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Business loans for public relations and marketing agencies

Build your PR or marketing business from scratch or grow it for the future with the help of financing.

Running a marketing and public relations agency means fast-paced, creative and cutting-edge work – but to keep ahead of the curve and maintain your creativity, you need financing. With ever-changing technologies and media, you need to have the tools and skillsets to move with the tides, and that can get expensive — fast. Plus, you’ll need to focus on hiring the best talent to stay on top of your game. We walk you through your financing options for when your PR or marketing business needs extra cash to stay competitive.

What are the best business loan options for PR and marketing agencies?

There’s no one right loan for your PR or marketing agency, and approval can depend on what you need the money for. Let’s take a look at some of the most useful types of business loans for your creative agency.

  • Accounts receivable financing. Your firm likely relies heavily — if not solely — on invoices for revenue, and it can take between 2 and 3 months for client invoices to go through. Invoice factoring involves selling invoices to a third party for a percentage of their value — usually around 80%. Meanwhile, invoice financing lets your agency borrow against outstanding invoices and repay when you receive payment.
  • Business lines of credit. Lines of credit can be useful when you need funds to cover ongoing expenses — like overhead costs when you don’t have many clients. It works a lot like a credit card, where you only need to withdraw and pay interest on the amount you borrow, but you’ll get a higher credit limit and face different repayment terms. Like with a general business loan, your agency can use funds from its credit line for any business expense.
  • Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP) Loan. Find competitive rates with a government-backed loan designed to help startups and small businesses get the financing they need. These loans are at least 75% backed by the Government and are offered by banks and other financial institutions. Your business will need to bring in an annual revenue of less than $10 million to qualify.
  • General use business term loans. Your catch-all business loan for large, one-time expenses. Your agency can use these loans for almost anything as long as it’s legal and work-related, so this might be your first choice.
  • Equipment financing. You might have thought equipment financing was only for heavy machinery like tractors and line equipment like conveyor belts or robots, but some lenders offer options you can use to purchase or lease technology like computers, video cameras and other expensive devices you may need for producing high-quality content.
  • Commercial real estate loans. Every agency needs office space. If you’re looking to buy, you’ll want to look into commercial real estate loans to cover the cost of your agency’s new digs.
  • Business vehicle loans. Need to buy a company car or a van for moving around equipment? Your agency might consider taking out an auto loan for your business vehicle.

Compare business loans for PR and marketing from top online lenders

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Minimum Revenue Minimum Time in Business Loans Offered
OnDeck Business Loan
8.00% – 29.00%
$5,000 - $300,000
6 - 18 months
6+ months
Secured Term, Line of Credit, Merchant Cash Advance
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 6 months with a minimum annual gross revenue of $100,000.

OnDeck offers fast and simple financing. Apply in less than 10 minutes with your basic business information and see your loan offers without hurting your credit score. Get approved within 1 business day, and choose your term, amount and payback schedule once approved.
Merchant Growth Business Loan
12.99% - 39.99%
$5,000 - $500,000
3 - 12 months
$10,000 /month
6 months
Unsecured Term, Line of Credit, Merchant Cash Advance
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 6 months and have a minimum of $10,000 in monthly sales.

Merchant Growth offers financing tailored to business needs. It specializes in providing capital based on future cash flows, but it also offers fixed solutions. Fill out an application within 5 minutes and get your funds within 24 hours.
Loans Canada Business Loan
6.60% - 29.00%
$4,000 - $500,000
3 - 60 months
over $10,000/month
100 days
Unsecured Term
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 100 days, have a Canadian business bank account and show a minimum of $10,000 in monthly deposits ($120,000/year).

Loans Canada connects Canadian small business owners to lenders offering financing up to $500,000. Complete one simple online application and get matched with your loan options.

Example: Leah expands her marketing agency

6 years ago, Leah started her own marketing agency, and it has since grown into a successful business with multiple employees and a sizeable clientele. She plans to grow her business even more and wants to move into a more spacious office with upgraded furnishings and equipment. Leah has her eye on a conveniently-located, 2,200 square foot office space nearby. The landlord is asking for $3,600.00/month with 2 months’ rent upfront (a total of $7,200.00).

The office is fairly new and doesn’t need heavy renovations, but Leah still wants to upgrade her furniture, computer equipment, software, shelving and smaller fixtures plus furnish a boardroom for meetings and brainstorming sessions. Altogether, she’ll need about $50,000.00 to close the deal with the landlord and prepare the space for move-in day.

Leah applies for a business loan from an online lender and is approved, thanks to her solid credit score and the financial strength of her business. She signs the loan agreement and submits the required documentation, and soon the funds are deposited into her bank account.

Cost of renting and furnishing a new office space$50,000.00
Loan typeBusiness loan (term loan)
Loan amount$50,000.00
Interest rate (APR)8.59%
Loan term5 years
Additional fees
  • Origination fee of 3.00% ($1,500.00)
  • Application fee of $0 (waived by lender)
Monthly payment$1,028.00
Total loan cost$61,680.00

*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.

How to decide which loan offer is the best for my business

You’ll have to consider several factors to figure out the right loan option for your agency.

  • First, think about what you need extra funds for. Do you have any specific purchases in mind, or do you need financing to keep your doors open? Look for a loan type that makes the most sense for your needs.
  • Second, look at your personal and your business’s finances. How much can your agency safely afford to pay each month? What’s your personal credit score? Knowing these can help you find a loan that your agency can qualify for and pick a loan term with monthly repayments it can easily cover.
  • Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few lenders, you’ll want to compare costs. The easiest way to do this is to compare APRs on loans with the same term, which give you an expression of both the interest rates and fees as a percentage. The lowest APRs are the most competitive rates.
  • Other factors to consider are the lender’s customer service and its reputation. Can you reach out to your lender outside of normal business hours? What do customers say about their experiences? While online reviews might not be completely representative, enough complaints about one specific problem should send up some red flags.

What common expenses can financing help me cover?

  • Hiring staff. You won’t get very far on your own. Getting financing can help you expand your firm so it can take on more clients and make more money.
  • Technology. You can’t have a marketing firm without computers that have enough memory for large video and design projects — and aside from the actual cost of the physical equipment, you’ll need to cover yearly software fees. Work phones might also be a necessity. A standard business term loan or even an equipment loan can help you cover your tech costs.
  • Design costs. Design is crucial to making a marketing campaign a success. Your business can use a loan to cover the cost of software, hiring graphic designers or freelance video editors, and anything else you need to make sure your campaign looks its best.
  • Printing expenses. While almost everything is digital these days, printing can still be a big cost for marketing and PR firms.
  • Office space. You might want to look into a real estate loan if you’re interested in buying an office space — or just get a term loan to cover the down payment on a rented space.

What will I need to apply?

What you need to apply can vary depending on what type of business loan you’re applying for. Most lenders ask for the following information at the minimum:

  • Recent business account statements. Many lenders ask to see at least the past 3 months of your business’s bank account statements to look at your current cash flow.
  • Tax returns. Lenders might ask to see both your personal and your agency’s most recent tax returns to see how much you made in the last year.
  • A business plan. Your business plan is where your marketing agency shines: it’s your chance to market yourselves and tell your story. It should include financial statements and your agency’s future projections.
  • Proof of ownership. You’ll need to provide documents of ownership or any other official documents naming your business.

Compare business loans now

Possible challenges to getting funds for your agency

There are 2 main problems your agency might run into during the application process.

  • Your business’s young age. Your business needs to have been around for at least 1 year to qualify for most business loans, so startups might have difficulty getting funds right away. This isn’t necessarily specific to marketing and PR agencies, as all startups of any industry can face this issue. There are some financing options out there — but they can be more difficult to come by. You could, however, consider a loan offered through the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP).
  • Poor expense tracking. Another factor is how well you keep track of your invoices — and how regularly you get paid. If you’re not pulling in enough regular funds to show that your agency is able to handle monthly repayments, you could have difficulty getting approved. Even if you are paid regularly, you might have an easier time applying if you use accounting software to keep track of everything in one place.

4 tips for getting business loans for PR and marketing

1. Focus on your business plan. A business plan is important for any type of business. With a marketing agency, it’s also where you get to show off your skills and your ultimate business goals.

2. Be specific about your needs. Even if you aren’t sure exactly what costs you’ll be covering with a line of credit or loan, knowing exactly the kinds of expenses you need to fund builds a stronger case.

3. Use accounting software. This makes it easier to keep track of your finances, and some lenders even ask to connect to your account so they can view your finances on their own.

4. Wait for the right time. For a young or low-revenue marketing agency, a business loan just might not be the best option for you yet. Instead, you might want to kick off a crowdfunding campaign and wait until your business can comfortably qualify for a loan.

Bonus: 7 agency success tips from a marketing wiz

Tai Lopez portrait

Follow these tips from social media superstar Tai Lopez and set up your new marketing firm for success.

  1. Practice on yourself. Social media is the best place to learn the practical ropes of marketing, and having a strong personal brand is an easy way to prove to clients you know what you’re doing. Experiment with different platforms and techniques to find what works and what to avoid.
  2. Go for the highest-paying clients first. Doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers and the like pay big and can help you cover your bases while you’re just getting started.
  3. Offer freebies and testimonials. Convincing a new client who’s never heard of you is a challenge. Offering free services like an evaluation of their accounts and providing testimonials or contact information of previous clients can help you build a name.
  4. Tell a story. Instead of trying to convince people to use your client’s product or services, draw people in by telling fun narratives about the brand instead. Offer behind-the-scenes peeks, make fun and engaging videos, and give the brand a personality.
  5. Offer packages. Instead of charging one price for your services, offer different combinations for different prices. Some clients always want the VIP package, and won’t work with an agency that doesn’t have one.
  6. Build your team. You can only get so far on your own — having team members like a personal assistant and an accountant can free up your time to focus on the important stuff.
  7. Use tracking tools. Numbers speak for themselves and you might have an easier time winning over clients with a solid and organized track record.

Bottom line

A business loan can help your marketing or PR agency grow to heights it could never have reached on its own. Luckily, businesses in your industry have lots of different types of loans and lenders to choose from. Curious about exploring your options even more? Check out our business loans guide to learn about how it all works and compare lenders.

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