Please note: Canada Business Ontario is now FedDev Ontario Small Business Services.
Our information and services remain the same.

Buy a Business or Start Your Own

Starting a business can be overwhelming for first time entrepreneurs. If you have a great idea and are ready to work hard, then you may wish to start your own business. But if you want to avoid some of the common challenges of starting a business, buying an existing business or a successful franchise may be a better option.

Starting your own business


  • Complete freedom to design and manage the business according to your vision.
  • Not bound by anyone else's rules, history or assets.
  • Opportunity to bring something new to the market.
  • Can be less expensive than buying a successful business.


  • Can take a while until you are profitable.
  • There is no guarantee of business success and there is a high rate of failure for new businesses.
  • More difficult to get financing because lenders or investors are taking a risk with your idea.

Buying an existing business or franchise


  • Benefit from the work that has already been done on establishing a brand, developing customer relationships, developing business processes and acquiring assets.
  • Can start making profits more quickly.
  • Easier to get financing because the business model is proven.


  • The up-front investment is often higher than if you were starting your own business.
  • The previous owner and/or franchisor's business model and way of doing business may not be a perfect match with what you envision.

For more information on buying a business or starting your own and other business topics, contact Small Business Services today. Telephone services are available in English or French.