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Hurdle Rate


The Hurdle Rate is a specific minimum rate of return on an investment project that a company or manager is willing to accept before they pursue the project. It is used to determine the economic feasibility of the project. If the projected rate of return on a project is below the hurdle rate, the project is typically not pursued.


The phonetics of the keyword “Hurdle Rate” is: “ˈhɝːdl reɪt”

Key Takeaways

Sure, below are the three main takeaways about the Hurdle Rate in HTML numbered form:“`

  1. Measurement of Investment Profitability: The Hurdle Rate, also known as the required rate of return, is a specific minimum rate of return required from an investment. It represents the lowest acceptable return on an investment project.
  2. Guide for Future Investments: The Hurdle Rate can be used by companies to decide whether to proceed with a project or investment. If the expected return on an investment is above the hurdle rate, the investment is considered a viable one.
  3. Risk Evaluation: Higher hurdle rates can be used for riskier investments, reflecting the company’s risk tolerance and its weighted average cost of capital. While calculating the hurdle rate, financial risks involved in the project are taken into consideration.



The hurdle rate is critical in business finance as it denotes the minimum rate of return an investment must generate in order to be considered viable. It is a benchmark used for comparison, which allows companies or investors to make informed decisions regarding the risk and potential profitability of investments. If an investment fails to meet or exceed the hurdle rate, it could be rejected due to its insufficiency in compensating for the cost of capital, risk, and inflation. By setting a hurdle rate, businesses can objectively evaluate investment opportunities, manage their resources efficiently, and maximize their earnings. Therefore, the hurdle rate serves as a fundamental tool to facilitate strategic investment decisions.


The hurdle rate is a crucial business tool that companies utilize to determine the lowest acceptable return rate on an investment or project. Essentially, it signifies the minimum level of returns that a company expects from an investment to consider it worthwhile. The principal purpose of a hurdle rate is to identify feasible investment projects that would potentially contribute to enhancing the business’ value while eliminating those that would yield less than the expected returns.Additionally, the hurdle rate plays a vital role in the company’s decision-making process. It provides a benchmark that helps companies evaluate the performance of their investments against their set expectations. Through this, companies are better equipped to manage their investments strategically, allocate their resources efficiently, and maximize returns. Notably, an investment project is usually considered viable if its internal rate of return exceeds the hurdle rate. This helps in reinforcing the financial sustainability and efficacy of the business.


1. Investment Project: Imagine a technology company is considering investing in a new product development with expected returns of 15%. Before they proceed with any projects, the company sets a hurdle rate of 12% (reflecting the cost of capital combined with the perceived risks involved). Since the expected return exceeds the hurdle rate, the company would likely move forward with the project.2. Venture Capital: A venture capital firm is reviewing potential startup investments. They set a hurdle rate of 25% to accommodate the high level of risk associated with these types of investments. They then only consider investing in startups that are predicted to provide returns exceeding this rate.3. Real Estate Development: A real estate company considers building a new commercial property. They set a hurdle rate at 10%, factoring in variables such as the cost of capital, potential risks, and market conditions. If the projected rental income and capital appreciation from the property are expected to yield a return lower than the hurdle rate, the company would not pursue the development.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Hurdle Rate?

A hurdle rate is the minimum rate of return required by an investor, a fund, or a company to proceed with a project or investment. It represents a threshold that the investment should meet or exceed to be considered beneficial or viable.

How is Hurdle Rate used in decision making?

Hurdle rate is used as a benchmark in the decision-making process. If the estimated rate of return on an investment is above the hurdle rate, the investment may be pursued. Conversely, if the rate of return is below the hurdle rate, the investment is often deemed not worthwhile.

How does a Hurdle Rate relate to Risk?

A higher hurdle rate often reflects a higher level of perceived risk associated with an investment. If an investment is considered risky, the investor or company may require a higher rate of return to compensate for this risk, thus set a higher hurdle rate.

How is the Hurdle Rate determined?

The hurdle rate is usually determined based on the cost of capital to the investor or organization, including the cost of debt and the cost of equity. It may also include additional risk factors related to the specific investment or project.

Does Hurdle Rate remain constant?

No, hurdle rates are not constant. They can change based on various factors such as changes to a firm’s capital structure, changes in risk-free rate or market conditions, or changes in the risk profile of the investment or project itself.

What is the difference between Hurdle Rate and Discount Rate?

While both rates are used in financial analysis, there is a slight distinction between the two. The discount rate is a broader concept and is used to determine the present value of future cash flows, while the hurdle rate is a specific rate of return that an investment or project must meet or exceed to be considered viable.

Can Hurdle Rate and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) be compared?

Yes, the hurdle rate is often compared to the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of a proposed investment. If the IRR exceeds the hurdle rate, the project or investment might be undertaken. If the IRR is less than the hurdle rate, the project or investment is often rejected.

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