How to Move Your Company To Canada
Relocating your existing company abroad can be both challenging and rewarding. Canada, as an immigration destination, remains an attractive choice for entrepreneurs, business immigrants, and workers. Canada is the world’s 2nd largest country by land area and the 10th largest economy. Entering Canada comes with many benefits, such as the ability to explore new markets, take advantage of the government’s incentives, and enjoy business-friendly laws and regulations.
If you’re thinking about expanding your business in Canada, the team at Sobirovs Law Firm can help you move your existing Company to Canada. Here is an overview of the main points and steps to consider when moving to Canada.
An Ever-Growing Economy
With an ever-growing economy, Canada facilitates global business owners. Many such business owners and business immigrants wonder whether they can move their companies to Canada and the fears that come along with moving to a new country exist in their minds when making a decision.
The steps to moving your company to Canada are fairly straightforward. We will help break down the complexities and highlight the benefits of moving your company. The following are some reasons which attract entrepreneurs all over the world to benefit from opportunities that Canada has to offer to them.
Comparatively lower costs of expansion than compared to the United States:
The U.S. and Canada are two countries with a few similarities and several significant differences. A 2016 study report by KPMG suggests that the cost of doing business in Canada is 14.6% lower for U.S. companies than in the U.S. This provides Canada with a competitive edge over not only the US but other industrialized nations like the UK, Australia, Germany, and Japan as well.
Some of the key features which Canada provides for businesses are discussed below.
Low Corporate Taxes
The tax rate in Canada’s corporate system in 2019 was as low as 15%, which is marked to be an economical rate internationally. In contrast, the corporate tax was 21% in the US by 2019, which remains an extra cost and tax burden for companies.
Access to the US and Mexico Markets through the new NAFTA
Canada also enjoys the benefits of having trade agreements with many other countries. Because of the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, Canada has access to the US and Mexico markets, which brings along the benefits of being a Canadian business.
Friendly Immigration Policies
Canada provides immigrants with easy, welcoming, and feasible policies. The Canadian immigration system is based on merits and prefers skilled and degree holder immigrants. It possesses one of the highest per-capita immigration rates among developed nations. In 2018 alone, Canada welcomed over 310,000 immigrants into the country.
Highly skilled workforce
Canada has historically been the go-to destination for high-skilled workforce migrants. Access to a highly skilled workforce is one of the main competitive advantages of Canadian companies.
Ease of Doing Business
Canada ranks 22nd out of 190 countries in the Ease of Doing Business rankings of the World Bank, and a breakdown of that statistic puts Canada third in ease of starting a business and seventh in ease of obtaining credit. Apart from this, other factors also make doing business easy in Canada.
The natural resources in Canada provide a positive aspect of the Canadian economy. Canada’s oil and natural gas provided $108 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2018, supported nearly 530,000 jobs across the country in 2017 and provided the government with average annual revenue of $8 billion for the 2016-2018 period.
Fundamental human rights and additional freedoms are guaranteed in Canada. Business immigrants can take benefit from free health care and free secondary education for their children if they opt for Canada for their company’s international expansion.
How To Expand Your Business to Canada
Expanding one’s business to Canada involves a well-designed legal process. The process of getting a work permit and becoming a permanent resident of Canada may take approximately 12 to 18 months if followed accordingly.
The steps to follow when expanding your business to Canada are:
1. Check if your company is eligible to expand to Canada under the Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) Program
Not all business owners can move their companies to Canada and to do so you must comply with the following requirements:
- A company in your country must be active, selling, or providing services at the moment.
- Your company must be at least 1 year old. The older the company, the better it is.
- A running company must have employees. A minimum of one employee should be hired by the company.
- While there is no minimum amount to operate a business in Canada, but your company must have sufficient funds to grow your business in Canada. At least $100,000 should be present to sustain the business.
- The company should be officially incorporated or registered in the home country, with a complete tax payment record, and has its own registered office.
In this expansion, the applicant(s) itself has to comply with some requirements:
Not every person from your company or business group can migrate to work in Canada. The owner of the company, executives, supervisors, and key staff individuals can migrate to work in Canada.
- Executives must demonstrate inclusion/work in the company for at least one year in the last three years;
- Managers must show at least one year of work in the last three years with the home company and their administrative job;
- Key personnel should demonstrate at least one year of work experience with the home company; appropriate training, industry mastery and exclusive information;
Now that we’ve looked at eligibility and some of the criteria you will need to put in place, let’s see one of the most important elements when relocating, which is how to register your company in Canada.
2. Establishing your company in Canada
When establishing your presence in Canada, you can register your existing company’s branch or incorporate a completely new related company in Canada.
- Choose a Canadian province where you wish to do business; Most provinces require that you have at least 1 Canadian director on your board of directors;
- Canadian director(s) – could be a nominee director or a full-fledged director who is responsible and are answerable for managing your Canadian operations.
- If you don’t have someone who can act as your Canadian Director, it is recommended that you get your Canadian law firm’s guidance on this issue.
- Also, choose the corporate structure of your Canadian organization. For more information on choosing a business structure, you should take advice from a business lawyer or an accountant.
3. Apply for a work permit
- Once you have your company registered in Canada and have finished every single other step, you can apply for a work permit to work at your newly established Canadian company.
- Initial work permits are generally given for one year. Your spouse/partner and children under 22 can go with you to Canada.
4. Arrive and begin working in Canada
It usually takes between 1-4 months for the Canadian authorities to process your work permit application;
Once your work permit application is approved, you will be issued a work visa to travel to Canada (depending on your citizenship). The work permit document will be issued at the port of entry upon your arrival to Canada;
You have the option to extend your work permit for up to 5-7 years. However, this option depends on the type of role you have in your company;
At the end of your first year in Canada, you must demonstrate to the Canadian immigration authorities the following to extend your work permit:
- You have a genuine business and your business is actively selling goods or services in Canada.
- The requirement does not mandate that the company needs to be profitable at any cost.
- A general requirement is to keep the company running and active.
- You have a physical office and presence in Canada.
- Virtual offices and workstations do not count.
- You should have at least 1 Canadian citizen or permanent resident employee working for your company.
These are the most important factors to be established and shown to the Canadian immigration authorities to extend the work permit.
5. Apply for Permanent Residence
In general, your business must be “active” before you can apply for permanent residence, which means that the company:
- is not a sham and is actively selling goods or services to actual customers;
- has all licenses and permits necessary to operate in Canada;
- has a physical location and presence within Canada; and,
- has at least one Canadian employee apart from you and who is not related to you.
Once your Canadian business is active, you can apply for Canadian permanent residency (PR) as the manager of your business. To qualify as a manager in the company, you need to comply with the following:
- Have a score of at least CLB 7 for your language skills; that is IELTS General Test score 6;
- Have at least high-school education;
- A police clearance or any other official character certificate; and,
- Should be medically fit and have no serious medical condition.
This is how the process for moving your existing company to Canada works and if you still have questions, please contact us.
Sobirovs Law Firm Can Help
We hope that we’ve given you an understanding of the process of expanding your company from any part of the world to Canada using the ICT program. You can now decide whenever you are ready to take your company to the next level.
There have been many different cases recorded in the past where people took this step of courage to expand their companies to Canada and have seen boosting rises in their profits. Similar to doing business anywhere, doing business in Canada has its challenges. Nonetheless, the advantages of expanding your business to Canada are way higher than the challenges themselves. We are here to help you overcome them!
For more information on moving your company to Canada, speak to our senior business immigration lawyer. The business immigration experts at the Sobirovs Law Firm will not just help you move your existing company to Canada but will also help you choose the right type of business entity when moving your business to Canada.