The Nuts and Bolts of a Copier Lease: What Every Small Business Should Know

The Nuts and Bolts of a Copier Lease: What Every Small Business Should Know

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(Originally posted on SHARP’s Simply Smarter Blog)

To lease or to buy? This is the question many small business owners face when the time comes to invest in a new copier or multifunction printer (MFP) for the office. Others, perhaps newer to business, may be surprised to learn that leasing is even an option. Isn’t leasing something you do with cars, not printers? But as you shop around and get familiar with the world of office equipment, you’ll learn that printers and copiers come at many different price points, and often it can make more sense to lease a device rather than to buy it outright. But when? It can vary from business to business, but here are some questions to ask when considering a lease.

What kind of device do you need?

MFPs come in many sizes, speeds and capabilities, and their prices are similarly varied, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Prices are affected by things like speed (generally the more pages per minute the device prints, the higher the price tag), page volumes (some are designed for 5,000 pages a month, some for 50,000), black-and-white or color, document size and more. For example, additional options like stapling, hole-punching, folding or multiple paper drawers will add to the price.

It’s easy to assume only large organizations will need big, high-speed devices with a lot of bells and whistles, but an SMB can easily have in-house printing needs that justify the cost of a fast, color device with multiple finishing options, such as stapling, collating or binding. Since the outright cost of such a device could be prohibitive, leasing allows organizations to acquire these devices and save money long-term without the large up-front expenses.

What are the different leasing plans available?

If you search “office equipment leasing” you’ll find many different financing options, but most of the differences are in the details. Typically, leases come in two basic forms. Fair market value leases, also called operating leases, are flexible and affordable options that offer the lowest monthly payments. Because the company leasing the device does not own the actual hardware, it doesn’t need to be tracked as a company asset; however, the payments are deductible as operating expenses. End-of-lease options include renewing the existing lease, purchasing the equipment at fair market value, simply returning the equipment to the leasing company, or the most common option of upgrading to new equipment through a new lease. You’ll want to fully understand your responsibilities when choosing which end-of-lease option you want to execute.

Capital leases, or $1 buyout leases, allow the company to own the equipment at the end of the lease for $1, as the name implies. Since in this case, you are financing the entire purchase cost, the hardware is an asset owned by the company, and the monthly rates will be higher. However, the tax advantages at year-end under this type of lease can be significant, as Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code and bonus depreciation may allow businesses to deduct up to 100% of capital leases in the first year.*

What type of service plans are available?

Many other variables can come into play when it comes to leasing options, including costs of service and supplies. Just like cars, copiers and MFPs need preventative maintenance and will also need repair or service calls at some point. Service agreements, which cover both, can be bundled into leasing agreements. These agreements can cover all kinds of things – from the obvious, like replacement toner cartridges, to the less obvious, like service technician travel costs.

Whether the printer or MFP is billed on a cost-per-page (CPP) basis, a per-user (or per-seat) basis, or another pricing model, the total amount can be rolled into the cost of the lease. The benefit of this, of course, is that the business has just one regular invoice for all equipment, supplies and service. This makes budgeting much simpler, as there is little risk for unplanned expenses (relating to the office equipment, at least).

Is leasing always a good idea?

It’s impossible to say unilaterally that anything is always a good idea. That’s why you’re reading this blog. The best move for each individual business will depend upon all the factors we’ve touched upon, and that, in turn, is something only users in your business can tell you. Particularly in a smaller business, the “multifunction” part of the MFP will really earn its name, and it is important to understand how much and for what purposes each department or individual worker will use the device.

For an SMB without the resources for a large upfront purchase, but with printing, copying and scanning needs that require something more than a desktop printer, leasing is certainly an option worth exploring. Talk to your local dealer or service provider about the options available and discover whether leasing can benefit your business.

*NOTE: This article is not intended to convey tax advice. Consumers should consult their own tax advisors to confirm the consequences of their business transactions.

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What happens during the install of my new multifunction copier?

What happens during the install of my new multifunction copier?

(Submitted by Natasha McDowell)

If you’re thinking of purchasing or leasing a new multifunction copier or printer, then you may be wondering what the process of a new install looks like. How long does it take? Will all my settings be transferred from my old device to the new device? How will I learn how to use all the features on my new device? These are all great questions for you to ask, and we have the answers!

  1. The Pre-Install Checklist.
    After purchasing or leasing your new device, the first step in the install process is the what we here at RITE Technology refer to as the “Pre-Install Checklist.” This checklist ensures that we obtain all necessary information from you the customer to ensure the smoothest install process possible. Some of the information gathered includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Confirming the delivery date and time; address; point of contact
    • Confirming network connectivity and power supply in the location where the printer is to be installed
    • Transferring customer settings from the existing device to the new device (Settings can be transferred either on-site on the day of install or, preferably, ahead of time via remote support or over the phone. Taking care of this step ahead of the day of install goes a long way in making the entire install process so much smoother for the customer, resulting in less disruption to their work environment.)
    • Confirming aspects of the delivery environment (Are there stairs, elevators, uneven surfaces, or other circumstances of which technicians should be made aware prior to the day of install?)
    • Confirming whether or not there is an IT department that will need to be coordinated with to complete the configuration of the device during the initial setup
    • Confirming if there is old equipment that will require removable from the site
    • Confirming if the customer’s parking lot allows ample space to accommodate the delivery vehicle
  2. Set-up of the device prior to delivery to the customer.
    Once your multifunction device arrives in our warehouse and before we send it out to be delivered to your location, one of our certified technicians will set-up the machine to your desired specifications. This can include any of the following:

    • Creating a customized design including your logo for the home screen of the touchscreen display
    • Creating customized buttons for tasks that are frequently used in your organization’s workflow
    • Color calibrating the machine for optimal performance
    • Performing diagnostic testing to ensure that the device is operating at peak functionality
  3. Day of Install.
    On the day of installation, our certified technicians will promptly arrive at your location. Before unloading, they will meet with your designated point of contact to confirm the install location and entry points for each new device in an effort to minimize any disruption to your work environment. After install locations and entry points have been confirmed, the technicians will unload all new devices, route them to the appropriate install locations, and complete the set-up process. The following is a brief list of some of the steps in the set-up process:

    • Print out page count and network settings of existing machine(s)
    • Input network settings (IP address, DNS settings, etc.) for each new machine
    • Test fax
    • Test scan destinations (email, folder, etc.)
    • Install print drivers (server or desktop)
    • Complete user test prints from all applications
    • Clean and sanitize machine
    • Load paper into all trays of the machine
  4. Post-Install Training.
    Depending upon the customer’s availability, the post-install training may occur within hours of the install or a few days after. For the training, the account executive will meet onsite with the customer’s staff to provide a generalized overview of the machine, answering questions and keying in on specific pertinent features identified ahead of time by the account executive and customer. During the training, if any additional customized buttons are required by the users, the account executive will set these up at this time. This detailed process ensures that all users are confident in their operation of the new machine and are set-up for success. Training sessions typically last between 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the customer’s needs. If additional training in required after the initial setup, the account executive can facilitate this for the customer.
  5. Customer Experience Follow-up Call
    A few days after the install, a customer service specialist will conduct a follow-up phone call with the customer to determine their level of satisfaction with the install process. Our rating score ranges from 1 – 10, with 10 being excellent. Our hope is always to exceed our customers’ expectations in all that we do, and we strive to this end.

Hopefully this information was beneficial in helping you to better understand the installation process when you purchase or lease a new multifunction printer or copier. If you have any questions about this or any other process related to your copier or printer, please feel free to give us a call at 941-955-2737 or contact either our service department via email at or our sales department via email at We look forward to serving you and your business needs.

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Here are 5 additional copier features to save you time and money in your business.

Here are 5 additional copier features to save you time and money in your business.

(Submitted by Wayne Parrish) This week’s blog is going to focus on the (5) additional copier features that will help you to save time and money in your business. Those features are:
  1. Multi-crop (also referred to as “Receipt Scanning”)
  2. Secure Print Release
  3. Simultaneous Copy and Scan
  4. Pull out Keyboard
  5. Mobile Printing
  1. Multi-crop
  2. Sometimes referred to as “Receipt Scanning,” multi-crop is a valuable feature for anyone who scans a large number of checks, receipts, or even identification cards, such as driver’s licenses or social security cards. By selecting this feature, a user can place all the items on the glass at the same time—leaving approximately a half an inch of space around each of the items—press the scan button, and the multifunction device will proceed to scan all the items currently on the glass with one pass and then save the scan of each item as separate PDF files. These PDF files can then be emailed directly from the MFD to the user’s own email or to another email, the company’s accounting email, for example.
  1. Secure Print Release
  2. Sharp’s new Advanced series machines have a built-in feature called “Sharp Serverless Print Release” that comes standard without the need for additional software or special drivers. If your copier doesn’t include a similar feature, then a third-party software, such as PaperCut, can be used to achieve the same functionality.
  3. Sometimes referred to as “Follow Me” or “Find Me” printing, the secure print release functionality allows a user to print a file from their laptop or other device which gets stored onto one main hub copier device that is connected, via the customer’s network, to up to 5 other copier devices. This means the user has the option to print, not only from the main hub copier, but from any of the subsequent connected devices. This proves especially helpful if the user wants to print from their office on one floor to a device located on a different floor or even to a completely different building, either locally or across the nation, wherever the network has a connected device!
  4. Another aspect of secure printing comes from the use of third-party software like Cloud Connect in conjunction with applications such as SharePoint online, OneDrive for Business, Box, and Dropbox. These solutions allow users to perform functions like sending print jobs from their laptop or device to a folder on their Dropbox, then going to the multifunction device to securely access that folder and print on the spot from the machine. In this way, sensitive or confidential print jobs can be sent by users whenever it is convenient, then printed on-demand, all while ensuring that these priority documents are not left on the copier for accidental viewing by unauthorized users.
  1. Simultaneous Copy and Scan
  2. In today’s digital world, being able to copy and scan a document at the same time is a highly desired feature which can, in some cases, dramatically enhance your daily workflow by reducing the amount of time required to complete complex copy and scan jobs.
  1. Pull out keyboard
  2. A built-in retractable keyboard on the MFP touchscreen is a standard feature on Sharp multifunction devices that greatly simplifies the process of email address and subject line entries, especially on repeated scanning tasks. This feature also speeds up entering information for user authentications.
  1. Mobile Printing
  2. Available on both Apple and Android devices, the mobile printing functionality makes it easier than ever to wirelessly print to your MFP from your smartphone. Sometimes referred to as “wireless printing,” you can use this feature so long as your phone and multifunction device are operating on the same network.
Want to learn even more about Sharp MFD features? We would be happy to assist you! Contact us to schedule a personalized demo with a member of our sales team.

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What are the top 5 copier features to save you time and money in your business?

What are the top 5 copier features to save you time and money in your business?

(Submitted by Wayne Parrish)

This week’s blog is going to focus on the top (5) copier features that will help you to save time and money in your business.

Those features are:

  1. Customizable User Interface
  2. Staple-less Stapling & Offline Stapling
  3. Enhanced Edit Preview
  4. Walk-up Proxy Sensor
  5. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)


  1. Customizable User Interface

With this feature, you can create a custom look as well as customized workflow buttons directly on the touchscreen interface on the copier!

Sharp multifunction devices have touchscreen user interfaces that are not only simple and intuitive to use, but also offers the ability for customers to create a custom background design with their logo or any other graphic that they choose. Additionally, the display has the flexibility to enable businesses to set up a custom menu which is configured specifically to the user’s document workflow. By including on this custom menu the buttons that correspond to the customer’s most commonly used functions, the user enjoys an expedited experience, saving time and thereby allowing the user to be more efficient in their workflow.

Finally, if there are certain functions that are repeatedly used in the customer’s document workflow, such as a complex scanning process or a specific copy/print function, then a custom button can be created for that purpose and named whatever the customer desires, such as “Nancy’s Receipt Scanning Process,” for example. The options are almost unlimited for this feature!


  1. Stapleless Stapling and Offline Stapling

Some multifunction devices include a finishing feature that is capable of a stapling method which uses pressure, instead of a metal staple, to bind pages together, up to 10 sheets at a time! The benefits include:

  • No need to remove staples for shredding
  • Cost-savings (since the customer doesn’t have to purchase staples)
  • Ecological benefits (no metal to worry about recycling)
  • Increased safety (For educational or other settings, there are no metal staples to cause injury or get snagged on.)

Other finishers for the multifunction device are also available which offer walk-up offline stapling. This allows a user to walk up to a machine, documents in hand, and staple on the fly without having to set a copy job that has the staple function included.


  1. Enhanced Edit Preview

With Sharp’s real-time scan preview and edit functions, you can save time and help reduce waste by correctly executing your copy or scan job the first time. Quickly rotate or delete pages, insert blank sheets, remove artifacts, change the color mode, even check the staple position before executing your job. 

The best part of this feature is that you can use it to quickly and easily redact a document that is being scanned or copied, and then send a copy of that redacted document to your email. No more whiting out or putting a blank page on top of the document to redact!


  1. Walk-up Proxy Sensor

Create an enhanced workflow experience with an integrated walk-up sensor that wakes up the multifunction device when it senses a user approaching. With a fast warm up time—less than 18 seconds—this feature saves not only time but also energy as the machine is in a low-power mode when not in use.


  1. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

With this feature, users can either convert a scanned document into an editable document in popular Microsoft Office formats or create a variety of PDF formats from the scan.

Once a document is scanned, the copier can convert the scan into an editable document in either Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel formats.

In terms of PDF formats, scans can be used to create Searchable PDFs, Encrypted PDFs, Compact PDFs, and others.

A user can also directly print these same file types from a thumb drive, cloud applications, and mobile devices. (This function is enabled via DirectOfficeTM technology. With this much flexibility, you can speed through your workflow tasks faster than ever!


Want to learn even more about Sharp MFD features? We would be happy to assist you! Contact us to schedule a personalized demo with a member of our sales team.

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What additional costs could I expect to see on my copier contract? (Part 2)

What additional costs could I expect to see on my copier contract? (Part 2)

(Submitted by Gareth Stevenson) In last week’s blog we covered the (5) additional costs of administrative fees, transitional billing, property tax, toner shipping fees, and insurance costs. In this week’s blog, we are going to cover (5) additional costs that you may see on your contract when leasing a copier or multifunction device (MFD). Those additional charges may include:
  1. Contract Overages
  2. Name Change Fee
  3. Remote Support Billing
  4. Staples
  5. Additional Billing for Service
1. Contract Overages Typically, when you agree to a contract for a copier, this contract includes a service proviso for the leased or purchased device and includes a contracted base amount of copies, either monochrome, color, or both. When you exceed this contracted base amount, then you can expect to pay overages. The overage charges can vary dependent on the age of your device, promotional deals, etc. There are ways to use rules and reporting to assist with managing overages, such as:
  • Account Codes – These codes can be used to limit the amount of color prints allowed or to provide reporting of prints, whether color or monochrome.
  • 3rd Party Print Management Tools – Ex. Papercut.
2. Name Change Fee Some leasing providers charge a small fee for any business name changes. This fee can range from free up to $100.00. 3. Remote Support Billing Remote support for assistance with print drivers, scanning issues, etc. is more often than not included in your contract, but could have yearly limits on use. If you don’t have remote support included in your contract, then you will receive an additional bill with a per-hour charge for any service calls that you place. The per-hour charges can vary from $150.00 – $250 per hour, depending on the provider. 4. Staples Staples are not typically included in most contracts, apart from some government contracts. In commercial contracts, if they are not included in the contract, then they are added as a chargeable item. In those cases, the price for this add-on can vary from $50.00 – $100.00 per box of 10,000 staples. 5. Additional Billing for Service Some organizations offer different types of service contracts, but the most common contract is an “All-Inclusive Contract” that includes everything except the paper and staples. Other contracts, like those listed below, may incur additional charges to the customer.
  • A. Basic Contract:
    • Includes parts and supplies only
    • No toner, developer, or drum included
    • Other additional charges may apply
  • B. Mono Toner:
    • Monochromatic toner and all monochromatic toner parts and supplies are included
    • Additional charges for color toner
  • C. No Service Contract:
    • Service calls are billed on a per-call basis with charges ranging from $150 per hour plus the cost of parts, labor, and travel time
If you have any additional questions regarding contract charges, please let us know. We would be happy to assist you!

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What additional costs could I expect to see on my copier contract? (Part 1)

What additional costs could I expect to see on my copier contract? (Part 1)

(Submitted by Gareth Stevenson) When leasing a copier or multifunction device (MFD), depending on the dealer or the service package that you agree to, additional charges may sometimes apply. Listed below are some of the additional charges that you may see on your service contract:
  1. Administration Fees
  2. Transitional Billing
  3. Property tax
  4. Toner Shipment Fee
  5. Insurance
  1. Administration Fees If you lease your copier, then there may be a one-time documentation fee from the leasing partner. This fee covers the administrative duties related to setting up your lease account. These fees can vary from $75.00 to $150.00. If you purchase your copier, then this fee would not apply.
  2. Transitional Billing This charge is determined by the date that your vendor bills you monthly. The charge includes the prorated monthly amount up to the billing date plus your first month’s contracted amount. This is a one-time charge occurring when you first transition over to a new lease and will result in your initial bill amount being higher than the agreed contract amount.
  3. Property Tax Because the MFD is a tangible asset, property tax is applicable if your business is registered as a for-profit organization. If, however, your business is registered as a non-profit organization, then property taxes would not be applicable. For specific information on this, we recommend contacting your tax professional.
  4. Toner Shipment Fee Due to the increased charges for processing, shipping, and handling of supplies, there may be additional shipping fees associated with delivering toner promptly. These fees can vary by organization and could be applied in one of the two following ways: • A flat monthly fee averaging between $10.00/month – $15.00/month. • A shipping fee determined by calculating a per print/copy cost, ranging from $0.0005 – $0.0009.
  5. Insurance Whether you purchase or lease a MFD, you will want to ensure that the asset is protected so that you are covered in the event of any unforeseen accidents or disasters. 95% of MFDs are leased by organizations with the copier being a tangible asset owned by the leasing company, who will want to ensure that their asset is protected. Therefore, on your first bill you might receive an insurance offer from the leasing company. The price for the coverage offered could range between $17.00 – $25.00 per each device.

    Please note that you do have the option to decline the leasing company’s insurance in lieu of placing the MFD under your own business insurance. If you choose this option, then most leasing companies will ask for proof of insurance to ensure that the asset is protected.

    If you opt to purchase a device, then you may still want to ensure that you have your asset protected under your own business insurance.

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