Definition of 'Hurdle Rate'
The minimum rate of return on a project or investment required by a manager or investor. In order to compensate for risk, the riskier the project, the higher the hurdle rate.
In the hedge fund world, hurdle rate refers to the rate of return that the fund manager must beat before collecting incentive fees.
Investopedia explains 'Hurdle Rate'
In capital budgeting, projects are evaluated either by discounting future cash flows to the present by the hurdle rate, so as to ascertain the net present value of the project, or by computing the internal rate of return (IRR) on the project and comparing this to the hurdle rate. If the IRR exceeds the hurdle rate, the project would most likely go ahead.
For example, a company with a hurdle rate of 10% for acceptable projects, would most likely accept a project if it has an internal rate of return of 14% and does not have a significantly higher degree of risk. Alternately, discounting the future cash flows of this project by the hurdle rate of 10% would lead to a large and positive net present value, which would also lead to the project's acceptance.