Loans, grants & funding

To finance your business, you may be able to draw on your own personal assets or money from investors, loans or grants.

In most cases, you will need a financial plan showing what it will take to start your business and run it until it can sustain itself. Check out Business Plan Checklist or the Business Resources page to find information and resources that will help you create a financial plan.

Carefully consider these sources of financing:
Topics on this page
Topics on this page

Personal savings

Most small businesses get the bulk of their start-up money from their own personal savings. If you can fund 25 to 50 per cent of your business this way, it will show potential investors that you’re willing to assume risk to achieve success. Also, the more you’re able to invest in your business, the easier it will be to raise funds from other sources, such as banks.

Grants

Once you have decided on your own investment, it’s a good idea to explore other sources of funding such as government grants. Grants may be difficult to find, but have the advantage of being ”free money” that you don’t need to pay back.
 
If you are a non-profit technology company in B.C. employing less than 99 employees and hiring for a tech role, check out the BC Innovation Council’s Funding Sources page.
 
The Canada Business database offers a good source of information on grants.

Loans

Financial institutions provide commercial loans for most types of business. Government loans come from funding programs with specific rules about who can get a loan. In both cases, you’ll be required to pay back the loan amount plus interest. To receive a loan, you will need:

  • solid business plan
  • an excellent credit rating
  • assets you can pledge to guarantee repayment of the loan (known as collateral)
  • a strong commitment to your business (shown through your personal investment)

Visit Small Business BC for information and resources on starting a business in B.C.

Find out more about loan programs for specific businesses: