Blog

VI

Here we are at our second last segment on banks and what they can offer for small businesses. We are going to take a look at Scotiabank and some of the areas they can take care of. As a whole they have so much pertinent information just looking online. Information anywhere from how to start your business, registering your business name, growing and increasing your business and its profits all the way to selling your business. The information seems endless which is so true when it comes to businesses. We are always learning.

 

They have a handful of different accounts related to business depending on what exactly you are looking for including paying per transaction if you have a lower amount of movement.

 

Plan A Monthly fee of $18.00

Fee rebate at $15,000

25 Transactions 50 Deposit items

Cash deposit of $6000

Plan B Monthly fee of $35.00

Fee rebate at $30,000

70 Transactions 60 Deposit items

Cash deposit of $8000

Plan C Monthly fee of $70.00

Fee rebate at $40,000

125 Transactions 85 Deposit items

Cash deposit of $10,000

Unlimited Monthly fee of $120.00

Fee rebate at $65,000

Unlimited Transactions Unlimited deposit items

Cash deposit of $30,000

 

They also have some pretty great business savings account depending on your needs and the amount of money being put away. With these savings accounts your balance can fall into different tiers of interest rates anywhere from 0.8% to 1.7%. Another large area they can assist with is credit cards and business loans/lines of credit. With the options to find what is going to fit your business in the now but the ability to change as your business changes.

business-banking

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business Card $199 annual fee. $0 for second card, $50 for additional cards 19.99% Interest rate on purchases

22.99% on cash advances

1.5 Scotia Rewards Points for every $1 spent
Scotia Momentum for Business Visa Credit Card $49 annual fee

$29 for additional cards

19.99% interest rate on purchases

22.99% cash advances, balance transfers, and credit card cheques

Up to 3% cash back on everyday business purchases
Scotialine for Business Visa Credit No annual fee or cost for additional cards Interest rate fluctuates
Visa Business Credit Card Gold card annual fee of $105

Silver card annual fee of $75

19.99% Interest rate on purchases

22.99% on cash advances

1% cashback on certain purchases
Scotiabank GM Visa Business Card $79 annual fee $29 for each additional card 19.99% interest rate on purchases

22.99% cash advances, balance transfers, and credit card cheques

$1 in GM earnings equals $1 towards purchase price or lease.

 

Scotiabank also has numerous types of loans including the line of credit and overdraft protection. Depending on what your business needs will depend on the types of loans you could be approved for. Going in and speaking with the branch will give you a better idea on what exactly suits your individual needs. You also have the option of applying online for a loan if you meet certain criteria set out in their guidelines. It is always important to consider speaking to someone face to face such as a financial business advisor at the branch to ensure everything is in place and fully understood.

 

Lastly they have a number of payments and merchant services. What really stands out is their Bulk Interac e Transfer. You are able to set up groups of e transfers that can be sent out at one time instead of individual payments. Scotia also has the portable machines to take payments wherever you need. They are partnered with Chase with competitive rates. Overall Scotiabank has so much to offer in terms of small business banking. The information they provide is very insightful along with the different accounts they hold.

Policies Overview

Policies
 
Yesterday we had the opportunity to speak at the Stony Chamber of Commerce to discuss and present important information on policies in the workplace. Policies are the backbone of a business. They can help you sink or swim. They give you consistency, control, structure, fairness and reasonableness.
 
There are in two categories that polices fall into; Legislated policies and general HR policies.
 
Legislated policies are a make up of Workplace Privacy, Respectful Workplace (violence and harassment), Workplace Health and Safety, Hours of work and overtime, Vacations and General Holidays.
 
General HR Policies consist of your Code of Conduct, Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace, Use of Information Technology, and Performance Management.
 
Of course this is a general overview and a basic guideline and start to creating your policies. There is a lot of thought and detail that goes into your policy book which shouldn’t be created and just put on a shelf. You as business owner along with your employees should review your policies yearly to ensure complete understanding of what is required and if your policies are in line with not only current legislation but also your values as a company.
 
Special thanks to Sherry Shephard for her information and insight into policies.
 
We at BitLedger can work with you to ensure you have your policies up to date and moving in the direction your business is headed.

Part V

banking

Returning back to our segment on overviews of what banks have to offer for small businesses, we are going to take a look at CIBC. At first glance CIBC already catches the attention of a business with their website alone keeping up with the changing of current events. For example as you look through the options they have informative videos on the changes in corporate taxes. They also not only have information on business accounts but they have pieces on business stages from the starting point to growth, managing and securing.

 

CIBC has a number of different accounts catered to small business. There are four main operating accounts along with a savings account. With these accounts they also offer customized access. This is where you can allow other persons access to different areas. For example an employee can deposit cheques into a certain account. They also offer merchant services through a partnership with Global Payments. CIBC has external vendors they recommend and use so you can accept payments on the go.

 

Unlimited operating business account $50.00 per month Unlimited transactions Deposit package of $15,000 cash $1000 coin

100 cheques

Advanced business operating account $35.00 per month. Waived fee if balance of $35,000. 100 transactions including Interac e transfer Deposit package of $5000 cash

$500 coin

50 cheques

Everyday business operating account $20.00 per month self service access.

$25.00 per month full service access

30 transactions included.

$1.00 each additional self service.

$1.25 each additional full service

Deposit package of $3000 cash

$300 coin

25 cheques.

Basic business operating account $6.00 per month Transactions $1.00 each self service.

$1.25 each full service

Pay per month for deposit use.
Business Investment growth account No monthly fee Interest from 0.70% to 1.20% depending on balance Access to funds at any time

 

CIBC has a number of credit card choices depending on where you are at with your business. They have 3 geared towards businesses that are quite established. They run your credit based on your business finances.

  • CIBC Aventura Visa Card for business plus. $120.00 annual fee first card. Additional cards at $50.00 with a max of 15 cards per account. Interest rate of 19.99% purchases and 22.99% cash. Earn points for travel with any airline and points that don’t expire.
  • CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for business plus. $120.00 annual fee first card. Additional cards at $50.00 with a max of 15 cards per account. Interest rate of 19.99% purchases and 22.99% cash. Earn Aeroplan points.
  • CIBC Corporate Classic Plus Visa card. $20.00 annual fee for each card with up to 15 cards per account. Interest rate of 19.99% purchases and 22.99% cash.

 

CIBC also has credit cards geared for businesses that have a limited financial history. Credit is based on personal financial information.

  • CIBC Aventura Visa Card for business. There is a $120.00 annual fee with each additional card at $50.00 and up to 9 cards. Interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% cash. If you add $60.00 more to your annual fee though you can drastically reduce your interest rate to as low as 12.99% on purchases and 14.50% cash. In order to be approved you need a minimum annual income of $35,000.
  • CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for business. There is an annual fee of $180.00 with each additional card at $50.00 and up to 9 cards. Interest rates are as low as 12.99% on purchases and 14.50% cash. You must have a minimum annual household income of $35,000.

Another area that CIBC can assist you in is there borrowing options. Of course it is dependent on your credit history and the amount being requested. But they offer different loans where it can be based on your business finances, personal finances and even loans using your residential home as collateral for those larger money amounts. They also have options for fixed or variable interest rates.

 

It is important to note that with each bank there are many variables for approval. In order to get the best information talk to the business adviser

at their bank to find out what is best for you and your business.

 

Importance of a Business Plan Recap

This past week we had a Lunch N Learn on the purpose of a business plan and why it’s important. We were able to have a brief walk through on what is necessary in creating one but also discuss with others their individual needs for their business. Here is an overview on our lunch n learn:

 

  • A business plan is a plan of action that is start to finish. There are short term goals and long term goals that must be attainable.
  • Why are you going into business? There must always be a purpose to your start; Whether it is wanting to be your own boss or make a dramatic change.
  • Know the growth you want to see. Do you want to run a one man show? Do you see yourself having a number of employees? These are some questions you need to ask to prepare yourself for your startup.
  • Document everything! This will help ensure you don’t lose sight of your plans. Your business plan isn’t something you should complete and toss into your file cabinet. It needs to be looked at and discussed so you can keep your business on track.
  • Ensure you have a realistic budget. Research what is may cost to get your business going. How long can you go without breaking even or not having a paycheck? How much is your equipment going to cost?
  • Lastly know your competition. Is the market flooded with your specific business? What is the going rate in your area for your type of business?

 

Join us May 14th at the Stony Plain Chamber of Commerce where we talk about the importance of policy. Doors open at 7:30am with the program starting at 8:00am.

Part IV

Here we are on Part IV of our segment on what different banks have to offer for small businesses. Today we are looking into The Bank of Montreal. BMO is a well known bank that has a wide variety of different accounts depending on where your business is at.

 

Accounts

 

Business Start No monthly fee No minimum balance Unlimited electronic transactions 2 Interac E transfers Unlimited Moneris transactions
Business Builder 1 $6.00 per month No minimum balance 7 transactions per month 2 Interac E transfers Unlimited Moneris transactions
Business Builder 2 $45.00 per month No minimum balance 70 transactions per month 2 Interac E transfers Unlimited Moneris transactions
Business Builder 3 $80.00 per month $35,000 minimum balance to waive fee 120 transactions per month 2 Interac E transfers Unlimited Moneris transactions
Business Builder 4 $120.00 per month $80,000 minimum balance to waive fee 160 transactions per month 2 Interac E transfers Unlimited Moneris transactions
eBusiness Plan No monthly fee No minimum balance Unlimited electronic transactions 2 Interac E transfers Unlimited Moneris transactions

BMO has a variety of loans and line of credits depending on what your business is needing. If you are looking for a larger sum of money, then a loan is the way to go. They have a range of terms and payment options to give you the flexibility to choose what is best. There are fixed rate loans which can lock in your interest rate so you don’t need to worry about the fluctuation. They also have variable rate loans where you can choose your amortization but also switch to a fixed rate if wanted.

BMO has a few options for their Line of Credits as well.

  • Small business line of credit where you pay interest only on what you take out and you have the freedom to borrow what you need when you need it.
  • Small business homeowner line of credit which uses your home as collateral. There is an option of paying interest only.
  • Small business homeowner Readiline which uses the equity in your home to reduce your cost to borrow. This can combine your line of credit with your mortgage.

Credit Cards and Fees

 

BMO Rewards Business Mastercard $120.00 Annual Fee 14.99% interest on purchases 22.99% interest on cash advances Earn BMO rewards points
BMO Airmiles Rewards Business Mastercard $120.00 Annual Fee 19.99% interest on purchases 22.99% interest on cash advances Earn Airmiles
BMO Cashback Business Mastercard No Annual Fee 19.99% interest on purchases 22.99% interest on cash advances Earn cash back
BMO Airmiles No Fee Business Mastercard No Annual Fee 19.99% interest on purchases 22.99% interest on cash advances Earn Airmiles

 

Not only does BMO have numerous types of accounts/credits and loans but they also offer a number of services for the small business owners. Through their online account whether you are on the computer or using their app, you can manage all your money coming in and going out. You can manage your receivables for example with a desktop cheque scanner. BMO also offers Moneris Merchant Services so you can get payments on the go. Of course it is important to remember that each business and individual is different. Accounts and loans can have a range in difference so it is important to speak with the bank to discuss your specific needs and requirements.

Part III

We are now on part 3 of our 7 part series on banks and what they offer small businesses. Today we are looking at ATB Financial. Right from the beginning of researching this bank there is enormous amounts of information and guidance that they offer on their webpage alone. They have everything from the regular business banking/loans to templates on building a business plan and resources.

 

Fees and Accounts

ATB has two different categories when it comes to business accounts. There are accounts for business startups and accounts for business growth. ATB offers low rates for people who are just starting their business. If your business has started in 2019 you can be eligible for free banking for the year. It seems this is a limited time offer and would need to be discussed on an individual basis with the bank to see if you qualify. The offer itself is very appealing as it applies to each plan they have. They also have a Go 5 Business Banking plan which is $5.00/ month which includes 5 debit/credit transactions. Anything over is a cost of $1.50 including e-transfer. Of course they have their online banking which is free to access.

 

The second category they have is for businesses that have been around longer. Flex Fit Business Banking is a featured account that is broken down into tiers. The account starts at $19.00/month which gives you 25 debit/credit transactions. If you go over it is a charge of $1.00 per transaction till you hit the next tier so you don’t have to worry about huge costs. The next account is geared towards businesses that do 4 or more transactions per day. This is their Unlimited Business Banking account. There is a flat fee of $60.00/month and this also includes unlimited interact e-transfers.

 

Another category they offer is a Business Savings Account. If you have finances left over it may be wise to move money into a savings account to earn interest. There is no monthly fee and it is free to receive E transfers but a cost of $1.50 to send. As we know interest rates can fluctuate but currently you earn  0.20% under $24,999 and 0.35% over $25,000.

 

Loans/Credit

ATB has a number of loans depending on what you are needing for your business. It is important to note that acquiring a loan is on an individual basis. First off they have an Alberta BusinessCard.  This card has low personalized interest rate and a payment of 3% of your balance. There is an annual fee of $65/year for a limit up to $50,000 and $130/year for limits over. Each additional card is $35.00 and it is set up with Apple Pay which is a pretty neat feature as its moving forward with technology advances. Secondly is their Business Term Loan which can be used for multiple reasons. They have fixed and variable rates with flexible payment options. This type of loan can have varying terms up to 20 years and you can be given up to 100% financing. Thirdly they have an Operating Line of Credit. This has variable interest rates depending on the amount you use with flexible repayment options.

 

Overall ATB Financial seems to be a comparable bank in terms of what they can offer for small businesses. Their online platform is highly informative and gives a great idea on what they service. There are many other options such as Point of Sale which has fees vary depending on what you need. They even offer a Government Tax Payment and Filing Service where you can pay and file online. There are numerous options and avenues that ATB can go down based on your individual business. Talking to the bank directly will give you the information tailored to your needs.  

Part II

Business Banking Part II of our seven part series we are going to take a look at the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC is another larger bank that offers many variations when it comes to small business banking. It is important to note that many loans, credit cards etc are on an individual basis. Speaking with the branch will give you the exact information you need for your specific business and needs.

 

Fees and accounts

  • No monthly fee online account: This account is great for a business that uses online banking for the majority of their transactions. There is no fee and no minimum balance requirement and allows for unlimited electronic debits and credits.
  • Low monthly fee operating account: If your business has a lower amount of transactions or is a more seasonal business, then this account may be worth looking into. For a cost of $6.00 per month you can get up to 8 transactions with it then turning into a pay as you go rate.
  • Fixed Fee Operating Accounts: There are many variables when it comes to this kind of account. The rates are as low as $20.00 per month and go up to $75.00 per month depending on the amount of money moving through your business. What is great about this type of account is you can change between plans for when your business is busy compared to slower times.

 

Credit Cards and Loans

  • RBC has a number of different types of business credit cards to choose from. Depending on what you are looking for and if your business earnings are under 3 million per year you could choose from the following.
    • Avion Visa Infinite Business: Annual fee of $175.00 with an interest rate of 19.99%. Each additional card has a cost of $75.00 up to 9 cards. It is also partnered with their rewards program to accumulate points.
    • Visa Business Platinum Avion: Annual fee of $120.00 with an interest rate of 19.99%. Each additional card has a cost of $50.00. This card is also a rewards card.
    • Business Cash Back Mastercard: There is no annual fee and an interest rate of 19.99%. You can only have one additional card attached and you earn 2% cash back within the first 3 months where there after you receive a 1% cash back.
    • Visa Business Card: Annual fee of $12.00 with an interest rate of 19.99%. Each additional card has a cost of $12.00. This card is ideal for keeping business and personal expenses separate.
    • Visa Creditline for Small Businesses: There is no annual fee and an interest rate anywhere from 2.9% to 11.9.

RBC has so many different options when it comes to small business loans. There are numerous types depending on your business. This gives you the ability to have a loan that is financially in line with what you need. It is important to remember each person and company is different meaning loan approvals are on an individual basis.

 

RBC also offers a large online platform. Everything can be done online, from your everyday expenses and transactions, to monitoring activity. Not only can you run the majority of your business banking online, they have an app that allows you to deposit cheques via your mobile phone. Overall RBC has so much to offer in regards to small businesses including advice from their online platform regarding small business and even a group benefits package to offer your employees.