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Securing financial assistance to start your new business is directly related to the strength of your business plan and the research that you do. To be considered for funding from financial institutions or investors, you must demonstrate that you understand every aspect of your business and its ability to generate profit.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a written document that describes your business objectives and strategies, your financial forecasts and the market you are targeting. Preparing your plan will help you focus on how to run your new business with the best chance for success.
Business advisory services
Find information about Ontario's small business community, attend seminars and access business publications at various in-person locations across Ontario.
Services vary based on regional needs, so we suggest you call ahead or visit your local office’s website for more detailed information for your area.
Locations near you
There are many different ways to finance your business. Common sources of business financing include:
The Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)
By sharing the risk with your financial institution, you may be able to get a term loan of up to $1.15 million to start, expand, modernize or improve your small business. To be eligible, your business should have gross annual revenues of $10 million or less. Not-for-profit, charitable and religious enterprises that are carrying on a business may also be eligible to apply.
You can use the loan for purchasing or improving fixed assets. For example, you could finance:
- buildings and land
- commercial vehicles
- business equipment
- leasehold improvements for a franchise
Part of the loan and the line of credit option can be used for costs such as:
- working capital
- software and websites
- some professional fees
- franchise fees
- incorporation costs
- research and development
To apply for this program, contact an approved bank, caisse populaire or credit union. The lending institution has the final say on the loan approval.
Canadian Small Business Financing Program
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
If you can demonstrate that your business has realistic sales potential, you may be eligible for financing and management services from BDC. Learn about a variety of programs for business, including:
- Start-up financing
- Business Purchase or Transfer Financing
- Advisory services
- Working Capital Financing
- Technology Financing
Community Futures Ontario
You may be eligible for a loan of up to $150,000 to start or grow your business in Northern Ontario or in rural areas of Southern and Eastern Ontario. Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) provide financing to help new or existing businesses with start-up, expansion or stabilization plans that help maintain or create jobs. You can also take advantage of several business support services, including:
- business advice, counselling, information and referrals
- business planning
- export support
- entrepreneurial training
Please note that services vary based on regional needs. We suggest you call ahead or visit your local office’s website for more detailed information for your area.
Contact a CFDC:
Community Futures Ontario
Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)
You may be eligible for a grant to help you create a customized e-commerce plan, adopt e-commerce technologies, and digitally transform your business.
There are two streams available:
- Grow Your Business Online (stream 1)
- Boost Your Business Technology (stream 2)
Both streams require you to:
- Have a registered or incorporated Canadian business
- Be generating revenue
- Be selling your own goods and services directly to the public
- Have between 1 – 499 employees
Other conditions apply.
If you complete a CDAP approved Digital Adoption Plan through stream 2, you can also apply for the following funding to help you implement the plan:
- a wage subsidy of up to $7,300 to hire a qualified student or recent graduate
- a Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) zero interest loan of up to $100,000
For more information and applications, refer to the CDAP program page.
Indigenous businesses interested in stream 1, can also access the program through the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program
Municipal business programs
Your local municipal office may offer financing and support for your area. You can find the number for your municipality on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario website. Contact them directly to find out what is available in your area.
Association of Municipalities of Ontario