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The Best Ways to Fund a Business Purchase: Insights from Canada Buyer Survey 2023

Our latest survey asked Canadian business buyers how they funded or plan to fund a business purchase. Here's what they say.

There is no denying that Canada is experiencing a volatile economic climate, with a downturn expected by a chorus of economists and market watchers. Acquiring a business in this climate may seem like a risk not worth taking. However, 157 Canadian business buyers report differently in’s recent buyer survey.

While these economic uncertainties do pose challenges, they also give rise to opportunities. Conditions like these have been navigated before, and strong business leaders recognize that business resurgence is fuelled by deal making. Canada’s economy is resilient, and so are its business buyers.

According to the survey, Canadian buyers are still pursuing small business acquisitions by using a combination of finance sources.

Here are the most popular finance methods according to the survey.


Bank loans

Despite rising interest rates being buyers’ biggest concern, bank loans are still a popular finance source, combined with other methods. An alternative to main commercial banks that buyers can consider is the BDC, which offers manageable interest rates and tailored repayment terms.

Home or property equity

Buyers who are homeowners or own other forms of property are releasing equity from these assets to buy a new business. This alternative finance source is a common option for business buyers, as they offer lower rates than unsecured loans, and long-term repayment plans are more manageable.


Cash is another popular finance method, with many buyers indicating that they plan to or have used their own cash combined with other finance sources to purchase a business or pay for down payments on loans.

VTB and commercial mortgages

Buyers also mentioned that VTB and commercial mortgages are attractive finance sources. VTB is a popular alternative to other finance methods, as it helps buyers close a deal if they cannot raise finance for the full purchase price.

Likewise, commercial mortgages are a safe and manageable way to purchase a business, attributed to their low interest rates and potential for capital gains.

Other key insights from the survey include:

  • Most Canadian buyers are interested in the following sectors: retail and service industry, food and beverage, manufacturing and construction, online space (digital agency, tech, e-commerce, IT).
  • The most popular provinces that buyers are interested in are Ontario, BC, Alberta, and Nova Scotia.
  • Buyers indicate that the hardest aspect of raising finance include rising interest rates, lender approval, paperwork and filling out forms.
  • Buyers’ biggest concern when purchasing a business are inaccurate valuations, undisclosed issues, owner reliance, revenue concentration and access to finance.

If you would like to understand more about what finance is available to you, you can read our loans to buy a business guide.

Megan Kelly

About the author

Megan is Head of Content Marketing at She is an expert copywriter and content marketer.


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