole asset cost.

    The lessee or user prefers an operational lease when the asset isn't used frequently. Throughout the operating lease, various users will use the asset. The asset is leased from the lessor along with the necessary services.

    Let us understand this with an example.

    For example, Company X might occasionally need a projector to give its employees and personnel special training. It makes no sense for Company X to purchase the projector when it is available for rental if they only use it once or twice throughout the year. Renting it will be less expensive than buying it.

    Hence, Company X can buy it through Operational Lease.

    Differences Between Finance Lease And Operating Lease

    Let us discuss some significant differences between finance and operating leases. 

    • In a finance lease, the lessor gives the lessee permission to use the latter's asset without making regular payments over a longer period of time. In contrast, an operating lease is a type of lease in which the lessor gives the lessee access to an asset in return for recurrent payments over a certain period.
    • An asset purchase option is provided in a finance lease after the agreed-upon time frame. There is no such offer in an operational lease.
    • A finance lease demands accounting system recording. On the other hand, an operating lease is a concept that does not require recording under any accounting system; for this reason, it is also referred to as an "off-the-balance sheet lease."
    • Ownership is transferred to the lessee under the finance lease. Ownership does not pass to the lessee under an operating lease.
    • An agreement/contract for finance leasing is known as a loan agreement. On the other hand, a rent agreement or contract is the legal document that governs an operating lease.
    • Finance leasing allows for tax deductions for depreciation and loan expenses, while rent payments are tax deductible under the operating lease.


    Built on the concept of multiple leasing for multiple assets, this new mode of alternative investing allows you to diversify your portfolio. You can start with a minimal investment amount of INR 10,000 only and earn up to 21% pre-tax IRR. This low-risk, short-term investment is worth investing in. Connect with Grip Invest today to check out all their exciting investment products. 

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    Disclaimer - Investments in debt securities are subject to risks. Read all the offer-related documents carefully. The investor is requested to take into consideration all the risk factors before the commencement of trading. This communication is prepared by Grip Broking Private Limited (bearing SEBI Registration No. INZ000312836 and NSE ID 90319) and/or its affiliate/ group company(ies) (together referred to as ""Grip Invest") and the contents of this disclaimer are applicable to this document and any and all written or oral communication(s) made by Grip Invest or its directors, employees, associates, representatives and agents. This communication does not constitute advice relating to investing or otherwise dealing in securities and is not an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities.  Grip Invest does not guarantee or assure any return on investments and accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken based on the information provided. For more details, please visit 
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