Canadian business optimism improves, highlighting opportunities for visa start-up entrepreneurs
Last updated on August 30, 2021
Business owners in Canada are optimistic about the economy and its outlook for the coming year as the country emerges from the pandemic and businesses begin to hire again.
The reason for the optimism is a strong rebound in consumer retail sales, which account for around 55% of the country’s GDP, so far this year.
“The good days for retail sales have arrived,” proclaimed Conference Board of Canada economist Kiefer Van Mulligen in his “Quick Take” report on August 20.
“An acceleration of immunization programs in June prompted some provinces (but not all) to ease restrictions,” he wrote. âThis has allowed many Canadians to take to the terraces, book vacations and participate in social activities. It all meant more expense.
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According to Statistics Canada, 75.7 percent of Canadian business owners now say they have a somewhat optimistic or very optimistic outlook for the year ahead.
Almost a quarter of businesses surveyed by the Canadian government’s statistical services agency at the start of the third quarter of the year expect demand for products and services to increase, and more than one in five businesses expect that the prices of their goods and services to also increase.
Canada’s economic outlook is improving
Entrepreneurs expect better times, with nearly four times as many of them in Canada, 18.4 percent, planning to develop their own business or invest in another than those planning to sell, transfer or to close theirs at 4.8 percent. hundred.
The big unknown remains the pandemic and what could hamper another wave of COVID-19, but most companies clearly feel better times are ahead.
Foreign investors looking to ride this wave as the Canadian economy rebounds can apply for permanent residence in Canada through the Start-up visa program.
The climate for Canadian start-ups is good, especially during the pandemic.
In the Global Start-up Ecosystem Index Report 2021, Canada was ranked fourth again – and has more cities in the top 50 than any other country, with two exceptions: the much larger United States and China. .
âCanada is fortunate to have three cities in the top 50 in the world, with the Montreal ecosystem increasing by three places to rank 46th in the world. Only the United States and China have more cities in the top 50 than Canada, which shows the diversity of the country’s strong global and regional hubs, âthe report noted.
The start-up Visa leads to the launch of 200 companies in 8 years
The Start-Up Visa program, which started as a five-year pilot program in 2013, became permanent in 2018 and has launched some 200 start-ups, including edtech unicorn ApplyBoard, founded by brothers Martin Massi and Meti Basiri, which moved from Iran to Canada for the school, and now employ over 500 people.
Under the Starter Visa program, immigrants can obtain permanent residence in Canada if they qualify as immigrant entrepreneurs.
Three types of private sector investors are considered: angel investors, venture capital funds and business incubators.
- A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it invests at least $ 200,000 in the qualifying business. Applicants may also qualify with two or more designated venture capital fund commitments totaling $ 200,000.
- A designated angel group must invest at least $ 75,000 in the qualifying business. Applicants may also qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups totaling $ 75,000.
- A designated business incubator must accept the applicant into its business incubator program. It is up to the immigrant investor to develop a viable business plan that will meet the due diligence requirements of these government approved designated entities.
Immigration Lawyers Help Visa Startup Entrepreneurs
This investment and business development is typically done with the help of business consultants in Canada’s start-up ecosystem, under the supervision of experienced corporate immigration lawyers who can ensure that the business concept of a start-up meets all the general conditions required by the industry.
Applicants applying under the Starter Visa program may first come to Canada with a work permit backed by their designated Canadian investor before their application for permanent residence is finalized.
The basic government-imposed eligibility requirements for the Starter Visa Program are as follows:
- an eligible business;
- a certificate of commitment and a letter of support from a designated entity;
- sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds to cover settlement funding, and;
- fluency in English or French at minimum level 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmark. However, it frequently happens that higher levels of English are required to meet the due diligence requirements imposed by designated entities.
Ottawa does not provide financial support to new immigrants with start-up visas. When applicants apply, they must demonstrate that they have the necessary financial resources to support themselves and their dependents in Canada. This money cannot be borrowed.
In addition, it often happens that applicants will need to demonstrate additional and sufficient funding to cover the start-up costs of their business project, as a condition of investment by a designated entity (VC or Angel).
This is an area where experienced legal advice will prove invaluable. The amount of funding required for settlement depends on the size of the applicant’s family.
Start-up visa does not require previous management experience
Unlike almost all of the other entrepreneurial programs at the federal and provincial levels that require a minimum of one or two years of experience in running a business or in high-level management, the Start-up Visa Program does not requires no management experience.
Support from a government-appointed entity is sufficient. This support can be either financial or in the form of acceptance of the candidate in a business incubator program.
Immigrants who take advantage of the starter visa program consistently report that it is quick, both for the initial application for a work permit and a residence permit.
With a viable business start-up plan, an immigrant entrepreneur can expect it to take around four to six months to obtain a certificate of engagement or letter of support from a designated entity. Once this letter of support is received, the application for permanent residence can be submitted.
It will then take approximately 18 months to finalize the application until a permanent residence visa is issued. For the candidate to be eligible for permanent residence:
- The proposed business must be incorporated and operate a business in Canada;
- The candidate must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the company, and;
- No other person can own 50 percent or more of the voting rights in the company.
Up to five applicants can have their application for permanent residence supported by the same business investment. But it can come with a risk. Some candidates may be identified as essential to the business. If one of the core applicants withdraws or is rejected, all other applicants for the same corporate investment will have their applications terminated.
Surveys suggest that startup visa applicants are generally successful in Canada, in terms of growing their business, attracting additional investment, networking, or selling their business at a profit.