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The idea of starting a business can be a bit overwhelming, especially when contemplating the start of that business in a country outside of your home. But with the right research, knowledge, and the business how-to, starting a business in another country can be easy as 1 2 3.

The first thing to know about starting a business in Canada is that almost anyone can do it, as long as it is done correctly. Merely obtaining a visitor or student visa, or even a work permit, will not allow a non-Canadian to start a company. First, the business must determine which province of Canada they would be interested in so that they can’t read up on the provincial registry and it’s required procedures. However, there is one exception to the rule— if the already established business is that of a sole proprietor, the company does not need to be registered. In some provinces, sole proprietorships do not even need to register their business name.

The only way to both start a business and live in Canada is by applying to be a business immigrant, in which there are two types: a start-up visa for entrepreneurs and a self-employed persons visa.

To go to Canada as a self-employed person, you must:

  • Be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada
  • Meet the programs selection criteria
  • Meet medical, security and other conditions and
  • Have relevant experience

To go to Canada on a start-up visa, you must:

  • Prove that your business idea is supported by a designated investor organization
  • Meet the language requirements
  • Prove that your business meets the ownership requirements and
  • Have sufficient funds

However, it is not necessarily required for business owners to reside in Canada. For those looking to start a business without immigrating to live in the country, you can set up a partnership or corporation with one or more Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.

While the path to Canadian business ownership might require a few steps and processes, the procedures are fairly easy, and as long as the steps are followed accordingly, anyone can successfully start a business in Canada. The best part of Canada’s somewhat rigorous process is that it enables business owners to be fully prepared when starting, making them more likely for success.