Canada Emergency Business Account


  • Originally launched April 9, 2020 to support businesses by providing financing for expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred.
  • Provides interest-free loans to small businesses and not-for-profits.
  • Maximum loan was initially set at $40,000. This has since been increased by $20,000, up to a maximum of $60,000. (If your business already accessed the original $40,000 maximum, you will be eligible for this expansion.)
  • Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in forgiveness up to $20,000 (up from the original $10,000).
  • As of October 26, 2020, eligible Canadian businesses that currently operate through a personal bank account will be able to apply for CEBA.
  • As of June 26, 2020, eligible businesses now include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll.

How to Apply

Applications are now open and businesses can apply until June 30, 2021.

CEBA applicants agree that the Government may conduct audits to confirm the nature of the expenses applicants use to establish their eligibility, and acknowledge that inaccuracies may lead to legal consequences.

The expanded CEBA is being made available gradually by more than 230 financial institutions across the country, including large banks and other participating financial institutions.

All applications are administered through your financial institution. Please visit your institution’s website or FAQs for more information.

Businesses can apply for CEBA under one of two Application Streams:

  1. The Payroll Stream
  2. Non-Deferrable Expenses Stream

A 9-digit CRA Business Number is required to apply. The business number must be active with an effective date on or prior to March 1, 2020.

Each qualifying business must have a unique 9-digit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number. Each qualifying business is limited to one CEBA loan.

Eligibility Requirements for CEBA

  • The Borrower is a Canadian operating business in operation as of March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has a federal tax registration.
  • 1. Payroll Stream – The Borrower’s total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year was between $20,000 and $1,500,000.
  • 2. Non-Deferrable Expenses Stream – For applicants with $20,000 or less in total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year:
    • The Borrower has a Canada Revenue Agency business number and has filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
    • The Borrower has eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada.
  • The Borrower has an active business chequing/operating account with the Lender, which is its primary financial institution. This account was opened on or prior to March 1, 2020 and was not in arrears on existing borrowing facilities, if applicable, with the Lender by 90 days or more as at March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has not previously used the Program and will not apply for support under the Program at any other financial institution.
  • The Borrower acknowledges its intention to continue to operate its business or to resume operations.
  • The Borrower agrees to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Government of Canada or any of its agents.

Click Here for a list of Borrowers Excluded from CEBA

1. Payroll Stream
  • For businesses with total employment income paid to employees in 2019 greater than $20,000 and less than $1,500,000.
  • You will need information from your 2019 T-4 Summary to apply.
  • You will also need an active 15-digit payroll account with an effective date on or prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Applications completed directly through the financial institution in which your business holds its primary business chequing / operating account.

Once you have completed your application, the Government of Canada will assess and inform your financial institution of the approval or decline. If approved, your financial institution will provide the funds into your business chequing / operating account.

2. Non-Deferrable Expenses Stream
  • Now available to businesses that do not have a payroll, or have a total employment income paid to employees in 2019 of $20,000 or less, as well as sole proprietorships receiving business income directly and family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends as opposed to payroll.
  • Required to demonstrate eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,00 by uploading 2020 forecast and supporting documentation to a dedicated CEBA website.

CEBA applications under the 2020 Eligible Non-Deferrable Expenses Stream will follow a two-step process:

Step 1: Businesses will initiate applications directly at their primary financial institution. The financial institution will then direct applicants to Step 2.

Step 2: Following the initial application through your financial institution, applicants will be directed to a CEBA website to provide supporting documentation of the 2020 Eligible Non-Deferrable Expenses and to complete the application.

It is recommended that you provide your supporting documents through the site as soon as you are directed to do so by your financial institution.

Supporting documentation is a critical part of the application process and delays in providing this information can result in a delay in the pre-funding eligibility validation and funding.

The Government of Canada will assess application information submitted via financial institutions in Step 1 together with the supporting documentation and information provided in Step 2. If successful, the Government of Canada will notify your financial institution and provide funding for your loan.

Eligible non-deferrable business expenses incurred after January 2020 or to be incurred prior to December 31, 2020 are limited to the following:

  • Wages and other employment expenses to independent (arm’s length) third parties;
  • Rent or Lease Payments for Real Estate;
  • Rent Lease payments for Capital Equipment;
  • Insurance
  • Telephone, Internet and Utilities
  • Property Taxes
  • Regularly Scheduled Debt Service
  • Payments incurred under agreements with independent contractors and licensing / permissions fees;
  • Payments incurred for materials consumed to produce a product ordinarily offered for sale by the Borrower.

How do I calculate “Eligible Non-Deferrable Expenses” for the 2020 calendar year?

For example, if you have a monthly telecommunications bill for $200 and it is expected to continue throughout the year, then your full 2020 forecasted Eligible Non-Deferrable Expense would be 12 months at $200 = $2,400 total expenses for 2020.

The applicant’s total incurred and projected Eligible Non-Deferrable Expenses, used to determine whether such expenses are between $40,000 and $1.5 million, are measured as they stood on March 1, 2020. Under all expense categories, the amounts to be included in the total are those actually paid in January and February 2020, as well as those for which a legal or contractual obligation existed on March 1, 2020, for the applicant to pay the expense within the remainder of 2020 and which cannot be avoided or deferred beyond 2020 even during a period of shut down and depressed revenues as a result of COVID. For periodic or indefinite contracts that renew or continue with the passage of time absent intervention by the parties, such as a monthly phone contract, assume that the contract continues on the same terms beyond March 1 such that payments related to the later periods in 2020 are included as obligations provided for in contract as at March 1.

For example, assume your business signed an insurance policy on February 1, 2020. As at March 1, the business had paid the monthly insurance expense for February and a contractual obligation then existed providing for payments of the expense for the subsequent months of 2020. All 11 monthly insurance payments would be included in the total Eligible Non-Deferrable Expenses.

What Other Government COVID-19 Response Programs will cause adjustments to the amount of 2020 Eligible Non-Deferrable Expenses that can be reported?

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy,
  • 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy,
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, Regional Relief and Recovery Fund,
  • Futurpreneur Canada,
  • Northern Business Relief Fund,
  • Fish Harvester Grant,
  • relief measures for Indigenous businesses, and
  • $250 million COVID-19 IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) Subsidy Program


BizWize can assist you with this application, so if you interested in applying and believe you are eligible; please contact us to discuss. 

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