CanExport funding up to $150,000 per year for export market development

If you’re thinking about participating in tradeshows or developing new markets outside Canada, the Federal Government has increased the amount of financial assistance available for export activities. In late 2019, the feds increased export funding for manufacturers from 50% of your expenses to 75%, and increased the maximum they’ll fund to $150,000 annually, making it even more attractive to tap foreign markets. Why help export businesses? The Federal Government is very supportive of Canadian manufacturers that develop export markets, as export activity brings foreign funds into Canada. Since the costs involved in initially developing an export can be quite high, the government is willing to help business because the benefits are a steady flow of goods to other countries and more jobs for Canadians.

In order to qualify for CanExport funding, your company must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a for-profit business with an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP).
  • Must have a Canada Revenue Agency business number (unless Indigenous-owned or led).
  • Can’t have more than 500 full-time equivalent employees.
  • Sales for your last fiscal year must not be less than $100,000 and not over $100,000,000.

How much do I need to spend to receive funding through CanExport? In order to qualify, your company needs to be spending a minimum of $20,000 and no more than $100,000 per new market-development activities.

How long in advance do I need to apply for CanExport funding? You’ll need to apply 60 days before you travel. You’ll receive an answer from the government before you travel, letting you know if you have qualified for funding.

What types of travel activities are covered by the CanExport program? CanExport funding covers several export market development activities including:

A: Travelling to meet with prospects or attending events with key contacts. For this activity CanExport will cover the following expenses for two employees:
­­– The cost of economy or premium economy plane tickets.
­­– A $400 daily allowance per person to cover hotel accommodations, meals and incidentals.
­­– Costs for transportation including taxis, car rental, trains or internal flights.
­­– Mandatory visa fees.
­­– Costs of hiring an interpreter.

B: Participation in trade events to meet key contacts. This includes the cost of registering and participating in international tradeshows, seminars, international forums or private exhibitions. Expenses covered include the following for two employees:
­­– Meeting room rentals, tradeshow space/floor rental, trade show booth design and construction services, tradeshow services (such as power and Wi-Fi) and audio-visual equipment rentals.
­­– Shipping and handling costs of promotional materials, booth pop-ups and products for showcase purposes.
­­– Shipping and handling costs related to demonstrating a prototype at a prospect’s facility, trade show, forum or other related event.

C: Internet and print marketing for export markets. Expenses covered include:
­­– The cost of producing or adapting marketing material such as brochures, websites, videos and tradeshow booths.
­­– The cost of adapting or translating existing marketing materials into another language.
­­– Expenses for online advertising (eg. Facebook, Google Adwords, etc.) for a maximum funding of $20,000 per project.

D: Intellectual property protection, certification and adaptation of contracts for export markets. Expenses covered include:
­­– Application fees for the protection of intellectual property, including trademarks, patents, etc.
­­– Application fees related to required certifications.
­­– The cost of registering a product in the export market.
­­– Adaptation and translation of contractual agreements for the export market (eg. sales contract, distribution agreement, etc.)

How many new markets am I allowed to enter at a time? Businesses may receive funding for no more than five countries per year. A business may continue to receive export funding until their sales in that export market hit 10% of their annual sales. Once this occurs the business is considered established in that export market and will not be able to continue to apply for funding.

How do I apply for CanExport funding? To apply for CanExport Funding go to the following link:
https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/tcs-sdc/funding-financement/canexport/sme-pme/index.aspx?lang=eng

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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.