Overview of the FACTOR Process

Every FACTOR-funded project follows the same basic process from start to finish. Whether you’ve already been awarded funding and you’re wondering about your next steps, or you’re just starting out and looking to see what funding options exist, we’ve made it easy to find out where to go and what’s next in the steps provided below.

As a rule of thumb, we highly suggest you review FACTOR’s Glossary of Standard Terms and Business Policies before starting any project. Feel free to check out our Frequently Asked Q’s section too!

Our Step-by-step Guide to Applications

  1. Browse our Programs

    Think about why you’re coming to FACTOR for funding. Are you an emerging band who needs some support to get moving? You may want to check out our Artist Development program. Are you planning to record a full length album? Take a look at our Juried Sound Recording program. Are you a label or manager hoping to get some funding for a trip to a conference? You’d be interested in our Support for Eligible Music Companies program. Are you a professional songwriter who’s looking for assistance to attend a workshop? Our Songwriters Workshop Support program can help you out.

    Each of these programs have eligibility requirements that are linked to artist and/or applicant ratings (more on these below). To learn what programs are available to artists and applicants with different ratings, have a look at the Profile & Ratings page, or within each Program’s Guidelines – Who Can Apply? section.

  2. Create a User Profile

    A user profile is your personal login for the FACTOR online portal. Your user profile represents you as an individual person in our system. You should only have one user profile even if you play in multiple bands, or work for more than one music company. Every user profile can be linked to as many artist and applicant profiles and projects as needed.

    Once you’ve created your user profile and password, you’ll need to enter some basic information like your email address, your mailing address, and your phone number.

  3. To apply to FACTOR, you will generally need to create two profiles: an applicant profile and an artist profile.

    An applicant profile will reflect the individual, partnership, or corporation that will enter a contract with FACTOR if funding is offered. The name of the applicant must match the name on the bank account into which you want any future funding to be paid. 

    If you’re in a band and you don’t have a formal company structure, you will need to decide which individual band member is going to take responsibility for the funding as the applicant. If you have a company, FACTOR needs to know who owns the company and show who is designated as the signing authority for that company.

    After you submit your applicant profile for review, you will receive an immediate provisional rating and be assigned to a project coordinator. Your project coordinator will be your go-to person at FACTOR. They will review your projects and answer any FACTOR-related questions you may have.

  4. If you’re a solo artist, band or other ensemble and you want to apply for funding, you’ll need an artist profile as well as an applicant profile.

    Your artist profile gives FACTOR an understanding of your career as an artist and helps us to determine which of our programs you may be eligible to apply for. 

    Artist profiles are separated into two sections: Mandatory Information and Additional Information. At minimum, you must complete the Mandatory Information section for your profile to be eligible to submit to FACTOR. You will then receive an immediate provisional General Artist rating. Approximately 95% of artists in the FACTOR system are rated General. With this rating you can apply to FACTOR’s most popular programs: Artist Development, Juried Sound Recording, and the Showcase component of the Live Performance program.

    No further action is needed to retain your General Artist rating if you keep the Mandatory Information section current and accurate.

    If you do decide to provide Additional Information, a new menu will appear in your artist profile, listing the following sections: Discography, Live Performance Information, Radio Charting History, Team, Sync Licenses. You can complete as many or as few of these sections as you want. See the Artist Profile Additional Information Guide for more details on these sections.

    FACTOR assesses this data twice a year, automatically during the Annual Review (end of February) and by request only at the Semi-Annual Review (end of August). After these reviews, the top artists with the strongest data across all the Additional Information sections will be assigned ratings of Artist 2 or Artist 3. (Sample values for the lowest scoring profiles rated Artist 2 and Artist 3 are available at the bottom of the Profiles & Ratings for Artists page.)

    If you are submitting Additional Information, remember to update your profile before the Annual Review deadline, especially if you are rated Artist 2 or Artist 3. After the deadline, FACTOR staff rescores all profiles based on the most recent data submitted. Consequently, your artist rating may increase, remain the same, or drop.

    If you are submitting Additional Information for the Semi-Annual Review, make sure you click on the Request Review button in order to ensure that your profile is rescored. After the deadline, your artist rating may increase or stay the same, but it will not drop. 

  5. NOTE: You can create a new project as soon as you Request Review on both profiles.

    Some of our programs contain multiple parts that allow applicants to apply for funding towards different but related activities under one project. These different parts are called components. Every project must have at least one component. In some projects, specific components are mandatory. For example, in the Juried Sound Recording program, there are six possible components (sound recording, marketing, video, tour support, showcase, and radio marketing), but only the sound recording component is mandatory. Each component is divided into two parts, the application, and the completion.

    Each project will be given a project number and must contain at least one component application. The application will contain several sections that need to be completed prior to submitting your project’s application to FACTOR. These may include home, goals, component information, budget, and public funding. 

    Your first submitted project component application will be reviewed by your project coordinator, the FACTOR board, and, depending on the program, a jury, to determine if your project will be awarded funding. This process can take from 6-12 weeks, depending on the program you have applied to, and that program’s application deadline.

    In most programs, the day you submit your initial component application within a project is the day you begin to incur and pay for eligible goods and services. You can then claim these in your completion if your project and/or component is approved.

  6. Receiving an Offer of Funding

    Congratulations! You’re now FACTOR-funded.

    After your project has been approved by FACTOR, you’ll be sent an offer of funding via email. Anyone listed as a signing authority in the applicant profile will receive an email with information on how to digitally accept the offer of funding. This offer will include the general agreement (which is the legal agreement setting out the terms of funding), the earliest completion deadline of any of the approved components, and the amount of funding being offered.

    In some programs (including Juried Sound Recording and Comprehensive Artist), new components can be added later if your initial project component is approved. Make sure to read the Program Guidelines to understand how this is done.

    Now, you will also need to provide your project coordinator with the applicant’s direct deposit information via a void cheque plus FACTOR’s direct deposit form. Once we have your direct deposit information, an advance payment (generally 50% of the offer) will be issued.

  7. Now you’re ready to fulfill the goals you laid out in your application.

    Refer to FACTOR’s Completion Guide for more information on what you will be expected to submit to FACTOR upon your approved component’s Completion.

    You may also want to browse our Post Approval page, which covers some of the most common questions you may have regarding your approved project.

    And don’t forget: You can always contact your project coordinator with any questions or to request an extension on your completion deadline.

  8. Project Completion and Completion Documentation

    FACTOR’s Completion Guide.

    Once you finish the work for a component, you will be required to submit a completion. This must be done before the component’s completion deadline.

    Your completion shows FACTOR what you accomplished and how you spent your funding. When submitting your completion, all your claimed expenses must be incurred and paid in full.

  9. Final Payment

    Your component will receive its final payment (if applicable) once your completion and all completion documentation has been reviewed.

    The Home section of the component will display any changes that FACTOR may have made to your claimed expenses. A notification of the amount back will be emailed to you if those changes result in money being owed back to FACTOR.

  10. Closing a Component

    The component will be closed once the applicant has met all obligations to FACTOR. You can find out what those obligations are in the Business Policies and your general agreement once your project has been approved.