General questions

The following are questions BDC frequently receives from customers. Some are requests for services we do not provide and therefore cannot be answered completely; where possible, we provide links and phone numbers for more information.

Quick-link list

1. What is the purpose of the BDC?

BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada. BDC plays a leadership role in delivering financial and consulting services to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses, with a particular focus on the technology and export sectors of the economy.

2. What is the difference between you and the other financial institutions?

In brief: BDC offers you both financing solutions (long term financing, venture capital, subordinate financing) and consulting services. BDC's innovative term financing features fixed or floating rates and repayment schedules up to 20 years, tailored to your working capital needs. Project-based financing and a comprehensive approach to risk assessment allows BDC to help businesses whose financial needs exceed the parameters of traditional financing.

3. Do you offer grants or subsidies?

No. BDC is a commercial bank offering long-term business financing, paid back with interest. For information on grants or subsidies, visit the Canada Business Web site.

4. So you don't give money? Shouldn't a crown corporation be helping Canadians?

BDC has been supporting Canadian businesses for 65 years. BDC's innovative financing and consulting services are specifically created to respond to the needs of today's Canadian businesses. It is important to note that our funds are borrowed on the money market like other commercial banks; we do not receive government funding for the money we offer in loans.

5. Why should I borrow from BDC when I can get lower rates elsewhere?

If you look at your total financing package, and not just the interest rate, BDC offers flexible repayment terms as well as increased levels of financing. Find out more about BDC interest rates.

6. Can I open a chequing/savings account at your bank?

No. BDC is a long-term commercial lender. It does not provide regular banking services nor does it accept deposits.

7. Do you provide loan guarantees?

No. We recommend you contact your financial institution to inquire about this service.

8. Can you provide me with exchange rate information?

Since we do not exchange money, we do not offer exchange rates. Your local bank or foreign exchange office can help you. The Bank of Canada offers a useful currency converter.

9. Do you issue letters of credit?

No. We recommend you contact your financial institution to inquire about this service. If you are an exporter, you can also contact Export Development Canada or call them at 1-888-332-3320.

10. Do you offer line of credit facilities?

Most companies already have a line of credit. BDC does not specifically offer a line of credit; however, our project-based financing can often cover the costs straining your working capital.

11. Can you help me incorporate my business?

BDC provides financing and consulting services, but does not incorporate or register companies. An excellent source of information on the 4 types of businesses in Canada can be found at the Canada Business Web site.

12. Who governs the Business Development Bank of Canada?

The Bank was created by an Act of Parliament in 1944 and reports to the Minister of Industry. We encourage you to visit our corporate profile.

13. Is this the Bank of Canada?

No. Their website is, and their toll-free number: 1-800-303-1282.

14. I have invented a product, and I need more financing for prototype production and patents. Can you help?

BDC's Venture Capital division can sometimes assist entrepreneurs in knowledge-based industries with a high growth potential.

15. Do you provide 100% financing for start-up of businesses?

A personal investment is a firm requirement when it comes to financing a business start-up. It shows you are committed to your business idea and are willing to share the risk.

16. Do you provide asset-based financing?

Not in the traditional sense. We do not lend money based solely upon the assets you have in your business. We base part of our credit decision on the project's viability, management strength, and the cash flow from the business operations.

17. Do you provide a loan based upon future projections for a newly invented technological product?

Our Venture Capital group can handle financing for these types of ventures. BDC and other venture capitalists look for a seasoned management team, a solid business plan, a market opportunity to support fast and sustained growth, a distinct competitive advantage, and technology with broader applications than a single product or industry.

18. Are you the people I complain to about a product or service?

If your complaint involves another business, we suggest you contact them or the nearest Better Business Bureau. If you're dissatisfied the service BDC has provided you, we apologize and suggest you contact your local business centre or call 1 877 BDC-BANX (232-2269). If you are still not satisfied, our ombudsperson's office can provide independent conflict resolution.

19. Can I file a complaint with the BDC regarding a financial institution?

The BDC does not play any part in regulating financial institutions. To file such a complaint, contact the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions or call 1-800-385-8647.

If you have a question to ask us, please do so here.