Are you a business owner who has a successful business and several years of management experience in your home country? You want to expand your business to Canada and come to Canada to grow your business? You want to bring your family with you to Canada? Then, the business immigration programs of the Canadian provinces could be a good option for you.
As many Canadian business owners are coming closer to their retirement age, their businesses need to be transferred to the next owners in order to continue their existence. Otherwise, if these businesses are not purchased and continued by the new owners, the businesses will have to be closed and this will result in enormous job losses and loss of tax revenues for the local governments in Canada.
According to the research conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business 72% of business owners plan to exit their business in the next 10 years. The estimated total of business assets that will be affected by such exit is over $1.5 trillion. Those assets and businesses need to be transferred to a new generation of business owners, like you.
It is critical for the local governments in Canada (municipalities, provinces and the federal government) that this transition of ownership is done smoothly and for that purpose, an effective plan is required. Fundamental questions in this regard are:
• How can Canada and its provinces attract foreign business owners and entrepreneurs to purchase existing Canadian businesses?
• How can immigration programs help in realizing this plan?
• What are the benefits for foreign business owners and entrepreneurs in purchasing existing Canadian businesses?
According to the CFIBʼs research,
• 8% of business owners plan to exit their business in the next 12 months
• 39% of business owners plan to exit their business in the next 1 to 5 years
• 25% of business owners plan to exit their business in the next 6 to 10 years
• 25% of business owners plan to exit their business in more than 10 years from now
• 8% of business owners donʼt know when they plan to exit their businesses.
The main reason for exiting the business is retirement as 81% of business owners cited this to be the main reason. Most of the Canadian business owners (48%) intend to sell their business to the new buyer or a group of buyers who are unrelated to their family.
What solutions do the Canadian immigration programs offer?
Almost all Canadian provinces and territories have their own business immigration programs through which foreign businesspeople and entrepreneurs can purchase existing Canadian businesses or establish their own business and come to Canada.
The Provincial Nominee Program is a joint program between the federal government and the permitting Canadian province to tailor immigration programs to provincial needs, and actively manage immigrant selection. Applicants are usually entrepreneurs and medium- to high-net-worth investors, and have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the province or territoryʼs economic development goals.
(1) you as a foreign/non-Canadian/international entrepreneur and have enough funds and experience to manage business
(2) you are willing to buy an existing business in Canada (most probably you may be interested in a business in your industry) or establish your own company and expressed your interest in buying/establishing the business to the relevant Canadian province
(3) if possible, you have made an exploratory trip to the relevant Canadian province
(4) you had all necessary due diligence done through professionals on the target business you intend to purchase or create
(5) you buy the business or create a new business in the province. You will get a 2-year work permit and move to the relevant province (with your family) and start running your business. You then operate it for a certain period of time and thus proving that your intentions are genuine and your business in operational.
(6) The relevant provincial authorities may require to sign a performance agreement and will monitor your performance during that period.
(7) if the province is satisfied with your business operations and performance as per the agreement, then the province will nominate you for permanent residence to the federal government.
(8) you will then apply for permanent residence and the federal government will process it accordingly.
(9) finally, you and your family members become local business owners as well as the permanent residents of Canada.
(10) after living in Canada for 3 years, you and your family may apply to get Canadian citizenship.
Certain provincial business immigration programs have their own requirements and limitations. But, roughly, they follow the same logic described above.
Our law firm specializes in helping international entrepreneurs and business owners to come to Canada and expand their business. If you are an established business owner with sufficient experience and funding in your home country and you want to come to Canada, we can help you! In order to help you to the maximum extent, we need to know more about your short-, medium- and long-term objectives with respect to Canada and whether you would like to bring your family to Canada.
If your goal is to just expand your business to Canada and benefit from the North American consumer market, we can build an immigration strategy accordingly and bring you to Canada under other temporary immigration programs. If your goal is to become a permanent resident and ultimately a Canadian citizen, then we will analyze your circumstances and suggest a strategy that fits these goals.