Get up to $99,999 in funding for international travel

CanExport program helps mid-sized companies develop their export markets

If your company is looking to export, the federal government’s CanExport program is now open and able to assist you. To qualify, your company must fall under one of the following categories:

  • Communications ICT and mobile apps
  • Digital media
  • Educational services
  • Firmware and electronics
  • Information services
  • Manufacturing
  • Micro/nano technology
  • Services – professional/scientific/technical
  • Software design/development
  • Transportation and warehousing

Wholesale and retail trade

The CanExport program was introduced in January 2016 and will provide up to $50 million over five years in direct financial support to small- and medium-sized companies. CanExport is expected to assist up to 1,000 exporters per year across the country, for an average of about $10,000 per company.

Companies may apply as many times as they wish during the year. The company must, however, wait for one application to be processed before submitting another. If you are denied once, you may apply again and be accepted. Each application is processed separately, and previous denials do not affect future application approvals.

The program nitty gritty

CanExport provides financial support for a wide range of export marketing and sales activities. Qualifying travel activities include:

  • Business travel to visit prospects 
  • Participating in trade shows outside of Canada
  • Market research  
  • Adapting marketing tools for new markets
  • Legal fees associated with a distribution or representation agreement

The following are not eligible expenses:

  • Ongoing core or operational activities
  • Activities in a market where you have been exporting within the last 24 months
  • Activities involving used equipment, unless the equipment is reconditioned or rebuilt, and the benefit to Canada would be close to or equal to benefits obtained from the sale of new equipment
  • The program offers the following reimbursements:
  • Reimburses up to 50% of eligible expenses
  • Companies must match funds on a dollar-to-dollar basis

Provides a minimum contribution of $10,000 (the total cost of eligible activities must be at least $20,000) and a maximum of $99,999 (the total cost of eligible activities must be at least $199,998);

Companies can file for funding at any time. Once you have filed you can expect to hear if your application has been approved within 25 business days. CanExport will notify companies whether or not their application is successful.

To be considered for funding, a company must meet the following basic criteria:

  • Must be a for-profit company
  • Must be an incorporated company or a limited liability partnership (LLP). Sole proprietorships are not eligible.
  • Must have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business identifier number
  • Must have between one and 250 full time employees. All employees must be on payroll and receiving T4 slips at the end of the year. Subcontracted employees are not included in the employee count.  
  • Must have sales of between $200,000 and $50 million in annual revenue declared in Canada in their last complete fiscal year. 

There are limits on funding, though, such as the following:

  • Companies can apply for a minimum of $10,000 per application (total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum of $99,999 (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $199,998);
  • Consultant costs for the production of a market study, for market research, for business-to-business (B2B) meetings and matchmaking are limited to 25% of the total cost of the activity or project.

If your CanExport application is approved, you must first spend the money and submit all travel receipts to the government. Once the government has received proof of payment of the travel expenses a refund cheque will be issued.

Additional information on the CanExport Program along with the online application can be found at:


Bonny Koabel CPA, CGA is President of AKR Consulting Canada a Mississauga, ON firm specializing in Government Grants, Subsidies, Tax Credits, Refunds and Rebates since 2003.