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Financing a Business Guide

Table of contents

Business planning
Financing programs
Financing search tools

Business planning

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.

Read online:
Business plan guide
Sample business plans and templates

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.

Search online:
Locations near you

Financing programs

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, the CSBFP may help you get up to $1 million to start, expand, modernize or improve your small business. To be eligible your business should have annual gross revenues of no more than $10 million. Not-for-profit, charitable and religious enterprises that are carrying on a business may also be eligible to apply.

You can use the loan to finance the cost of purchasing or improving fixed assets. For example, you could finance:

  • buildings and land
  • commercial vehicles
  • business equipment
  • leasehold improvements for a franchise

You cannot use the loan to finance items such as:

  • working capital
  • inventories
  • franchise fees
  • 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.

Read online:
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, Canada’s bank for business. Learn about a variety of programs for business, including:

Contact BDC:
1-877-232-2269
BDC financing
Financial ratio savvy

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:
1-866-668-2332
Community Futures Ontario
 

Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program

Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program

You may be eligible for financing (up to $60,000), mentoring and additional resources for young entrepreneurs, from Futurpreneur Canada. 
To be eligible, you should:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 39
  • Create a business plan for a business that will employ you full time
  • Agree to work with a mentor for up to two years
  • Own at least 51% of your business

Contact Futurpreneur Canada:
1-800-464-2923
Futurpreneur Canada

Financing search tool

Financing

Grants, contributions, subsidies and loan guarantees are available from various government sources. Use Innovation Canada’s online search tool to look for programs and services that may apply to your business.

Search online:
Business Benefits Finder

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.

Read online:
Association of Municipalities of Ontario
 

 

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