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Opening a business in Canada is easy, with steps similar to those in other countries: drafting the articles of association,
incorporation with the enterprise registrar, opening a bank account…. However, you must be aware of certain restrictions
depending on your status (open or closed work permit, for example), and know that if you wish to obtain permanent residence,
the project must be presented to immigration before it is created.
Setting up a business on an (open) work permit is possible, but with constraints: limited funding, and the inability to continue operating if the open work permit becomes closed. However, there are dedicated immigration opportunities for entrepreneurs, which allow them to obtain a permanent resident status that eliminates these constraints.
You can start a business while on a Work Holiday Visa (WHV), but with limitations: difficulty in borrowing and financing in general and legal problems at the end of the visa. But there are immigration programmes dedicated to business creation that you can start either before your arrival or once in the country.
It is possible to create a company with a study permit in Canada, but with limitations in terms of financing (difficulty in obtaining
mortgages and raising money) and a legal problem when the study visa expires. Canada do offer options for entrepreneurs who want to become permanent residents, either from abroad or while already in the country.
There are two ways to become a permanent resident in Quebec:
1. obtain a temporary permit (work, study…), then apply for the Quebec Experience Program
2. apply immediately for permanent residency, via one of the dedicated programmes (Entrepreneur, Self-employed, Skilled Worker, Startup Visa…)
Being a permanent resident in Canada gives you access to official rights (becoming a Canadian citizen after a certain period of time,
studying at the national rate….) but above all to everyday possibilities (obtaining a mortgage more easily, creating a business, receiving certain grants…).
Anyone can study in Canada, resident or not. For foreign residents, it is simply necessary to obtain a study visa (to be requested several months before arrival) and study fees which are higher than for residents
(even if there are agreements with certain countries).
Living in Canada is generally cheaper than in Europe. This is mainly due to real estate, which is currently cheaper than in Europe or the US, and to salaries,
which are higher because the country has a very low unemployment rate.
The majority of the city is immigrant. Everything has been thought out for immigrants: support from the communities, public reception systems, scholarships for entrepreneurship, generalized bilingualism..
The methods of financing are multiple, and often used in parallel: grants and scholarships (on specific subjects), bank loans (public and private banks), guarantees, fundraising are possible,
and certain financial structures can even study your application before your arrival in Canada.
It is not always possible to obtain a Working Holiday Visa, for reasons of quota or age. But there are other programs open to young people to live in Canada:
Entrepreneur Program, Self-employed, Startup Visa, Artist Visa
Canada makes life easier for freelancers: you can invoice in your own name, without having to create a company. You simply have to declare the invoiced income at the end of the year, in your tax return.
And for freelancers who are already active and wish to settle in Canada,
Freelancers who can prove 2 years of experience and a net worth of 100,000 Canadian dollars have a program to obtain permanent residence dedicated to them.
Canada is a country where foreign investment is easy. It is therefore very easy to invest in Canada from another country,
whether it is for shares, real estate or buying a business. This can also lead to permanent residency in some cases
It is easy to invest in a business in Canada, either as a majority or minority shareholder.
This can be done as an individual or from an existing structure. And it is also possible to obtain permanent residence in certain cases of acquisition.
Buying a business in Canada is straightforward, but certain conditions apply for foreign residents. For example,
a Canadian director is required if you want to set up a business in most Canadian provinces (except Quebec and Ontario).
Canada and Ontario have created several immigration programs especially for entrepreneurs: Startup visa, Innovative company,
business acquisition, freelance. Most of these programs allow you to obtain permanent residency immediately,
and to quickly develop your entrepreneurial project in Canada, even before obtaining permanent residency.
The Canada Entrepreneur Visa (or Startup Visa) is a federal programme that allows you to quickly obtain permanent residence and to
develop your startup project in Canada. The only condition is to have a project considered as innovative,
and that an incubator, accelerator or investor agrees to host or support the project.
Real estate investment alone is not sufficient to obtain permanent residence. To obtain permanent residence,
you must either apply under the Entrepreneurs programme, by acquiring a business for example, or under the Investors programme
(which is due to reopen at the end of 2021), by investing a certain amount with the government.
It is quite possible to buy a house in Canada without being a permanent resident. The only limitation you will encounter is financing
from local banks, which is more difficult if you are not a permanent resident. You will either have to pay the full amount
or ask for support from a bank in your home country. Banks sometimes have partnerships between their structure and a Canadian bank,
which may help you.
The investment required to become a permanent resident in Canada depends on the immigration program chosen.
In the framework of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program Stream 1 or the Canada Startup Visa, there is no minimum amount to invest,
for example, while the amount can go up to $300,000 (Entrepreneur Program Stream 2) or $500,000 (Investor Program) depending on the entry points.
Investing in real estate in Canada is easy, and the steps are similar to those encountered in Europe, for example.
The only points to watch out for are financing (more difficult with a Canadian bank if you are not a resident) and taxation,
which should be checked according to your country of origin.
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