To Buy Or Not To Buy?

Purchasing isn't the only option when your company needs new equipment.

Steve Dennen recently found himself in a sticky situation many businesses face when they move. Despite lots of number crunching, it was hard for his accounting firm to determine the total moving budget, including office renovation. When Dennen considered his options for a high-tech phone system, he decided to head down a path many entrepreneurs are choosing to take these days: leasing equipment. "We were moving and didn't have a [fixed] budget," says the 47-year-old co-founder of Kenney, Dennen, Lague P.C. in Andover, Massachusetts. "Leasing gave us the flexibility of not having to purchase the system upfront, and it was easier than getting a loan."

Although Dennen had previously leased equipment for his 6-year-old business, he felt encouraged to do so again when he listened to his clients share positive stories about how easy it was to lease. Dennen made the experience a little different this time by going online to take care of the entire leasing arrangement. Whether such transactions are done online or offline, eight out of every 10 businesses currently lease instead of buy equipment for their offices. And, according to the Equipment Leasing Association of America, telecommunications and computer equipment have taken the lead for the fastest-growing sector of equipment leasing.

Mie-Yun Lee is the founder and editorial director of, thew Internet purchasing hub for small business. Diane O'Brien contributed to this article. For more information on equipment leasing, log on to

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This article was originally published in the January 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: To Buy Or Not To Buy?.

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