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Starting a business in Canada for foreigners: Complete Guide 2023

DNBC Team DNBC Team

Jan 10, 2023

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For a variety of reasons, Canada is an excellent site to establish a business. It has a talented workforce, access to large government subsidies and tax credits, a low cost of living, and prospects for venture capital and initial funding for your business. Not only Canadian citizens can benefit from doing business in Canada; there are several opportunities for international entrepreneurs to do business here as well. There are various options available for you, regardless of whether you are a foreign small business owner or the owner of a global corporation. In this article, our DNBC Financial Group will walk you through every detail when starting a business in Canada for foreigners.

Starting a business in Canada for foreigners: Complete Guide 2023

Starting a business in Canada for foreigners: Complete Guide 2023

Can a foreigner start a business in Canada?

Absolutely, the answer is “Yes”.

Keep in mind that each Canadian province and territory has its own set of laws and costs for business registration. As a result, the process for launching a business in Canada will differ depending on where you intend to operate.

You can register your business on a federal level in addition to a provincial level. Businesses that are federally registered can operate across Canada with stronger name protection as well as a different set of annual filing requirements.

Nevertheless, even if you have a federal registration, each of the many provinces where you want to do business may need you to register your company as an extra-provincial corporation. An agent for service, a “person, 18 years of age or older, residing in Ontario, or a corporation with its registered office in Ontario” is required for extra-provincial formation. If you want to do business in more than one province, you must register your new company with each one separately.

Three common ways to start a business in Canada for foreigners

Expand your current business into Canada

It is quite simple for non-residents to open an office or subsidiary of their established firm if they already run a successful business in another country and wish to simply expand their activities into Canada. Although you do not need to have Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status to proceed, you will almost certainly require the assistance of someone who does.

Start a corporate from beyond Canada

Even if you wish to establish a new business in Canada but live elsewhere, you do not have to immigrate. In reality, the Investment Canada Act was enacted particularly to manage non-Canadians who want to start a new Canadian firm or take over an existing Canadian corporation. But to run a business, you need the involvement of a Canadian company director. Similarly, you’ll need the assistance of a local agent to complete the incorporation process. Most jurisdictions need a Canadian citizen or landed permanent resident to hold at least a portion of the corporation. The significant exception is British Columbia, which allows for 100% foreign national ownership in specific situations.

Immigrate to Canada and run a business

The ultimate route for a non-resident to run a business in Canada is to immigrate to Canada. When it comes to business immigration, there are two visa categories meant for foreigners who want to start a business in Canada.

Start-up visa program

The Start-Up Visa program exists to assist immigrant entrepreneurs in relocating to Canada and establishing a firm. The program has particular requirements for the types of firms that can participate.

Interested applicants must submit a business plan that is innovative, has the potential to offer job opportunities for Canadians, and can compete on a worldwide level. In addition to operating a qualifying business, as a non-resident, you must meet the Canadian language requirements and demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to settle in Canada. Those wishing to come to Quebec to run a business must meet the province’s special rules for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Self-employed person program

The Self-employed Person Program, which concentrates on enterprises in the arts, entertainment, and sports industries, is another alternative for moving to Canada and beginning a business. To be eligible, you must have appropriate experience in cultural or athletic activities and intend to make a substantial contribution to Canadian cultural or sports life.

Tips for starting a business in Canada for foreigners

Keep an eye out for foreign currency exchange concerns

Exchange rates are not fixed in stone. As a result, the exchange rate between currencies is continually fluctuating. When you charge consumers in a foreign currency, currency swings can either increase or decrease your revenues depending on their direction. Additionally, if you pay invoices in your local currency instead of a foreign currency, it will significantly affect your costs.

If you’re concerned about currency exchange, DNBC Financial Group’s service can be an ideal option for you. More currencies are supported, transaction fees are reduced, and wait times are shorter thanks to DNBC Financial Group. With a personal account, customers can transfer up to 200.000 EUR per day, and with a business account, up to 500.000 EUR per day.

Do market research

A product that is wildly popular in the United States might be a failure in China or Uganda, particularly if cultural norms forbid its use. The market potential of any nation should also be taken into account, together with its population, GDP, purchasing power, etc. Therefore, undertake market research to determine whether your product is a good fit before spending money on an international firm.

About DNBC Financial Group

The DNBC Financial Group is a financial organization that operates in the global financial market. It offers corporate and individual customers an intelligent digital payment system, a practical payment platform , and an easily accessible online money transfer /receipt service globally. The purpose of DNBC Financial Group is to simplify worldwide financial payments, ease day-to-day transactions, and ensure that customers always fulfill their payment goals.

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Note: The content in this article is for general informative purposes only. You should conduct your own research or ask for specialist advice before making any financial decisions. All information in this article is current as of the date of publication, and DNBC Financial Group reserves the right to modify, add, or remove any information. We don’t provide any express or implied representations, warranties, or guarantees regarding the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the content within this publication.