Relocate.World logo

Starting A Business In Canada

Starting a Business in Canada

If you’re a new or aspiring business owner looking to operate in a different country, you might find the perfect location for your company in Canada. Several qualities make Canada a great place for a business to grow.

But how do you start a new business in Canada if you’re not Canadian? The purpose of this page is to teach you how to start a business in the country if you don’t have citizenship there.

We’ll answer why Canada is such an ideal spot for businesses. Then, we’ll give you some step-by-step advice for getting your own business started in the country, whether you plan on moving there, running your company remotely or growing your organization.

Why Start a Business in Canada?

There are a lot of reasons you might want to explore your business idea in Canada. Not only does the country have a solid economy, but it also has several other aspects that make it an ideal place to conduct business.

Canada has a very low corporate tax rate of 15% for foreign companies. This is far less than that of other countries like the United States, which has a tax rate of over 20%. The income tax treaty also allows companies without a permanent establishment (set place where you conduct business) in Canada to avoid paying Canadian income taxes on operational profits.

To avoid having a permanent establishment, you will need to hire an independent contractor to sell your items. The contractor must also have other clients. Canada also has a huge pool of skilled workers. The country has one of the highest proportions of workers with tertiary education or training beyond high school in the world (63%).

How Non-Canadians Can Start a Business in Canada

The process for starting your business in Canada will be different based on what type of business you have and whether you plan to stay in your country or move to Canada eventually. Even though Canada has advantageous conditions for businesses, you should still conduct market research to make sure you can sell your services or products there before making the leap.

You may even already have a semi-successful business you’re looking to expand into Canada. Whatever your situation is, the next few sections will give you a general outline of how you can start your business in Canada. [RLOC-020] additional image 1.jpg

If you want to move to Canada and start a business, you have a few options. You can either use the country’s startup visa program or apply for immigration as a self-employed person. There are qualifications you’ll have to meet for either one you choose.

To qualify for the startup visa programs, you’ll have to be sponsored by an angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator selected by the Canadian government. If you go this route, you’ll need to create a solid business plan to show investors how your company is organized, how it will operate, and ultimately, how it will make money. Here are some other requirements you’ll need to meet for the program.

  • You will need to pass a language test to show your proficiency in French or English (or both). The testing company must be approved by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Your business can have no more than five owners who each have at least 10% of the voting rights for your business. The owners and organization must own more than 50% of the voting rights, as well.
  • You will have to prove you have enough money to settle in Canada. The amount of money you’ll need is decided by the government based on the number of family members you have.

You can find the application package on the Government of Canada website. Keep in mind that you will need to pay fees starting at about $2,075 (depending on how many family members you have), which includes a Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) of $500. You may also need to pay for things like fingerprinting, background checks and physicals.

To come to Canada as a self-employed person, you’ll need to show that you can add to the country’s rich heritage. You must have at least two years of experience in either cultural activities (like writing or painting) or athletics.

You’ll need to prove you have enough money to relocate to Canada. There are also selection criteria that will rank things like your education and adaptability. The fee for immigrating to Canada for a self-employed person starts at around $2,075, and it varies based on factors like how many people are in your family.

[RLOC-020] additional image 2.jpg

Get Help Relocating to Canada

Whether you want to set up shop in Ontario, Toronto or Quebec, starting a small business in a new place or expanding one to a new market can be exciting but overwhelming.

However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, and take the risk necessary to operate in Canada, you might find that it provides an ideal environment for your company to succeed. Canada’s thriving, business-friendly economy makes it a perfect place to grow your business.

Featured Advisors

Connect with the experts in Canada.

Find the perfect advisor based on your relocation needs.


See The Complete List

relocation topics

Dig-Deeper into the Details

Featured Articles • Canada

Get Inspired. Stay Informed.

Original, practical and timely information about relocation....written by the experts.

Let's go places together Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join our community of Global Citizens today.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

AboutLeave a Review Terms & ConditionsPrivacy policyContactJoin RelocateCitizen Remote 🏄