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Ecommerce business loans

Exceed your goals by finding the right loan for your online business.

SharpShooter Funding Business Loan

SharpShooter Funding Business Loan logo

Borrow up to $250,000

  • Prime pricing from 9.00%
  • Loan terms from 6 - 120 months
  • Free online loan quote
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Thanks to an explosion of e-commerce sites, it has never been easier to quit your day job to make a living selling custom T-shirts or jewelry that you’ve sourced from around the world. Or, perhaps you want to sell lucrative skill sets that you acquired over the years such as bookkeeping or marketing services. Chances are you’ll need to borrow money from time to time to prepare your inventory for the holiday season or invest in an online presence.

Find out the basics of e-commerce business loans so you know what to look for when comparing lenders.

Compare business loans for an online business

Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Minimum Revenue Minimum Time in Business Loans Offered
SharpShooter Funding Business Loan
Prime pricing from 9.00%
$500 - $250,000
6 - 120 months
$10,000 /month
100 days
Unsecured Term, Merchant Cash Advance, Invoice Factoring
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 100 days with a minimum of $10,000 in monthly deposits.

SharpShooter provides capital to small businesses that are underserved by banks and credit unions. It measures overall business health and potential rather than focusing strictly on traditional metrics. Fill out a simple application and get pre-approved in minutes. Receive your funds within 24 hours.
Swoop Funding Business Loan
4.00% - 25.00%
$1,000 - $5,000,000
3 - 60 months
$10,000 /month
24 months
Term, MCA, LOC & more
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 24 months and have a minimum of $100,000 in annual revenue.

Swoop partners with banks and alternative lenders to match your business with the right funding options. Register for free and browse your offers without affecting your credit score.
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.
Loans Canada Business Loan
Prime Pricing from 9.00%
$2,000 - $350,000
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 credit score of 410+ 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 $350,000. Complete one simple online application and get matched with your loan options.
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How do e-commerce business loans work?

An ecommerce loan is a type of financing for small online retailers. It’s very similar to a business loan in the sense that it is money you borrow and repay with interest and fees. However, there are some financing options that only work for businesses that make money by selling goods online, such as PayPal Working Capital.

Is my company considered an e-commerce business?
If you sell goods online, you have an e-commerce business.

What kinds of loans for online businesses are there?

The first step to finding a loan is to learn about the options available for a unique business like yours. Check out the various financing and loans for online businesses below.

  • Term business loans. Covers one-time expenses like new equipment or more inventory.
  • Lines of credit. Keeps things running during the off season by accessing only as much money as you need, when you need it.
  • Microloans. A small loan that funds small projects that don’t need much capital.
  • Peer-to-peer business loans. Get funding from investors interested in your business through peer-to-peer marketplaces.
  • Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP) Loan. You can apply for these loans through a chartered bank, credit union or a caisse populaire. They are at least 75% backed by the Government of Canada. Your business must make under $10 million in revenue annually to be eligible for this program.
  • Business cash advances. Also known as merchant cash advances, these provide funds based on your sales for a set fee or a percentage of your sales. But watch out: these can cost far more than your typical business loan.

Representative example: Marcos buys an online book store

Marcos has been working at a large publishing house in British Columbia for the past 25 years. He wants to find a slower-paced position that will give him something to do in retirement. Marcos comes across an online book store for sale and thinks it might be just what he’s looking for. After speaking with the owner, Marcos submits an offer to buy the business for $20,000.00. The owner accepts the offer, and Marcos applies for financing from an online lender. Thanks to his great credit history, he is approved.

Both Marcos and the former shop owner agree to forfeit sales tax on the transaction by signing Form GST44, which can be done because they are both GST/HST registrants. Had this form not been signed, Marcos would’ve had to pay around 12% GST/PST on the fair market value of the business’s taxable assets (which includes equipment, computers, software, shelving and office supplies, among other things). In that case, he could’ve treated the GST as deductible on his next business tax return. However, sales taxes are not applicable on this transaction because of Form GST44.Below is a summary of Marcos’ financing and related costs to purchase the online book store:

Cost of online book store$20,000.00
Loan typeBusiness loan (term loan)
Loan amount$20,000.00
Interest rate (APR)8.90%
Loan term4 years
Additional feesOrigination fee of 3.00% ($)
Monthly payment$496.75
Total loan cost$23,844.00

*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.

2 benefits competitive e-commerce business loans will offer

  • Favourable terms. Decide if your business needs money up front with a fixed-term or more flexible access through a line of credit. A line of credit is helpful for businesses that anticipate a dip in sales at specific times of the year. For one-time larger expenses, consider a fixed-term loan.
  • Low costs. Lenders look at how much you want to borrow, your desired repayment term and your business’s financial history to determine your interest rate. Before you apply, get quotes from at least three different lenders, and look at any origination and application fees — which are usually included in the APR. Other fees, like early repayment, won’t be included in the APR and can add to the cost of your loan.

What do I need to apply?

The documents you’ll need vary depending on the lender and loan you’re applying for, but you’ll likely need to provide:

  • Your business’s financial records including monthly revenue and expenses.
  • A business plan that details your strategy for growth.
  • Your personal information including your contact details and business ownership verification.

In some cases, you might need to provide your personal credit score.

4 tips for getting ecommerce business financing for your online business

  1. Wait until you’re ready. If you’re just starting out, avoid high interest rates and predatory fees by looking at other types of financing. Before going to a third party lender, consider borrowing money from a friend or family member, or making a personal investment.
  2. Have a killer business plan. Not only will a great business plan help you get the most competitive loan rates, but it will help you plan for risks, organize your goals and devise a logical strategy. Planning will give you a greater shot at longevity.
  3. Know your cash flow. Finding the right loan for your online business can be difficult if you don’t know how you’re going to pay it off. Go over the numbers, and take note of any patterns in your profits.
  4. Boost your credit score. Taking steps to improve your credit score can help you get a better deal on rates and fees.

Four tips for running a successful e-commerce business

  • Use multiple social media platforms. Don’t just rely on reaching your customers through Facebook. Each platform comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, and using more than one could cover your bases.
  • Be mobile-friendly. Shopping on a computer is becoming a thing of the past. Not only should your site be responsive, but your content should fit mobile reading too.
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify. The last thing you want is for frustrated customers to give up while trying to buy your products. Make it as easy as possible for them to spend money on your site.
  • Reward loyalty. Developing a loyalty program is a tried-and-true way of getting customers to come back.

Are there other ecommerce business financing options available?

Yes. Loans are a common way to finance e-commerce businesses, but they aren’t your only option. Here are some alternatives:

  • Investors. Get funding in exchange for ownership of a percentage of your business from venture capitalists, angel investors or investment corporations.
  • Crowdfunding. Set up a page on a crowdfunding campaign to collect donations from your social circle and business’s fans.
  • Friends or family. You probably won’t have to pay interest or fees when borrowing money from a wealthy acquaintance or relative — but you risk serious social consequences if you can’t pay them back.
  • Personal loans. Consider taking out a personal loan to fund a thriving business that doesn’t meet the age or revenue requirements for a business loan.

Bottom line

Finding the right loan for your online business could make or break it. You could find that you’re eligible for options you might not have considered. If you’d like to explore even more types of financing options, you can compare a full range of business loans in our detailed guide. Be sure to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line and settling on a loan.

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