What types of loans can a franchisee in Canada expect to attain when he or she is financing a franchise in the Canadian market? Even more importantly how do you qualify and access that financing?
Those are typical questions clients ask us all the time , so lets examine some critical info that will allow you to be successful in completing a franchise finance acquisition.
A good way to start is to build up a bit of a ‘ checklist ‘ on what you need to both investigate a franchise opportunity, as well as to present a finance proposal for that opportunity.
We add also that you have the option of course of purchasing a franchise from an existing franchisee, or working directly with the franchisor on a new unit acquisition. There is a big difference in purchasing an existing franchise for a number of reasons, some good, some not so good. First of all an existing unit of course allows you to independently validate the financial results and assets of that business, that’s a good thing. Your accountant, a Canadian business financing advisor, lawyer, or appraiser can assist in various ways to validate the true value of your purchase.
When you are financing an existing franchise it is important to ensure you are completing the transaction as an ‘ asset sale ‘ as opposed to a ‘ share sale ‘. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to finance a share sale arrangement.
When you are financing a franchises types of loans dictate what will be financed and how. The key aspects of any franchise acquisition revolve around the following: the franchisee fee, the royalty arrangement, equipment, leaseholds, and sometimes forgotten ‘ working capital ‘ to ensure the future growth and health of the business.
If your franchise requires that you have physical leased premises it is critical to ensure that the term of the lease for those premises will at least match the term of the loan financing you are hoping to achieve. Simply speaking, a franchisee can’t get a 5 year loan for a business that has a one year lease! Makes sense, right?
Prior to starting to focus on the financing of your new business and life as an entrepreneur you should of course have completed what the legal and business folks call ‘ due diligence ‘ on your franchisor . That might include references from another franchisee, whether they are compliant with franchise regulations in Canada how royalties are paid and structured, etc. The bottom line? There are a lot of rights (and obligations) for you and the franchisor… ensure you understand wha they are.
As we referenced earlier start up capital and final approval can be challenging if you are not well armed with info and resources. In Canada the banks and some other institutions, (but mostly the banks) are the ‘ approved lenders’ for the government BIL/CSBF program.
The vast majority of franchises in Canada are financed under this program. You would be totally missing the boat if you did not at least investigate why this program is one of the best methods of financing a franchise in Canada. The simple reason – just that it has great rates, terms, structures, repayment without penalty ability, and yes, even a low personal guarantee or ‘ covenant ‘ requirement.
Maximize your financing potential as franchisee by speaking to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can help you navigate a path to entrepreneurial financing success.