They say timing is everything in business. So, if that’s the case then how much time do you need for franchise financing funding for a business loan when you’ve made ‘ the leap ‘?
By the leap we are of course referring to one of the larger decisions in your life – buying a franchise and starting the new life of an entrepreneur. In some cases you may have already owned a business, or in the majority of times you are transitioning from company life to your company life!
Your chances of financing are positive if only for the reason that the industry as a whole is perceived as having established business models that don’t require the chance or large advertising expense that many other new start ups would .
So while a lot of the ‘ keys to success’ are already in place the only one that isn’t in place is of course a business loan for your financing! Although that business model is there remember also that you have additional issues to address outside the norm of buying any other non franchise business – things such as franchise fees and royalties.
So how do you fund your franchise start up, or alternatively the purchase of an existing franchise that the current franchisee wants to sell? (Don’t forget to ask him why he or she is selling!)
In 99% of cases we see you can almost certainly expect no direct financing from your franchisor – they want new franchisees, not loans on their books.
So do banks in Canada finance franchises, because going to a Canadian chartered bank or credit union is where logically most of our clients first seem to go? Well the answer is threefold, yes, no, and maybe. From the maybe perspective we suppose if you have an ultra strong net worth, long time bank relationship that you might in fact receive some sort of direct financing from the bank. But the reality is that really doesn’t happen in Canada.
So are the banks out? Not really, because they are the administrators of the government BIL program which funds thousands of franchises in Canada. While the BIL program was not tailored specifically to franchising in Canada it certainly has become a poster boy for the franchise industry.
So, could you actually complete a financing in 30 days, as we have noted? Absolutely, positively, yes. In fact many financings we’ve completed have been done in less time based on a few key things being in place.
First of all, find a banker. Not hard you say… there are thousands. Well the reality in our experience is that only a small subset of bankers understand the program and have the ability to execute on a BIL franchise loan quickly, and effectively, and by effectively we mean approval.
Rates and terms of a franchise BIl are exceptional considering your business is in effect a start up. Additionally the amount of funds you have to permanently commit is in the 10% range, so what could be better than that. We recommend to all clients that they set up their own investment as a shareholder loan on their books, so therefore you and the bank BIl are the main creditors of the business.
To properly complete franchise finance funding in Canada you need to address your start up costs, as well as your working capital. Don’t forget also to give some thought to the long term growth of your business from a cash flow and working capital perspective. Additional financing for franchises in Canada often comes from specialized equipment financing or a term loan for cash.
A business loan for a franchise is completely in a timely fashion when you have a crisp business plan, cash flows that make sense, and a solid story around yourself and the franchise. Being prepared on such key issues as documenting your own background, identifying the amount of funds you will put into the business, and being able to highlight your business skills and personal credit history all need to be addressed.
So, 30 days or less? Absolutely possible. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you to meet your franchising finance needs.