Canadian Franchise Finance Isn’t What You Think! Financing a Franchise Business Properly

Updated: March 25, 2011

We can relate to clients who are making a significant life change and personal financial investment to purchase a franchise. You have access to some funds but the challenge of financing their new venture properly seems somewhat daunting.

Is there financial assistance in completing a franchise properly? Absolutely, but you must be prepared in every sense of the word.

Step one is often simply to properly identify the total amount of borrowing you need. Unfortunately we meet with some franchisees that have completed a franchise closing, only to find they are quickly running out of working capital to run their business on an ongoing basis. So close, yet so far.

The costs to finance a franchise involve what we call the soft costs to set up your business; they typically include franchise fees and professional fees such as those for an accountant, lawyer, etc. In our experience it makes strong sense for the owner to finance those soft costs themselves, leaving the hard assets and working capital for the franchise loan itself.

Here's something that surprises clients, as it appears to be a contradiction in terms. Canadian business financing itself is a challenge, but franchise finance is not! That is because they are some excellent programs that focus specifically on financing a franchise business. If done properly, and don't quote us on this, it's almost a slam dunk! A huge and we mean huge portion of all franchises in Canada are financed by a guy named Bill.

So who is Bill? Actually we have spelled his name wrong, because B I L is the acronym for the Government federal loan program that typically finances most of the franchises in Canada.

So you thought franchise financing under the BIL might be difficult or onerous. If properly presented and prepared you have just been approved for , bar none, the best small business financing program in Canada - great terms of 5-7 years, limited personal guarantees, and, are you ready, great rates and structures on the financing itself.

Is financing a franchise business easy or hard? Our simple answer to clients on that is that if you are prepared its easy, if not, you are guaranteed to fail.

Key elements of being prepared a business plan and cash flow that demonstrates your experience, the business potential, and, what the lender wants to see, cash flow to show repayment of the debt.

OPM doesn't work in Canada almost anywhere in Canadian business financing. OPM is other peoples money, simply signifying that your own investment must be reasonable and shared with the loan investment to represent the full financing. To put is even more simply, you need a reasonable down payment. Franchisees with poor or derogatory personal credit histories need not apply in our opinion. Why? Because the lender views a franchise business in the context of how you have managed your own personal affairs.

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