10 Tips to Running a Business in Canada for Immigrants

Becoming an entrepreneur in Canada is a great way to develop connections in the local business community. It also helps you quickly get to know the lay of the land in Canada, which can be difficult as a newcomer.

In Canada, self-employment is a viable alternative to working a full-time job for someone else. However, entrepreneurs don’t get paid vacations, sick days, or a company pension. That’s why, if you’re thinking of starting your own business, you must be sure that it’s what you want to do, especially if you are just coming to Canada as a newcomer.

If you’re an immigrant set on starting a business in Canada, here are some tips that you can do:

#1 – Establish a Network of Contacts

Having a network of contacts is good because you’ll have people back you up if you’re a newcomer. The Chambers of Commerce are great resources for new immigrants. These organizations will have information about what types of businesses you can start and connect you with other entrepreneurs who can guide you.  

#2 – Develop a Business Plan

Businesses in Canada are heavily regulated, and you will need to submit a business plan to help you obtain the necessary licenses. The business plan will explain your business and what you plan to do with it. You will be asked to state the purpose, nature of your business, the market, and the sales that you expect. The business plan also needs to include your financial objectives, and the anticipated expenses, income, sales, and marketing.

#3 – Consider Hiring a Lawyer

A business lawyer can provide you with a lot of legal advice and help you draft your business plan and contracts. If you don’t have one, look for one online and ask for referrals from your colleagues or friends. You can also ask for referrals from your province or state Chamber of Commerce or your local immigration office.

#4 – Learn the Local Language

You will want to learn the local language and customs to help you become a part of the community. You will also be able to market your business more effectively.

If you cannot find a translator that you can trust, you might want to hire a professional translator who can provide you with legal, medical, or tax-related translations.

#5 – Find a Source of Financing

When starting your own business, you need to remember that banks are not eager to loan money to immigrants without a good credit history and assets, and even if you have assets, you may not have a good credit history. You will have to find financing in other ways. One alternative is to borrow money from family, friends, and private lenders. Another option is to use your assets as collateral.

#6 – Open a Business Account

Set up a business checking account and a business savings account. Business accounts offer several benefits, such as payment protection, safety, and flexibility. You can also get overdraft protection and business credit cards.

#7 – Look Up the Tax Implications of Starting a Business

Starting a business means that you will face many tax implications. For starters, you will have to pay tax on profits, and you may have to pay tax on personal income as well. You may also have to pay tax on your stock sales.

#8 – Apply for the Required Business Licenses

To operate a business, you will need to apply for licenses. For instance, if you are going to sell products, you will have to make sure that you have a business license to sell goods. Other permits that may apply to you include an Alcohol License and a Food Premises License.

#9 – Register Your Business Name

Before starting your business, you need to ensure that you have the right name for your business. It is well worth your time to consider the name and ensure that another business is not already taken. For instance, if you are opening a restaurant, you may have to check to see that no restaurants are called the same thing.

#10 – Get Business Insurance

Make sure that you have the right insurance to protect your business. If you are operating a company in Canada, you must ensure that your company carries liability insurance. Keep in mind that you may also have to pay other types of taxes, including payroll taxes.


Starting your own business in Canada can be a daunting task. But if you are determined and willing to work hard, you can successfully build your own business in Canada. Don’t forget to follow the rules and regulations set by the government to avoid any legal hassles down the road.

Black Business Global offers entrepreneurial assistance for black businesses in Vancouver. We understand how hard it is to come to a foreign country and start a new life through business, which is why we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more!