How to Find the Best Business Loans in Canada
Evaluating what’s best for your business begins with educating you on your choices. Being a small business owner is never simple. Fortunately, in Canada there is a plethora of tools available to help any business owner evaluate his or her business decisions, including decisions related to financing.
Below is a short list of 4 tools that can help make difficult financial decisions, such as funding your next renovation or expanding your product line, easier:
- Government grants, loans and financing calculator
The Canadian government provides some really great opportunities for small and medium sized businesses, but navigating bureaucracy is no easy task. For businesses that have some time and patience to get past the paperwork, check out some of the business programs currently available for your industry:
- Canada Small Business Financing Program
In the case that your business doesn’t qualify for a government grant or loan, the Canadian government also offers various financing programs. If you’re business is a start-ups or existing for-profit small businesses with gross revenues of $10 million or less, you’re eligible to apply for loans under this program. Although there are limitations as to what you can spend that money on. If you’re looking to purchase or improve land or buildings for commercial use, buy or get maintenance on new or used equipment, then the CSBF Program is definitely something you need to look into: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/csbfp-pfpec.nsf/eng/Home
- Comparing bank loans
If you’ve gone through the above options and those don’t quite fit your business, a bank loan may be the answer. Bank loans one of the most commonly used sources of funding for small and medium sized businesses. However, picking a bank to get a loan from can get confusing considering all banks offer different advantages. Unfortunately, there isn’t an online tool available to compare each Canadian bank and its loan policies, so it’s a good idea to shop around with a structured chart (Excel is perfect) of interest rates, time frames, eligibility requirements and repayment structures to help find the bank that meets your specific business needs.
- Finding a provider for a merchant cash advance
Not all businesses have time for bank loans or government bureaucracy, and not all businesses qualify. This is where cash advances are an effective alternative. Not only are they fast, have less paperwork and high approval rates, but repayment is made on a percentage of your sales. This means you’re business only repays the loan when money is being made, and at the rate that it’s being made. There are many merchant cash advance providers in Canada, and just like with banks, you should shop around.
It’s important to keep two factors in mind when looking. First, industry experience, meaning looking for providers that have worked with businesses in your industry and size. Secondly, customer service, because your relationship doesn’t end after your application is approved.
So before making a financial decision, weigh your options and educate yourself. And for some more sound advice about what not to do, check out the 7 Sins of Borrowing Money by the Business Development Bank of Canada.