Canadian Startup Funding Checklist

Build the Foundation for Funding Your Canadian Startup.

Although the federal and provincial government create most Canadian government funding programs for established businesses, it is critical for startups to set a solid foundation early on in order to become eligible for this funding in the future. This checklist will help guide early stage businesses towards future government funding opportunities.

Canadian Startup Funding Checklist

Mandatory Actions to Become Eligible for Most Canadian Government Funding Programs

  • Become Incorporated: This is a requirement on all funding programs we have experienced. Whether it is an Ontario Corporation or Federal Corporation – it is a must. The other option is a CCPC structure as well.
  • Secure Business Registration Number: It is important that you have a Business Registration Number (BRN) and a Payroll Number before you generate revenue and apply for funding.
  • Break Even Analysis: Determine your revenue targets and average $ sale needed from the business to break even, preferably conducted with a reputable accountant.
  • Price Positioning Strategy: This activity can be conducted in conjunction to your break even analysis alongside an accountant. Building out a “what if” scenario on different options and combinations to reach revenue and gross profit targets.
  • Cash Flow Planning: To be conducted with an accountant or business mentor. It is important to determine when you will be cash flow positive and what your short and long-term strategies are from that point onward. Examples: Will you be relying on equity for growth, taking a salary; do you have larger scale projects that demand resources which will affect your cash flow positive date?
Eligible Applicants for Canadian Government Funding

Canadian Startup Funding Checklist

Recommended Strategic Options and Resources

  • SR&ED Tax Credits: If your company conducts internal R&D practices, you can apply for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program, which is Canada’s largest single source of funding for all businesses including startups/entrepreneurs. This program can cover up to:
    • Labour: Up to 69% of eligible salaries (including overhead).
    • Contractor: Up to 36% of contractor costs.
    • Materials: Up to 45% of materials consumed.
  • Finding Available Funding Programs: Subscribe to the Fundingportal Growth tool to find funding programs, awards, tax credits, and more.
  • Evaluate Additional Financing Options: Small companies need equity to grow. Actively research options from banks and other financing institutions including the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Futurpreneur, and Community Futures Ontario (CFDC).
  • Canadian Business Incubators: An incubator is an organization or program that provides start-ups and very early stage companies with investors, funding, mentorship, shared office space, and technical resources. Find a list of business incubators in each province.
  • Ontario Research Innovation Centres (RIC): Contact your local RIC for entrepreneurial resources, guidance, and financing options: 1-289-373-3050.
  • Business Plan & Marketing Plan: A solid business strategy, including a marketing plan, is very valuable to your business’ strategic direction. As a small company, it is critical to plan and implement the priority activities that will fuel your company’s sustainable growth and competitive advantage.
  • Execute on your Strategic Plan: You should always be actively completing one of your top five growth initiatives to assist with cash flows. As a small company, it is easy to lose sight of these, as you will have many responsibilities.
  • Domain Registration/Website Development: Although this might be considered optional, a website is the modern face of a company and the first resource that prospects will investigate when evaluating your products or services.
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Canadian Startup Funding Checklist

Additional Startup Resources

Canadian startups and entrepreneurs can find additional funding programs from other institutions outside of the federal and provincial government grant, loan, and wage subsidy programs available. Find the full list of these resources on our Canadian Startup and Entrepreneur Resources page.

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