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What Is the Pay Transparency Act?

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Sep 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

What-Is-the-Pay-Transparency-Act-compressorIf you operate your business in Ontario, you’ve likely been paying close attention to some of the changes coming out of the Changing Workplaces Review. Bill 148, which became the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, was a hot topic in 2017. Employers and employees are still waiting to see what the lasting effects of these new labour laws will be, and the new provincial government has vowed to undo some of the changes.

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Another piece of legislation on your radar is likely the Pay Transparency Act, or Bill 203. What is the Pay Transparency Act?

This Act is a new law set to come into effect on January 1, 2019. It will promote gender equality and equal compensation between men and women by enforcing increased transparency around compensation.

What Does the Pay Transparency Act Do?

The Act is designed to promote gender equality by increasing the amount of information available to employees about their compensation. Although Canada nominally has gender equal pay laws, they’ve been difficult to enforce because of a lack of transparency around compensation.

Traditionally, it’s considered poor form for employees to discuss their compensation with each other or to discuss their colleagues’ compensation with their employers. Silence around the subject has allowed employers to pay diverse employees different wages. Usually, this is justified by the employer as a difference in experience, training, or ability, but there is concern bias may come into play.

The Act is designed to lift the silence around the subject of compensation. With more information in hand, employees can more easily challenge discrepancies in pay, especially where there appears to be no just cause.

Is It Necessary?

Many critics of the Pay Transparency Act suggest it’s not necessary. Canada has gender equal pay laws, which require employers to pay employees the same regardless of sex and gender. To pay someone more or less than another employee in a similar position with similar training, experience, and performance is a form of discrimination. This is prohibited under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and under various provincial legislation as well.

While these laws are in place, it has been difficult to challenge discriminatory practices where they exist. A lack of information and a culture of silence around pay mean many employees aren’t aware their employers may be discriminating against them.

There are, of course, concerns that the Act will be abused by some individuals, and challenges will be made in cases where the employee feels entitled to more pay but their performance record suggests otherwise. Nonetheless, more information simplifies the process of applying existing laws, with the goal of truly enforcing gender equal pay legislation already on the books.

What Will Employers Need to Do?

Beginning January 1, 2019, job postings in Ontario will need to include a salary range. This creates a public statement of compensation for any position in the province, which employees can then refer to. Employers will also be prohibited from asking candidates about their past compensation. This prevents adjustments to the salary range “in line” with what the candidate had previously earned.

In addition, employers will be prohibited from acting against employees who disclose or discuss compensation. Those employers who include non-disclosure clauses in their employment terms will need to revise their employment contracts.

Finally, large companies with more than 100 employees will be required to establish a reporting framework to track, report, and post compensation gaps based on gender and other characteristics. This reporting will begin in May 2020.

Ontario is the first province to enact pay transparency legislation, and some question how much it is needed. As an employer, you’ll need to be prepared for the changes this new law will bring.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Compliance

4 Ways a PEO Helps Businesses Expand Across the Border

Posted by Karen McMullen


Sep 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4-Ways-a-PEO-Helps-Businesses-Expand-Across-the-Border-compressorExpanding a business internationally is no small feat. Once you’ve managed to grow the business to an appreciable size in your home market, you’ll likely begin to look for other ways to continue growing. An international expansion is likely one of the options you’ll consider.

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Growing across the border is often an excellent opportunity, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. If you want to be successful, you’ll likely want to enlist the help of a number of professional partners, including a PEO.

What is a PEO?

A professional employer organization, or PEO, is a full-service partner in your expansion. They offer you the infrastructure for banking and insurance, as well as access to services such as hiring and human resources, that you may have more difficulty accessing on your own. More than this, they’re ready to offer you the advice and expertise you need to grow across the border successfully.

How exactly does a PEO help businesses grow across the border? You can count the ways.

1. A PEO Acts as an Employer

A professional employer organization acts as the legal employer for your employees. The PEO can get started hiring sooner, so you can hit the ground running.

In practice, this means the PEO takes over hiring, training, and even terminating employees. Their expertise means you can be sure your human resources management is operating in compliance with local law

The PEO administers payroll and benefits as well, minimizing the tasks you need to add to your HR team’s plate.

2. A PEO Can Help You with Banking

Another concern businesses have when they set up shop on the other side of the border is finances. How will you access banking services? In order to set up a bank account, you often have to be resident in the country and have a permanent address. As a foreign entity, your business may have difficulty accessing the financial resources it needs to get things underway.

The PEO can help you here as well by offering your business access to the banking services they’re already using. You may be able to set up an account or transfer funds from your business to the PEO or vice-versa. You may also be able to access credit through the PEO, giving your business much-needed capital to keep operations rolling.

3. Getting Insured

The PEO may also be able to assist you in accessing the insurance infrastructure across the border. Insurance products are much like banking products and services, and foreign businesses may initially have difficulty accessing what they need.

The PEO’s own insurance infrastructure resolves the issue for you, providing you with the coverage you need for your operations. The PEO can also make recommendations and help you find the right provider, often at a lower cost than you might pay on your own.

4. Giving You Great Advice

Perhaps the most important thing a PEO can do for a business expanding across the border is to give expert advice. The PEO is more familiar with the laws and regulations in place across the border, so they’ll be able to offer insight and information you may not otherwise be aware of.

This can help you make the right decisions for your business and cut through red tape more easily. The right advice is crucial when you’re making a big move like expanding a business across borders. Having a PEO on your side is a huge advantage.

These are just a few of the different ways a PEO can help you as you continue to grow your business. If you’ve been thinking about crossing the border, get in touch with a PEO.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Professional Employer Organization

4 Things to Consider before Expanding into Canada

Posted by Karen McMullen


Sep 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4_Things_to_Consider_before_Expanding_into_CanadaExpanding a business internationally is a huge step for most business owners and managers. It requires careful thought, research, and evaluation of the opportunities at hand. Expansion is, of course, a good thing since it means your business is growing. Done correctly, it can increase company value and revenue.

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Should you expand into Canada?

Many company owners ask themselves this question, and they need to carefully consider factors such as taxation, business structure, market demand, political climate, legislation, and more. In many cases, the answer will be yes. Before you make a move to expand into Canada, however, be sure you’ve given the move careful consideration, including these four factors.

1. Legislation Will Affect Your Efforts of Expanding into Canada

The first thing any business owner needs to consider is the current political climate and legislation surrounding expansions. As an example, while Canada and the United States have long been major trade partners, the current political climate suggests the future relationship might be rocky.

American firms will want to be on the lookout for legislative changes designed to limit their entry and participation in the Canadian market. On the other hand, companies from other countries may find a more welcoming atmosphere.

No matter where your home base is, however, you’ll need to look at the legislation surrounding expansion into Canada.

2. Consider Market Demand before Expansion

Another thing you’ll want to consider before you begin expanding into Canada is market demand. Do some research and discover whether or not Canadians are looking for your product or service. Is there a gap in the market you can fill?

If the market is already crowded or demand appears to be absent, it may not be the right time to expand into Canada. While you can raise brand awareness and create demand where there was none, it creates an uphill climb for the business. If a market already exists for your products or services, you’re one step ahead of the game. Expanding into Canada makes sense.

3. Taxation and Business Structure Will Play a Role

If you’re deciding whether expanding into Canada makes sense for your firm, you’ll need to consider the financial picture. Keep in mind factors such as taxation and business structure will play a role in making your Canadian expansion profitable.

Different business structures have different tax implications for Canadian companies, and your expansion will be subject to many of the same rules. Examine the different structure options and see what advantages or disadvantages they offer you. One may make more sense than another.

4. Logistics

Before expanding into Canada, you’ll also need to consider the logistics of operations after expansion. How will you get your product into Canada and then onto shelves in Canadian stores? How will you offer services to your customers?

Supply chains and other logistical considerations can make or break a company as it expands into Canada.

Another consideration is your human resources operations. How will you find the right people to staff your new Canadian locations and offer service to your Canadian customers? Who will conduct bookkeeping, administer your benefits, or complete payroll activities?

You’ll need to give these factors some consideration, as they can affect how your business operates in Canada.

Should You Expand to Canada?

The question remains: Should you expand into Canada? As demonstrated, there are a variety of factors you’ll need to consider before you can definitively answer this question.

For many companies, expanding into Canada will be the right answer. For others, it may be prudent to bide their time. The right opportunity will arise.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Business Expansion

4 Audit Issues to Steer Clear of in Canadian Payroll

Posted by Ray Gonder


Aug 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4-Audit-Issues-to-Steer-Clear-of-in-Canadian-Payroll-compressorPayroll administration has many legal dimensions. In Canadian payroll, you’ll need to comply with the rules and regulations set out by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA levies penalties against non-compliant businesses. In some cases, payroll issues may even trigger an audit.

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Of course, avoiding an audit is best practice. Audits can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s best not to need one in the first place. If you steer clear of these four issues in Canadian payroll, you’ll reduce your risks of being audited by the CRA.

1. Poor Record-Keeping

Record-keeping in Canadian payroll is important. In fact, it’s not just an audit issue. Record-keeping can also be a matter of criminal investigation. Before you’re accused of anything, however, it’s likely the CRA will audit your books. If it finds your record-keeping lacklustre, the CRA will demand additional reviews and may levy penalties.

Keeping good records for your payroll activities is thus important for your business. The audit issue shouldn’t be the only reason you keep good records. Good records can help you ensure you’re staying within your budget. It may also assist if you find there are more tax credits you can claim. Good records also make it easier to resolve issues, especially if an employee disputes their paycheque.

2. Failure to Remit

The CRA asks employers to remit their payroll deductions on a regular basis. Generally speaking, you’ll be asked to remit your payroll deductions once per pay period. If you pay your employees biweekly, you’ll be asked to remit to the CRA on a biweekly basis.

You’ll be given a calendar of the due dates for these payments. The CRA levies penalties for late remittances, but if your payments are very late, you may be charged with “failure to remit.” The CRA will then investigate your business to determine whether you’ve been deducting from payroll correctly and, if so, what you’ve been doing with the funds you owe to the agency.

Remitting your payroll deductions on a regular basis is the easiest way to avoid this audit issue. While you may not send in your deductions on time every time, ensuring you withhold correctly and remit on a regular basis makes it easy to avoid this issue.

3. Incorrect Taxation of Benefits

The CRA may decide to audit you if you’ve incorrectly taxed benefits. While you may simply be unaware of which benefits are considered taxable and which ones are tax-free, the CRA may take this as evidence of poor or illegal practices.

The easiest way to avoid this issue is to stay up to date on the CRA’s taxable benefit designations. If you’re unsure, you can always seek help from the experts. A professional employer organization can help you administer your benefits, payroll, and more.

4. Employee Misclassification

The CRA will also determine if the people you work with are indeed employees or if they’re contractors. It’s been increasingly common for employers to misclassify employees as contractors, often to avoid paying associated benefits and taxes for employment. The CRA has been cracking down on this, much like the IRS has done in the US.

How can you avoid this audit issue? The easy way is to ensure you’re classifying employees correctly. Take a look at the legislation surrounding the terms “employee” and “contractor” or “vendor” in the province you operate in. This should give you a good idea of whether the person you’re working with is an employee or a contractor.

These are only a few of the audit issues common in Canadian payroll. Luckily, most of them are easily managed with proper payroll administration.

7 Signs It's Time to Outsource Payroll

Topics: Payroll Processing

What American Companies Should Know about Canadian EORs

Posted by Stacey Duggan


Aug 22, 2018 9:00:00 AM

What-American-Companies-Should-Know-about-Canadian-EORs-compressorMost business owners and managers know the importance of finding qualified help to support their business ventures. No matter what you wish to accomplish, finding the right partner is a large part of success. 

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If you want to expand your business into Canada, finding the right partner for your human resources, payroll, and compliance is key. Hiring the right people, ensuring they’re properly compensated, and ensuring you’re complying with legal requirements go a long way to helping you find success in Canada.

Who Should You Work With?

One question you likely have is who you should work with. It can be confusing to enter a foreign market. Sometimes, different terms are used. The kinds of vendors you’re used to working with may be called something else, or they may not exist. 

In Canada, American companies should seek to work with employers of record (EORs) often called a professional employer organization (PEO). Canadian employers of record are very similar to PEOs in the U.S. They help you administer your human resources in Canada. Before you team up with a Canadian EOR, you should know a few things.

Going Beyond HR

Most American companies decide to work with a Canadian EOR for their human resources activities. This can include hiring, administering payroll, monitoring compliance, dealing with benefits, and more. 

Canadian EORs can also offer you some surprising benefits. They may be able to assist you with record-keeping and during audits. They may also be able to advise on strategic decisions such as company structure and tax efficiency. They might also be able to help you with paperwork if employees need to move between Canada and the US.

Preparing for Success

The reason most American companies work with a Canadian EOR is to ensure their Canadian operations are successful. Your business won’t be very successful if you can’t hire the right people to staff it.

It also won’t be very successful if you happen to run into compliance issues during hiring. Working with the EOR is a step toward cementing success for your Canadian operations.

Great Advice

A Canadian EOR can also offer you excellent advice for your firm. Your HR staff are likely well-versed in regulations and compliance in your home country. They might be less knowledgeable about Canadian laws and regulations.

This is where an EOR can step in. Not only can they help you administer your policies, but they can also offer advice on how to stay in step with the law. They may be able to offer insights on revisions to your policies or new policies you’ll need to put in place to remain compliant. They can then help you execute them.

Finally, they can also help you navigate the nuances of Canadian requirements and differences between provinces and territories.

Providing Infrastructure

Another way Canadian EORs can assist American companies is by providing the infrastructure they need on the ground in Canada, right from day one. They’ll support you with an expert team of knowledgeable staff, banking and insurance infrastructure, and the right technology and tools to make your operations in Canada seamless.

Not All EORs Are the Same

There are many EORs out there, and not all of them are the same. Some EORs won’t meet your needs as a business. They may be too small or too large. Their service offerings may not meet your needs. Instead of partnering with an EOR that doesn’t fit your needs, keep shopping around. 

The right Canadian EOR is out there. With some good research, you’ll find the perfect partner to help your Canadian operations achieve success.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Employer of Record

Everything You Need to Know about Canadian Payroll Deductions

Posted by Ray Gonder


Aug 15, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Everything-You-Need-to-Know-about-Canadian-Payroll-Deductions-compressorPayroll can be quite complex, no matter where in the world you operate. It can become more complicated when you’re dealing with international operations. Your HR team may know every little detail of payroll administration in your home country. They’re probably less familiar with the rules abroad, which can lead to mistakes and other issues in your payroll

Canadian Payroll Tax Deduction Calculator

Whether you’re working with a partner to assist you with Canadian payroll deductions or you’re having your HR team handle them for now, it’s a good idea for you to understand the rules associated with Canadian payroll regulation. This primer will get you started.

Each Province Is Different

The first thing you likely noticed upon setting up shop in Canada was that each province had different rules. In some provinces, you can use certain business structures. Other provinces don’t have the same options. The same is true of employment legislation. Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec have just introduced new employment legislation. The other provinces have different rules as well. 

The same is true when it comes to payroll. While the federal government does have a fair amount of oversight and the Canada Revenue Agency oversees Canadian payroll deductions, there are still differences by province. 

First, the rate of income tax differs by province. Ontario has one of the lowest income tax rates, while Quebec has a much higher rate. Income tax withholding will vary by province. Deductions to the Canada Pension Plan also vary by province, with Quebec administering its own plan. Each province has its own rules around calculating vacation pay as well.

The Social Safety Net

Canada is famed for its public healthcare system. Although not as robust as that of some other countries, the fact of the matter is Canadians have constructed a “social safety net” over time. 

You’ll need to pay attention to two programs in particular: employment insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). As already mentioned, Quebec tends to run its own programs, including the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). 

Both of these programs are funded by payroll deductions from your employees. As an employer, you’ll be expected to match employee contributions to the CPP, known as the “employer portion.” The CRA provides guides about how to calculate deductions for both these programs.


Depending on how your benefits program is structured, you may or may not deduct premiums or portions of premiums from your employees’ paycheques. Each province will have different rules governing how to go about doing this.

Keep in mind healthcare benefits vary from province to province as well. Ontario, for example, just introduced prescription coverage for people under 25 years of age into its provincial healthcare program. You may want to revisit your benefits package and ensure what you provide for employees is still meeting their needs.

Some benefits are considered taxable, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on the CRA’s guidelines for benefits. If you reimburse your employees for mileage, travel expenses, or relocation expenses, you might need to deduct taxes. Finally, bonuses and other cash or valued benefits might need to be taxed.

Remitting to the CRA

Once you’ve finished deducting all these taxes and fees, you’ll wonder what to do with the money you’ve collected. Most Canadian payroll deductions are remitted to the CRA. In the case of benefits premiums, those funds would go towards paying for the benefits themselves.

The CRA will ask you to remit to them on a schedule in line with your payroll periods. For example, if you pay your employees every two weeks, you’ll need to remit deductions to the CRA every two weeks. Late payments and failure to remit can result in fines and penalties.

If you have questions about Canadian payroll deductions, get in touch with the experts. They can answer your questions and guide you through the Canadian payroll process.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

Topics: Payroll Processing

5 Practical Ways a PEO Will Help You Work Smarter in 2018

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Aug 8, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5-Practical-Ways-a-PEO-Will-Help-You-Work-Smarter-in-2018-compressorYou’ve likely heard about professional employer organizations (PEOs) and how they can help your business operations in Canada or other international markets. You may have even considered working with one during your latest expansion. You may still be considering one for your Canadian operations. 

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Whether you’re just expanding to the Canadian market in 2018 or you’ve had operations in the country for a while, bringing on a PEO is a great idea. Here are just a few of the practical ways a PEO can help you work smarter.

1. Streamline Hiring

People are one of a business’s most valuable assets, so it only makes sense you want to hire the best of the best for your business. Attracting talent is tough in this market, however, as Canadian unemployment has hit a 40-year low and many industries are experiencing talent shortages. 

In addition to this, international firms often run into complications when it comes to hiring. They may not be familiar with local rules about hiring. Their processes, which work well at home, may also not be suited to hiring quickly in a foreign market. 

This is where the PEO can step in. The PEO can help you streamline your hiring process, providing the right technology and better access to the local job market. They’ll assist with tracking and assessing candidates. They can even conduct interviews and recommend hires, as well as help you navigate the complex legal waters around employment legislation.

2. Keep Payroll on Track

Another way a PEO can assist your business operations is by handling payroll. Like hiring, payroll in Canada can be quite different from what you’re used to in your home country. Different rules and regulations change the way payroll is handled. These differences can result in penalties or even an audit. 

Working with a Canadian PEO can help you avoid these issues in your payroll administration. Payroll will be delivered on time, in compliance with the rules and regulations.

3. Administer Benefits with Ease

PEOs can also administer benefits to your employees. There are a few ways working with a PEO provides advantages here.

The first is that the PEO is using an economy of scale to provide everyone with a better benefits package. PEOs often have responsibility for hundreds or thousands of employees, which means they’re purchasing for many more accounts. As a result, they receive better rates. The PEO may be able to offer better, more affordable benefits than you could on your own.

The next thing is your PEO can help you actually administer those benefits with ease. They’re more familiar with the rules, so they’ll be able to select packages and structures that fit the needs of Canadian employees. Americans, for example, may find benefits options in Canada are structured quite differently, especially when it comes to healthcare.

4. Get Good Advice

Perhaps the largest benefit a partnership with a PEO can offer any business is good advice and a great working relationship. The staff at the PEO are experts in their area, which means they’re in a good position to be able to provide you with guidance on any number of business activities.

If you’re unsure about Canadian workplace legislation, how to go about hiring an employee or terminating one, or need assistance calculating vacation pay in different provinces, the PEO is there for you. They may be able to offer insights into business decisions that could help you run your Canadian business more efficiently.

5. Get Your Time Back

Working with a PEO can take many important, yet time-consuming, tasks off your desk. You can get your time back and focus on how to continue growing your business while the PEO looks after the rest.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Hire a Worker in Canada Needs to Know

Topics: Professional Employer Organization

4 Things You Might Not Know a PEO Can Do for Your Business

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Aug 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4-Things-You-Might-Not-Know-a-PEO-Can-Do-for-Your-Business-compressorAs you’ve expanded your business, both at home and around the world, you’ve likely encountered the professional employer organization, or PEO. You’ve been told the PEO can help you expand your business and operate more efficiently on the international scene. 

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A PEO provides human resources assistance to firms, often offering services for everything from payroll to hiring to compliance monitoring. 

While assistance with all those aspects of your business sounds like a good thing, you’ve been managing fine thus far. 

If you’ve ever thought this, it’s time to rethink your stance. There are many different ways a PEO can help your business. Here are a few of the more surprising things a PEO can do for your business. 

1. Ease Hiring and Lower Associated Costs

Hiring the most talented people for your company is tricky at the best of times. When you’re hiring internationally, it can become even more complex. You might not be aware of all the intricacies of hiring and employment legislation in the country or jurisdiction you’re hiring in. 

Hiring can become an even lengthier, costlier process for your business. The PEO can help you streamline the process and even lower the costs. The PEO’s better knowledge of hiring practices and the job market in the country of operation will help you find the right people when you need them and get them on board faster.

2. Save More on Benefits

Most PEOs provide benefits and administration services for their clients. What you may not have realized is partnering with a PEO on benefits is actually more economical for your business. In essence, the PEO can save you money on the benefits you provide, allowing you to provide better benefits to your employees. 

How does it work? It’s an economy of scale. You may manage 50 or 100 employees. The PEO, on the other hand, is managing thousands of employees. As a result, they’re purchasing insurance and other benefits for many more people than your business can. The PEO is usually offered a preferential rate. 

The end result is your employees get great benefits, and you save a little bit more money.

3. Protect Your Business from Risk

Working with a PEO is also a great way to improve your risk management. As mentioned, your HR team might be very talented and knowledgeable. When it comes to operating in Canada or another foreign country, however, you can’t reasonably expect them to know the ins and outs of every law and regulation. 

This can cause trouble for international firms. You may unknowingly break a rule, and then later be penalized for it. This happens in payroll all the time. The CRA will assess fines and audits, sometimes over things you weren’t even aware you were doing wrong. 

No one expects you to have encyclopedic knowledge of Canadian laws. Even some Canadian business owners and HR professionals need a helping hand when it comes to ensuring compliance. A PEO will help protect your business.

4. Get Your Time Back

Payroll management can be time-consuming. Hiring can be an intensive process, often drawn out over weeks or even months. Compliance is an ongoing activity, and as rules and laws are constantly in flux, you’ll be hard-pressed to keep up. 

All these tasks are important, and all of them can distract you from the other tasks that need your knowledge and expertise. Instead of getting caught up in them, pass them over to a PEO and allow the experts on their team to handle it. You’ll get hours back in your day.

Working with a PEO has many benefits. If you think a PEO partnership could benefit your business, get in touch and discuss your options today.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Professional Employer Organization

Obstacles You Need to Know about before Expanding into Canada

Posted by Ray Gonder


Jul 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Obstacles-You-Need-to-Know-about-before-Expanding-into-Canada-compressorBusiness expansion is a sign all your hard work is finally paying off. After all, expanding the business is a sign of growth and success.

Expansion is also rife with potential problems. It often presents many challenges and obstacles, particularly if you’re expanding internationally.

One of the best things you can do in any expansion situation is to be aware of the obstacles you may face. Once you’re aware of them, you’ll be able to plan and strategize how you’ll overcome them. Here are a few of the obstacles you’ll likely encounter as you try to expand your business into Canada.

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Government Agencies

Like any other country, Canada’s governments keep a close eye on the businesses operating within their borders. The provincial governments require most business operations to be registered with them and to pay business taxes. 

Governments may also regulate the business you can conduct. For example, Health Canada may regulate the types of pharmaceutical products that can be sold to consumers in Canada. Other government agencies may regulate sales of other products. Rules governing services also vary from province to province. 

You may need to modify your product or service offerings for entry into the Canadian market. Discover which government agencies govern the industry you operate in and familiarize yourself with their rules.

Business Structure and Tax Efficiency

Once you know you’ll be legally allowed to operate in Canada and which products or services you’ll be able to deliver, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to structure your business. You want to pick the most tax efficient structure for your operations to maximize benefits to the business. 

Selecting the right business structure is important if you want to achieve tax efficiency. Study up on the different types of business structures available to you in the province you’ll be operating in. If you’re not sure, consult with the experts and get some advice about what makes sense for your business.


One of the more infamous cases of Canadian expansion is the story of US-based retailer Target. Target bought up most of the properties of a defunct Canadian retailer and opened about 100 stores to great fanfare. Then things took a turn for the worse, and within about a year, Target had shuttered the doors of its Canadian operations.

One of the largest challenges Target faced was logistics. Trouble in the supply chain meant its Canadian locations often had empty shelves.

Logistics can affect any company operating in Canada. Canada is a vast country with a relatively sparse population huddled along the US border. While it can be easy to ship products from Detroit, Michigan, to Windsor, Ontario, getting the same product further north is more challenging and costly.

People can also be a challenge. If you choose to open your office doors in St. John’s, Newfoundland, you may find you have difficulty staffing your business. Keep logistics in mind as you determine how to manage your Canadian expansion.

A Lack of Information

Your HR team does a great job, and they know employment legislation in your home country like the back of their hands. When it comes to Canadian employment law, they’re often giving you their “best guess.”

A lack of information presents an enormous challenge for most businesses expanding into Canada. Working with a Canadian professional employer organization (PEO) can help you overcome this challenge. Their expert team will be able to guide you through the ins and outs of Canadian legislation, keeping you compliant, delivering payroll on time and correctly, and even helping you hire the people you need to keep operating smoothly. 

Once you know an obstacle stands in your path, you can determine how to deal with it. Partner with a PEO and tackle these challenges to Canadian expansion head-on.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Business Expansion

What to Expect When You Work with a Canadian PEO

Posted by Ray Gonder


Jul 18, 2018 9:00:00 AM

What_to_Expect_When_You_Work_with_a_Canadian_PEOWhether you’ve been operating in Canada for a little while or you’re just undertaking your first Canadian business expansion, you’ve likely heard about the assistance available to international firms in Canada. After careful consideration, you’ve decided working with a Canadian professional employer organization (PEO) makes plenty of sense for your business. In fact, you may wonder why you didn’t make this move sooner.

Canadian Payroll Tax Deduction Calculator

As you search for the right PEO for your company, you may wonder what you should expect from working with a Canadian PEO. Here are a few things you should look for in the experience.

Seamless HR

Most companies turn to PEOs for assistance with their human resources operations. You may decide you need assistance with payroll or you need more all-encompassing services. A PEO generally offers more than a payroll provider alone can.

If you opt to work with a Canadian PEO, you can expect this comprehensive HR experience. The PEO can help you administer everything from payroll to benefits to vacation pay. They can help you hire and terminate employment as necessary. They can also help you monitor compliance and offer you advice on revisions to the laws affecting your operations.

All in all, you can expect seamless delivery of HR functions. Since the PEO is responsible for almost all of these functions, they ensure cohesion and consistency in the work.

Expert Advice

Another thing you can expect from your Canadian PEO is expert advice. The PEO won’t just help you monitor compliance. They can actually work with you to devise a better policy to ensure your compliance.

The people on staff at the PEO often have expert knowledge themselves. As laws changes, they can dig into their experience and their knowledge, and even research to help you determine the best path forward.

If you’re concerned about avoiding an audit, the PEO can assist you in staying on top of your records and remitting your payroll on time. As provinces such as Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec reconsider their employment standards legislation, the PEO can help you devise a new policy to meet and exceed minimum standards for wages, workplace safety, and so much more.

A Worry-Free Experience

Many of the functions a PEO carries out on your behalf can be quite complex. Since they carry a legal dimension, they’re also very important. If you make a mistake, you could be on the wrong end of a CRA audit or facing fines. Other decisions impact you no less, as tax inefficiencies could lower your business’s profit margins.

Working with a Canadian PEO can ease all these worries. Sometimes, when you hand off important business tasks to outside firms, you may find yourself worrying about them more. If the provider is late or makes mistakes, you may worry even more.

With the best Canadian PEOs, this isn’t an issue. While there are sometimes unavoidable delays and mistakes happen to even the best, a good Canadian PEO is going to take steps to rectify mistakes as quickly as possible to ensure they don’t happen again and to communicate with you every step of the way. They’ll quickly put you at ease.

Great Service

The best Canadian PEOs are those that deliver the best service to their clients. They communicate, and they’re happy to discuss your services with you. They’re never short on advice, and if they’re unsure, they’ll help you look deeper into the subject. If there is a mistake, they’re going to make sure it’s resolved quickly and easily.

In short, you can expect great customer service when you choose to work with the right Canadian PEO. Do your research and consider your options carefully. The right PEO is out there.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Hire a Worker in Canada Needs to Know

Topics: Professional Employer Organization

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