Putting A Propeller On Start Up Financing In Canada

OVERVIEW – Information on startup funding in Canada . Business start up financing has evolved into numerous options that depend on the nature and size of your venture

Startup funding
in Canada provides entrepreneurs with the ‘ propeller’ they need to achieve business start up financing that makes sense for entrepreneurs requiring start up financing that achieves ownership goals. Let’s dig in.

As we’ve suggested in the past typically business owners gravitate to the bank when they are envisioning the capital they need to start their business.

The mission though, should you choose to accept it! is to understand the criteria Canadian chartered banks impose on a new business -they are looking for, unfortunately, firms with track record, cash flows, and acceptable owner equity. That’s a tad difficult when you are in start up mode.

So are there alternatives? Absolutely. It’s all about ensuring that you and any prospective lender, alternative or traditional, has the incoming cash flows to make debt or operating commitments positive.

Although many businesses can claim to have started with no cash flow the general consensus is that an owner equity commitment is required.

In Canada our version of the U.S. Small business program is called the ‘SBL ‘ loan. That brings a solid partner to your start up venture – the Canadian government via a guaranteed loan.

If you have reasonable personal credit and at least a minimum of 10% permanent equity in your business you’re a solid candidate for a ‘BIL ‘ loan.

It’s critical in start up financing to understand that a traditional (bank) or alternative lender will want to know business owner personal credit history. In Canada the ‘ magic ‘ score at a credit bureau to be approved for traditional financing is 650.

A solid business plan and cash flow is also a prerequisite for start up funding. That document will demonstrate to lenders how you will handle suppliers, tackle operational expenses, and handle term and operating obligations.

Because start up businesses don’t have access to all the cash the need financing sources must be considered. They include:

Personal resources
Govt small busines loans ‘ SBL’
A/R financing
Tax Credit Finance – ‘ SR&ED’
Start Up Working Capital Cash Flow Term Loans
PO/Supplier Financing

The type of financing you need, as well as the amount, will dictate rate/terms/structure

While interest rates are significantly higher for start up alternative finance they are a substitute for giving up equity so early on in the venture. One of our associates refers to it as ‘ renting equity’, and it’s an interesting term.

Private equity firms and ‘ VC’s’ will of course take a significant amount of ownership for any investment made – and truth be told most start ups don’t remotely qualify for equity start up funding.

Do we have a short list for startup financing? We do, and it would include:

Assessing personal equity

Ensuring you have a solid business plan and cash flow

Consider both alternative and traditional sources of capital

Utilize 3rd part resources such as your accountant/lawyer/ financial advisor / key supplier

Seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business Financing Advisor with a track record of success who will ensure you know the rules when it comes to achieving start up success in Canada.

Author: Stan Prokop – founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial


Originating business financing for Canadian companies, specializing in working capital, cash flow, and asset based financing. In business 10 years – has completed in excess of $90 Million of financing for Canadian corporations. Core competencies include receivables financing, asset based lending, working capital, equipment finance, franchise finance and tax credit financing.
Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details:


Greg LaBella
7 Park Avenue Financial
Off.   905 829 2653

Cell   905 302 4171



7 Park Avenue Financial
Canadian Business Financing