Starting a Business in Canada – The Ultimate Guide for Newcomers

Find out how newcomers can start a successful business in Canada. Obtaining funding, conducting market research, and more are all covered in our ultimate guide.

Entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners will find Canada to be one of the best destinations in the world. It’s no surprise that Canada is a hub for new companies due to its highly skilled workforce, government funding, and tax incentives.

The best place to expand into new markets in Canada, whether you are a foreign entrepreneur or an established business. As a foreign entrepreneur looking to start a business in Canada, we are familiar with the challenges that foreign entrepreneurs face.

Nevertheless, perseverance and hard work can also reap rewards. To assist you in navigating the process and building a successful business, we offer expert advice and guidance.


Starting a Business in Canada – What is Important to Know?

It is essential to keep in mind the different laws and fees in each Canadian province and territory before registering. Therefore, depending on the location of your operations, you should follow additional procedures for launching your business in Canada.

Your firm might be registered with the federal government in addition to provincially. Companies registered with the federal government have better name protection and must meet different annual filing requirements, enabling them to operate anywhere in the country.

Regardless of whether your company has a federal registration, you may still have to register it as an extra-provincial corporation in each of the provinces where you will be doing business.

Pathways to Start a Business in Canada

Non-residents who want to start a business in Canada have three options. For some of them, it’s even more likely that an individual who lives or is a permanent resident of Canada is required to participate rather than you personally being present in the country.

Enlarge Your Current Company in Canada

Although it necessitates the assistance of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, expanding your business into Canada as a non-resident is a simple process.

If operating in multiple provinces, registration as an extra-provincial corporation in each is necessary according to their individual rules.

For instance, in the province of Ontario, a non-resident is required to utilize an Agent for Service, who may be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident who is at least 18 years old, or a company with a registered office there.

Establish a Business from Outside of Canada

Under the Investment Canada Act, which oversees non-Canadian investors setting up or obtaining control of Canadian enterprises, it is possible to launch a business in Canada while residing abroad.

However, depending on the jurisdiction, it is frequently necessary to have a Canadian company director and local agent to help with the formation procedure.

British Columbia is an outlier, allowing 100% foreign national ownership in some circumstances, while the majority of provinces and territories only allow partial ownership by Canadian citizens or permanent residents.


Establish a Business After Moving to Canada

Immigrating to Canada is the final way for a non-resident to start a business in Canada. Immigrants who want to run a business in Canada can apply for one of two visa programs designed specifically for this purpose.

Start-Up Visa Program

Immigrant entrepreneurs can establish their businesses in Canada through the Start-Up Visa program. A candidate must be capable of competing internationally, have a novel business idea, and have the potential to generate new jobs in Canada.

Furthermore, non-resident applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to settle in Canada, as well as meet the Canadian language requirements.

Immigration requirements for entrepreneurs in Quebec are specific. To apply for the program, it is mandatory for applicants to have the support of a designated organization.

Self-employed Persons Program

The Self-employed Persons Program is an option that focuses primarily on immigrants working in the sports, entertainment, and artistic industries.

An applicant must have relevant cultural or athletic experience and have aspirations to contribute meaningfully to Canadian culture or athletics. Athletes, musicians, and actresses are all eligible for this visa.

A candidate’s experience, education, age, language ability, flexibility, and ability to pass security and medical checks are all taken into consideration during the application process.

Steps to Start a Business in Canada

The following are the standard stages of launching a business in Canada:

  1. Conduct Market Research: To make sure that your business idea is viable, research the market demand and competition in the industry you have selected.
  2. Choose a Business Structure: Choose the legal structure for your firm—a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship—that best meets your needs.
  3. Register the Business: Make sure the government is aware of your firm and secure any required licenses and permissions.
  4. Get a Business Number: You should obtain a Canadian Revenue Agency business number for tax purposes.
  5. Choose a Business Name: Make sure to choose a distinctive company name that is not previously taken by another company.
  6. Open a Business Bank Account: It is advisable to create a separate bank account for your business to maintain financial differentiation from personal finances.
  7. Create a Business Plan: Create a thorough business plan that details your objectives, target audience, marketing plan, and financial estimates.
  8. Obtain Funding: Obtain capital for your company from a variety of sources, including loans, grants, investments, or crowdfunding.
  9. Hire Employees: Employ people as needed, and make sure you abide by all labor rules and regulations.
  10. Launch the Business: Start marketing and selling your goods or services as soon as you launch your company.


As a result, foreigners may find it difficult but beneficial to launch a business in Canada. You can make your entrepreneurial ambition a reality by carrying out market research, selecting the ideal business structure, registering the business, securing capital, and launching the business.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that every organization is distinct and may have different procedures and criteria. Newcomers can effectively launch and expand their enterprises in Canada and significantly boost the economy of the nation with the correct assistance, direction, and tenacity.


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