Financing a Franchise in Canada

Clients who are contemplating purchasing a new or existing franchise in Canada are always asking how financing a franchise works in Canada. The Canadian franchise industry is of course huge and covers almost every type of business in Canada. Certainly the majority of franchises seem to be in the Hospitality and QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry, but in actuality every type of business has some sort of franchise model attached to it. The franchise concept is many an entrepreneurs’ answer to the Canadian dream of growth and profits through business ownership and self employment.

It should not come as a surprise to Canadian entrepreneurs that there is no one single option of solution for financing a franchise in Canada. The reality is that a number of possibilities exist, and in some cases you must use a combination of these sources to complete the financing successfully.

The main source of financing in Canada for franchising is a government ‘subsidized’ and ‘guaranteed ‘loan from the Federal government. The program has two names, the CSBFL, and the BIL. These are acronyms for the government’s formal name for the program.

We firmly believe that this is the best program, bar none, for rates, terms, and loan structures in Canada. While the program is available and applicable to all Canadian businesses the majority of businesses in Canada that are franchised fall under this program.

That’s the good news, the less than good news is that in many cases you cannot totally complete your business franchise purchase with this loan financing on it own. Why is that? Simply because the program is structured and has limitations on what can be financed.

What can be financed under this program? The answer is 3 items only-

Equipment
Leaseholds
Real Estate

So if your acquisition of a new franchise involves anything other than these three items additional financing sources are needed. Those additional financing sources tend to come from your own personal resources, other structured term loans, and in some cases a vendor take back from either the franchisee you are buying the existing business from, or potentially the franchisor itself. Don’t focus too much on the latter because in case you haven’t guessed by now, franchisors or master franchisors are interested in selling you a franchise so they can build another franchise unit into their network! They aren’t in the finance business per se.

The benefits of the franchise loan structure of the BIL/CSBFL program are significant. For a starter they carry only a 25% personal liability, and secondly the rates (3% over prime) (In 2010 Canadian primes continues to be very low!) are excellent. Under the spirit of the program the loan finances 90% of your eligible expenses. But don’t think that only a 10% equity or personal investment by yourself is going to get you approved. You should in general be thinking of anywhere between 25%+ as your own personal contribution to the business.

In summary, financing a franchise in Canada is a unique specialty type of financing. You don’t want to do it wrong the first time and endanger your prospects of success by poor planning and mis information. Speak to a trusted business financing advisor who has credibility, experience and background in this area of Canadian business financing. With proper planning and assistance you will be on our way to achieve the Canadian dream of business ownership through the franchise model.

Construction Finance and the Problem With Banks

High street banks are often the benchmark for clients looking to borrow money. This is true of personal mortgages, loans and no less so for funding building projects. Most would agree that they provide the cheapest rates and all builders and developers are looking for the cheapest construction finance.

The problem is that for most clients the high street are simply not an option at the moment, and from news I have had, nor will they be for the foreseeable future. I have dealt with clients who should be able to obtain bank funding, having clean credit, a good track record and years of experience in the sector. They are still being declined for various reasons, such as the loan amount is too low, the type of build is not what the bank wants, they have other loans that would need to be repaid first – the list goes on.

However, just because your current bank will not give you construction finance does not mean that there are no options available to you. It does mean though that you should not judge quotes we, or others give you, on the basis that the rate of interest or fees might be more than you are used to or were expecting.

Off high street lenders are NEVER going to offer building finance as cheap as the big banks. They are specialists filling a gap in the market, and to be frank, they know that your options are limited. Lenders such as this are mostly funded by investors who want to see a return on their money and the lender themselves need to charge a margin to stay in business. The market has set the rates that others are prepared to pay and so you have a stark choice – pay the higher rates or do not borrow the money. For those that are cash rich there is no issue but for the majority that want to leverage their capital it is the difference between building or not building.

Of course, paying more for the construction finance means less profit for you, the developer, but it does mean you are making more profit than not doing any work at all. If you cannot get a project funded at a high street rate then the rates you have in mind or might want to pay are not applicable for comparison. A bank may have given you funds at 1.5% above base in the past but that is irrelevant now. The past is not today.

The fact that building finance is available is good news but now is as crucial a time as ever to use a broker with experience and knowledge of the market. Making the wrong choice could cost you thousands in unnecessary fees and interest.

Going through the internet looking for lenders directly is possible, of course. But how long will that take you? Hours or days? How do you know they will be the best fit for your project? Will they give you all the information you need day 1?

Working with an experienced broker can make the process much easier as they will have a real understanding of how each lender works, the process they go through and what costs you can expect, before you get too far into an application.

So, construction finance is out there but for your own sanity don’t automatically compare it to what you are used to and what you think should be available.

I have been in the finance industry for over 10 years and can help you find the right finance package for your project. We have links with the lenders that are active in the market and can assess your project very quickly, often within a single phone call.

International Banking – Essential for Globalization of Businesses

International banking refers to the banking services that cover a wide array of topics. It provides you personal bank accounts along with the business bank accounts also. An important feature of international banking is foreign currency services. This is a very useful feature for the people who need to deal in different currencies. You can make transactions in dollars, euro or Swiss franc.

Getting Expert Advice

Another useful service that you get from international banking organizations is traveler’s checks. All of us know the importance of traveler’s check during the traveling period. Not only can you open a foreign currency account but you can also seek help from experts regarding the international trade such as import and export of goods.

International banking institutes have investment consultants that can guide you on how to improve international trade. You can manage your bank accounts in foreign countries without any trouble. It has many other benefits also associated with it. For example, you can save a great amount of money because of lower or no taxes at all. It definitely gives you an edge over your competitors.

Globalization is the mantra today. Every business owner whether he is running a small business or big business wishes to expand his or her business beyond the boundaries of nations. International banking is a necessary tool to globalize your business. You cannot underestimate this feature because you cannot grow fast without crossing the geographical boundaries.

When you expand your business in several countries you need an effective system to manage your finances. International banking organizations offer you just the right kind of services that you need as a multinational business owner. International banks have branches in many different countries. This gives you the liberty of making payments in any of these countries. Moreover, you can get the payment in local currency saving a big amount on transactional fees.

The relations between the countries and international scenario make a huge impact on international trade. International banking services too cannot remain unaffected by the political developments at the international level. That is why international banks have to observe keenly not only the economic changes but political changes as well.

Perform a Thorough Research

So, it is well-established fact now that you need international banking services to globalize business. However, you should not select any international bank in a hurry. Perform a thorough research on the bank before you decide to open an account with them. You should ascertain that the bank offers reliable and stable services to its customers.