Getting Started With A Canadian Business As a Foreigner  

Individuals looking forward to starting their Canadian business as a Foreigner might fear the challenges coming their way. However, getting started as a Canadian entrepreneur isn’t as complex as it might initially appear. 

Foreign entrepreneurs have four major alternatives to choose from for business immigration; they’re as follows:

  • Entrepreneur Work Permits 
  • Intra Company Transfer (ICT) 
  • Owner-Operator LMIA Program  
  • Provincial Nominee Programs  

Entrepreneur Work Permits  

Aspiring foreigners trying to start their business in Canada and also looking to relocate to this country can gain eligibility to come to Canada through the Entrepreneur Work Permit Program. This program is specially developed for foreign businessmen who possess at least half the share in a Canadian business and are also able to prove that they will be contributing significantly to the country’s economic development and also lead to building jobs for Canadian citizens.  

Once, they establish their Canadian companies and gain one year of experience in handling them; foreign entrepreneurs will have the chance to proceed to permanent residence. They will tread on the path to Canadian permanent residency through the numerous available immigration programs.  

Intra Company Transfer  

Foreign business owners who have already established existing countries can certainly proceed to expand their Canadian business. Foreign nationals on their ICT work permits in Canada and who also hold a relevant work experience of one year will be able to acquire Canada permanent residency.

Provincial Nominee Programs  

All Canadian provinces provide provincial immigration routes so that foreign nationals can reside in Canada and also work there per their requirement. Mostly, foreign business owners access the Entrepreneur Streams of the province of British Columbia and Ontario, including British Columbia PNP and Ontario PNP.  

Regular LMIA pathway 

Since the Owner-Operator Program closed in April 2021, foreign business entrepreneurs can access the LMIA process. Although it is quite a tedious and lengthy procedure, it is not possible to obtain a work permit without an LMIA. Foreign business owners must demonstrate that their business in Canada will not negatively influence the Canadian labor market or cause a shortage of potential jobs. As a part of the LMIA procedure, they will also have to show a concrete business plan and also assure that they will hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident by starting their Canadian business.  

A Canadian Business- General Requirements  

Before applying for any of the above programs, ensure to incorporate these five crucial points in your applications: 

Creating a FeasibleBusiness Plan  

Business plans or proposals are crucial for a work permit application. Hence, individuals must focus on developing concise, intensely researched, and feasible plans for the Canadian labor market. They must also ensure to make their application extremely detailed and include the following points: 

  • Business model description; 
  • Evaluating the possible risks and challenges; 
  • Short-term and long-term strategies; 
  • Marketing research and strategy; 
  • The primary partners and suppliers; 
  • Competitive Advantages; 
  • Value Proposition; and 
  • Monetization Strategy 

It is better to analyze beforehand the type of business. Moreover, individuals must have an active role to play in the business rather than just investing in it. The business must not only restrict the income produced for the owners and partners. Also, they must be involved in managing the business on a routine basis.  

The primary objective of the business must be to enhance the business in the long term and work toward its growth. It must aim to develop job opportunities for Canadians and contribute immensely to the country’s economy.  

Considerable Work Experience  

Aspiring business owners from foreign countries must ensure that they can prove their ability to smoothly operate a Canadian business and eventually establish it. They must possess the relevant managerial skills to accomplish this. Moreover, they will need to persuade the immigration officer that they have the essential knowledge and experience to implement their plan. Additionally, they must also be able to present all relevant documents related to their education, employment, and business experience.  

Financial potential  

Foreign Entrepreneurs looking to start their Canadian business must display their financial potential to actualize their business plans. Furthermore, they will have to prove that their investment in a Canadian business will eventually help Canada economically and will also give more jobs to Canadians. They must ensure that they create a solid business structure and even plan to secure business financing.  

Implementing the business plan  

After preparing a solid business plan, it will be crucial to begin by taking the steps forward to implement the plan. The business execution plan must appear as an intrinsic part of their immigration application. The individuals can prove their commitment to their business vision through the following: 

  • Accessing the provincial or federal incorporation. 
  • Registration with the Canadian Revenue Agency under a provincial sales tax account. 
  • Purchase the equipment and products. 
  • Recruit the local staff members. 

A clear background record 

Individuals must ensure that they have never broken any existing immigration laws in Canada and show a transparent background record. Moreover, any kind of criminal activity in any country on your part will only subtract your chances of Canadian immigration. Also, Canadian immigration officers might even restrict your Canadian admissibility in case you are found guilty of a severe criminal act. The events of a start-up business in Canada will only become less depending on the severity of your criminal history. On the other hand, having no criminal record to your name will increase your chances of Canadian immigration.  


Starting a business from scratch in Canada will require a lot of intense work, from capital investment, market research, and the acquisition of stable and dependable suppliers. All this involves a lot of risks. Meanwhile, foreign entrepreneurs can also purchase a franchise if they seek Canadian immigration for business purposes. This will prove more advantageous than beginning an entirely new business in Canada. This is because a Franchise comprises existing Clientele, customer data, sales, and advertising. Therefore, it is essential to acknowledge all business options.

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