If I work with an equity investor, will they forever own part of my business?

I want to start my business and need financing. However, I do not want to give up ownership. I am looking into using an equity investor, which I understand will own the business. Is their ownership forever or until the loan is paid in full? Also, what percent should I be willing to give up?

Debt, Small Business Financing
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December 2017

It depends. Some investors will want a permanent stake in the business and, as such, will have a rightful expectation to share in its profits and equity until they are bought out. Others may be willing to "secure" an interest in the business until they are paid back. All in all, though, an equity investor is just that: someone who will give you money for a stake in your business. And in this case, they will probably want to protect their investment by participating in the business. Depending on the terms of the agreement, participation could be on the board level, executive level, etc. But the goal will be the same: "We gave you $X at high risk to us. Therefore we expect to receive X% for our investment." 

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