Starting a business in Canada may be much easier than you think. In fact, the country ranks among the top 10 easiest destinations for startups. It makes sense, seeing as Canada has a large skilled workforce, heaps of natural resources, an open expanse of land that is ready for development, a need for job creation, a…

Starting a business in Canada may be much easier than you think. In fact, the country ranks among the top 10 easiest destinations for startups. It makes sense, seeing as Canada has a large skilled workforce, heaps of natural resources, an open expanse of land that is ready for development, a need for job creation, a stable economically-driven government and an openness to immigration and foreign investment. For these reasons, hundreds of international companies have started expanding into the Great White North and many small businesses are popping up all over the country.

The best part of starting a business in Canada is that it allows you and your family to immigrate and earn Canadian PR (permanent residence). Though entrepreneurs and investment is needed all over the country, some provinces have made it easier for you to start, buy or invest in a business through their very own Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Are you interested in taking your business venture to Canada? We have found the easiest provinces to start a business in Canada just for you.

1 – Northwest Territories

As the name implies, this territory is located in the northwest of Canada, directly above Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. It is sparsely inhabited, with a reported population of only 44,451, but rich in resources and natural beauty. For these reasons, the Northwest Territories is a prime destination for business and investment.

The main industries of the capital city, Yellowknife, include mining (the territory is the world’s third largest producer of diamonds), manufacturing, transportation, communications, tourism (one of the few places where you can see the aurora borealis) and education among others.

The Northwest Territories Business Stream of their PNP will allow you to immigrate to the territory and start a business there. There is a long list of requirements you will have to meet in order to qualify for the program, for instance, you will have to have a personal net worth of at least $500,000 if you want to start a business in Yellowknife but if you want to start a business outside of the capital, you only need to have a net worth of $250,000.

You must also commit to investing at least $300,000 in buying or starting your business (inside Yellowknife) or $150,000 (outside of Yellowknife). Though the monetary requirement seems large, it is actually the lowest among all of the PNP Investor Visa categories. Other personal requirements like the Canadian Language Benchmark requirement of level five is also lower than in most provinces. Another defining feature of this category is that your business does not need to create jobs specifically reserved for permanent residents or citizens of Canada, whereas most provinces require you to create at least 1 or 2.

2 – Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is another great province to start a business in Canada. The majority of the country’s provinces are struggling with a lack of young skilled workers but Saskatchewan is one of the few exceptions. The province currently has the third largest young skilled workforce in all of Canada. This supply will allow you to employ young, talented workers to help your business flourish.

One of the big reasons why it is easier to start a business in Saskatchewan is because it is more affordable. The region has the lowest provincial tax in the country and its abundance of resources make businesses in forestry, mining, agriculture and energy particularly lucrative.

The province has three routes you can take to starting, buying or investing in a business; however, two of them are reserved for farm owners and operators. In general, you will need to have a personal net worth of $500,000 to start your business here except for the Young Farmer Stream, where your net worth only needs to amount to $300,000. Unlike the Northwest Territories, you will have to prove you have at least three years of experience owning or managing a business.

You will need to commit to investing at least $200,000 in your business if it is located in Regina or Saskatoon but if it is outside of these metropolitan areas, you only need to make a $100,000 investment, which is even less than what is required in the Northwest Territories.

Another reason why Saskatchewan makes our list is because there is no language requirement for their entrepreneur visa options. Not having to take language tests make these options significantly easier and hassle-free. However, there is a more harsh requirement you will have to meet to do business here and that is your business must create at least two jobs for permanent residents or citizens of Canada.

3 – British Columbia

British Columbia (BC) is fast becoming a new tech hub in North America. Much like Toronto in Ontario, the capital of BC, Vancouver has a strong talent pool for developers, programmers, and software and creative engineers. What puts Vancouver at an advantage is that it is on the same time zone as other major cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, which allows for you to have strong business connections with the U.S.

Vancouver, being situated on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, is a stunning city for your new business. Here you will have access to loyal, talented workers who do not demand as high a salary as other big cities like Toronto. The Government of British Columbia also offers you more grants to help you develop your business.

There are currently two business investor visa streams in British Columbia, one of which is designed to bring investment and growth to the province’s rural communities. The Regional Pilot Program, as it is called, has very simple requirements to meet making it one of your best options to start a business in Canada. You only need to invest at least $100,000, have a personal net worth of $300,000 and your business needs to create a least one job among other simpler criteria.

If you want to start a business in the metropolitan areas, the requirements are a little more difficult to meet. You will need to have a personal net worth of at least $600,000 and you must commit to investing a minimum of $200,000 in the business. Luckily, there is no language requirement, which makes it easier to qualify for.

Start Now!

The first step is completing our assessment form. This will introduce you to your expert account manager who will facilitate our online evaluation process. You will be asked to answer a list of questions that will be used to create a comprehensive report detailing which programs and visas you qualify for. Our Lawyers will go through your entire profile to recommend the programs you are most likely to succeed with.

Once you have made your selection, we will handle all of the documentation leaving you free to plan your new life in Canada. So what are you waiting for?

Start your journey to success today

About the author

Rashmi Lakkaraju

Rashmi is the founder and the lead practitioner at Cougar Immigration. She is a regulated and licensed member in good standing of the ICCRC (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council). She is also an active member of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC).