Immigration to Canada: What to Know to Start a Canadian Business

Immigration to Canada: What to Know to Start a Canadian Business

There’s a good reason why Canada boasts one of the highest immigrant populations globally. There’s an abundance of economic opportunities available to immigrants. Statistics reveal that migrants own one in three Canadian firms, and the motives vary.

Some newcomers have turned to self-employment because they lack the qualifications for most jobs. Others favor taking things into their own hands. They opt to start a business to create opportunities for themselves.

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Here’s some information you need when considering immigration to Canada as a business owner.

Is It Easy to Start a Business in Canada?

Launching a business as an immigrant in Canada is simple if you know the procedures, have devised a plan, and follow through with it. As most foreigner-run companies are designed to support other immigrants, starting a business in Canada is pretty straightforward. Also, Government assistance helps immigrants to Canada successfully get started.

Is a Business Plan Necessary to Make It as an Entrepreneur in Canada?

In a word: absolutely! By using a business plan, entrepreneurs gain a thorough understanding of their endeavors. Also, migrants wanting a business visa to Canada must have a viable business plan. It’s necessary to apply for subsidies.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Canadian Business?

The following factors affect how much you need to establish a business in Canada:

  •     Business Type

  •     Offered services or goods

  •     Location

  •     Business size

  •     Supplies and equipment

Starting a business in Canada can cost as little as $1,000 or as much as $10,000 or more. This is the reason a business plan is necessary. It will make it possible for you to estimate your company’s costs. The startup costs you should factor in are these:

  •     Registration fees

  •     Office space

  •     Equipment

  •     Furnishings

  •     Insurance

  •     Staff

What Are the Legal Requirements for an Immigrant to Start a Business in Canada?

Depending on the type of business and province you’re based, there are different legal requirements for immigrants opening a business in Canada:

  •     Registering a physical business address and a business name

  •     Undergoing incorporation, if applicable

  •     Applying for a business number

  •     Applying for licenses and permits

  •     Paying business-related taxes and levies

What Are the Best Places for an Immigrant to Start a Business in Canada?

Three of the best places are:

  •     Alberta

  •     British Columbia

  •     Manitoba


Alberta is one of the best provinces in Canada for immigrants to launch a business. Alberta has no sales taxes at the provincial level and offers Canada’s lowest corporation tax rate. Currently, Alberta leads the nation in the rate of new small businesses being established.

To help immigrants quickly start their companies, the province has developed a program called The Immigrant Entrepreneur Program, which is provided through The Business Link. This program offers tools and training to help immigrants beginning businesses in Alberta with any needs they may have. The Immigrant Entrepreneur program also includes one-on-one coaching support for business owners, educational materials, referral services, network building, and more.

Training through manuals and educational materials for immigrants launching a business is one of the additional benefits of immigration to Canada. And immigrant business startups will get a $336,000 incentive to be used for two years. The Community Futures Network of Alberta is another program for immigrant business owners in Canada (CFNA).

The CFNA program helps small businesses grow by providing the following services:

  •     Devising a business plan
  •     Coming up with a marketing strategy
  •     One-on-one coaching
  •     Business mentoring

British Columbia

In British Columbia, immigrants may establish a partnership, a corporation, or a sole proprietorship. As long as you meet the requirements, starting a business is simple. These specifications include having a physical address, a work permit, filing taxes, applying under the Investment Canada Act, etc.


About 15,000 immigrants arrive in Manitoba annually, and their experiences have been good. The low cost of living in Manitoba makes it easier for newcomers to Canada to launch a business. Because of this, 76 percent of immigrants going to Manitoba decide to buy a home within the first five years.

The Business Investor Stream in Manitoba allows skilled professionals to immigrate to the province and launch their own businesses. Through this initiative, Manitoba can provide a business visa to Canada. They manage to entice business people globally to establish or buy a company in Manitoba within the first year of their arrival on a temporary work permit.

This potential requires no financial investment from the government. If you’re qualified, the immigration office will ask you to apply when you let them know you’d like to do it.

Can I Get PR in Canada if I Start a Business?

Starting or acquiring a business does not qualify you for permanent residency. To open a business there, you must be a business immigrant, a permanent resident, or a Canadian citizen. If you match the criteria below and have a work visa, you may apply for permanent residency:

  •     One year of work experience

  •     You must have obtained the expertise through legal permits

  •     You have to meet the language requirements

  •     You must not plan to reside in Quebec

A business owner with a work permit must have owned and operated an active business for a significant period to qualify for permanent residency, including:

  •  Selling your products and services to actual clients

  •   Possessing the required licenses and permits

  •   Having at least one Canadian employee who is not a relative

  •   Possessing a degree beyond high school

  •   Achieving a language score of at least 7 CLB

  •   Being in good physical health

  •   Showing police clearance

If you do your homework thoroughly to avoid hitting hurdles and suffering losses, starting a business with confidence is possible.

Do you have any concerns regarding immigration to Canada? UIS Canada can help you get a visa. Book a free consultation today.