22 June, 2020


As you are well aware, there are several programs to immigrate to Canada, and one in particular is aimed at entrepreneurs who wish to open their own business in Canada. Check out how the startup visa program works and the step by step of opening a company here in Canada. And some good news to get you excited: You can have up to 5 partners (anda families) applying with you for one business.


What is the Startup Visa Program?

The Startup Visa is one of the different immigration programs in Canada. As one of the most welcoming and profitable countries for foreign investment, the aim of this immigration program is to encourage professionals from all areas to put their projects into practice in Canada, thus helping the country to remain competitive in the global economy.



Who can apply for the Startup visa program?


If you want to immigrate to Canada, you must begin your planning as soon as possible, and the first step is to check the eligibility requirements for your program. To be eligible got the Startup Visa in Canada, you need to:


Have a qualifying business


Business in Canada


As you can imagine or even have experienced it, starting your own company is a very competitive and challenging process, so be sure to work hard on your business plan. To achieve a startup visa, you must first have your innovative idea supported by a designated canadian institution (nominated and licensed by the government).

In addition, make sure the essential operations of your business are done in Canada. You can have branches or offices in other countries, but its headquarters must be in canadian territory. Another thing to keep in mind is that you (the applicant) owns more than 50% of the company’s voting rights. However, that share can be shared with an incubator organization (more on that later!)


Letter of support of institution


As mentioned, in order to apply for a Startup Visa Program and immigrate to Canada, you need the support of a designated institution, and it is done in the form of a letter. There are 3 types of institutions that can assist you in your immigration process:

  • Venture Capital: With this type of investment, the institution provides financial and expertise support in return of business equity, meaning that they would also have decision making and voting rights. If you are looking for a Venture Capital Investment in order to apply for your Startup Visa, you are required to received at least CAD $200.000 from the institution.


  • Angel Investors: This investment usually comes from a high net worth individual, in return of ownership equity of the company. That means that while they would have the right to monetary return of investment, they would not have decision making rights within your company. For the Startup Visa program, you are required to receive at least CAD$ 75.000 from your angel investor.\


  • Incubator Company: Also called accelerators, an incubator company will work with you to develop your business, providing services such as management training or office space. In this case, you don’t need any financial support to apply for your Startup Visa.


Language proficiency


Just like with other immigration programs to Canada, the Startup Visa program also demands for a certain understanding of the local language, proved by taking a language exam (TCF or TEF for French, and CELPIP or IELTS General for English). However, when compared to other immigrant programs, the minimum score is quite low: a CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 5 is enough. You can see the test score to CLB equivalent below:











Financial proof


Even though you may be opening a promising business in Canada, that does not mean you can count on its income to settle in Canada. Just like the other immigration programs to Canada, you must prove that you have enough to support yourself for 1 year in the country without depending on your company’s profits. For one person, the required amount is CAD 12,960, for two people, the amount rises to 16,135.

How do I become a business owner in Canada?


Now, it’s time to put your business plan into practice! But what do you need to open the doors of your company?

Define the type of your business


Not only in the area of ​​operation, but in your management! There are a few types of business administration:


  • Sole proprietorship – only the owner (you) is the manager of the company.
  • Partnership – two partners share the management.
  • Corporation – administration is divided by shareholders
  • Society – the company aims to help society, and is not for profit.
  • Cooperation – the management belongs to those who are cooperated with the company




register your business



In order to open your own business In Canada, you need to register for your BN – Business Number. This is how your company will be known at the municipal, provincial and federal levels!

Are you ready to begin your business adventure in Canada? Count on our team of regulated immigrant consultants to help you through your journey. Book an appointment now!

Have any questions? Check out our video below: 



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