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How to Start a Business and Immigrate to Canada: A Step-by-Step Process

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah

How to Start a Business and Immigrate to Canada: A Step-by-Step Process

Canada welcomes entrepreneurs from around the world, and it represents fertile ground for anyone who wants to start a new business. If you wish to immigrate to Canada and launch a new business venture, you can combine these two goals for streamlined advantages in both areas. One of the most important things to understand about Canada’s immigration system is simple: You can benefit from business-focused immigration incentives even if you have not yet started a business. As long as you plan to start a business upon arrival, this may be enough to enjoy a streamlined immigration process. Follow these steps to start a business and immigrate to Canada:

Step One: Create a Business Plan

The first step of launching a new business plan is always the same: Create a business plan. A business plan allows you to carefully plan out every aspect of your business, and it serves as a valuable reference point in the future. While you might feel confident about your ability to keep ideas and processes in your head, most professional entrepreneurs agree that written business plans provide numerous advantages. These include:

  • Understanding your competition

  • Identification of funding opportunities

  • Identification of potential cash flow issues

  • Prediction of future challenges

  • Helps create accurate valuations

  • Inspires more confidence among investors

Finally, a business plan improves your chances of approval when immigrating to Canada under a business visa or a Provincial Nomination Program (more on those later). The Government of Canada wants to see that you are serious about your new business in the True North – and a business plan shows that you have thought things through.

Step Two: Gather Capital

Generally speaking, Canada requires entrepreneurs to demonstrate a financial capability to invest in the new business. Almost all business immigration programs and incentives are only available to those with relatively high net worths and plenty of available capital. The exact amount you will need depends on numerous factors, including the province and program of your choice. You should aim to have six figures saved away for investing in your new business. A six-figure net worth is also necessary. Speak with your immigration lawyer to learn more about the specific requirements.

The good news is that even if you do not have access to this kind of money right now, you can still obtain funding, grants, and loans from various sources. Becoming aware of the capital and investment requirements under Canadian immigration is the first step. From there, you can explore these funding goals with greater accuracy and efficiency.

Step Three: Consider Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

As you begin to pursue funding opportunities, you can begin to consider Canada’s various Provincial Nominee Programs – otherwise known as “PNPs.” For those who don’t know, Canada is made up of several provinces and territories. These various jurisdictions have markedly different population densities, economies, and even cultures. Due to these differences, each province incentivizes the creation of different types of businesses. The goal is to incentivize growth in specific areas of need.

PNPs represent one example of these incentives, and provinces are more likely to accept you if you provide solutions to their most pressing problems. Consider how you can create a business to meet these goals as you approach your immigration plan. If you already have a business in mind, consider how you might alter your plan in a way that allows you to benefit from PNPs. This might be easier than you think. For example, many PNPs simply require you to start a new business in a rural community – with no real specifications on what this new business might be.

Step Four: Submit Your Immigration Documents

Now that you have gathered your capital and created a detailed business plan that targets a PNP, it’s time to approach the actual immigration process. While there’s nothing stopping you from doing this on your own, it might be a good idea to work alongside a qualified, experienced immigration lawyer in Canada. These legal professionals have plenty of experience helping entrepreneurs settle in the True North, and they can help you with your immigration application.

Even a small mistake can lead to serious delays and issues, and an immigration lawyer can carefully review your application before submitting it. Not only that, but immigration lawyers are also very familiar with common issues faced by entrepreneurs. This means that if an issue should arise, your business immigration lawyer can help you respond quickly and effectively.

Step Five: Comply With Additional Requests for Information

If all goes well, you should have the opportunity to settle in Canada and start your new business. It’s important to note that this process does not end after you first set foot on Canadian soil. If you have applied on the presumption that you will start a new business after arriving in Canada, the immigration authorities will check in and make sure you’re actually following through on this promise.

This means that you may need to respond quickly to any requests for information and updates as you build your new business in Canada. The authorities may request different kinds of evidence, including:

  • Proof that your business is operational

  • Proof that you are employing Canadian permanent residents or citizens

  • Proof that your business meets the requirements set forth by the PNP

Your business immigration attorney can help you communicate effectively with federal and provincial immigration authorities once you arrive in Canada, ensuring proper compliance as you build your operation.

Step Six: Speak With a Business Immigration Lawyer in Vancouver

If you have been searching for an immigration lawyer in Vancouver, look no further than Ackah Business Immigration Law. Starting a new business while simultaneously immigrating to Canada can seem overwhelming – but you are not alone in this process. With help from an immigration lawyer, you can weave both of these goals together and experience considerable advantages along the way. Book your consultation today to learn more about Canada’s business immigration programs, incentives, and opportunities.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

More About Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

It is one thing to earn a living; it is another thing to make a difference in the world.

This is our formal thank you note to Evelyn Ackah and the Ackah Law Team for all the effort they put into helping us navigate and finally resolve the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration back in the spring of 2012.

A friend referred us to Evelyn; he assured us that Evelyn would take good care of us. Our friend was confident we were in good hands and said Evelyn would do her very best to help us and she did! At the time we did not know that his referral would go far beyond finding us help. Slowly we realized that it would become our own personal story of how we received grace and were reminded of the power in paying it forward

We wrote a detailed page of our dilemma, explaining how we came to be in the position we were in (overwhelmed with the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration and the uncertainty that we faced as a young family in Calgary). Evelyn agreed to take on our file with her team. They found the time to personally call us and listened intently and understood the details of what we were dealing with. They gave us their time, an honest opinion and provided clear direction which proved to be invaluable advice. Months went by but in time, we received word from Ackah Law that the Immigration office had finally reviewed our file and a decision had been made allowing our family to finally put the immigration matter to rest. We were finally able to focus again to live our lives without fear or pending doom.

Looking back now, even the sun appeared to shine a little brighter that day. At first we didn’t know whether to bake them a cake, drive out to meet their team, find their offices and personally thank them with a mighty hug or simply cry out to the heavens in thankful relief. Instead we emailed them to express our heartfelt thank-you and we hoped that they would know deep in their hearts just how grateful we were for all of their help.

Even though we relied on emails and phone conversations to communicate with them that year, we will always remember their constant professionalism, their kindness and understanding at a time that brought us so much pain not to mention fear. As if all their hard work wasn’t enough, Evelyn then then casually mentions that all their work was done pro-bono! We were thoroughly humbled!

To this day we are still eager to share how wonderful they all are as human beings but even more than that, we continue to pay it forward in honour of them, their service to us and their continued dedication in helping others.

Eternally thankful

– The Brummunds

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