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Small Business Startup News and Resources

Read our collection of helpful small business news, resources and guidance documents on starting or exanding a business in Ontario and across Canada. Learn from the latest in small business startup trends, business plan techniquest and all about government funding!

Top 5 government grant funding requirement
Funding

Top 5 government grant funding requirement

As a small business in Ontario, you may have considered obtaining a government grant to help you with your small business start-up or expansion.

Government grants are available and are offered by the Ontario provincial government, as well as the federal government. These government grant programs are there to help small business owners succeed while creating and boosting the economy.

While every single government grant program offered is unique in its own way, some of the requirements including these top 5 usually remain the same across the board.

Knowing these 5 requirements to apply for government funding will ensure your chances of success of obtaining a government grant are much higher.

The top 5 government grant requirements include:

  •  The location you and your business are in
  •  The type of industry that your businesses in
  •  You’re funding requirements, or the specific needs that you have
  •  Your business plan
  •  The time of the year that you apply

Well, not all 5 requirements are required, the more of the requirements that you are able to meet, the greater your chances of success out of painting that grant will be.

Your location

One of the major funding requirements revolves around the location of your business.

This helps determine which funding agency you will be applying to. As government grants and funding can come from the local government, The Ontario provincial government, or the federal government of Canada, your location helps determine that.

Being specific in regards to your location when applying for government funding in grants will help determine and maximize your potential.

As a small business, you may be eligible for programs including those of the local provincial and federal government.

If you are unsure which programs you can apply for, including government grants, It’s a good idea to speak to an Ontario Startups expert.

Currently, the Ontario Startups funding database has over 1000 different government funding programs including government grants, government loans, tax breaks, and more. The experts also help you better understand the government grant funding requirements and how to apply.

Your industry

Just like your location, the industry that your business is in matters quite a lot.

Certain government programs will only fund specific industries. Being open or having an understanding of what industry you are in, your chances of success, and finding the relevant government grant will grow.

Some government agencies have a specific focus in mind. This focus may be on a specific industry. For example, many of the Alberta government grants will help within the agriculture or farming industry as this is more relevant to the community that they are in.

While there are different programs for different industries, some of these programs find multiple industries. There is a chance that your business will fit under multiple industries as well.

Your funding needs

One of the key factors that help determine your eligibility for a government grant, Is your need for funding.

  • How much do you need?
  • What do you needed for?
  • When do you need to by?

All of these are considered when factoring in which government grants you might be eligible for.

As mentioned each government agency has a different purpose. These purposes are how they focus on how they will dispuirse the available funds.

When applying for funding no matter what agency you are applying to, it is always a good idea to break down your funding needs.

Doing so will ensure that you can apply to multiple programs.

As an example, if your small business requires $200,000 start up funding, it is a lot easier to obtain that funding amount from various programs than from a single source.

To do so you have to break down your funding needs.

Instead of asking for $200,000 in a lump sum, you should break down the amount that you need into the specifics. How much do you need for your marketing costs, how much do you need for your equipment, how much do you need to cover your wages and so on and so on.

Remember when asking for funding it’s always a good idea to only ask for exactly what you need. Over asking may result in application denial. At the same time, asking for less than you need could result in your business not having enough capital to succeed.

If you need help determining how much funding to ask for, the Ontario Startups experts are there to help.

Your business plan

We talk about business plans a lot.

A business plan should be done. While it is optional, It really isn’t.

The majority of government funding agencies including those of government grants make it and make it a requirement that you apply with the business plan.

In most cases, nobody will give you funding for your business without having an understanding of your business plan or business model.

A business plan is created for multiple reasons. In this case, your business plan will be used as a document by the agencies to better understand your business model, your financials as well as to show your funding requirements.

While you can spend a few $1,000 paying for a professional business plan write-up,  it’s often not necessary. As long as you know how to put down your idea and briefly explain your requirements of a business plan, it will be good to go.

Using the Ontario Startups business plan builder tool will also help you develop your plan step-by-step and make it as per the expectation of government agencies.

Keep in mind that the Ontario Startups experts are also there to help you step-by-step through the process of building the perfect business plan that will help you with your government grant applications.

The time of the year

Deadlines that the various government agencies have can determine your likeliness of obtaining funding.

Are you applying too early, or are you applying too late; is a small factor, however one that determines the yes or no.

The majority of the government grant agencies have a deadline. These deadlines are set in place as a way for the government agency to properly budget.

Once the funds that are allocated are handed out to various business owners the government agency will close.

The closure might last a few weeks or a few months or the agency program may close for good. This all depends on the focus that the government agency has on that specific program.

When applying it’s always a good idea to check the program deadlines.

There are different ways government agencies check applications. Some, as soon as they get them so deadlines don’t really matter too much, but some do so at the end of the deadline, where the deadline is crucial.

The best way to ensure your success is to apply on time.

If you have a few days before the deadline is up, while you can risk it’s usually not worth the time.

The above are the top 5 government grant application factors that you have to consider. Keep in mind that each government grant agency has additional factors and requirements that you as a small business owner must meet. If you don’t meet the above requirements or don’t consider the above factors, your small business funding application may be denied

If you need guidance or need to have a better understanding and how government grants work, which grants you may be eligible for, or how to apply, the Ontario Startups experts are there to help.

Government Loans in Ontario
Funding

Government Loans in Ontario

If you are deciding to start a small business in Ontario you may be considering certain government loans.

In most cases, capital will be required to start your business successfully. As a small business, you have dozens of startup expenses as well as operational expenses to keep your business running smoothly.

To cover these,  some sort of funding is required unless you have your own funds to start with.

Why do government loans exist

The Ontario government along with the federal government of Canada provides government loan programs to small business owners in order to boost the economy and give back. Ultimately the government benefits from providing you a loan, for a number of reasons.

  1.  The government gets their money paid back through interest.
  2.  The government gets paid back through taxes
  3.  By boosting the economy, you are creating jobs, and in other words your creating jobs for people who pay taxes.

No matter the type of funding that the government provides, they will not be losing money in most cases.

These government loans are provided to small business owners across Ontario and Canada and are there the help you succeed.

The funds can be used for a number of purposes including paying marketing costs, covering your initial startup expenses, the needed tools and equipment, hiring staff, and more.

Are you eligible for a government loan and Ontario

To determine whether you are qualified for a government loan in Ontario you have to consider a number of factors.

These factors vary from program to program as they do from business to business.

Your location, the industry that you are in, as well as the various funding needs that you have, are all factors in helping the government determine whether you are eligible for a government loan or not.

To see which government loan programs you might be eligible for your small business, use the funding database provided by Ontario Startups, and see all options available.

Before you consider applying to any government loan program you should have a business plan ready to go.

Your business plan should have an explanation of your business model, your marketing and growth strategy, your projected financials as well as a detailed breakdown of your funding requirements.

If you need assistance creating your business plan consider using the business plan builder tool provided by Ontario Startups.  It is a very easy tool to use plus you get expert assistance each step of the way

Different types of government loans in Ontario

While government loans are pretty much the same as a traditional bank loan they often come with better terms and have an extra layer of protection for you personally.

Government loans are some of the easier programs to get into, in comparison to government grants.

The different government loan types that are the most common include

  • No interest or low interest government loans
  • Conditionally repayable government loans
  • Government guaranteed loans

Each of these common government loan types has its pros and cons.

Depending on your small business and the very specific funding needs you have each of these government loan programs may be perfect for you.

No interest or low interest government loans

The government loans that have interest attached to them are much like bank loans. You borrow the needed money, a set term is in place, you pay back that money with interest.

These government loans are far better than any traditional bank loans simply due to the fact that they may have lower interest rates or better terms. This is all crucial information especially when you are starting a small business and every penny counts.

The no-interest loans provided by the Ontario or federal government of Canada are the exact same art same as the interest loans except they carry no interest. You borrow the money, use the money as needed, pay back.

Conditionally repayable government loans

These are some of the preferred government loans to apply for. Being conditionally repairable means that there is a condition placed on the loan.

These conditions can vary from program to program and business to business. Most, conditions are negotiable but can include conditions such as:

  • No repayment for a period of 5 years on the loan
  • No interest for the 1st 12 months
  • Only repay once you start profiting

These are a few of the terms that may be possible. Additional terms and conditions may be set and negotiated.

A conditional loan is favorable as it helps you keep more money in your pocket when you needed them most, especially during the initial startup phase.

Guaranteed government loans

No, it does not mean that the government guarantees you money. And no, not everybody can get a guaranteed government loan.

Guaranteed government loans simply mean that the government will be the co-signer on your loan.

Why does that matter?

If things don’t go as planned for you, with a traditional loan you are on the hook for 100% of the funds borrowed. This means any money that you borrowed no matter if your business is successful or not, you have to pay back.

With the government-guaranteed loan,  any money that is borrowed, the government is the cosigner. This means they are on the hook for part of the money.

You, you’re a small business and the government program agency, share the risk.

In some cases, the government can be on the hook for as much as 85% of the government loan.

This keeps some of the risks for you down.

These are the top government loans to consider when borrowing from the Ontario government or the federal government of Canada.

If your small business needs the initial capital to get started, a government loan may be your best option.

To see all government loans, and other types of government funding, try using the funding database and see all available options. The Ontario Startup experts are there to help support you, and guide you through the funding search step-by-step.

Ontario Small Business Funding
Funding

Ontario government funding for small businesses

If you’re planning on starting a small business in Ontario, you are in luck.

The Ontario government provides government funding for small businesses across the province.

These funds considered government-provided are available and are there to help you start up, expand, and to grow your business while boosting the Ontario economy.

The goal of the government funding provided by the provincial-level government and the federal-level government is to create a stronger economy while boosting entrepreneurship and creating jobs.

In other words, you get the government money, use it for your business, succeed and hire staff, and then pay taxes.

It is a circle that keeps the Ontario government working to support all entrepreneurs.

Types of Ontario government funding for small businesses

The Ontario government provides funding to small business owners across the province in various forms of funding.

The most common include government grants, government loans, tax breaks and credits, and other contributions.

While there are other types of government funding available these are the most common and the most approved options for small businesses.

Ontario government funding

A government grant, for example,  is considered one of the best types of government funding that you’re a small business can get.

The different funding programs all have their own benefits to a small business owner.

In most cases, a government grant is free money. Money that you don’t have to repay back after you’ve received it and you can use it towards your various start-up costs and expenses.

A government Grant is also one of the most competitive types of programs to get into.

On the other hand, you have government loans which also vary but are far better than any bank loan.

These government loans can often come with no interest, low interest or have terms that are negotiable.

As a small business starting up obtaining a government loan from the government can help secure your business.

Certain government loans are also guaranteed loans. This means that the government of Ontario acts like a cosigner for your business.

If things were to go south, the government-guaranteed loan can have your back by paying as much as 85% of it for you.

Lastly the tax breaks in the credits.

These are excellent programs, despite often not being considered so due to the fact that you need to spend the money before you apply for a tax credit, but technically they are grants as well.

Tax breaks or tax credits, just like the ones when you do your taxes, can be applied to at the end of the year and you may be refunded an amount to cover certain expenses you had.

Applying for government funding in Ontario can ensure your success. If you need guidance and assistance on finding the most available government funding options consider using the funding database Provided by Ontario Startups.

Who is eligible for government funding in Ontario

All Ontario residents as long as they are starting a business or are looking to expand their business may be eligible to apply to government funding.

Certain factors may cause an issue, so speaking with the business expert or a funding expert and Ontario Startups we’ll ensure that you’re on the right track.

The certain expenses that you may be eligible to have covered by the various government funding programs in Ontario include the below:

  • The initial start up costs
  •  Your marketing budget
  •  Your stuff wages
  •  Training costs
  •  Your inventory and supplies
  •  Your equipment costs
  •  Certain renovation expenses
  •  And much more

If you are unsure which expenses the Ontario government options can fund , contact an Ontario Startups expert. They are there to assist you and to help you find available government funding programs in Ontario.

What is needed to qualify for a government funding program in Ontario

The requirements of applying to government funding in Ontario depend on the program.

Each government funding program in Ontario has its own criteria that you must follow in order to qualify.

Some of the most common criteria include having a strong business plan, being in the right province or location, having a business in the right industry, providing a detailed breakdown of exactly what you need funding for.

By following these few criteria’s you will be setting yourself apart from the rest and will remain on par with what is expected for most government funding agencies.

How much can you get in government funding in Ontario

As a small business starting up in Ontario the costs that you need to have covered will vary. Depending on how you break down your expenses based on what you need funding for you may be eligible for certain amounts from a number of programs.

Some business owners ask for a few $1,000, while others ask for a few $100,000. So, it all depends on the type of business, financials and funding requirements.

The Ontario Government has a number of great programs to help small business owners is succeeding. Take advantage of what is available and work with the funding expert to maximize your potential and to achieve success with your Ontario small business.

https://www.ontariostartups.org/purchase/
Funding

But I Only Want A Government Grant

As a small business getting started it’s tough. Money is needed to cover the various start-up expenses you may have.

A government grant can help a lot.

Generally speaking, government grants in the form of free money will ensure that you can start your business, fund the various costs you have, and succeed without the worry of having to pay that money back.

In other words, congratulations you won the lottery.

Unfortunately, this is now how it all works.

Government grants exist, however they’re handed out to those individuals and business owners who need them the most. It’s not to say that you don’t need it but specific businesses requiring the funding for specific needs are more likely to obtain a non repayable government grant.

So as much as you need just a government grant and no other type of funding, it doesn’t mean that this is what you will be eligible for.

There are a number of factors to consider when asking for a government grant.

These factors include the pop 5 such as

  •  The location of your business
  •  The specific industry your business is in
  •  The funding requirements that you have
  •  Your business plan
  •  Time of the year and deadlines

The above factors play a role in determining your eligibility for a Government Grant. Additional factors may be considered as well as each government funding program has it’s own criteria as well.

A government grant, being considered as a non repayable form of funding, it is always the top pick for most businesses. It’s money you don’t have to pay back.

However, the government agencies to provide the funding think of it a bit differently.

The agencies that provide the government grants focus on specific needs.

Usually, a government grant will be provided to those who help the business achieve success through a method of ensuring a wider benefit within the community.

Things like hiring employees, providing training, going green, and similar will more benefit from a government grant than those whose focus is to purchase equipment, pay for marketing, or spend the money on supplies and inventory.

Remember that the key focus of any government grant agency it’s not to just hand out the money, but to meet the own objectives that they want to accomplish with the money they have set in place.

These objectives must be met. So, when you are applying for funding, you should always ensure that you match the criteria, otherwise, don’t apply.

Depending on your specific funding needs, it might be a good idea to break down the amount of funding that you need into the specific requirements. Doing this will help determine if you’re eligible for a government grant only or multiple types of programs including those of government loans, tax breaks or tax credits.

Speaking with an Ontario Startups expert will also help you determine what you’re more likely to obtain in the form of funding from the various levels of government.

Is there a way that you can only obtain a grant for your business?

Many business owners only apply for a government grant.

Some are successful, some are not. The success of your applications depends on many factors.

If you are only in the market for a grant, a regular search to access all available funding is often recommended. As funding programs change regularly, keeping a lookout for the top grant programs as they come out is always key.

While it is recommended to apply to multiple sources and maximize your potential, you know your business best and you know exactly what you need money for. Focus on that which requires the most.

Keep in mind however that you are most likely to obtain funding for your business when your funding needs are broken down properly and when you consider all types of funding programs and you utilize the funds only for the requirements that you have in mind within the first year of business.

If you need guidance or wish to access all available funding options for your specific business the Ontario Startups funding database has all of the government grants and other forms of funding options listed.

Small Business Funding in Ontario
Funding

Small business funding in Ontario

When it comes to starting a small business in Ontario the government has a lot of support provided towards small business owners startups and entrepreneurs

This support often comes from 3 levels in the government including the law including the local government, the Ontario provincial government, and the federal government of Canada.

The money that is available comes in a number of forms including funding from government grants, government loans, tax breaks, tax credits, and other funding options.

With such a variety of funding options available, small business owners don’t have to rely on personal funding and are not forced to utilize banks or 3rd party investors.

Accessing these government funds is one of the key challenges that most entrepreneurs in Ontario face.

Not because the funds are not available but they’re extremely difficult to access or find.

Why, you ask?

Since the funding comes from multiple levels of the government they are scattered across hundreds of websites from the various government funding agencies.

Most of these funding agencies don’t promote their funding programs. Instead, they rather use that promotional money to fund business owners.

To no fault of their own, their marketing just isn’t there.

So how does a small business in Ontario get funding?

Well, there are a few options.

1st you can start by accessing the government site. While there are dozens of government sites per city or per province, the federal government website can be of a lot of help If you know what you’re looking for.

2nd there are a lot of 3rd party options such as the Ontario Startups Funding Database that helps with finding and accessing all of the available government funding programs in Ontario and across Canada.

3rd, you can take some time on your own and Google the information. As most of this government funding info is public information as long as you have the time and patience you were able to Google and find most of the options on your own.

What type of funding programs are best to consider in Ontario?

There are many different options in Ontario to fund your small business. As mentioned, some of these come from forms of government grants or government loans. What you want to obtain entirely depends on you.

Government grants are some of the best options.

These options provide you money for your business for the various costs that your business may have. Most of the time the government grants are considered non-repayable. This means you take the money from the government, use the funds for your own purpose that you initially applied with and you don’t have to pay it back.

Government loans on the other hand are funds that you do have to pay back. However, these government loan programs are much better than any bank loans.

The interest rates are a lot better, the repayment terms are a lot better and the conditions of the loan, much better in most cases.

These government loans are easily attainable and more available in comparison to government grants.

Tax breaks and tax credits are also available.

They’re not as fun simply because you first have to spend the money in order to take advantage. In most cases, money that you don’t have, in order to qualify for a tax credit or for a tax break.

The tax breaks or credits are often obtained at the end of the year during tax filing season. In order to be qualified for most of these, you have to keep receipts of your purchases and they have to qualify for the various criteria that these tax programs offer.

If you had a choice to pick whether to go with the grant a loan or a tax program, grand options are the best. However, loans are the easiest to obtain.

What do I need to qualify small business funding in Ontario?

If you’d like to qualify for a small business funding program in Ontario made available by the local provincial or federal government, you have to have a few things.

You need to have a business registered. A business however does not have to be active or make revenue just yet.

You have to have a formal business plan. One that explains your business model, your funding requirements, shows a little bit of your financials, and gives an idea of what you do to the funding agency.

You have to find the right program. Programs that cover the specific needs you have, but also programs that you can meet the criteria for as well.

Lastly, you have to apply on time. If you miss the deadline, or the program option is no longer available and you will be denied.

Is there a funding program for my business?

Currently, in Ontario there are approximately 500 different funding programs. As mentioned these programs come from the local, Ontario provincial, and the federal government.

To determine if you’re eligible for a funding program you first have to have a completed business plan that breaks down your funding needs. This information will be used to help determine which program options you may qualify for.

As most funding agencies have certain factors that they consider they will be looking at your location,  the industry that you’re in as well as how you intend on using the funds.

Accessing the Ontario Startups Small Business Funding Database, you will have access to all of the funding programs available. With a simple search or guidance from an expert, you will be able to locate the right options that are available for your small business in Ontario.

What if I apply and am denied?

If you apply to a funding program in Ontario for your small business and you’re denied funding, it’s not the end of the world.

Getting denied funding is a common issue. An issue that you have to learn from adjusting and simply re-do.

The most common denial reasons from a government funding agency across Ontario will be the lack of information in your business plan, applying at the wrong time, past the deadline, or not having the application properly completed.

This is something that your Ontario Startups experts will assist you with to ensure that the common mistakes are avoided. Whatever the reason is for your denial of government funding you would be notified by the various agencies as to the reason why. This reason why is crucial to improve your business plan, fix your applications and update your criteria for the next time you apply.

Government Grants vs Government Loans in Ontario
Funding

The difference between government grants and government loans

As you start a small business in Ontario, government funding options may be considered to help you get the capital required to start up.

The Ontario government has a number of different funding programs to help with this.

Knowing which programs are best suited for your type of business and the various funding areas funding needs can help you succeed

So what are the various government funding program types?

The most common include government grants, government loans, and tax breaks or also refer to as tax credits.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at the difference between government grants and government loans.

Government Grants versus Government Loans

Both government grants and government loans are provided by the various levels of the Canadian government. The funds can come from your local government, the provincial Ontario government, and via the federal government of Canada.

Wherever the money comes from, funds can be used to help your small business advance and pay for the various expenses you may have.

Government Grants

There are multiple types of government grants.

Not all government grants are made equal. But all government grants are non repayable.

There are a few different types of government grants including those of:

  • Non repayable government grants
  • One time and Renewable Grant
  • Partial contributions

 While other government grants exist, these are the top grant types.

Non repayable government grants

Just as they are called these types of government programs are non repayable. This means that the money that you are provided with to fund whatever requirement you have for your small business, the money does not need to go back.

The money is yours to do with what you wish as long as it covers the initial application requirements you applied for.

Failing to apply the funds towards a requirement that you initially stated could however result in a penalty and require you to pay the money back.

One time and renewable grants

The one time grants are usually funding programs that are created to fund at 1-time purchase or payment. These programs aren’t placed to get you a kick start with your business.

Generally, the one-time grant payments are made to help you hire staff, provide training, go green, and so on.

The renewable aspect comes in if you’re a larger company and you need to have these types of expenses ongoing, and require support.

Partial contributions

Another form of government grant that requires no repayment, however, most business owners try to shy away from this type of funding.

The partial contribution part requires that you as the business owner put in a portion of the funding towards your own business as well.

This way both you and the government agency providing you the funds share the same risk.

The percentage of the partial contribution may vary from program to program, business to business to business, and may have additional terms to meet in order to be eligible.

A government grant is always preferred. It is free money that you can use the start and boost your small business in Ontario. While not everybody can qualify for a government grant if you do, you are in luck.

Access the Ontario small business start-up platform and the funding database to see all available government grants as of today.

Government loans

If by chance you’re not eligible for any government grants,  government loans aren’t just as good if you need the funding.

The majority of government loans are far better than any private or bank loans. A government loan means money in your pocket to cover the needed expenses of your small business.

There are different types of government loans to consider,  And these include:

  •  Low interest loans
  •  No interest loans
  •  Conditionally repayable loans
  •  Government guaranteed loans

In a comparison of government grants and government loans, the loans are often much easier to obtain.

They have more options for you to consider and often have less strict requirements. Government loans can also be used for more types of expenses.

Low interest and no interest loans

These types of loans are provided by the government and also come from various levels of the government, including the local, provincial and federal governments of Canada.

While these are funds you have to pay back because they are still considered a loan, there are options that have very low-interest rates that make it easy to borrow. There are also programs that have no interest tied to the amount at all.

Conditionally repayable loans

Some of the best types of government loans are conditionally repayable loans.

While it is money that you have to pay back, terms are often negotiated, and conditions are placed to help you as a small business borrow smart.

Some of the conditions may vary however, conditions such as not having to repay any amount of funding until you are successful and making money, is potential. Other conditions may be, only having to repay after a certain time such as 5 years later.

Conditional loans are very much recommended and comparison to any other types of loans available.

Government guaranteed loans

Often government-guaranteed loans are confused with guaranteed loans. What that means is that most people will consider that they are instantly approved and guaranteed the funding no matter what –  however, that is not the case.

Guaranteed government loans mean that the government will be the co-signer on your loan. 

So if things go south with the business you are on the hook for a percentage, while the government covers the rest.

In certain cases, the government can cover as much as 85% of the loan.

These types of loans are preferred as it gives you a  protection layer and can ensure that if things go bad you have some security.

To see all available government loans for your Ontario small business, Try using the funding database provided by Ontario Startups.

As you can see there are different types of government grants and different types of government loans. Each program branches out into more, and the likeliness of funding depends on many factors but now you are better educated on the different types of government loans and the different types of government grants.

If you need guidance and assistance in determining what grandson loans are available for your business, But what you should consider 1st, speak to one Ontario Startups expert today.

The cost to start a small business in Ontario
Business Planning

The cost to start a small business in Ontario

So you decided to start your own small business and Ontario.  One of the 1st steps is to determine the various start-up costs that you are going to have to cover.

Small business start-up costs vary from business to business.

  • Is your business online, an e-commerce model?
  • Does your business require a physical location?
  • Does your small business provide a service or a product?
  • Do you have staff?
  • Do you have inventory and supplies?

All of these are questions to answer in order to get a better understanding of the various start of costs for your small business in Ontario.

The good thing is that the Ontario government provides a number of government funding programs including government grants, government loans, and various tax breaks to small business owners starting up.

How much does it cost to start a business in Ontario

A typical small business in Ontario will cost between $5000 to $50,000. It can also go as much as a million dollars or more depending on the type of business.

One of the 1st steps to determining your startup costs is to determine your type of business. By answering some of the questions above you will get a better understanding of what type of business you have and the type of expenses you will have to have in order to operate your business.

Different types of startup expenses

When starting a small business in Ontario there are various costs to consider.

1st you have the one-time start up fees.

These startup fees can include the cost associated with registering your business, the initial set up of your website, paying into the marketing, purchasing the needed tools and equipment, covering your rent, and anything else that may be required as an initial capital investment.

The 2nd cost is the operational costs.

These are the ongoing costs that you have to cover usually month to month or at the very least once a year.

These types of costs again can include your rent, your marketing budget, any ongoing supplies, inventory changes, hiring costs, wages, and more.

Understanding your startup costs can make or break your small business.

 If early on you understand that certain costs you will require assistance with, it is a good idea to start considering the support of the local provincial and federal government. The various government grants and loans available can assist you with paying off some of the expenses, especially those initial start-up ones.

Remember, when starting a business, everything that you need to run your business smoothly will be an expense.

While certain expenses you can avoid many will be required to simplify you are starting a process.

Keeping your costs slow is key to success when starting a business in Ontario. However at the same time investing in your business can help it succeed, so don’t shy away from expenses.

Starting an Ontario business for under $5,000

Is it possible?

The costs of every start of business vary on is this very are many factors. You can start a business for under $5,000 however this depends on what your business actually is and the types of small business start-up costs and expenses that you will have.

If you are running an e-commerce style model, your expenses may be very minimal.

Think about, for a new e-commerce model you need your website,  hosting server, few marketing dollars, perhaps a logo, business registration and you just have to have a perfect idea to follow.

While it is recommended to keep costs slow, one of the most important decisions that you have to make is knowing if you will have enough money to cover the expenses to run the business that you want to run. If you plan on starting up with no money don’t do it.

A successful business will require an investment. That investment, be it from your own funds, borrowed from the bank, private investors, or government agencies, will be required to help you succeed in achieving your goals.

So what is the cost to start a small business in Ontario.

Depending on the type of business you want to start your costs will vary. It is recommended to get into business only when you have a certain amount of money that can cover various costs. At least for the very crucial costs. For the rest, try government funding as a way of paying off your expenses at least within the initial year.

To know more about the various costs associated with starting a small business speak to one Ontario Startups expert.

Your Government Funding Questions
Funding

Your government funding questions answered

The Ontario government provides funding to small business owners and entrepreneurs across the province. In addition to that, The Canadian federal government and the various local governments provide funding as well.

As a small business owner trying to find these funds, it might get a bit confusing or time-consuming.

The funding available is scattered across over 1,500 different programs. These programs come from the various levels of the government, each with its own website, requirements, and a unique process to apply.

Getting expert help to find the available government-finding programs is definitely recommended.

Using tools such as the Funding Database provided by Ontario Startups will ensure that you have all of the options in one place. Saving you time, And a lot of frustration.

With all of the confusion around government funding programs in Ontario, below is a list of questions that commonly come in, so we thought we’d share.

Does government funding really exist in Ontario?

Government funding is real.

Each province has its own funding program. These programs are set in place to help boost the economy.

The government hands out the money in order to help you succeed with your business and then in return, they expect you to hire staff and to pay tax.

This creates a cycle. A cycle that is ongoing and helps support entrepreneurship across the province each year.

Funding comes in various forms including government, government loans, and tax breaks.

How much funding can my small business in Ontario get?

As a small business in Ontario applying to any government funding program you should go in with a few prerequisites. The most important one is to know how much funding you actually need.

While there is no maximum or minimum that a funding agency can provide you unless they specify, your funding needs should be based on your business plan and on how much you need to succeed.

While applying for a million dollars would be ideal, it does not mean that this is what you actually need within the 1st year of your business. Consider your start-up cost and evaluate what you need money for urgently. This is what you apply for first.

Funding agencies often have limits that generally sit around $25,0000. However, if asking for funding, it’s a good idea to break down your funding requirements into smaller amounts that are specific, so that way you can apply to multiple funding programs covering a larger range if needed.

How do I know if I will be eligible for any government funding in Ontario?

To find out if your small business in Ontario is eligible for any funding, you have to access the government funding program requirement.

Unless you know which program to apply to, working with an expert will help determine this.  Each government funding program has its own requirements that have to be met in order for you to be eligible.

Certain factors such as your location, your industry, and the specific funding needs that you have will be the ones determining your likeliness to apply successfully.

Why would the government give my business money?

The government supports entrepreneurship. With that in mind, the government gives funding to small business owners that are looking to succeed. In return, you spend the money locally, you hire local staff, you pay your taxes, and this cycle helps boost the economy, and ultimately creates a new round of funding for another business to obtain.

What if there is no program available for my business?

If you are looking for government funding in Ontario and you have no success finding any applicable programs, it doesn’t mean that they’re not there.

The government agencies often don’t promote their funding programs, and this means that they are extremely difficult to find.

But in the case that you are not eligible for any of the options, the good news is that the funding programs constantly change. So if you don’t qualify, tomorrow is another day.

Working with the expert will ensure that you stay on top of the funding search and then you are matched to programs that may help with your funding needs.

What is the maximum that I can get from the Ontario government?

There is no maximum amount that you can get in government funding. At least this is not very clear as each funding agency has its own maximum figures.

To ensure optimal success and then you get as much as you need, break down your funding needs and apply to multiple funding programs that cover each of those needs individually.

After I apply for funding how soon can I get the funds?

Once you have successfully completed a government funding application, and you have submitted it, it can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks on average to hear back.

The speed depends on a number of factors including the time of the year, program deadlines, number of applicants, and more. All of these factors can impact the speed of your applications and fund approval.

Do I have to pay back the government money?

Depending on the type of government funding you are applying to, it may require repayment.

The money that has to be repaid will come in the form of a government loan or similar.

Tax breaks, credits, and government grants are often the non-repayable funds.

Keep in mind however that if you use the government funding incorrectly, try to fool the system, you may be asked to pay all of the funds back with a penalty.

What do I need to have in order to apply to a government funding program?

In order to apply for government funding successfully, you have to complete the funding application provided by the agency. As each agency has its own criteria, these are the items your small business must meet in order to qualify.

Remember the key to a successful application starts with a completed business plan.

These are just a few of the questions that are our members have in regards the government funding for small businesses in Ontario.

If you have any questions of your own, be sure to ask.

Government Grants for a Small Business in Ontario
Funding

Government Grants for a Small Business in Ontario

When deciding to start a small business in Ontario one of the lacking components of most business owners is the limited amount of funding or capital that they have available.

Funding can often be the reason why a business is successful, or why a business fails.

During the initial months of starting a small business as a business owner, you will have numerous expenses to cover.

These expenses include your regular startup costs, such as; purchasing the needed tools, the equipment, paying staff wages, covering your marketing expenses, purchasing inventory and supplies, your rent, and much more.

Unless you are using your personal funds, or savings for this, in most cases you will have to borrow.

Borrowing money is no easy task.

Sure you can borrow from your family and friends but to get some real money going you’re looking at bank loans, lines of credit, utilizing your credit cards, working with a business partner, using an investor, or accessing government funding options.

Government funding options are some of the best forms of funding that you can obtain.

While they may not be the easiest options to find, once you do, the chances that you’re able to fund each of your expenses are far greater than those of other options.

The various government funding options available include government grants, government loans, tax breaks, or credits.

The best type of program available would be a government grant. Government grants are considered non-repayable which means you can use the funds as you wish for the various needs that you initially applied for and these funds don’t have to pay back.

This way, your business has a chance of succeeding, and the government benefits as well.

Small business government grants are available in Ontario, you just have to find them.

Finding the available small business government grants is a challenge.

As the various government grants come from a number of agencies including local agencies, provincial agencies as well as federal government agencies, they can be difficult to locate.

With access to a platform such as the Funding Database here at Ontario Startups you would have access to all available government grant options as well as other forms of funding.

This will definitely help with the search process, to save you some time, frustration, and obviously allow you a focus on your business.

Government grants are considered the best funding options to apply for.

While government grants don’t always cover all aspects of your expenses, they can be used for the most beneficial ones. This is something you have to determine.

The various government agencies will fund small business owners looking to hire staff, provide training, improve their manufacturing, to go green, and much more.

How does the government make money on government grants

The government provides government grants as a way to boost the economy, create jobs and allow small businesses to succeed.

The government makes money on taxes.

The more success that you see, the more likely the government is to collect more taxes.

A win-win situation for both parties.

What small business grants are available in Ontario?

Government grant programs along with other forms of funding constantly change. Sometimes by the day.

Accessing the Funding Database here at Ontario Startups will allow you access to all options that are available. This way you can access all grants, all loans, and all tax programs with the click of a button.

The government grant programs that are easiest to access are the ones related to hiring, training, going green, and things that benefit more than just your business but the economy or the community as a whole.

What do I need to apply for a Government Grant?

To apply for a government grant in Ontario your small business will need to be registered. You will be required to have a formal business plan and 3 year financial projections. This is all that Ontario Startups can help you with and guide you step-by-step as you work with an expert.

What are the types of government grants?

The term government grants often simply means, free money.

While it is free money, there is a number of different types of government grants as well.

These different types of government grants include:

  • Non repayable government grants
  • Partial contributions
  • One time and renewable

As a small business, when applying for a government grant in Ontario, your goal should be to obtain one of the non repayable government grants.

However in most cases, you don’t really have a choice but you have to rely on what is available at the time of your search, your application, your industry, and your business location.

This may mean that you have to pick and go with what is available rather than what’s best for you.

A non repayable government grant is the best option, however not the only option to consider.

The non repayable government grants are exactly what they’re called, non repayable.

This means that once you apply for a non repayable government grant to cover a specific funding requirement and you are approved, the money that you are provided with does not have to be paid back.

On the other hand, you have partial contribution government grants. Another very common government grant program type.

While this is still money that you don’t have to pay back, in order to get the program or get approved, you have to have money of your own to invest.

An example of how the program works:

If you are looking for a grant of $50000, the partial contribution can approve a certain amount, as long as you have the other amount to put in yourself. As an example, the government can give you $35,000 dollars as long as you can put in the other $15, 000. Now the risk is shared.

The 3rd type of government grant is the one time or also call the renewable grant. This is a very specific program type that allows you to get funded once and keep going back for more if needed.

This type of government funding program is often used for hiring, training, renovations, and other activities that happen more than once in the lifespan of a business.

The money you take on is also considered non repayable in most cases.

If possible and if you qualify to take on a government grant, no matter the type will always be beneficial to your business. It is money that you don’t have to pay back and money that you can use to build your business up.

If you are not eligible for any government grant programs in Ontario for whatever reason, don’t give up.

Government grants are constantly announced, The programs are regularly changing and in order for you to not miss any options, it’s a good idea the keep regular searches going.

The OntarioStartups Funding Database can assist with this and keep you on track with all available government finding options including those government grants.

Funding

5 tips for starting a small business in Ontario

Starting your own small business in Ontario is no easy task. But it is very doable and can be very rewarding if done right.

When starting your small business you probably will do quite a bit of research. There’s a lot of information on the web to guide you in the right direction of starting your own business.

Some things that you read might be helpful, some might be confusing, and some might be useless.

But what advice and what guidance do you follow.

As Ontario is one of the most popular provinces in Canada, it does give small business owners lots of potentials to succeed. It is a rich province both financially speaking and in resources. The main resource is its population. So knowing how to take advantage is the key to your success.

Here are the 5 tips for starting your own small business in Ontario.

Tip #1 Pre plan your business.

If you already decided that you wanna start a business, your first step should be to pre-plan your small.

Make sure you actually do this and start by creating a business plan.

The best advice anybody can give you when starting your own small business is to first start with the proper business plan.

Your business plan, if done right will outline your business model and explain how the business will operate before you even get a chance to launch.

A business plan is actually a blueprint to your success. Once your plan is completed correctly it will outline all the necessary details that you will need to grow and to succeed. It will be a road map to follow each step on the way.

While business plans can be quite expensive to get professionally completed, you have a number of ways around it.

You can create your own business plan from scratch, or use tools and templates that are available to get this done.

You can also use the business plan builder tool available through Ontario Startups as part of our platform which will also allow you to get your business plan completed and reviewed by a professional expert to ensure that your plan is up to par with what is expected.

Tip #2 Figure out how much you have to start with

Starting a business with no money is never a good idea. While it can be done it does make your start a process a lot more difficult.

Think about it, everything costs money.

Your website, Your business cards, Is your inventory, supplies, marketing…. Everything comes with a cost

So, while you can go through the business with spending very minimal amounts of money, Everything that you don’t spend money on that would be required, will delay the process.

Figuring out how much you have available will help you achieve your success a lot faster.

The amount of capital that you’re starting with will determine what you can and can’t spend on, what tools and resources you might be able to use to speed up the process, and how far you can go with your own expenses.

If you don’t have any funds of your own, borrowing from family, friends, business partners, or even using your credit cards or personal loans can sometimes help kickstart the business.

If you borrow money, be sure to borrow smart.

Tip #3 Determine your start up costs

If you have completed your business plan from step one, the startup cost process will be easy to determine.

Your startup costs determine the outcome of your business initially.

Do you have the capital that you need to successfully lunch, or do you need to cut back?

Remember that you have 2 types of expenses. The expenses that “would be nice to have” and the ones that you consider as “must-haves”.

Your top priority will be the crucial expenses that you can’t move forward without.

These expenses are initially your startup costs. It is often the one-time costs to help you set up, purchase the needed tools and equipment, get your website created, invest in the initial inventory if needed, cover your initial rent, and so on.

From there you have your ongoing expenses. The expenses may be monthly or at the very least annually covered, which are a must in order to operate successfully.

Things like paying your rent, your phone bill, internet, utilities, your wages, staffs wages, and so on.

Determining your startup costs and operating expenses will help you in the long run.

Tip #4 Find government funding

If you have taken some time to determine your startup costs and have completed this step, tip #4 will be the next step in the process.

The Ontario government along with various local governments and the federal government have numerous government funding programs to help small business owners across Ontario.

What this means for you is that you might be eligible for funding to cover some of your small business expenses.

The funding comes in the form of government grants, government loans, tax breaks, and credits. They are all ultimately created to help you succeed.

To find available government funding programs for your Ontario small business consider working with an expert at Ontario Startups, and utilizing the funding database which currently contains over 1500 different government funding programs.

Tip #5 working with an expert

While not everybody can afford to work with a business expert or mentor, if you can manage it, it’s very much recommended.

Experts and mentors who have gone through the startup process in Ontario are much more likely to have the needed guidance is supported to provide you so you can succeed with avoiding the common pitfalls.

As the web is full of guidance and support, knowing what to listen to and what guidance to follow is a bit tricky. So following a local expert or somebody who understands business in Ontario and across Canada. This will be your best bet for success.

Experts at Ontario Startups have years of experience, in starting, funding, and launching small businesses across Ontario.

As part of the small business start up platform that Ontario Startups provides its members, expert guidance, and the step-by-step handholding is provided to all members.

Registered today to benefit from the step-by-step guidance.

The above are the 5 tips that help you start your small business and Ontario. Remember that your business plan is the key. Once you have your business plan, it will determine your costs, will help you find 3rd party funding such as that from the government of Ontario, and will help you get on track with a successful launch of your business.

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