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The 3 Best Leases For Commercial Kitchen Equipment

The best equipment lessors offer excellent rates, fast funding, and flexible buyout options. Here are our picks for best equipment leases.

    Erica Seppala
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Chelsea Krause

    Chelsea Krause

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Commercial kitchens require a substantial capital investment in equipment. While some restaurants may prefer to buy outright, an equipment lease may be the better option in some cases. This is especially true when it comes to equipment that needs to be frequently replaced or upgraded.

If you’re getting your restaurant up and running, you may not have the time to independently research every vendor out there to determine their suitability. Why not leave that part to us? Here are a few solid commercial kitchen equipment financing options.

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CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary

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  • Buyout terms vary by lessor
  • FICO: 520+
  • Interest rate: 7.5%+
  • Buyout terms vary by lessor
  • FICO: 520+
  • Interest rate: 7.5%+

Apply Now

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  • Buyout terms vary by lessor
  • FICO: Varies
  • Interest rate: 7%+
  • Buyout terms vary by lessor
  • FICO: Varies
  • Interest rate: 7%+

Apply Now

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  • FMV leases, $1 buyouts, wrap leases, lease backs
  • FICO: No minimum given
  • Interest rate: 3.5%+
  • FMV leases, $1 buyouts, wrap leases, lease backs
  • FICO: No minimum given
  • Interest rate: 3.5%+

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Top 3 Equipment Lessors For Restaurants

The best equipment lessors offer excellent rates, fast funding, and flexible buyout options. Here are our picks for best equipment leases for commercial kitchen equipment and more.

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How The Best Commercial Kitchen Equipment Lessors Compare

Max Borrowing AmountRatesTime In Business Credit Score
Lendio$5 millionStarts at 7.5%Varies520
National Business Capital$5 millionStarts at 7%6 monthsVaries
US Business Funding$50 millionStarts at 3.5%6 monthsUndisclosed

Lendio: Best Marketplace For Equipment Leases

Total Rating 4.8
Rates & Fees5.0


Eligibility Requirements4.9


Sales & Advertising Transparency4.4

Customer Service4.9

User Reviews4.9


  • High borrowing amounts
  • Low credit score requirements (for some lessors)
  • Multiple types of financing available


  • Rates can be expensive
  • Application process can be slow

Why We Chose Lendio As Best Marketplace For Equipment Leases

Lendio is an aggregator of business financing that matches customers to the right financing from its network of over 75 business funders. Lendio’s partners offer a variety of business financing, including equipment leases and loans. With one simple application, Lendio presents you with offers suited to your needs, saving you the work of finding financing on your own.

Lendio will run a soft credit check on you during this process, but this will not affect your credit score. According to Lendio’s customer service agreement, the process of presenting you with offers should take no longer than 72 hours. Once approved, you can be funded in as little as 24 hours.

Lendio Services

Lendio offers just about every kind of financing a business could need:

  • Equipment financing up to $5 million
  • Short-term loans up to $500,000
  • Term loans up to $2 million
  • Lines of credit  up to $500,000
  • Merchant cash advances up to $200,000
  • SBA loans up to $5 million

Lendio Rates & Fees

For equipment loans and leases, Lendio’s rates start at 7.5%. Repayment terms are one to ten years. Additional fees vary by lender.

Lendio Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements vary by lender within Lendio’s network. Lendio recommends a credit score of at least 520 to apply for equipment financing, but you can generally expect more and better offers the higher your credit score is.

Additionally, for equipment financing, borrowers must also have a minimum annual revenue of $50,000.

Choose Lendio If...

  • You want to easily compare equipment loan and lease offers with a single application
  • You want to potentially explore other types of small business financing

Get Started With Lendio

Read our in-depth review

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National Business Capital: Best Advisory Services For Leases

National Business Capital

Total Rating 4.2
Rates & Fees4.0


Eligibility Requirements4.3


Sales & Advertising Transparency4.4

Customer Service4.7

User Reviews4.9


  • High borrowing amounts
  • Low credit score requirements (for some lessors)
  • Excellent customer service


  • Rates can be expensive

Why We Chose National Business Capital For Best Advisory Services

National Business Capital is another lending marketplace that allows businesses to apply to multiple funders through a single application.

In addition, National Business Capital will assign you an advisor to help maximize your chances of finding a match within their network. This can be very helpful for businesses who haven’t previously used an aggregator to find a lease.

National Business Capital Services

National Business Capital offers a wide variety of financial products through its network:

  • Equipment financing up to $5 million
  • Business terms loans up to $5 million
  • Business lines of credit up to $5 million
  • SBA loans up to $5 million

National Business Capital Rates & Fees

National Business Capital’s lending network has rates that range from 7% to 50%+.

National Business Capital Eligibility Requirements

National Business Capital has the following eligibility requirements:

  • 1 year in business
  • 700+ credit score
  • $500,000 in annual revenue

Note that National Business Capital does offer equipment financing to businesses less than a year old if they have a credit score of 650+. Additional funding options may be available to borrowers with credit scores lower than 650.

Choose National Business Capital If...

  • You’re a new business with a credit score of at least 650
  • You have good credit and want competitive rates and terms for your equipment lease

Get Started With National Business Capital

Read our in-depth review

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US Business Funding: Best For Operating Leases

US Business Funding

Total Rating 3.6
Rates & Fees3.0


Eligibility Requirements4.1


Sales & Advertising Transparency2.8

Customer Service2.0

User Reviews3.8


  • High borrowing amounts
  • Wide variety of lease options
  • Funds are disbursed quickly


  • Rates can be expensive

Why We Chose US Business Funding For Best Operating Leases

Businesses looking for short-term equipment leasing options should give US Business Funding a close look. With a wide variety of buyout options, US Business Funding allows businesses to easily upgrade or refinance equipment as needed.

Additionally, US Business Funding is willing to work with businesses as young as six months old, a market segment that can often struggle to find equipment financing.

US Business Funding Services

US Business Funding offers the following services:

  • Equipment loans and leases up to $50 million
  • SBA loans up to $5 million
  • Term loans up to $10 million

Looking specifically at equipment loans and leases, US Business Funding offers options including:

  • Fair Market Value
  • EFA/Equipment Finance Agreement
  • Fixed Percentage Purchase
  • $1 Buy Out

US Business Funding Rates & Fees

APRs for US Business Funding equipment financing start at 3.5%.

US Business Funding Eligibility Requirements

US Business Funding’s eligibility requirements for equipment financing are as follows:

  • 6 months in business (2 years preferred)

Choose US Business Funding If...

  • You want to choose from a variety of equipment leases with funding up to $50 million
  • You’re a newer business that has been in operation for 6+ months

Get Started With US Business Funding

Read our in-depth review

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Business Loan & Funding Products Review Methodology

We spend hours researching and evaluating each business loan and funding product that we review at Merchant Maverick, placing special emphasis on key characteristics to generate our ratings.

When rating lenders and funding providers, we use a 31-point rubric that looks at rates and fees, services, eligibility requirements, application, sales and advertising transparency, customer service, and user reviews. We weigh each section differently to calculate the total star rating. This rubric is applied to traditional term loans, as well as short-term loans, start-up loans, lines of credit, online lending products, merchant cash advances, and equipment financing products.

  • Rates & Fees: 20% of the total star rating
  • Services: 20% of the total star rating
  • Eligibility Requirements: 20% of the total star rating
  • Application: 15% of the total star rating
  • Sales & Advertising Transparency: 10% of the total star rating
  • Customer Support: 5% of the total star rating
  • User Reviews: 5% of the total star rating

Each section is further broken down into granular, weighted subsections, in which we examine specific attributes like terms lengths, conditions of repayment, credit score and revenue requirements, ease of application, length of time to funding, the ethics involved in promoting the lending product, customer support, and the overall reputation of the lender or funding provider.

Read more about how we rate small business lenders.

How Restaurant Equipment Leasing Works

When considering your equipment lease options, it’s important to fully understand your choices.

While equipment loans work pretty much like any other type of loan, equipment leases merit some further explanation. With an equipment lease, you’re paying a fee to borrow the equipment from the lessor (the leasing company) as opposed to paying down a loan to purchase the equipment. At the end of your lease, you generally must return the equipment to the lessor, though you may be offered the option of purchasing the equipment after your lease term ends.

This arrangement carries with it several advantages:

  • You don’t have to make a large down payment for the equipment in question.
  • You can switch out your leased equipment for an updated version in the case of certain leases.
  • You have some flexibility as to how the equipment appears on your accounting books.
  • Leases are more likely to cover additional expenses like delivery and installation.

However, it’s worth noting that leases tend to carry larger interest rates than loans, so you may end up paying more for your equipment overall than with a loan.

Types Of Equipment Leases

Common types of equipment leases offered by lessors include:

FMV Lease

A fair market value (FMV) lease backloads your payments to the end of the lease, so you’ll see smaller monthly payments than you would with a similar equipment financing agreement (EFA) or loan. At the end of your lease, you have the option to buy the equipment for its fair market value. Alternatively, you can return the equipment to the lessor, which is typically what happens.

This type of lease is most well-suited for equipment that depreciates and needs to be replaced frequently.

Variations on this lease include the 10% buyout lease, which sets the residual at the end of the lease to 10% of its initial value rather than fair market value.

$1 Buyout Lease

With a $1 buyout lease, you’ll pay off the cost of the equipment — plus interest — over the course of the lease. At the end of the term, you’ll owe exactly $1 — a mere formality. Once you pay this residual, you’ll own the equipment in full. A $1 buyout lease is similar to a loan in terms of structure and cost. It’s sometimes called an equipment finance agreement.

$1 buyout leases are strictly used to buy agreement.


A leaseback, or sales-leaseback, involves the lessor buying an asset from the lessee and then leasing it back to them. This is essentially a way to continue to use an asset while no longer technically owning it. It’s often done for a cash-infusion.

How Much Does Restaurant Equipment Leasing Cost?

Obviously, the biggest cost of your equipment will be the price tag of the refrigerator, mixer, or whatever item you are financing. Unfortunately, with equipment financing, you’ll be incurring some additional charges:

  • Interest: This is usually the APR of the loan or lease, although some lenders may use a flat rate instead. In either case, the longer your term length, the more money you’ll be spending on the item.
  • Origination Fee: This is a closing fee some lenders charge in addition to interest. It’s either a percentage of the amount you’re borrowing (1% – 5% is typical) or a flat fee. This fee is more common with loans than leases.
  • Administration Fee: This is a fee charged in addition to interest to maintain your account. It may be a percentage or a flat fee. It’s more common with leases than loans.
  • Down payment: A payment you’re expected to make at the time of closing. This is either the portion of the cost that an equipment loan didn’t cover or, in the case of leases, the first (and sometimes last) month’s payment.
  • Residual: At the end of a lease this is the amount of money you’d owe if you were to purchase the equipment. In the case of capital leases, the residual may be a trivial formality ($1, for example). In the case of operating leases, it may be substantially higher, typically the fair market value of the asset.

The Bottom Line On Commercial Kitchen Equipment Leases

Hopefully, you now have a better sense of how you can go about leasing kitchen equipment. Restaurant equipment leasing is a complex field to navigate, but financing is not hard to get if you know where to look and have a good idea of what you can afford in terms of lease payments or loan repayments.

Once you do find a good leasing company or lender, make sure you read your contract or lease agreement very carefully.

Not sure a lease is the best option? Check out our picks for best small business loans and best equipment financing companies.

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Erica Seppala

Erica Seppala

Editor & Senior Staff Writer at Merchant Maverick
Erica began writing on small business topics in 2008. She joined Merchant Maverick in 2018 and focuses on loans, accounting, and POS. She is a Certified ProAdvisor for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payroll. She has been cited in MSN, Reader's Digest, Vox, U.S. News & World Report, and Real Simple. She is a graduate of Limestone University and resides in Greenville, South Carolina.
Erica Seppala
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