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Compare small business loans in Nova Scotia

Learn more about where to find and how to apply for business loans in Nova Scotia.

According to Finder research, many Nova Scotian businesses will need a loan to make ends meet in the wake of the pandemic. Getting the right loan can make all the difference for your bottom line. Find out more about where and how to apply for small business loans in Nova Scotia and compare lenders to find the best fit for you.

Compare small business loans in Nova Scotia

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Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Minimum Revenue Minimum Time in Business Loans Offered
Loans Canada Business Loan
6.60% - 29.00%
$4,000 - $300,000
3 - 60 months
$4,166 /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 $4,166 in monthly deposits ($50,000/year).

Loans Canada connects Canadian small business owners to lenders offering financing up to $300,000. Complete one simple online application and get matched with your loan options.
OnDeck Business Loan
8.00% – 29.00%
$5,000 - $300,000
6 - 18 months
$10,000 /month
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 monthly revenue of $10,000.

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.
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Where to find business loans in Nova Scotia

There are a number of different places you can get small business loans in Nova Scotia. Learn more about each type of provider in the table below:

Provider typeWho it’s best forCommon featuresHow to applySample providers
Big banksLarge, well-established businesses with strong credit and many assets
  • Large amounts
  • Mid- to high-level rates
  • Not very flexible
  • Strict eligibility criteria
Online application and in-person appointmentBMO, TD Bank, RBC, CIBC, Scotiabank, HSBC, Canadian Western and National Bank
Credit unionsSmall or new businesses and startups with fewer assets and lower credit
  • Small to medium amounts
  • More flexible than bank loans
  • Only members can apply
  • Easier to qualify for
Online application and in-person appointmentCaisse populaire, Coastal Financial, CUA, Dominion, Community, Victory and East Coast Credit Union
Private lendersSmall and large businesses comfortable with taking out online loans
  • Flexible eligibility criteria
  • Options for bad credit
  • Potential for online scams
Online applicationLoans Canada, SharpShooter, OnDeck, Company Capital, Thinking Capital and Lending Loop

Are there any special financing programs to get small business loans in Nova Scotia?

Yes! Nova Scotia runs a guaranteed financing program through its credit unions. The government works with the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council and Atlantic Central to guarantee loans for small businesses. Getting a guaranteed loan can help you qualify for larger amounts with less strict eligibility requirements. Common features of these loans include:

  • Terms up to 10 years
  • Amounts up to $500,000
  • Fees equal to 1% of total amount borrowed
  • Most businesses eligible (except real estate companies or bars/taverns)

Am I eligible for small business loans in Nova Scotia?

You may need to meet the following criteria to qualify for small business loans in Nova Scotia:

  • Be at least 19 years old (the age of majority in Nova Scotia)
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address and a working bank account
  • Have a registered business number and prove that you’ve been operational for 6 months (check out startup loans if you don’t meet these criteria)
  • Provide financial records to show you can repay your loan
  • Sign a personal guarantee in some cases

What is the cost of business loans in Nova Scotia?

The cost of small business loans in Nova Scotia varies widely based on how much you borrow. The following factors will help to determine how much you have to pay back:

  • Principal. This is the amount you borrow without interest or fees. This amount will be deposited into your bank account when you take out the loan. Some loans will cap you at $100,000 while others may range between $250,000 and $1 million.
  • Interest rates. Business loan interest rates are a percentage of how much you borrow and will depend on factors such as your credit score. They often range anywhere from 4% to 40%. You’ll usually get lower interest rates if you sign up for a secured or guaranteed loan.
  • Fees. Lenders may charge fees to set up or maintain your loan. You’ll usually also need to pay fees to pay your loan off early or to make late payments.

Sample cost of small business loans in Nova Scotia

Sally has been running a business in Nova Scotia for several years and decides to take out a business loan for $100,000. She negotiates a loan with 6% interest, a term of 5 years and a 1% administrative fee. This is what her loan will look like:

ExpenseAmount
Principal amount$100,000
Total interest over 5 years$15,997
Fee of 1%$1,000
Total cost of loan$116,997

How to apply for small business loans in Nova Scotia

You can follow the steps below to apply for small business loans in Nova Scotia:

  1. Compare your options. Compare many different types of loan providers to see which one offers the best rates, terms and repayment schedule.
  2. Prequalify for several loans. Apply to prequalify for several loans to get the best “real” rates (instead of comparing advertised rates which are more generic).
  3. Choose the loan you want. Decide which loan will suit your needs best and request to move your application forward with that provider.
  4. Fill out a more detailed application. Supply personal and financial information to your lender and agree to undergo a credit check.
  5. Complete an interview. Book an interview to discuss your business plan and determine your eligibility (if required by your provider).
  6. Wait for a decision. Wait for a decision on your loan application and provide any follow-up documentation that’s requested by your lender.

Helpful resources for business owners in Nova Scotia

Check out the following business resources if you need assistance to find additional financing:

ResourceWhat it offers
Small Business Loan Guarantee ProgramGuaranteed business financing through credit union loans
Business Development CentreAdvisory services, loans and other resources to help you run your business
Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyBusiness planning, financing, market research, startup guides and help with regulatory environment
The Atlantic Association of CBDCsLearning resources, financing programs and assistance with developing a business plan
Nova Scotia Business Inc loansBusiness financing, training and summits

Alternative solutions to getting a business loan in Nova Scotia

Learn more about the following options to get money for your business in Nova Scotia:

  1. Merchant cash advance. Get a lump sum of cash and repay the amount you borrow based on a percentage of your business’s credit/debit card sales.
  2. Business credit card. Take out a business credit card to cover smaller expenses but expect to pay higher interest rates if you hold an outstanding balance.
  3. Business line of credit. Apply for a line of credit if you want a pool of money to borrow from whenever you need (and only pay interest when you dip into available funds).
  4. Outside investors. Pitch your business to angel investors, launch a crowdfunding campaign or ask friends or family for a loan to get the capital you need.

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