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Different types of working capital can help ensure seamless operations of establishment in various circumstances. From temporary to special to seasonal, there are numerous options that you can explore. It is essential to know the types you can choose from to select the best one. 

Types of Working Capital

Here is a look at the different types of working capital loans a business can apply for based on their requirements.


1. Permanent Working Capital

Also known as fixed working capital or hardcore working capital, this is among the various types of working capital a business requires to function smoothly. In simple terms, it is the amount required to pay off the liabilities.


Often, this payment is necessary before you can convert assets or invoices into cash, as it creates a gap in your operational cycle. However, by managing your finances, you can secure enough fixed working capital to bridge the gap.


2. Regular Working Capital

It refers to the funds that a business needs for daily functions. For stable operations, businesses need to maintain adequate regular working capital.


Although similar, it is different from permanent working capital in the sense that the latter is for the business operations as a whole. Regular working capital includes regular payments for purchasing raw materials regularly, salary payments, and more.


3. Gross & Net Working Capital

Both these types of working capital in financial management depend on the assets and liabilities of the business. The gross capital refers to the company’s total assets before considering any liabilities.


These assets generally have high liquidity, enabling you to quickly convert them into cash. Some examples include:

  • Accounts Receivable

  • Cash

  • Short-Term Investments

  • Marketable Securities like stocks


Net working capital refers to the ratio of current assets to current liabilities. In simple terms, it is the difference between gross working capital (assets) and current liabilities. Depending on the difference, you can classify this capital into positive and negative working capital.


4. Negative Working Capital

When the current liabilities of a business are higher than its assets, there is a shortfall or deficit. In such cases, the net working capital would be negative and therefore known as negative working capital.


In simple words, short-term debt is more as compared to short-term assets. With a negative working capital, the business would generally acquire funds from outside. When this working capital management is done well, it can be a great way to secure business growth.


5. Reserve Working Capital

Here, the business maintains capital over and above its daily/ regular requirements. The capital acts as a contingency for unexpected market opportunities or situations, such as natural calamities, strikes, and more.


Simply put, reserve working capital is for unexpected and regular requirements. For example, you may need to urgently fix the interior of your office. You can also use this capital to leverage an opportunity that may pass on if you wait to acquire the funds otherwise.


6. Temporary Working Capital

This is a working capital generally required during certain circumstances. These funds are generally utilised to meet temporary or seasonal business needs. For example, a festive season may cause a rise in demand, requiring additional funds.


The requirement is not throughout the year, hence the name temporary. However, given its nature, it is also often regarded as variable working capital. The additional requirement may appear due to any reason, including economic and industry changes.


Businesses may also take out a short-term business loan to meet these requirements and repay it as soon as the cash flow is restored.


7. Special Working Capital

This is the working capital that a business would need due to a special event that normally does not occur. It has no basis to forecast and has rare occurrences normally. For example, a business may have to host to contribute to an award function or campaign necessary for growth.


Such events would generally require a large amount of funding that one may not have accounted for otherwise. As such, it is one of the different types of working capital loans commonly used to meet expenses without any hassles.


8. Seasonal Working Capital

Every business/industry has a peak season throughout the year, and during this time, it generally requires additional funding. To fulfil this requirement, businesses have a seasonal working capital.


Generally, businesses that offer products or provide services catering for a particular season require seasonal working capital. For example, the manufacturer of raincoats and umbrellas will likely need additional funds during monsoon as the demand and sales may increase.

FAQs on Types of Working Capital

What does a working capital cycle refer to?

A working capital cycle is the time that a company takes to convert net current assets and liabilities into cash. Simply put, it is the time a company takes to convert its resources into cash with its operational activities. Businesses manage this cycle by selling inventory, collecting revenue from customers, and more.

What are some working capital sources?

Cash, inventory, accounts receivables, account payables, and short-term loans are some resources of working capital.

How does net and gross working capital differ?

The main point of difference between net and gross working capital is that the latter only includes current assets and typically always holds a positive value. However, net working capital is the difference between assets and liabilities and can be positive or negative.

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