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How Much Does a Business Plan Cost?

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A complete business plan helps you to identify your business goals and how you plan on reaching them. Whether you are a new business owner or an experienced entrepreneur, writing a comprehensive business plan can help you start, grow, and/or attract investors to fund your business.  

How Much Does It Cost to Write a Business Plan ?

Business plan pricing depends on what route you take to create it. However, there are a few essential elements that are common to all business plans:

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Operations Plan
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan

There are several ways to approach writing a successful business plan, but the cost of each way varies widely. The cost of a business plan can be a significant investment, but it’s an essential tool for any business. Below we provide some tips for what to consider and the costs for the various methods of completing your own business plan.  

Considerations When Writing Your Own Business Plans

There are several things to consider when writing your own plan. Depending on whether you’re in need of funding and how much, the costs for your business plan will be different.

Take into account:

  • How long will your business plan be?
  • How many hours does it take to complete the business plan?
  • What kind of language is used in the business plan?
  • Who will use the business plan?
  • Who will fund your business?
  • How much are you looking to raise or if you need funding at all?

According to our business consultants’ surveys of investor requirements, a 15- to 25-page business plan is the ideal length. Adding more pages may cause your time-constrained investor to skim portions of the plan, even if they are interested, which might result in important information being overlooked. However, fewer pages may lead potential investors to believe that the firm has not been thoroughly thought out or simply doesn’t have enough information for them to make an investment decision.  

Business Plan Template Costs

There are a variety of business plan templates online that you can purchase for a one-time fee. These templates range in price but usually start at around $100. Remember, a bargain business plan template may not include all the information that you need, so it’s important to understand what is included with the template you purchase.

Many of these templates also come with instructions to help you fill in the template and make changes as needed. However, if there is something you want to be changed on the template, it may take time and money to have it done.

Be sure to do your research and find the right template for your business. The wrong template could set you back even further and change the face of your business entirely. If you purchase a professional business plan template, make sure it’s from a reputable business plan company with business plan writing skills   in a variety of industries.

The business plan template should be easily editable and customized for your specific business needs and industry trends.

If you do not want to pay for a template, there are companies that will charge by the page and some that offer free resources . However, these templates may not have been professional business plans written for your exact type of business.  

Experienced Consultants & Business Plan Writers Cost

Hiring a business plan writer or professional writing service will help you get a comprehensive business plan written just for your business. A professional business plan consultant will help you identify your goals and how your company will reach these goals. A business plan consultant fee usually costs more but can be worth it if you do not have the time or resources to complete the business plan yourself.

A business plan writer can be found through online directories, but be sure to do your research prior to engaging in business with them. Be sure to ask for references and read reviews before hiring a business plan writing service.

If you choose to hire a business plan consultant, the complexity and length of the plan will determine how much is a business plan. Generally, a consulting firm or private consultants charge between $1,000 and $5,000 to have a comprehensive business plan written . However, a lengthy and complex plan can easily start at a few thousand dollars and stretch into the tens of thousands of dollars based on the needs of the business.

Some experienced business plan writing services also offer package deals that include additional services, such as market research, a marketing plan, and realistic financial projections.

Business Plan Software Costs

There are business plan software applications that can be used for free or have a monthly subscription cost, which may work better for your needs depending on what you need in a business plan. These apps provide templates and make writing a business plan and business planning easier. They help organize the information you enter into the app and will sometimes offer advice on how to do things like financial projections for your business plan .

The information that you put into the application can be used for several different types of business plan needs. These apps are great for startups and small businesses looking to raise capital or secure funding.

Each app or software varies in what it offers. Some are more customizable than others, some have more options for presenting your business plan, and some even offer investment opportunities. With just your business idea, the business planning software can help you write your own business plan quickly and easily. 

Write Your Own Business Plan from Scratch

If you do not want to purchase a template or use software, the easiest and most cost-effective way is to write a business plan from scratch. This route takes time and effort to complete but can be done by anyone willing to put in the work.

When writing your business plan documents, remember that they should be as detailed as possible. This document is your guide to starting and running your business. The more complete it is, the better off you’ll be.

There are a variety of free resources available online to help you write a business plan, including articles, templates, and even video courses.

When writing a business plan from scratch, it’s important to consider all of your business aspects. This includes your business concept or business model , management, production, market research , sales strategies , customer service, operations, human resources, financial projections , and more.

Try to be as thorough as possible when writing the plan. While the task may seem daunting at first, you’ll find that putting together a business plan is not so bad once you get started. After all, if you can dream it, you can write it.

The cost of writing a b usiness plan is dependent on the purpose, type, and length of the business plan. The amount of time it takes to complete a  business plan , the language used, and who will be using the document also play a factor in the cost. You can find templates for a one-time fee or pay by the page, hire a business plan writing service or a business plan writer , contact a consulting firm , or use software/apps to create your business plan. Whichever option you choose, make sure you do your research, conduct an in-depth business plan review, and find the best resource to meet the goals for your business.  

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How to create the perfect business plan in 10 steps

Every business needs a plan. But how do you write one? Here are 10 steps to help you get it right.

A business plan written up in a notebook

What is a business plan?

A business plan is the roadmap for a business and shows the overall strategy, goals and vision for success. It shows how a business operates and how it will make money.

It’s different from a business proposal which is a pitch to sell a product or service to a prospective customer.

Why do you need a business plan?

You may be wondering why you need a plan in the first place. After all, you have a clear idea in your mind about what you want to achieve. You know the market, you have the necessary skills. So why do you need a plan?

There are many good reasons. Here are just a few of them:

  • To clarify your ideas: Writing something down gives it structure and substance. Your ideas will be clearer on paper than in your head.
  • To discover and solve problems: The business idea you have in mind may have some holes – you might not have covered everything. This will become much more apparent when your words are on the page.
  • To get feedback from others: A properly written business plan can be shared with trusted people to get their advice.
  • As a formal document: Banks, investors, accountants and lawyers will want proof that you’re serious about your business. A written plan will provide that proof.
  • To guide you as your business grows: A good business plan will keep you on track and focused, even as day-to-day work becomes a distraction.

If you’ve never written a business plan before, it can be a daunting prospect. But these 10 steps will help you create the perfect business plan.

1. The executive summary

This is where you describe your company and the product or service that it will sell. This must be brief, to catch and hold people’s attention.

Try to describe the goal and mission of your business in just a couple of sentences. Work hard at this and try to make it memorable.

Treat this section as an elevator pitch document – it should be succinct and easy to remember.

You can read more about how to create the executive summary in our guide What is an Executive Summary in a Business Plan?

2. Who are your customers?

Do you have a clear idea of the type of people (or businesses) who will buy your product or service? If not, think carefully until you do.

This is one of the first questions any investor will ask you about your business plan. Have your answers ready.

  • Know whether your customers will be consumers or businesses. If they are businesses, who will you target within those companies? Maybe it’s the salesperson, or perhaps it’s the CEO?
  • Determine whether you'll have regular clients or one-off buyers.
  • Make sure you’ve actually spoken to some of your potential customers.

3. Evaluate the target audience

There’s no room for guessing here. You need to identify the people or businesses who will buy from you. Think about the following:

  • Demographics – such as age, gender and social status
  • Firmographics – includes size of the company, revenue of the company and services or products of the company
  • Location – perhaps a specific area, town, or even country
  • Profession – maybe you’re targeting accountants, police or lawyers, for example
  • Groups – such as people with shared interests or habits

The better you evaluate your target audience, the more comprehensive your business plan will be.

4. What are your opportunities?

Successful businesses think big. You might be starting small, but you don’t have to stay that way. So write down the possible opportunities for your business as it grows.

For example, perhaps you’re planning to start by selling over the internet. That’s great, but how will you get traffic to your site? How will people find you online? Will you need salespeople? If not, how will you convince people to buy from you?

As the business grows, is there scope for a bricks-and-mortar retail outlet? What other opportunities will you have if your business grows as planned?

5. Understand the competition

Every business has competition. If you don’t mention yours, investors will think you’re unprofessional – or just plain naive. Be thorough, and list all your existing and potential competitors:

  • Who are your direct competitors – those selling the same products as you?
  • Who are your indirect competitors – those whose market overlaps yours?
  • What will prevent other companies competing with you – what are the barriers to entry?
  • What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? In other words, what’s your point of difference that makes you different from your competitors?

That last point is important. You need to explain how your business will differentiate itself from all the others. That might be based on price, service, quality, range or value. Make sure you spell it out.

6. Build a simple financial plan

All business plans should contain some financial information. This should include the overall costs of setting up your business. For example:

  • Cost to make or buy products
  • Costs for labour and manufacture, including raw materials
  • Employee costs, especially for service businesses
  • Distribution and marketing costs
  • Fixed and variable overheads

Good accounting software will help you create a draft financial model. We’ll look into this in more detail in a future guide. For now, talk to your accountant or bookkeeper for help and advice.

7. Include an outline marketing plan

For this section of your business plan, you need to think about the five ‘Ps’:

  • Pricing – how will you price the end product?
  • Positioning – how does your product or service fit into the market?
  • Promotion – what channels will you use to attract and communicate with customers?
  • Profit – how much do you expect to make per item sold?
  • Place – what are your sales outlets?

8. Plan your operations

Put your vision to one side for a moment. What are the daily tasks that need to be done when running the business? Include all business processes such as manufacturing and packaging. Try to cover all departments too, including sales and customer service.

9. Get the right people

This is one of the most important factors. Think about who you want to hire . How will you find people whose skills complement yours? And how will you convince them to work for you?

Also think about who you want as your business advisors. You'll need people you can trust, to guide and mentor you at times when you need it.

10. Simplicity is the key

Keep it simple. Complex and long documents won’t be read – either by you or by potential investors. A business plan should be brief, relevant and focused (you can use our free business plan template ).

If you find yourself getting carried away while writing, stop and take a break. Then go back and edit what you’ve written. Shorter is better. The core of a good business plan should be just a few pages long.

Plan your business around your strengths

As you write your business plan , keep in mind your strengths – and also any areas for improvement. This will help you construct a plan that makes the most of your abilities, while still being realistic. That's more likely to convince investors that you're serious.

Your business plan is a roadmap for your business – but it's not set in stone. Review it at least once a year and make changes if necessary.

Above all, keep getting feedback from your advisors – official and unofficial ones. With their help, you'll create the perfect business plan that takes you where you want to go.

Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided.

Download the business plan template

Fill in the form to get a free business plan template as an editable PDF. We’ll send a one-pager and a multi-pager to choose from.

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Our team of professionals has written over 5,000 business plans that have been approved for over $350 Million in capital for our clients . We work closely with all Canadian banks, the BDC and all Government Grant programs to ensure the quality of our business plans. We have the track record of creating business plans that get you funding. Our clients invest in us because we create the framework for their business which they can then take to banks, lending organizations, investors and the like, to have them finance their business dreams.  

How can BizPlan Pros help me?

BizPlan Pros provides you with all the services you need to build a better business in Canada. From our business plan writing services, to business coaching, accounting and bookkeeping assistance to  help with starting a business from scratch, we have over 30 years’ experience helping business owners develop their business strategy with ease and professionalism.

How much does a business plan cost?

The price of your business plan depends on two major factors (and some minor ones, but let’s concentrate on the big ones). 1. The complexity of the business we need to describe – the more complex the business the more writing will have to be done about it. 2. The purpose of your business plan. For example, are you applying for a $25,000 government grant or a million dollar business loan etc.? The consultant will go over these questions with you during your free consultation and give you customized quote.

Do you have a free business plan template on your site?

Yes we do! It is at the bottom of our “Resources” page. You can download it absolutely free! This free template will give a good understanding of all the sections which a proper business plan must include.

How long does it take for business plan to be done?

Depending on which plan you choose (Silver, Gold Platinum) it usually takes 1 – 3 weeks respectively.

What do I need to provide?

Once we settle on the kind of business plan you need. Our staff will begin to communicate with you immediately through email or telephone (according to your preference) and we will send you a questionnaire and a financial spreadsheet to collect some information about your business.

You should begin to fill out the questionnaire and the spreadsheet as soon as possible. As an FYI, the more detail you provide the better your plan will be as it will give us more insight into your business and how you intend to operate.  Please let your contact at BizPlan Pros know if you need assistance with the questionnaire or the financial spreadsheet. Once we have your information, the writer will be in the position to develop your financial graphs, charts and break-even analysis.

Are BizPlan Pros fees tax deductible?

Yes, all the fees charged by BizPlan Pros are 100% tax deductible as a business expense.

What is your success rate with helping your business plans?

Based on the feedback we have been receiving from our clients over the years, we have been about 85% successful in helping our clients acquire funding for their businesses from various sources.

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2. Prepare business plan

A business plan explains your business idea, short and long-term business goals and what resources are available to start and operate your business. 

A business plan explains your business idea, short and long-term business goals and what resources are available to start and operate your business. If you need help writing a business plan:

  • contact your local Small Business Enterprise Centre or, if you are a technology or innovation company, a Regional Innovation Centre
  • check available online resources, such as BDC , Futurpreneur , or BPlans for sample business plans talk to your local bank to see what tools they have to help you start your business

How to Write a Business Plan: Your Step-by-Step Guide

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So, you’ve got an idea and you want to start a business —great! Before you do anything else, like seek funding or build out a team, you'll need to know how to write a business plan. This plan will serve as the foundation of your company while also giving investors and future employees a clear idea of your purpose.

Below, Lauren Cobello, Founder and CEO of Leverage with Media PR , gives her best advice on how to make a business plan for your company.

Build your dream business with the help of a high-paying job—browse open jobs on The Muse »

What is a business plan, and when do you need one?

According to Cobello, a business plan is a document that contains the mission of the business and a brief overview of it, as well as the objectives, strategies, and financial plans of the founder. A business plan comes into play very early on in the process of starting a company—more or less before you do anything else.

“You should start a company with a business plan in mind—especially if you plan to get funding for the company,” Cobello says. “You’re going to need it.”

Whether that funding comes from a loan, an investor, or crowdsourcing, a business plan is imperative to secure the capital, says the U.S. Small Business Administration . Anyone who’s considering giving you money is going to want to review your business plan before doing so. That means before you head into any meeting, make sure you have physical copies of your business plan to share.

Different types of business plans

The four main types of business plans are:

Startup Business Plans

Internal business plans, strategic business plans, one-page business plans.

Let's break down each one:

If you're wondering how to write a business plan for a startup, Cobello has advice for you. Startup business plans are the most common type, she says, and they are a critical tool for new business ventures that want funding. A startup is defined as a company that’s in its first stages of operations, founded by an entrepreneur who has a product or service idea.

Most startups begin with very little money, so they need a strong business plan to convince family, friends, banks, and/or venture capitalists to invest in the new company.

Internal business plans “are for internal use only,” says Cobello. This kind of document is not public-facing, only company-facing, and it contains an outline of the company’s business strategy, financial goals and budgets, and performance data.

Internal business plans aren’t used to secure funding, but rather to set goals and get everyone working there tracking towards them.

As the name implies, strategic business plans are geared more towards strategy and they include an assessment of the current business landscape, notes Jérôme Côté, a Business Advisor at BDC Advisory Services .

Unlike a traditional business plan, Cobello adds, strategic plans include a SWOT analysis (which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and an in-depth action plan for the next six to 12 months. Strategic plans are action-based and take into account the state of the company and the industry in which it exists.

Although a typical business plan falls between 15 to 30 pages, some companies opt for the much shorter One-Page Business Plan. A one-page business plan is a simplified version of the larger business plan, and it focuses on the problem your product or service is solving, the solution (your product), and your business model (how you’ll make money).

A one-page plan is hyper-direct and easy to read, making it an effective tool for businesses of all sizes, at any stage.

How to create a business plan in 7 steps

Every business plan is different, and the steps you take to complete yours will depend on what type and format you choose. That said, if you need a place to start and appreciate a roadmap, here’s what Cobello recommends:

1. Conduct your research

Before writing your business plan, you’ll want to do a thorough investigation of what’s out there. Who will be the competitors for your product or service? Who is included in the target market? What industry trends are you capitalizing on, or rebuking? You want to figure out where you sit in the market and what your company’s value propositions are. What makes you different—and better?

2. Define your purpose for the business plan

The purpose of your business plan will determine which kind of plan you choose to create. Are you trying to drum up funding, or get the company employees focused on specific goals? (For the former, you’d want a startup business plan, while an internal plan would satisfy the latter.) Also, consider your audience. An investment firm that sees hundreds of potential business plans a day may prefer to see a one-pager upfront and, if they’re interested, a longer plan later.

3. Write your company description

Every business plan needs a company description—aka a summary of the company’s purpose, what they do/offer, and what makes it unique. Company descriptions should be clear and concise, avoiding the use of jargon, Cobello says. Ideally, descriptions should be a few paragraphs at most.

4. Explain and show how the company will make money

A business plan should be centered around the company’s goals, and it should clearly explain how the company will generate revenue. To do this, Cobello recommends using actual numbers and details, as opposed to just projections.

For instance, if the company is already making money, show how much and at what cost (e.g. what was the net profit). If it hasn’t generated revenue yet, outline the plan for how it will—including what the product/service will cost to produce and how much it will cost the consumer.

5. Outline your marketing strategy

How will you promote the business? Through what channels will you be promoting it? How are you going to reach and appeal to your target market? The more specific and thorough you can be with your plans here, the better, Cobello says.

6. Explain how you’ll spend your funding

What will you do with the money you raise? What are the first steps you plan to take? As a founder, you want to instill confidence in your investors and show them that the instant you receive their money, you’ll be taking smart actions that grow the company.

7. Include supporting documents

Creating a business plan is in some ways akin to building a legal case, but for your business. “You want to tell a story, and to be as thorough as possible, while keeping your plan succinct, clear, interesting, and visually appealing,” Cobello says. “Supporting documents could include financial projects, a competitive analysis of the market you’re entering into, and even any licenses, patents, or permits you’ve secured.”

A business plan is an individualized document—it’s ultimately up to you what information to include and what story you tell. But above all, Cobello says, your business plan should have a clear focus and goal in mind, because everything else will build off this cornerstone.

“Many people don’t realize how important business plans are for the health of their company,” she says. “Set aside time to make this a priority for your business, and make sure to keep it updated as you grow.”

how much does a business plan cost in canada

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How Much Do Business Plan Writers Cost?

business plan cost

When you’re starting or growing a business, it’s important to have a clear plan in place. Writing a business plan can help you outline your goals and sales strategies, and it can be a valuable tool when seeking funding from potential investors such as venture capitalists or a bank loan. 

If you don’t have time to write your own business plan, or if you need help getting started, professional business plan writing services can be a great option. But, how much do these services cost? And is it worth the investment? Let’s take a closer look.

How Much Should I Pay For a Business Plan Writing Service?

Professional business plan writers and consultants generally charge between $2,000 and $25,000. However, the cost largely depends on the required quality of your plan, the complexity of your business plan, and the length of the document. Professional business plans for very small companies may only require a few thousand dollars to be written, while more complex business plans for larger, growing companies can easily cost over ten thousand dollars.

There are also private consultants who will write or edit your business plan on an hourly fee basis. Fees can range from $50 to $300 per hour or more, depending on the consultant and the complexity of your business plan.

Whoever you choose to get started with your business plan, be sure to consider what’s included in your service. At the very least, you should expect:

  • Comprehensive business plan including an executive summary, market analysis, marketing plan, financial plan with 3-5 years of financial projections, and other essential components required by potential investors
  • Customization based on your business model and specific to your business needs
  • Well-researched business plan based on relevant industry information and a thorough competitive analysis

There are several companies out there that offer complete business plan writing services. However, the quality of their work can vary dramatically. If you’re considering hiring outside help to write your business plan, choose carefully.

It’s important to remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to these types of services. If you go with a cheap plan writer, you run the risk of ending up with a low-quality business plan. If your business plan isn’t strong and professional-looking, it may be harder for you to get funding or attract investors.

Looking for a Business Plan Writer?

You’ve come to the right place!  Since Growthink was founded in 1999, we have provided business plan writing services for thousands of clients including startups, small business owners, nonprofit organizations and mid to large-sized companies. 

We understand that writing a business plan can be a time-consuming process for many entrepreneurs.  Hiring a business plan writer will allow you to quickly and expertly create a custom business plan.

 Expert Team of Business Plan Writers

 Fully Customized Business Plans

 Market & Competitor Research

 Complete Financial Projections

 Strategic Consulting For Growth & Funding

Get Started Now!

Call us at (800) 216-3710 or complete the form below and one of our business plan writers will reach out to you to schedule a time to speak about your business plan needs.

You can learn more about our business plan consulting services here

What Factors Impact Business Plan Pricing?

Some things that impact business planning services pricing include:

  • Length – Longer, more complex business plans will cost more than shorter business plans.
  • Company Size – A business plan for a large or complicated company can be more expensive to write.
  • Level of Expertise – Smaller companies may opt to hire less experienced writers who charge lower prices, while larger, well-established companies choose to work with high-quality professionals who charge higher rates. You can’t expect a less experienced writer to help you achieve your goals (funding, growth) for your business plan.
  • Turnaround Time – Generally, shorter turnaround times mean increased prices. Typically it will take 3-4 weeks to write a quality business plan.
  • Additional Services – Some companies offer additional services, such as business plan presentation and pitch deck editing and support. These can cost extra.

To really get your business off the ground, it’s important to have a business plan in place that has been written by someone with the expertise to put together a successful business plan. A professional business plan consultant is an excellent investment for increasing your chances of securing the funds you need to start and/or grow your business. However, it’s important to do your research and choose carefully when you’re ready to hire.

Who Can I Hire To Write My Business Plan?

When choosing a business plan writer or consulting firm, it’s important to look for a company with significant business experience and proven expertise in business plan development. Look for companies that have been around for at least five years and do business plan writing on a regular basis. They should also be able to provide references from other companies that they’ve worked with.

A Business Plan Writing Company or Consultant

When hiring a business plan writing service , you’ll have two primary options. You can opt to work with a single writer or a dedicated team of experts who will be responsible for the entire project. The price of the service may vary depending on which option you choose.

A business plan writer typically costs less than an entire team, but it’s important to keep in mind that you may have less control over the outcome. The upside is that your business plan will be written by an expert with a deep understanding of the writing process.

When choosing this route, you should ask for references and examples of previous work. Before hiring any business plan writer, be sure they have the proper credentials and experience to meet your needs. You should also ask about any fees associated with revisions or updates.

Many businesses choose to work with a business plan consulting firm that offers a collaborative team of experts. This type of company will give you the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to utilize the knowledge and expertise of all the experts involved in the project, while still retaining control over the direction and vision of your business plan.

If you’re trying to determine how much it will cost to work with a business plan writing service, take some time to explore all of your options before making a final decision. You should consider both pricing models as well as the qualifications offered by the various service providers in your area. Doing so will ensure you find the most qualified choice for your business planning needs.

You Can Write It Yourself

If you are a newer entrepreneur or business owner or you are trying to save money, there are several free resources available online to help you write your business plan. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and your local Chamber of Commerce offer business plan services, workshops, or courses that can help you get started. Using a business plan template is a great way to quickly and easily complete your plan, especially if you are unfamiliar with the business planning process.

Some business owners are comfortable writing business plans without any outside help. This option offers you complete control over the process, but it typically takes more time than you have to spare. For that reason, not writing your own plan is usually recommended for experienced business owners, even those with plenty of business plan writing experience.

In most cases, experienced business owners who write their own business plans will have a better idea of what elements are needed and how they should be presented. However, it can still take considerable time to compile all the necessary information into a cohesive business plan that meets your audience’s needs. And it’s one thing to write a business plan; it’s another to write a business plan that gets investors or lenders to write you a large funding check.

A Combination of Business Planning Services

If your budget doesn’t allow you to hire a comprehensive business plan service, combining outside services with writing your own business plan may be the best option. This approach gives you complete control over the process, while still allowing you to benefit from an expert business plan writer’s advice. It is also a great option for entrepreneurs who don’t have time to write their plan but aren’t quite ready to hire someone else to do it either.

Other business services that could help you include:

  • Market Research – Conducting thorough market research can help you determine which business opportunities are viable. Experienced consultants can help you identify your target customer so you can design the right marketing strategy to reach them.
  • Copywriting Assistance – Many entrepreneurs have a great product or idea, but lack the writing skills needed to effectively advertise it in their business plans or online marketing materials. A business plan copywriter can help you create a compelling marketing message that resonates with your target audience.
  • Startup / Growth Opportunities – If you’re thinking about starting a business or expanding your established business, it’s important to consider all of the potential opportunities before diving into something that may not be feasible for your current situation. A business plan consultant can help you identify what makes your business idea unique and how you can capitalize on those opportunities.
  • Business Plan Review – Once you’ve completed your business plan, it’s important to have it reviewed by an expert. They can identify any gaps or mistakes in logic that could affect how potential lenders or investors perceive your business idea.

As with any decision affecting your company’s future, you should take the time to explore all of your options before committing to a specific service provider. The goal is not only to find the best fit for your budget and needs but also to find a business plan consulting service that can meet your expectations and deliver quality content on time and within budget.

Is It Worth It To Use a Professional Business Plan Writing Service?

As with anything else, you’ll get what you pay for. If you are short on time or don’t have the writing skills required to write a business plan, it may be worth considering a professional writing service. These services can help you complete the necessary research and planning to get a comprehensive business plan written for your company.

How Growthink Can Help Your Business

Since 1999, Growthink has developed thousands of business plans for entrepreneurs and business owners to start and/or grow their businesses. From small business owners to Fortune 500 companies, we have provided a variety of business plan services to meet the needs of each client.

Our business planning services include:

  • Business Plan Consultants – Our experienced business plan consulting team has helped numerous businesses from small businesses to multi-million dollar corporations identify new opportunities and develop their business plans using existing information where possible, or by conducting new research as needed.
  • Business Plan Writing Services – Our business plan writers are experienced professionals who are committed to providing you with a business plan that delivers results. Depending on your needs, our business writers can either help you complete the research and writing process, or write your business plan for you from start to finish.
  • Done For You Market Research – Our market research team can conduct independent market research for your business through access to several market research databases. Utilize this research to help you write a business plan that is more in-depth and gives you a distinct advantage over competitors in your industry.
  • Private Placement Memorandums – Growthink’s experienced business consultants can help you prepare a private placement memorandum (PPM) that is tailored to the unique needs of your business. PPMs are used to help businesses raise capital from accredited investors.
  • Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template – Our simple business plan template is available in MS Word and when completed can be sent to investors and lenders in Adobe PDF format. Use this business plan template to help you focus your business concept on the information that is most relevant for lenders and investors, while also providing a flexible foundation for future growth.
  • Business Plan Writing Help Center – We have a wide variety of free resources for business planning on our website. Use our selection of 200+ business plan examples to help you write a business plan specific to your industry or learn more from our selection of business planning and funding articles.

No matter what product or service you choose, we wish you success in your business venture

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How Much Does It Cost To Start A Business In Canada?

Cost to start a Canadian Business

There is no easy answer. The cost to start a business in Canada depends on several different factors, including the type of business startup, how much you want to invest, what the goods and/or services are that you are providing and what your goals are for the business start.

The Main Types of Business Set Ups

There are two main types of business setups available:, registering or incorporating a business.

A small business licence is referred to in Ontario as a Master Business Licence or MBL. In other jurisdictions, as a business registration or Business Licence, it is typically registered for a smaller business with less investment, liability or reach to the population. The other choice is an incorporated business, which is typically completed when the business requires a higher investment and liability risk and a larger reach to the population. One isn’t better than the other, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. We recommend researching the differences between these two types of business setups to decide what works best for you. A great FAQ section is available on our website to help compare the main differences between a small business registration and an Incorporation. We have summarized the main differences below.

Master Business Licence / MBL and Registered Businesses / Canadian Small Businesses

A Master Business License, MBL or Business Registration is a great starting point for someone who is just starting with their business. There is the option to register either a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership as Canadian small businesses. These registrations are simple to register, maintain and cancel and they have the lowest setup fees. A registered business is a great option, but they do come with certain disadvantages and limitations, that include:

  • No name protection . Anyone can open a business licence or incorporation in the same business name as yours.
  • No Liability Protection. You are personally reliable for business damages, debts and obligations.
  • Need to renew . The registrations usually expire and require renewal with additional fees every 3 to 5 years typically.
  • Limited changes or amendments . Although you can change the business’s physical address, mailing address and individual address, you cannot change the business name or transfer the business licence into someone else’s name and require a new registration in these circumstances.
  • Personally taxed . You are taxed through your personal income tax, which is both an advantage and disadvantage. You do not have to file a separate tax return for your business, as the registration is taxed within your personal income tax return. If your business earns more than you require personally, you could be paying substantial additional tax dollars for this setup.

start a business

If you have decided that you are ready to officially start and register your small business, the startup cost is minimal, and each province comes with their own fees.

Ontario Small Business Startup Starts at – $134 +tax

Alberta Small Business Starts at – $113.14 +tax

BC Small Business Starts at – $168.98 +tax

Manitoba Small Business Starts at – $203.99

Saskatchewan Small Business Starts at – $225.93

Incorporate Your Business

Incorporated businesses have a higher business startup cost, but they also offer certain perks that are not available with a Master Business Licence, MBL or registered business. These perks include:

  • No renewal requirements, management or fees. A corporation doesn’t expire. As long as you keep your filings current, the corporation will exist until you dissolve/close it.
  • Possible tax advantages . Corporate taxes are separate from your personal income tax return and lower tax rates than personal tax.
  • Limited personal liability. The corporation is liable for most damages, debts and obligations, and therefore, your personal liability for the business may be limited.
  • Name protection. Federally incorporated businesses have name protection nationwide, whereas provincially incorporated businesses have name protection within the province or territory they are incorporated in.
  • Flexibility . You can update the business’s physical location, mailing address, and individual address and change the business’s name and owners’ names. You can also change the structure of the corporation as it grows if the business becomes more complex over time. It is also much easier to sell a business as an incorporated company. These filings do have additional fees associated with them.

how much does a business plan cost in canada

Once deciding to incorporate, the next steps are to decide whether you want to incorporate Federally or Provincially and if you want a named or numbered corporation. Each one comes with its own fees.

Federally Incorporation / Canada Corporation – Named Incorporation starts at $443.91 + tax. – Numbered Incorporation starts at $389.92 + tax

Ontario Incorporation – Named Incorporation starts at $518.94 + tax – Numbered Incorporation starts at $468.94 + tax

Alberta Incorporation – Named Incorporation starts at $472.94 + tax. – Numbered Incorporation starts at $522.93 + tax

BC Incorporation – Named Incorporation starts at $469.94 + tax. – Numbered Incorporation starts at $531.44 + tax

Manitoba Incorporation – Named Incorporation starts at $469.94 + tax. – Numbered Incorporation starts at $564.94 + tax

Saskatchewan Incorporation – Named Incorporation starts at $389.94 + tax. – Numbered Incorporation starts at $491.88 + tax

How do you decide what type of business setup to register?

The chances are that if you have thought about starting your own business, you have also thought about what your goals are for the business, both short-term and long term. Some things to think about are: are you turning a hobby into a side business to try and generate some extra income? Or are you making this new business venture your full-time job. The type of business setup may be determined by several different factors, including those listed in this article. At any time, you can change your business from a registered business to an incorporation or an incorporated business to a registered business. Don’t feel like you are locked into either one of the setup options indefinitely.

Cost of Initial Investment

The cost of the initial investment to start your own business is going to be different for everyone. Besides the registration fees for the business licence or incorporation, there will be additional expenses concerning products/inventories.

Whether you are selling products or offering services, this is an added expense that a lot of people do not consider. How much money you spend depends on the products or services you are offering and what you are comfortable with. For example, someone who is selling hand-painted wooden signs has to decide how much paint to buy and keep in inventory and how much wood. Is the wood going to be purchased pre-cut, or are they going to cut it themselves, and if so, do they need to invest in the necessary equipment? Whereas someone who is offering IT services from home will have to worry about whether they have the required equipment (i.e., computer/software).

Funding for your business for new immigrants to Canada

If you are looking for some assistance from the government to help you make your dreams a reality, here is an article related to assisting those new to Canada who wish to take an opportunity to become an entrepreneur.

Ontario Business Central has created some great business guides, highlighting some great tools to help you become a successful entrepreneur. See some of the many listed below:

Business Plan

If you have done any research at all on opening a business, you have most likely come across the concept of completing a business plan . Although for many, a business plan seems like a boring exercise, it will really assist you to put the focus on your business startup, your strength, expenses to open and operate, competitors, and many more points that will assist you not only in starting your business but also should provide you with a template or direction of rolling out your business with the idea of growth and success.

Create a Social Media Plan During a Pandemic

12 amazing Apps for your business (to help you get your business up and running with planning and organization)

Low-Cost Business Startup Ideas

Home-based businesses have become on trend since the beginning of the pandemic. Whether you are artsy, have a skill set such as writing, editing, social media, and so many more things, having a business run from your home has never been more accessible and rewarding.

Ecommerce businesses have blown up with a huge increase in demand since 2020. With the ability to quickly set up a website with eCommerce plugins, you can be selling something unique through your own platform and control within a short time.

Whether you decide to register your business and start to register a Master Business Licence or Incorporate your business, Ontario Business Central is with you every step of the way. Our goal is to make opening a business as simple as possible for you. Our knowledgeable agents are available to answer any questions you may have. All you have to do is fill out and submit our online registration form, and our agents take it from there. They are trained to review your registration orders for accuracy before submission and reach out if they have any questions or concerns.

inquiries@ontariobusinesscentral.ca Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913 Local: 1-416-599-9009 Fax: 1-866-294-4363 Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday E.S.T.

Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. When you have legal or accounting questions, it is always recommended that you speak to a qualified professional.

Jacqueline Watson-Lambert

Jacqueline is one of the newest members of the team at Ontario Business Central, and has spent most of her career in Hospitality Management. After leaving the hospitality industry, Jacqueline, along with her husband, started two small businesses which they still operate today. Jacqueline has a strong interest in business and prides herself in assisting each client with the highest level of service, she loves helping others get started to achieve their own business dreams.

how much does a business plan cost in canada

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How Much Does It Cost to Write a Business Plan?

Published Aug.27, 2020

Updated Apr.23, 2024

By: Shawn Jensen

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 4

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how much does a professional business plan cost

Table of Content

Experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs often ask about the business plan cost  plantation , “ how much does a professional business plan cost ?” Well, the answer is not as cut and dry as you would think. The business plan writing services cost  varies greatly depending on the type of program you are seeking. Some plans are quite straightforward and require no more than a single financial worksheet.

On the other hand, how much does a professional business plan writing services cost  can of more than fifty pages and have financial projections for several years? It would be best to decide the type of program your organization needs to determine the business plan writing services cost .

You may come across tons of people who write their business plans without assistance. They do so to save money and to ensure the program matches their preferred timeline. However, acquiring expert help could be an excellent long-term investment. Why? Because people skilled in creating business plans know the ins, outs, and technicalities of making a foolproof professional business plan cost, ensuring it contains all the necessary details and depth to execute your program the right way.

What Does the Price Depend on?

You might be asking yourself, “what does the cost of a business plan ?”. As mentioned earlier, the business plan cost liest varies significantly depending on who is writing it. Every business needs a comprehensive plan to get started. Almost every program differs in detail, length, style, dimension, and industry – these are essential elements that make up a cost of a business plan .

For example, a staffing agency generally requires thorough recruitment strategies in their business plans, especially when compared to a single operator and owner businesses like financial planning. Individual variations play a critical role in determining a plan’s price. The more details, research, and time a program requires, the higher its price could get. Let us look at some other factors that impact a business plan’s price:

  • Are you planning to choose a service provider ( auditor, lawyer, tax accountant) or a professional business plan consultant to create your program? Of course, the fee will be higher if the consultant has more skills and experience.
  • Quality requirements also play a massive role in deciding the plan’s price a semi-professional business plan writing services cost  less than a seasoned pro.
  • When deciding the price, business plan writing services cost factor in the program’s difficulty level (location, capitalization, turnaround plans, continuation type of organizational activities, etc.) when deciding the price.
  • Some entrepreneurs request special requirements (specific evaluation procedures, additional items, etc.) in their business plan. These aspects increase the program’s price.
  • Your business plan cost could be higher if you ask for additional consultation (marketing consulting, calculation consulting, coaching the founders, etc.)

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Typical Cost of a Business Plan

As discussed earlier, how much does a professional business plan costs differ between the degrees of difficulty and length and service providers? However, if you are snooping for typical rates, it would help to know that these prices could be as low as $500 and as high as $15,000. Some agencies and solo plan creators even charge higher, especially if your business program is complex.

Hiring a traditional consulting service to write your company’s business plan cost   would be the best choice and make the most sense. Why? Because while hiring someone to create a business plan might be business plan cost ly, it will benefit your company in the long run. With your operations and procedures aligned, your organization will become a profit-generating machine, thanks to a well thought out and professionally made plan.

Remember, consultation and the scope of your work play a critical role in determining a plan’s price, so it would be best to keep these elements in mind before hiring someone to write the plan. Some consultants also charge fees by the hour, and you’d be shocked to learn that the business plans for some corporations can business plan writing services cost  anywhere between twenty-five to fifty thousand dollars.

However, if you are a small business owner, there is no need to worry as you will find a service or consultant within the budget of your business plan preparation fees.

professional business plan cost

Formatting of Professional Business Plan

Fortunately, there is no wrong or right way to create a business plan. The needs of your business take center stage no matter how your format your company’s plan. Most business programs fall into the following categories:

Traditional Plans

These business plan types are quite popular. They utilize a standard structure encouraging you to provide details about essential sections of your organization. The most traditional business plan cost of a business plan  contains dozens of detailed pages and require more time to prepare.

A traditional business plan might be suitable if you want to focus on details and create a comprehensive program. You don’t have to stick to a particular outline when creating a traditional business plan. However, it would be best if you discuss the following elements:

  • Executive summary (include a mission statement, service or product details, information about the company and its employees)
  • Description of the company
  • Market analysis (discuss the target market and industry outlook with authentic stats and research)
  • Management and organization (explain your business’s legal structure and the people responsible for running it)
  • Product or service line
  • Sales and marketing (talk about how your strategies will achieve sales goals and how you will market your product)
  • Request for funding (outline your organization’s funding requirements by explaining why you need it and how you will return it)
  • Financial projections (use this section to convince readers that your company will succeed financially)
  • Appendix (provide requested documents and materials like permits, legal documents, patents, licenses, letters of reference, product pictures, credit history, etc.)

Lean Startup Plans

Lean startup plans are not as common as traditional business plans. However, their structure is also pretty standard. They only summarize the most critical points of your program and require minimal preparation time (an hour or two maximum.) Some lean startup plans even end within one page.

People looking to start or explain their business quickly should use these plans. They are incredibly flexible and can describe your company’s value proposition, finances, customers, and infrastructure through straightforward charts. Here is a list of things you must incorporate in your lean startup plan:

  • Partnerships
  • Key activities
  • Resources (assets, intellectual property, staff)
  • Value proposition
  • Relationship with customers
  • Customer segments (describe your specific target audience)
  • Communication channels
  • Cost structure
  • Revenue streams ( how you plan to make money)

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking for professional business plan writing services cost ? Look no further than OGS Capital ! We have been developing business plans for large and small organizations for a while, providing strategic guidance and advice to improve profitability. Get in touch with us, and our highly experienced team will help create a unique plan tailored for your business’s goals and aspirations.

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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Home >> #realtalk Blog >> Manage a business >> How Much Does it Cos…

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Business? + Other Key Questions

By Homebase Team

Homebase vs. Buddy Punch: Which is best for your business?

Dreaming of being your own boss and launching a new business? There have been 16 million new business applications since 2021. This increase and the many newly established operations that come with it create a lot of opportunities.

Turning that entrepreneurial vision into reality is exciting, but it also requires careful planning, especially when it comes to business startup costs. So how much does it cost to start a business? Understanding financial obligations for your particular business is a must.

This guide will break down the numbers you need to get a handle on. We’ll cover the key factors that impact startup budgets, from licensing fees to inventory and marketing spend. You’ll learn how to realistically calculate the costs of getting your business off the ground.

Get your team in sync with our easy-to-use, all-in-one employee app.

How much does it cost to start a business?: Overview of startup costs.

Every new business venture requires capital. This covers startup costs before you can officially open the doors. Exactly how much money you’ll need can vary depending on factors like the actual costs involved in the first year of business.

Business type

The startup costs for a small home-based operation like a consultancy can be minimal. It’s different from opening a restaurant or retail store, where the business model determines inventory needs, marketing strategy, and costs. These types of businesses require things like inventory and employees.

Location 

Costs like commercial rent and taxes depend on the city and state. A small business based in a major metropolitan area could have higher overhead costs due to expensive office space. Especially when you compare their business to those in more rural areas.

Certain industries like food service or healthcare have bigger regulatory hurdles. They also have requirements upfront for things like specialized equipment, licenses, insurance policies, and legal fees. It’s important to estimate your total startup costs based on your specific business circumstances.

3 business expense types to be aware of.

Before diving into your launch, it’s important to understand the typical business expenses involved. This can help you prepare your budget and avoid some financial surprises. Let’s look at more examples of startup costs by business type.

1. Retail spaces

Brick-and-mortar locations have some significant startup expenditures. This includes leasing commercial space. They may also need to focus on renovating and outfitting the storefront to get customers in the door. Additionally, retail businesses must consider shipping costs, which can include expenses such as packaging materials, postage, and shipping insurance.

2. Food and beverage needs

Restaurants have even higher initial investment costs for kitchen equipment and dining room furniture. They also need to manage kitchen staff hiring. Plus, there’s the ongoing inventory cost of food and beverages.

3. Service expenses

Services like cleaning or landscaping may start with lower overhead. However, they still require insurance. You may also need specific equipment or vehicles to run the business properly. It’s important to factor that in with all necessary supplies.

Using accounting software can help manage expenses, track expenses throughout each month and during tax season, and handle basic bookkeeping such as processing and managing payroll, creating and tracking invoices, and managing the business bank account.

Hiring your first employee? Check out our New Hire Training Checklist and Onboarding Guide

7 Key steps to start your business.

Once you’ve determined your startup costs and you’re ready to get your business off the ground, it’s time to start checking off the major action items. Here’s a look at some of the items to put on your to-do list.

1. Identify and validate your business idea

Passion is a great foundation for your business. But you also need to make sure that there’s market demand and revenue potential. Conduct market research and analyze competitors to validate your assumptions. Then define your target customers and unique selling proposition.

2. Write your business plan  

Your business plan lays out all the details of your strategy. From market analysis to financial projections. Careful planning will guide your actions and help you start the business on a path to success. 

3. Determine the right business structure 

The legal structure you choose impacts everything from taxes to operations. Evaluate the pros and cons of each. You can do this by considering things like ownership, funding needs, and administrative work.

Common structures for businesses just starting out include:

Sole proprietorship : The company and the owner are considered the same. The owner is personally responsible for all business responsibilities.

Partnerships : A business with more than one individual. A partnership requires a partnership agreement, and partners have limited liability for the debts of the LLP.

Limited liability companies : Can be owned by one or more people/companies and limit your personal liability for business debts. They’re one of the easiest business structures to establish. The process of incorporation and filing fees for a limited liability company can vary by state.

4. Register the business

One of the first major steps is legally registering your trade name with federal or state authorities. Look for potential trademark conflicts. Also, take steps to protect your intellectual property rights if that applies to you.

Handle legal fees and tax obligations

Obtain licenses and permits required for your industry. You’ll also need to set up the appropriate tax accounts and procedures for payroll. Many states and localities have their own obligations to ensure regulatory compliance from day one. Understand all rules that apply to your company.

For example, it’s important to apply for an employer identification or tax I.D. number. Your employer identification number (EIN) is issued by the IRS. You need one so you can file federal taxes, hire employees, and open a business bank account. You can apply for an EIN on the IRS website. Some states also require a state-level tax I.D. number, so check if one is needed in your state.

6. Secure funding

At this point, you should have a good answer to the question: How much does it cost to start a business? Now, you can begin putting money toward those expenses you have before launch.

You may need to get a small business loan or investors beyond the capital you have access to. Factor in the time it will take to do that.

Keep in mind that you should also have some money set aside in a bank account to cover ongoing or unexpected expenses. Research shows that 55% of business owner s say they have $50,000 or more across all their business bank accounts. And 23% report having $250,000 or more on deposit.

7. Officially launch your business

With planning complete and operations ready, it’s finally time to start selling your products or services. Have a strong promotional strategy for attracting those first customers. Also, continue keeping an eye on your expenses to keep your business in good standing as you get the ball rolling.

Checking off those key milestones is just the start. But getting the foundational work done upfront goes a long way in setting yourself up for sustainable growth. Putting in the work now will continue to pay off as the business evolves. Additionally, consider the costs and considerations specific to operating an online business.

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Using Homebase to optimize your business.

Having the right tools and technology in place is valuable as you start this journey. Homebase provides an all-in-one platform that can power your business. The Small Business Administration offers additional resources to help estimate employee costs and apply for startup loans and business credit cards.

Simplified scheduling and labor management

Optimizing your staffing levels is important, especially for businesses with shift-based teams. Homebase scheduling helps managers create optimized schedules based on demand and employee availability. You can duplicate schedules or build from templates to save time.

Streamlined time tracking and payroll  

Manual timesheets can be a hassle. Homebase enables employees to easily clock in/out from their mobile apps or on-site tablets. Track hours worked, PTO, and breaks. When it’s time for payroll, approved timesheets integrate with payroll processing.

Centralized employee records and compliance  

Maintaining accurate records and adhering to labor laws is important. But it can also be challenging. Homebase provides a hub to store and access all digital employment documents and policy resources. This helps to simplify compliance.

Streamlined hiring and onboarding processes

Post open roles to multiple free and paid job boards right from Homebase. Easily review applicants and schedule interviews. Then, onboard new hires with digital paperwork. New employees get instant access to a time clock and schedules. 

Effective team communication 

Staying aligned across teams is a must. With Homebase’s team messaging tools, you can instantly share updates and shift details. Message individuals directly or get announcements out to an entire team. 

From applicant tracking to team communication, Homebase equips your startup with an infrastructure that’s right-sized for small businesses. All while being powerful enough to scale up operations over time.

It’s time to start your small business.

Being a new business owner and starting your own business is exciting. Getting a handle on the financial and operational costs upfront goes a long way toward increasing your odds of success. Carefully calculating spend and thinking through your goals now can have a positive impact for years to come.

From there, you can focus on things like remaining compliant and coordinating your team. Thriving businesses are built on operational efficiencies that allow you to maximize productivity and profitability from the first day.

With Homebase, you get everything you need to take control of your business. Designed for hourly work, Homebase will help you schedule your team, track their hours, and run payroll seamlessly. You’ll also have a team communication app that keeps you and your employees on the same page. Homebase even has expert H.R. guidance to help you comply with government regulations without an in-house H.R. team.

Homebase is the all-in-one management app that simplifies running your small business. Get started now for free

Remember:  This is not legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, please consult a lawyer, CPA, or other appropriate professional advisor or agency.

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How to Open a Gas Station in Canada: Business Plan, Cost, Profit, Requirements, and License

Table of contents, business plan to open a gas station in canada, profit potential of a gas station in canada, license required to open a gas station in canada, requirements to open a gas station in canada, cost to start a gas station in canada, how much gas station owners make per day in canada, drawbacks of opening a gas station in canada, gas station franchise in canada, how to open a gas station with no money in canada, 10 tips to open a profitable and successful gas station in canada.

Looking to open a gas station in Canada? You’ll need to do your homework first. This blog post explores everything you need to know about opening a gas station in Canada, from business plans and costs to licenses and requirements. Read on for all the details.

How to open a gas station in Canada

  • Opening a gas station in Canada is a huge undertaking. Not only do you need to find the right location, but you also need to secure the necessary financing, develop a business plan, and obtain the required licenses and permits.
  • Fortunately, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to open a gas station in Canada, complete with a sample business plan. So keep reading to learn everything you need to start your own gas station business.
  • The main step is to develop a business plan for your gas station. This document should outline your proposed location, target market, competition, marketing strategy, and financial projections. Once you have a gas station business plan, you can begin searching for potential sites for your gas station.
  • When choosing a location for your gas station, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, you want to choose a site with high visibility and easy customer access. You’ll also want to ensure that the location is zoned for commercial use and enough space to accommodate your proposed storefront and parking lot.
  • Once you’ve found the perfect location for your gas station, the next step is to apply for the necessary permits and licenses. In Canada, all businesses must obtain a Business Number from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). In addition, you will want to register for GST/HST if you intend to sell products or services subject to this tax.

How to Open a Gas Station in Canada

The potential profit of a gas station in Canada can be significant. The average gas station in Canada sells approximately 8,000 liters of gasoline per day and has a margin of about 5 cents per liter. This margin can vary depending on the price of gasoline but typically results in a gross profit of about $400 per day.

In addition to gasoline sales, gas stations also generate revenue from selling other products and services, such as convenience store items, car washes, and repairs. The profitability of these additional services will vary depending on the specific location and offerings, but they can significantly boost overall profits.

Of course, not all gas stations are equally successful. Those located in high-traffic areas with good visibility tend to do better than those hidden away or difficult to access. Additionally, those that offer competitive prices and superior customer service often outperform their rivals. If considering opening a gas station in Canada, you must do your homework and develop a well-thought-out business plan. But if done right, a gas station can be a highly profitable business venture.

In case you missed it: How to Start a Car Wash Business in the USA: Business Plan, License, Cost, and Profit

Profitability

  • To open a gas station in Canada, you must obtain a Canadian government license. The cost of this license will vary depending on the province in which you plan to operate your gas station. In addition to the license cost, you will also be required to pay an annual fee to the government to keep your gas station operational.
  • The process of obtaining a license to open a gas station in Canada can be lengthy and complicated. However, it is important to ensure that you follow all the necessary steps to avoid any delays or complications.
  • Once you have obtained your license, you must submit a business plan to the government detailing how you intend to operate your gas station. This plan must include information on your proposed location, hours of operation, and safety procedures.

To open a gas station in Canada, several requirements must be met. First, you will need to obtain a business license from the government. Next, you will need to find a location for your gas station. The location must be zoned for commercial use and have access to water and electricity. Once you have secured a location, you must purchase or lease the land and build the gas station. Finally, you must obtain a fuel supply contract from a petroleum company. Once you have met the above requirements, you will be ready to open your gas station.

In case you missed it: How to Start Restaurant Business in California: Business Plan, Requirements, Investment, and Profit

Shell Gas Station

The cost to open a gas station in Canada will vary depending on the province you are opening your business in. A gas station franchise in Canada costs between $1 million and $5 million. The land, construction, and equipment cost can range from $500,000 to $3 million. The cost of a gas station business plan can range from $7,500 to $20,000.

The Canadian government offers a Gas Tax Fund that provides financial assistance to eligible municipalities for upgrading and constructing new gas stations. The program offers up to 50% of the total eligible costs, with a maximum contribution of $1 million per project.

The average gas station in Canada does about $9,000 in sales each day. Of that, about 10% is profit, which means the gas station owner makes about $900 per day in profit. However, many factors can affect how much profit a gas station makes, including the gas station’s location, the type of gas station, and the competition.

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Gas Station Design

Potential entrepreneurs should be aware of a few key drawbacks to opening a gas station in Canada before deciding to start this type of business. Firstly, the cost of setting up and running a gas station can be quite high, particularly regarding the initial investment required to purchase or lease suitable premises and install the necessary pumps and storage tanks.

Additionally, ongoing fuel prices and staff wages can eat into profits. Secondly, while there is always a gasoline demand, competition from other gas stations in the local area can be fierce, meaning that profit margins can be thin. Finally, gas stations are often subject to strict regulation by government bodies such as the Alberta Utilities Commission, which can add another layer of complexity and cost to running this type of business.

Are you planning to open a gas station franchise in Canada? Firstly, you must know everything about the business plan, cost, profit, requirements, and license. If you’re looking to start a gas station franchise in Canada, there are a few things you need to know. First, you’ll need to create a business plan. This should include an overview of your business, target market, financial projections, and marketing strategy.

Next, you’ll need to consider the cost of starting a gas station franchise. This includes the cost of purchasing or leasing land, building a gas station, and stocking it with fuel. You’ll also need to factor in insurance costs, taxes, and employee salaries. Once you’ve considered the costs, you’ll need to think about how much profit you can expect to make. This will depend on factors like location, competition, and pricing strategy. Generally speaking, gas stations in Canada are quite profitable businesses.

Finally, you’ll need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits before opening your gas station franchise. You’ll most likely need a business license from your local municipality. You may also need zoning approval and environmental permits. With a little planning and preparation, opening a gas station franchise in Canada can be a great business opportunity.

If you’re looking to open a gas station in Canada but don’t have the upfront capital, there are a few options available. You could try to secure a loan from a financial institution, look for investors or partners, or apply for government funding. To secure a loan, you’ll need to create a business plan and provide collateral to the lender. If you cannot get a loan, partnering with someone with the capital may be your best bet.

In case you missed it: How to Open a Gas Station Business in the USA: Investment, Franchise Cost, Business Plan, and Profit

Gas Pump

You could also look into government funding, typically reserved for small businesses. No matter which route you decide to take, be sure to do your research and plan carefully before moving forward. Opening a gas station is a big undertaking; you’ll want to ensure you have all your bases covered before taking the plunge.

  • Location is key – choose a busy area with high traffic volume to increase your chances of success.
  • Research the competition – know who your competition is and what they’re offering to offer a competitive price and product. 
  • Have a solid business plan – this will help you secure funding and keep on track toward achieving your goals.
  • Choose the right fuel supplier – ensure you get a good deal on your fuel to offer competitive prices to customers. 
  • Invest in advertising – let people know about your gas station through advertising so they’ll come to you instead of your competitors.
  • Offer something unique – whether it’s a loyalty program, rewards for using certain payment methods, or something else, and give customers a reason to choose your gas station over others. 
  • Keep the premises clean and well-lit – first impressions matter, so ensure your gas station looks inviting and well-maintained.
  • Train your staff well – they’re the face of your business, so they must provide excellent customer service.
  • Use technology to your advantage – there are many ways to streamline operations and improve customer experience, so take advantage of them! 
  •  Monitor your progress and make changes as needed – things are always changing in business.

In case you missed it: How to Start a Home Care Business for the Elderly in the USA: Business Plan, License, Requirements, Cost, and Profit

Filling Gas to Car

Opening a gas station in Canada is a complex process, but it can be very rewarding if you can successfully navigate all the steps. The key point is to have a clear business plan, understand the costs and profits involved, and ensure you meet all the requirements and obtain the necessary license. Then, with careful planning and execution, you can open a successful gas station in Canada.

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Watch CBS News

Hurricane Beryl maps show path and landfall forecast

By Cara Tabachnick , Emily Mae Czachor

Updated on: July 4, 2024 / 5:42 PM EDT / CBS News

Hurricane Beryl  was moving toward Mexico on Thursday after blowing past the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. It made landfall Monday on the island of Carriacou in Grenada while tearing through the Caribbean , strengthening at times to a Category 5 storm — the  strongest rating .

What is the projected path of Hurricane Beryl?

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the center of Beryl was moving away from the Cayman Islands on Thursday and was expected to hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula early Friday. Beryl was expected to emerge in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday night. "Weakening is forecast during the next day or two, though Beryl is forecast to remain a hurricane until it makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula," the hurricane center said.

A hurricane is considered major when it's a Category 3 or higher, with winds of at least 111 mph. As of Thursday afternoon, Beryl was a Category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, the hurricane center said.

Beryl was some 200 miles west of Grand Cayman island and 215 miles east-southeast of Tulum, Mexico. It was moving west-northwest at 20 mph, according to the center.

174432-5day-cone-no-line-and-wind.png

Will Hurricane Beryl hit Texas?

CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reported  that whether Beryl  crashes into Texas depends on how much strength it loses as it goes over land as well as conditions in the Gulf of Mexico in the coming days. One key factor will be how wind shear affects Beryl.

"The flow of the wind pattern as it enters the Gulf is going to be more hostile," KHOU-TV meteorologist Kim Castro said. "The atmospheric conditions are going to start ripping it apart."

Another factor will be an area of high pressure in Texas that has been acting as a barrier but is forecast to move east later this week.

"Depending on where Beryl is situated, it could track towards Tampico (Mexico), the area where these tropical storms have tracked so far this season," Castro said. "…However, if this tracks a little further to the north, there would be nothing to kind of nudge it south, so there is a little exposure to the Texas coastline."

The hurricane center urged people in southern Texas to monitor Beryl's progress.

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A hurricane warning was in effect for parts of the Yucatan's east coast.

Where is Hurricane Beryl bringing rain and flooding?

Jamaica experienced torrential rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding Wednesday. 

The hurricane center said Thursday the Caymans were forecast to get 4 to 6 inches of rain from Beryl. "Over the Yucatan Peninsula, Beryl is expected to produce rainfall totals of 4 to 6 inches, with localized amounts of 10 inches, later today into Friday. Scattered instances of flash flooding are anticipated," the center continued.

Beryl became the  first hurricane  of the 2024  Atlantic hurricane season  on Saturday and rapidly strengthened. It first reached Category 4 on Sunday, wavering back to Category 3 before returning to Category 4 on Monday and then becoming a Category 5 later Monday night. It is the first major hurricane east of the Lesser Antilles on record for June, according to Philip Klotzbach, Colorado State University hurricane researcher.

Brian McNoldy, a tropical meteorology researcher for the University of Miami, told The Associated Press warm waters are fueling Beryl, with ocean heat content in the deep Atlantic the highest on record for this time of year.

Hurricane Beryl is seen in the Caribbean in a satellite image at 8:50 a.m. EDT, July 4, 2024.

Beryl has also set records  as the first June hurricane ever to hit Category 4, the farthest east a storm has ever hit Category 4, and the first storm before September to go from tropical depression to major hurricane in under 48 hours, CBS News weather producer David Parkinson reported.

Beryl was also the earliest Category 5 hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin and was only the second Category 5 storm recorded in July since 2005, according to the hurricane center.

Brian Dakss, Alex Sundby and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cara Tabachnick is a news editor at CBSNews.com. Cara began her career on the crime beat at Newsday. She has written for Marie Claire, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. She reports on justice and human rights issues. Contact her at [email protected]

More from CBS News

Hurricane Beryl is a historic storm. Here's why.

Beryl leaves trail of devastation in Caribbean islands: "The situation is grim"

Hurricane Beryl damages or destroys 90% of homes on one island, leader says

How to protect your home from a hurricane

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Maximum Benefit Amounts and Related Figures - Canada Pension Plan (2024) and Old Age Security (July to September 2024)

how much does a business plan cost in canada

Maximum Benefit Amounts and Related Figures - Canada Pension Plan (2024) and Old Age Security (July to September 2024) [ PDF - 249 KB ]

On this page

  • Table 1- Maximum amount of new Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits
  • Table 2 - CPP exemptions and pensionable earnings
  • Table 3 - CPP contribution rates and annual maximum amounts
  • Table 4 - CPP contributors statistics
  • Table 5 - Old Age Security (OAS) amounts

Related links

1
Type of benefit Flat rate
portion
Earnings-related portion Total
Retirement pension (at age 65) not applicable $1,364.60 $1,364.60
Post-retirement benefit (at age 65) 2 not applicable $44.46 $44.46
Disability pension $583.32 $1,023.46 $1,606.78
Post-retirement disability benefit 3 $583.32 not applicable $583.32
Survivor’s pension – younger than 65 $227.58 $511.73 $739.31
Survivor’s pension – 65 and older not applicable $818.76 $818.76
Children of disabled contributor benefit $294.12 not applicable $294.12
Children of deceased contributor benefit $294.12 not applicable $294.12
Death benefit (one-time payment) $2,500.00 not applicable $2,500.00
Combined benefits:
Survivor/retirement (retirement at 65) not applicable $1,375.41 $1,375.41
Survivor/disability not applicable $1,613.54 $1,613.54

Annual adjustment of benefits in pay in the previous year: +4.4%

Exemptions and pensionable earnings Annual maximum amount
Year's Basic Exemption (YBE) $3,500.00
Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) $68,500.00
Year's Additional Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YAMPE) $73,200.00
Contribution details Base + 1st additional contribution 2nd additional contribution
Contribution rate for employee/employer 5.95% 4.00%
Employee/employer maximum contribution $3,867.50 $188.00
Contribution rate for self-employed 11.90% 8.00%
Self-employed maximum contribution $7,735.00 $376.00
Statistics Total
Number of contributors (2021) 14.7 million
Amount of contributions (2022 to 2023) $74,846 million
Type of benefit Maximum
monthly amount 4
Annual income level
cut-off 5
Annual income level cut-off for top-ups 5
Old Age Security pension (age 65 to 74) 6, 7 $718.33 not applicable not applicable
Old Age Security pension (age 75 and over) 6, 7 $790.16 not applicable not applicable
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
Single person who receives an OAS pension $1,072.93 $21,768 $10,016
Spouse/common-law partner of someone who:
$1,072.93 $52,176 $20,032
$645.84 $28,752 $8,608
$645.84 $40,272 $8,608
Allowance $1,364.17 $40,272 $8,608
Allowance for the Survivor $1,626.20 $29,328 $10,016

Telephone : 1-800-277-9914 TTY : 1-800-255-4786

Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) data

Monthly statistics on OAS and CPP beneficiaries and benefits

Page details

  • Business Loans

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How To Get A Loan To Start A Business In Canada

Published: Jun 28, 2024, 10:23am

Reviewed By

Table of Contents

What is a business startup loan, when do you need a business startup loan, business loan options, understanding business loans in canada, eligibility criteria for business loans, the canada small business financing program, preparing your loan application, exploring alternative financing options, loan repayment strategies, frequently asked questions (faqs).

Finding funding is often the first major hurdle you’ll face when opening a new business. Fortunately, there are lots of financing options out there to help get your business up and running. To increase your chances of approval, be sure to compare startup business loan options and eligibility criteria to ensure you apply for the right funding, loan amount with the right lender.

A business startup loan is a financing option for new companies that need funding to develop a product or service. While some lenders require businesses to be operational for at least one year to qualify for a loan, the best startup business loans offer funding for businesses that have been around for six months or less.

Related: How Do Business Loans Work?

Business startup loans are ideal when personal savings or bootstrapping aren’t enough to cover initial expenses. They’re particularly beneficial for businesses that require significant upfront investments in equipment, inventory or marketing campaigns.

Banks & Credit Unions

Many Canadian banks and credit unions offer startup business loans through the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP). This government-backed loan provides up to $1.15 million for eligible businesses with revenue under $10 million (excluding farms).

Alternative Lenders

Alternative lenders provide another route for financing if you don’t qualify for a traditional bank loan or need faster funding. These lenders are more flexible in terms of eligibility but generally require at least three to six months in business and a minimum monthly revenue of $10,000 to qualify for a startup loan.

Personal Loans for Startup Funding

If your startup isn’t making enough money yet to get a business loan, you can try applying for a personal loan from a bank, credit union or alternative lender. Personal loans rely on your personal credit score or assets, separate from your business. This gives you more freedom in how you use the funds, but you’re personally on the hook for repayment if the business fails.

Business Loans From Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

Canadian startups operating for 12 to 24 months and generating revenue can apply for funding up to $250,000 through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). You can delay principal payments for up to a year and get an extended repayment schedule that aligns with your cash flow cycle. For startups in earlier stages (less than 12 months old), you can apply for a business loan from one of BDC’s partners.

Startup Grants in Canada

Government grants may provide financial assistance for startup businesses in specific industries or community groups. Startup grants are available for research and development, exporting, hiring and wage assistance, marketing activities and workforce training. Unlike loans, grants typically don’t require repayment.

Business Startup Loans From a Group of Individuals

  • Peer-to-peer lending: Apply online for funding from individuals or corporations. Approvals are quick but be prepared for high interest rates.
  • Equity investments: Get capital from investors in exchange for partial ownership (equity) in your company. This avoids debt but requires sharing profits and control of your company.
  • Friends and family: Borrowing money from friends and family can be an option, so long as everyone is on the same page about how and when you will pay them back.
  • Crowdfunding: Raise capital online from investors who buy a piece of your company (equity offers) or receive perks for their contributions (rewards-based campaign).

Business Credit Card

Business credit cards are a flexible financing option for smaller startup costs and ongoing operational expenses. Plus, your purchases earn cash back or points for travel and other perks. Some of the best business credit cards offer an interest-free grace period on new charges to help maximize your cash flow.

Business Incubators

Business incubators provide free workspace, training programs and other resources that can significantly reduce startup costs. Some incubators operate as non-profit organizations, while others provide seed capital for equity positions.

Types of Business Loans

  • Secured business loans: Lenders will require personal or business assets as collateral in case you default on your loan. Providing collateral reduces the lender’s risk, which means you can usually borrow more at lower rates.
  • Unsecured business loans: These loans don’t require any collateral, making them a great option for startups with limited assets. You may need a credit score above 650 to qualify for this type of business loan.
  • Merchant cash advances: This option provides a lump sum of capital upfront. Repayments are based on a percentage of sales, so you’ll pay more in high-revenue months and less during slow periods.
  • Lines of credit: Similar to a credit card, a line of credit allows you to borrow funds as needed up to a set limit. You only pay interest on the amount you withdraw, not the entire approved line of credit.

Determining Loan Purpose

Before you apply for a startup loan, make sure you know exactly why you need it and what you’re going to use it for. Are you seeking a one-time injection of capital to get your business off the ground, or do you need a flexible line of credit to manage ongoing expenses? Knowing your specific needs will help you choose the financing option that aligns with your business requirements and growth stage.

Common Loan Terms and Conditions

  • Interest rate: This determines the overall cost of your loan.
  • Amortization period: The length of time you have to repay the loan.
  • Percentage of project cost that will be financed: This affects how much of your own money you’ll need to invest.
  • Collateral and other guarantee requirements: Some loans require an asset as collateral or personal guarantee if you can’t make payments.
  • Financial reporting requirements: Most loans require financial statements and reports to be submitted to the bank annually.

Credit Score and History

Most lenders prefer borrowers with a personal credit score of 650 or higher and no recent delinquencies or bankruptcies. They will also consider your business credit score if it’s available. It can take six months to a year to establish a comprehensive credit profile for a new startup.

Business Financial Health

Lenders will review financial statements and projections to assess your company’s financial health and ability to repay debt. Banks usually want to see one or two years of profitability. Some alternative lenders will offer loans to startups with only three to six months in business.

Loan Amount and Use of Funds

You’re more likely to get approved for startup funding if you request a smaller amount ($5,000 or less). As that number increases, so will the requirements. Most lenders want to know what you’ll use the money for, and some may have restrictions on how you can spend it.

Program Overview

The Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP) makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. Eligible startups and small businesses operating in Canada can secure up to $1.15 million in loans to purchase or improve land, buildings or equipment. CSBFP can also be used to finance intangible assets and working capital costs.

Application Process for CSBFP

Financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan. If the loan is approved, the lender will disburse the funds and register the loan with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Loan Terms Under CSBFP

The maximum CSBFP loan term (length of government coverage) is 15 years. The amortization period can be longer than 15 years, but the balance must be converted to a conventional loan at the end of the 15-year period.

Developing a Strong Business Plan

You’ll need to submit a detailed business plan that outlines your projected revenue streams and expenses, and highlights your profitability potential. Include a breakdown of how you’ll use the funds and your plans for scaling to show lenders how you’re going to make money and repay the loan.

Gathering Necessary Documentation

When you’re ready to apply for a startup business loan, you will need to provide some or all of these documents:

  • Bank statements
  • Personal and business tax returns
  • Business licenses and permits
  • Canadian Business Number
  • Proof of collateral
  • Balance sheet
  • Copy of your commercial lease
  • Disclosure of other debt
  • Accounts payable and accounts receivable aging
  • Ownership and affiliations
  • Legal contracts and agreements
  • Your driver’s license
  • Business insurance plans
  • Payroll records
  • Incorporation documents
  • Business plan

Related: Business Loan Requirements: How To Qualify For A Business Loan

Understanding Lender Expectations

Lenders are looking for businesses with a high chance of success and a strong ability to repay the loan. When preparing your application, demonstrate:

  • A clear understanding of your market and competition
  • A well-defined business model with realistic growth projections
  • A competent and experienced management team
  • A responsible use of loan funds

Venture Capital and Angel Investors

Venture Capital (VC) firms and angel investors finance early-stage startups in exchange for ownership or a share of the company’s profits. Venture capitalists often require more equity and control over business operations compared to angel investors.

Government Grants and Subsidies

Government grants and subsidies provide financial help for startups without taking equity. Grants are essentially free money for specific projects aligned with federal, provincial or municipal goals. Subsidies, on the other hand, reduce costs through tax breaks, low-interest loans or direct repayments.

Understanding Amortization Periods

The amortization period is the time it takes (months or years) to pay back the full amount of a loan’s principal plus interest. Longer amortization periods have lower monthly payments but more interest overall. Opting for shorter amortization periods means faster payoff, but higher monthly payments can restrict cash flow.

Assessing Repayment Terms and Conditions

  • Loan terms: Loan terms can range from six months to 20 years, depending on how much you borrow and when you want to pay it back.
  • Repayment options: Some loans require regular installments, while others claim a portion of your monthly sales.
  • Fixed-rate loans: This option provides predictable monthly payments over a fixed period of time.
  • Variable-rate loans: Your monthly payments will fluctuate with the Bank of Canada’s prime rate, but you can save money if interest rates go down.
  • Prepayment penalties: Some loans penalize early repayment, so factor this in if you plan to pay off your loan early.

Preventing Default and Managing Debt

  • Create a budget: Account for all your expenses and current debts to ensure you always have sufficient funds for your monthly loan payments.
  • Maintain accurate financial records: Track your income and expenses to monitor your cash flow and identify potential shortfalls.
  • Prioritize high-interest debts: If you have multiple debts, focus on paying down the ones with higher interest rates. This will help minimize the total interest you’ll pay over time.

Can I get a loan to start a business in Canada?

Yes, multiple loan options are available for starting a business in Canada. These include business loans from banks, credit unions, alternative lenders and government agencies. Other sources of financing can include startup grants, business credit cards, crowdfunding or borrowing money from your personal network.

How much of the $60,000 CEBA loan is forgivable?

The $60,000 Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan is partially forgivable if the non-forgivable principal was repaid on or before January 18, 2024 (or on or before March 28, 2024, for those who applied for refinancing). The forgivable amount can be up to $20,000, calculated as 25% of the first $40,000 borrowed plus 50% on amounts above $40,000 up to $60,000.

Does the Canadian government help to start a business?

The Canadian government offers various programs and initiatives to support individuals wanting to start a business. Some examples include the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP), which provides business loans of up to $1.15 million, and the Business Development Center of Canada (BDC), which offers up to $250,000 in funding. Other financial assistance is available through government grants and subsidies.

What is the average interest rate for a business loan in Canada?

According to Statistics Canada, the average interest rate for a business loan in Canada is 7.06%. The business loan interest rate you’ll be offered will depend on the lender and your financial situation.

Are there any forgivable business loans available in Canada?

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) are partially forgivable loans. However, the RRRF is no longer accepting applications. The Canadian government also provides non-repayable business grants ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.

How To Get A Loan To Buy A Business

How do business loans work.

  • Business Loan Requirements

More from  

Business loan requirements: how to qualify for a business loan.

Candice Reeves is a financial writer based out of Nova Scotia. She specializes in personal finance, investing, and cryptocurrency. Her work is featured in leading publications across various industries, including Wealth Rocket, CryptoVantage, and StackCompare.

Drawing of people

2024 Elections

The Rematch

The Trump and Biden Economies by the Numbers

Approaching the November presidential rematch between incumbent President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and his predecessor Donald Trump, a Republican, the two candidates are already drawing distinctions over their economic records. And there are surely fundamental differences between them.

But any broad comparison is complicated by the huge disruptions at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, which triggered two of the most extreme quarters of economic contraction and growth in U.S. history, followed by a bout of inflation reminiscent of the 1970s.

Should Trump be blamed for a collapse in output that rivaled the Great Depression? Should Biden get credit for millions of jobs created in 2021 that were largely a pandemic rebound? Below, a look at key measures of economic performance - from growth overall to the labor market, from tariffs to tax collections - that illustrate the contrasts and similarities between the economies under both.

Drawing of robots working in factory

Overall Growth

The broadest measure of an economy’s performance is annualized growth in gross domestic product, a figure that counts every widget produced, every meal served, and every dollar spent by the government to measure changes to the country’s overall output.

There are reasonable debates about what it really means and how it is distributed, but GDP is one of the main economic scorecards: Generally speaking, the faster it grows, the healthier the economy. As with many of the broader statistics, what may be more interesting is how similar the Trump and Biden economies look.

Quarterly growth during Trump’s first three years, up to the pandemic, and Biden’s term beginning in 2021, compounded at an almost identical rate that annualizes to around 2.7%. Excluding Biden’s first year, arguably still influenced by the pandemic, it was a slower 2.3%.

The Biden economy rode a pandemic-era consumer spending boom; Trump’s economy saw slightly larger average contributions from business investment.

Chart showing change in gross domestic product and consumer spending and private business investment as a share of GDP

Trump made tax cuts a centerpiece of his administration. Biden pushed through some modest tax increases and has proposed even more aggressive actions. Yet federal government collections have been mushrooming in spite of Trump’s tax reductions and beyond the tax increases under the current administration.

Even after adjusting for inflation federal tax collections have been rising.

Against expectations, the pandemic era became one of fast wage hikes and high corporate profits, linked at least to some degree to federal household and business support programs, as well as to high inflation. Tax receipts followed.

Chart showing tax receipts

Chart showing receipts on personal and corporate income tax

The flipside to GDP is Gross Domestic Income , an estimate of what people and companies earn in return for inventing, producing and selling all those widgets and services. How it should get distributed is a perennial debate in U.S. politics.

Trump may have stocked his cabinet with Wall Street allies and boasted of tax cuts for business, but companies took a larger share of GDI under Biden; the share for workers stayed fairly constant.

drawing of shoppers at shopping mall

Prices and Products

As the health crisis eased, what had been a broad focus on keeping families and businesses financially intact shifted to the emerging problem of inflation , which spiked to levels not seen since the 1980s. Republicans and Democrats will spar mightily over the reasons, and over the significance of its decline alongside U.S. Federal Reserve rate hikes.

Just as many economists agree the pandemic response skirted a potential economic catastrophe – a huge benefit – inflation to some degree represented the follow-on cost.

Prices increased fast for basic goods, posing a particular hardship for lower-income families.

Chart showing overall inflation and inflation for food and shelter

It may take years to understand how the pandemic changed the economy, but it was a volatile time for both good and bad reasons. On the downside, inflation erupted, seen as a combination of snarled supply chains and record federal deficit spending that began under Trump and continued under Biden, fuelling consumer demand.

On the plus side: Business starts jumped and were sustained through Biden’s term. At first it was considered a response to the health crisis, motivated by people wanting more control of their environment and their earnings. But the change has persisted to the point some economists see a revival of entrepreneurialism.

Chart showing new business starts

Worried about a depression-style collapse, Congress approved trillions of dollars in payments to households, pumping up bank accounts with disposable income that consumers used freely first to buy goods and then later on “revenge” spending on services like eating out and travel that were unavailable during the pandemic. Over time inflation caught up and eroded some of that purchasing power.

Chart showing disposable income

One policy both Trump and Biden shared is the use of tariffs to curb U.S. trade with China, whether on a broad basis or applied to targeted goods, in the case of Biden, like electric vehicles. Alongside a broader rearrangement of global trade following the pandemic and the Russian war against Ukraine, the tariffs have lowered China’s direct share of U.S. imports. Mexico is now at the top.

Chart showing US trade with Mexico and China

Drawing of construction workers on a construction site

The Landscape for Workers

One thing the Trump and Biden economies shared is a strong labor market. The jobless rate was 3.6% at the end of 2019, before the pandemic; it has gone as low as 3.4% under Biden and until May had been below 4% for more than two years.

Regardless of who’s in the White House, and whether it is for demographic or other reasons, the U.S. seems to have slipped into a period of sustained demand for workers, with a pandemic rebound that surprised even the most seasoned economists.

Chart of unemployment rate including black and white unemployment rate

Filling jobs requires bodies, and for years after the 2007 to 2009 recession economists felt the U.S. labor force was forever scarred. There are demographic limits in an aging population. But economists are realizing that strong job markets, if they last long enough, do pull workers from the sidelines and into employment.

One key difference: Rising immigration under Biden allowed job growth to continue at a higher level than it might have otherwise, absent higher wages.

Chart showing labor force and native and non-native US workers

Wage pressure was a key feature of the pandemic economy, with its “Great Resignation” of workers. Amid a shuffling of occupations and tales of labor shortages, the strongest wage gains went to the lowest paid occupations.

Chart showing wage growth include the top and bottom 20 percent of earners

The U.S. economy is a big ship that’s hard to turn, but presidential decisions do matter. Biden ramped up antitrust enforcement, for example. Trump’s administration thought tax cuts would boost private investment, and economists feel it did at least in the short term. Biden, by contrast, has steered public investments to what are seen as strategic industries and infrastructure.

But counter to their positioning as polar opposites, they’ve both embraced big deficits, overseen historically low unemployment rates, imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, and seen stock markets hit record highs on their watch.

drawing of squirrel and dog

Monthly data current through May 2024; Disposable Income as of April 2024; Quarterly figures through Q1 2024; Wages as of March 2024

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

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  30. Comparing Trump and Biden

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