How to Expand Your Business to Canada?
Expanding one’s business to Canada involves a well-designed legal process. The process may take approximately 12 to 18 months if followed accordingly. The steps to follow are:
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 work 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.
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.
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.
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 three things 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.
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
- 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 the 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
- 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
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