Small Business Financing Program: Some Answers

Maria asks…

Best computer programme to deal with finances of small business?

Microsoft money and quick books have been recommended – any feedback greatly appreciated!

admin answers:

Quick books, TAS books or Sage. If you realisticaly anticipate growing your business then Sage has the easiest upgrade path. Sage is also probably easier to get staff if you need to or consulatants to help you set it up.

Laura asks…

Whats my next step, I finished my business plan…?

I finished my business plan, I printed out the app for small business financing authority loan guaranty program….whats next? Apply for a loan…or are there other steps to do first? Business license?

admin answers:

Go to and in the upper left hand corner, enter your zip code. On the next screen, you will get information on the nearest SCORE chapter. Call them and arrange for a free meeting with a volunteer SCORE counselor. They will guide you through the process.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide and is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

SCORE has 350 chapters in locations throughout the United States and its territories, with 13,000 volunteers nationwide. Both working and retired executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors.

Susan asks…

Would $300,000 combined with a $200,000 loan be enough?

I’m looking to purchase a Tim Hortons franchise in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I have $300,000 but I still need about $200,000 to meet Tim Hortons requirements (up to $480,000 not including tax). I was hoping to get a loan from the Canadian Small Business Finance Program to support me. Is this possible? Will it be enough? Thanks!!!
Franchising Program

Franchise Cost: $430,000 to $480,000* plus all applicable taxes (this includes a drive-thru)

Additional Working Capital: (start-up costs) $50,000 (unencumbered)

At least $144,000 of the franchise cost must be unencumbered (cash or liquid assets) in addition to the $50,000 working capital which must also be unencumbered. The remaining amount may be financed through various lending programs offered by the chartered banks, providing, of course, the candidate meets the normal borrowing requirements.

The specific cost of a Tim Hortons license will depend upon the Tim Hortons building size and the required furnishings and equipment to be installed. The cost of a Tim Hortons license may exceed $480,000 in certain locations due to higher development costs.

Included in the cost of a franchise is the following:

all equipment, furniture, display equipment and signage
8 week training program in the Oakville, ON, Training Centre
a store opening crew to assist the openi
a store opening crew to assist the opening of the Tim Hortons store (for a maximum period of 2 weeks)
the use of all Tim Hortons Manuals
right to use trademarks and trade names
support from Head Office personnel who have vast knowledge in the food service business.
Not included in the cost of the franchise:

The building
The property on which the restaurant is built
The term of the License agreement is usually 10 years and usually with options to renew for up to a further period of 10 years.
The Real Estate and Development Department approves and secures all locations upon which Tim Hortons stores are built, whether they are leased or purchased. Therefore, an applicant is not expected to bring forward a site and/or concern themselves with the development of such. Once the site is secured, the Construction department begins the process of building the store.

* Subject to change without notice.

admin answers:

You’d better check with Tim Horton’s themselves – my brother managed a Tim Horton’s for nearly 10 years and wanted to buy one and they had a lot of requirements after 16 months he still couldn’t meet.

I don’t remember the financial specifics, but they wanted a great deal of the money to come from him – not from a loan. His inlaws were more than happy to loan him money of their own, but Tim Horton’s didn’t want any silent partner owners or anything along those lines – they want every single owner to be hands-on involved in the day to day operation of their store.

Do also keep in mind that Tim Horton’s is extremely protective of their brand. They carefully select each location to succeed – to the point there are more people wanting to own a franchise than there are locations available so they can choose to be very picky and will not just accept anyone who has the money. Good long experience with restaurant/store management is a must – and sometimes even that’s not enough.

I would suggest since you do seem to be quite serious that you start making formal inquiries to Tim Horton’s to understand their application process for a franchise and to see the cost of a franchise.

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