What Foreign Nationals need to Know about Doing Business in Canada

This article is made for all those non-Canadian’s who are looking to set up a business in Canada, but are not sure how to go about it. Setting up your business in Canada is a smart decision because Canada is experiencing steady growth across many sectors, including natural resources, technology, health, and communication. Establishing an office in Canada today may reap financial rewards in the future.

There are procedures and processes that need to be followed for setting up your business in Canada, in both cases, where you have an established firm, or are planning to start one.

Expanding your firm into Canada

Setting up a business in Canada, which is already established in your home country, is quite a straightforward process. Each province has registration procedures and fees for extra-provincial incorporation. You need to register as an extra-provincial corporation in that province, for which you need an Agent for Service, who should be 18 years or older, residing in, or working with a corporation registered in the province you wish to set up your business. If you wish to do business in more than one province, you will need to register separately with each province.

There is another procedure known as Intra-Company Transfer, which was created to bring important workers to Canada to launch a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of a foreign company. It allows key staff members of a foreign business to travel to Canada on a temporary basis and open their new office, which will benefit both their company, as well as the Canadian economy.

Starting a new company in Canada

There are several ways of setting up a new business in Canada. Firstly, if you wish to live in Canada, you will need to apply to come to Canada as a business immigrant. There are two types of business immigrations, Start-up entrepreneur’s visa and Self-employed persons. Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale. The Self-Employed Persons Program seeks to bring people who will become self-employed in Canada. They must have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and should be able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada. Or they must have experience in farm management, which involves buying and managing a farm in Canada.

The second way a non-Canadian can set up a business in Canada is by setting up a partnership or a corporation with one or more Canadian citizens. At least 25 per cent of the directors must be resident Canadians. You will need to register your partnership in the province or territory you are going to do business in. If the company you are starting is a corporation, you will need to decide whether you are going to incorporate your business federally or provincially. If you incorporate your new company federally, you will need to register your business with each province or territory you do business in.