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2019 Provincial Holiday Schedule in Canada

Posted by Corinne Camara


Jan 30, 2019 9:00:00 AM

2019_Provincial_Holiday_Schedule_in_CanadaWith a new 2019 calendar tacked up on your wall, you’re already beginning to plan for public holidays across Canada. Holidays can affect everything from shipments to payroll.

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As you map out the year, keep this schedule of provincial holidays handy.

Canada-Wide Statutory Holidays

The federal government mandates several statutory holidays throughout the year. Although the provinces and territories are responsible for determining holidays in their jurisdictions, they generally adopt most of the federal scheduled holidays.

The first one is New Year’s Day. The next federal scheduled holiday doesn’t occur until Easter, which falls on the weekend of April 20-21 in 2019. Good Friday, April 19, is a statutory holiday.

Since Easter always falls on a Sunday, only businesses that are open on Sundays need to worry about this holiday. Many businesses opt to take off the Monday after Easter, known as Easter Monday, to ensure their workers get a holiday. Easter Monday is a statutory holiday for federally regulated businesses such as post offices and banks, but it is not mandatory across Canada.

Victoria Day, which is celebrated on the Monday on or before May 24th, is also a federal statutory holiday. Most provinces give this holiday as well, although in Quebec, it’s known as National Patriots Day. This year, it falls on May 20.

Canada Day is usually given on July 1, although employers can opt to move this holiday to the Friday or Monday closest to July 1 if they’re not open on weekends. This year, July 1 is a Monday.

Labour Day is the next federally scheduled holiday, falling on the first Monday of September. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October. The year closes out with Christmas and Boxing Day on December 25 and 26, respectively.

A Holiday in February

The provinces are allowed to adopt their own holidays, which means there’s some variation across Canada. Several provinces mark a holiday in February, for example, but not all of them.

The third Monday in February is a holiday known as Family Day in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.

Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba also celebrate a holiday at this time. In PEI, it’s known as Islander Day, and it’s known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba. Nova Scotia celebrates Nova Scotia Heritage Day.

Yukon also observes a February holiday, but about a week later. Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, and Newfoundland have no holiday at this time.

The August Long Weekend

Several provinces also take a long weekend in August, usually around the first Monday of the month. In Alberta, it’s called Heritage Day, while Saskatchewan recognizes this as Saskatchewan Day.

New Brunswick has New Brunswick Day, BC has British Columbia Day, and Nova Scotia calls its holiday Natal Day.

Ontario, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories call this holiday either the Civic holiday or Provincial Day.

Other Provincial Holidays

Remembrance Day falls on November 11, and it’s technically a national holiday. Some provinces, however, have elected not to observe it. This includes Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

Easter Monday is a national holiday, but it’s only officially recognized in New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec. April 22 is also St. George’s Day in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Northwest Territories and Yukon both recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. Quebec celebrates St. Jean Baptiste Day a few days later.

Nunavut follows Canada Day with Nunavut Day on July 9.

As you can see, there’s considerable variation across the country. Keep a close eye on local observances and holidays, and you’ll be able to plan and schedule with ease for 2019.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Compliance and Legislation

A Quick Guide to US Labor Law

Posted by Karen McMullen


Jan 28, 2019 9:00:00 AM

A_Quick_Guide_to_US_Labor_LawAs a Canadian business owner, you’re likely thinking about how you’ll expand your business in the future. Maybe you’re planning an expansion into the US in the near future. Maybe that date is a little further off.

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You might already be making moves to get into the US market.

No matter when you plan to expand, you’re going to need a solid understanding of US labor law before you set up shop on the other side of the border. If you’re planning to hire any American employees or contractors, make yourself familiar with the basic of US labor law by using this quick guide.

Most Labor Law Is Federal

The first thing you should understand about US labor law is that most of it is handed down from the top level of government. There are federal-level bodies that oversee labor law compliance.

This is a stark difference from Canada, where federal labor law covers approximately 10 percent of the workforce. The remaining 90 percent of workers are usually subject to provincial laws, which vary across the country.

That’s not to say there aren’t state laws you’ll need to be aware of. In fact, you’ll likely need to be aware of the differences in state requirements on a variety of subjects.

The States Dictate Unemployment Insurance and Workers’ Compensation

One of the most obvious areas of state control is unemployment. Unlike Canada, which has a federally mandated program, each US state is free to define how unemployment works. Premiums are remitted from the employer to the state, rather than to the federal IRS.

The same is true of workers’ compensation programs. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the programs and requirements in each of the states you operate in.

Worker Classification Is Important

Another thing you should know when you hire workers in the US is that it’s important to get worker classification correct. Worker misclassification is a concern at both the federal and state level.

This stems from concerns that employers are purposefully misclassifying their employees as contractors in order to avoid federal obligations to them. For example, if you hire an employee, you’ll need to submit payroll remittances, which include tax withholding and Medicare, to the IRS. If someone is a contractor, however, you don’t need to collect and submit these remittances.

You might not purposefully misclassify an employee, but it’s easy to do in error as well. Familiarize yourself with the rules the IRS uses to determine whether someone is a contractor or an employee.

Payroll Remittances

If someone is an employee and not a contractor, you might wonder what your responsibilities are. You know you’ll be asked to deal with unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation at the state level.

At the federal level, you’ll need to complete tax withholding for most employees. You’ll also need to make payments to Medicare and Social Security. Again, these are deductions you withhold from an employee’s pay.

You’ll need to submit these remittances to the IRS on a pre-determined schedule.

Holidays, Leaves, and More

The US Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t include any regulation about paying employees for time not worked. This means you don’t have to offer paid vacation or pay for holidays.

This is very different from Canada, where law indicates a minimum amount of paid vacation per year and also a number of statutory holidays for workers.

Paid holidays, vacations, and even leaves are up to the employer’s discretion. Offering paid holidays and vacation can give you a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring employees. In certain fields, you may need to offer holidays.

There’s much more to US labor law than this quick guide can go over, but it’s a great place to start. If you have questions, why not consult with a professional employer organization that operates on both sides of the border? Their insights are invaluable.


Topics: Business Expansion

How American Companies Ensure Success When Expanding into Canada

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Jan 23, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How_American_Companies_Ensure_Success_When_Expanding_into_CanadaFor many American business owners, expanding into Canada is a great first step toward international expansion. The Canadian market is often seen as a good target for companies beginning to expand, because Canada and the US share some cultural similarities.

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The Canadian market is also much smaller than the US market, although it’s segmented into regional cultures. The vastness of the country’s geography is also similar to the US and presents logistical challenges American companies are often familiar with.

That said, there are quite a few pitfalls that can cause challenges when expanding into the Great White North. These tips can help you avoid them and ensure success when you expand into Canada.

Conduct Market Research

The first thing you should do when you plan to expand to Canada is conduct market research. The Canadian market may exhibit some similarities to the American market, but there are also many unique aspects.

You’ll want to take a look at your competition.

Also look at the different regions of Canada. The job market in Montreal and Toronto is very different from what you’ll find in Calgary or Yellowknife.

Review the Law

The next thing you should do when you’re expanding into Canada is make sure you know the law. You may need to revise some of your policies in light of different Canadian labour laws. For example, at-will employment doesn’t exist in Canada.

Another area you’ll want to read up on is payroll regulations. The Canada Revenue Agency can penalize your company for remittance errors. The CRA can even bring criminal charges in some cases, although this isn’t common.

You’ll also want to look at differences in paid holidays, vacation, and more. Canada’s labour law, on the whole, offers more paid leaves than its American counterpart. There are differences among provincial law, however, so you’ll want to be sure you’re aware of the law where you operate.

Consider Differences in Culture

Despite seeming similar on the surface, Canadian and American business cultures are quite different. You’ll want to take extra caution when approaching both Canadian job seekers and clients.

An example is communication. Canadians may seem long-winded or indecisive to you, but Canadians prefer softer speech and consensus-building.

Think about Logistics

Canada is spread over a large geographical territory, with many remote areas. If you need to get workers from Calgary to oil sands operations in northern Alberta, you need to think about how you’ll do this.

You’ll also want to consider how you service your clients. Can you offer services in Alberta from an office in Ontario? You may decide to operate from branch offices closer to your clients and the markets you’re servicing.

This could mean multiple sites, or you may want to limit your service offerings to one geographical area to start.

Work with the Experts

Another thing you can do to ensure the success of your expansion into Canada is make sure you’re working with the experts. This might include a professional employer organization in Canada.

A PEO can provide assistance with payroll, HR, legal, and compliance. They can also offer great advice. Better yet, a provider already operating in Canada has the expertise you need as you expand your business over the border.

You’ll likely want to bring on more experts as well, but working with a PEO is one sure-fire way to set up your business for success.

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

Topics: Business Expansion

How to Expand Your Business into the Canadian Market

Posted by Ray Gonder


Jan 21, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How_to_Expand_Your_Business_into_the_Canadian_MarketFor business owners in the US, the Canadian market often looks like an attractive choice for international expansion. If you’re just beginning to expand, it might even be your first choice.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Pay a Worker In Canada Needs to Know

How do you expand your business?

You’ll want to carefully consider whether your organization is ready to expand. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to choose a market and carefully research it. Then you’ll need to go through the processes of setting up the right infrastructure. Finally, you’ll also want to ensure you’re compliant.

There are many steps in between, of course, and you’ll want to pay special attention to issues such as financing and legalities. If you think you might be ready to take on this step, this guide will help you begin the process of expanding your business into the Canadian market.

Determine Whether You’re Ready to Expand Your Business

The first thing you should do is review your current business operations. There are good times to grow, and there are times when it would be better for a business owner to focus on their existing operations.

How do you know it’s time to expand your business into the Canadian market? One thing you might look for is demand in international markets such as Canada. Is there a gap your product or service could fill?

The next thing to do is make sure your current operations are in good shape for expansion. If you’re constantly struggling with cash flow or are understaffed, an expansion could stretch your resources too far.

Research the Canadian Market

The next step for expanding your business is to research the Canadian market. You’ve already looked for gaps in product and service offerings.

You’ll also want to do some research on the current market climate in Canada. Are businesses growing? What’s the interest rate like, and how does inflation look? If the market seems poised for continued growth, an expansion may be a good idea.

You’ll also want to segment the Canadian market, much as you’d divide the American market. There are strong regional and even provincial cultures in Canada. How people live in Ontario is different than the lifestyles of those in the Far North. Nova Scotian culture values taking things slowly, while Ontarians like to move fast. Quebec is almost entirely unique.

Understand the Legalities of Expansion

Now you’ve decided you want to expand your business to the Canadian market. It’s time to look at the legal requirements of doing so.

You may need to purchase property or sign a lease for office space. You might want to hire some Canadian employees to staff your expansion.

You’ll also want to look at the legal framework governing the products or services you provide. The banking sector, for example, has many regulations you’ll need to comply with if you want to offer financial services in Canada. You may need to alter products or services in order to comply with Canadian legislation.

If you need help understanding the legal framework, don’t be afraid to reach out to an employer of record (EOR). Crossing the border should be done correctly to avoid issues down the line.

Adjusting to Ensure Compliance

As you begin to fill out paperwork and hire employees, you’ll want to be sure to review your policies and procedures. As much as you may have needed to adjust your products or services, you may also need to revisit your policies. For example, there’s no such thing as at-will employment in Canada, which will mean you need to adjust your policies to align with Canadian laws around termination and severance.

All of this can be overwhelming. If you need a hand managing compliance or even beginning your expansion efforts, talk to the experts. An EOR can streamline your Canadian expansion.

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

Topics: Business Expansion

5 Talent Retention Strategies When Your Employees Are in a Different Country

Posted by Ray Gonder


Jan 16, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Talent_Retention_Strategies_For_When_Your_Employees_Are_in_a_Different_CountryIt’s often said that your people are your biggest asset. Although some people disagree with this idea, the importance of human capital to your business can’t be understated. In fact, some people go to the opposite extreme, suggesting the only thing that sets you apart from your competitors is your people.

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Once you’ve gone to the work of hiring someone, you want to make sure they stay on your team. After all, you spent time considering why they were the right fit for your organization. If they leave soon after, it will cost you in many ways.

In the current market, it’s also more difficult to replace talent. Talent shortages have started cropping up in some markets, and falling unemployment rates in places like Canada and the United States have meant there are fewer people searching for jobs.

You have plenty of reason to retain the people you’ve already hired. Doing so can be difficult, even when you’re overseeing the day-to-day operations in the office. What happens when your employees are in another country altogether?

These five talent retention strategies will help you keep international employees on your roster.

1. Trust Is the Basis of All Talent Retention Strategies

If you want your employees to stick with you, you have to show you trust them. While this is true for all employers, it’s particularly true when your employees are located in a different country.

If you’re constantly checking in or smothering employee attempts at independence, your employees will quickly become dissatisfied and move on. Treat your employees like the talented, intelligent professionals they are. Allow them to exercise some of their better judgement.


2. Give Employees Room to Grow

One way to demonstrate your trust in an employee is to invest in their career development and growth. Sign them up for a workshop on improving their sales skills or assist them by providing a mentor.

You can also assign employees to new tasks. This challenges them to continue learning. It also demonstrates that you have faith in their ability to master new skills and succeed in an expanded role or with new responsibilities.

3. Focus on Communication

How do you communicate with your employees, particularly those who are located in another country?

Communication should be a key pillar of your talent retention strategies. Focus on how you talk to your employees. You should ask them to voice their concerns or offer feedback. Encourage them to table new ideas.

You need excellent communication with those employees living and working in another country. They’re the only ones who can tell you what’s happening in the business and what they’re seeing on the ground. Fostering open and honest communication helps employees feel valued.

4. Respect Cultural Differences

One big stumbling block for international employers is adjusting to local expectations and cultural norms. Even Canada and the US have quite different business cultures.

Take, for example, communication standards. Americans are more likely to value being concise and direct. Canadians prefer small talk and consensus building. They’re more likely to see it as polite. This can sometimes cause animosity and confusion. Americans may want their Canadian counterparts to get to the point, while Canadians can sometimes see American-style missives as borderline rude.

Keep these sorts of cultural differences in mind whenever you deal with employees in another country. Being aware of differences and adjusting for them will help your employees feel more like part of the team.

5. Give Employees a Sense of Purpose

Today’s workforce is looking for meaning in work. They want their work to have a purpose, even if it may not change the world. Help your employees build a sense of purpose, and they’ll be more likely to stick with your company for the long term.

Talent retention strategies are wide and varied. These few can help you work towards higher retention for your international operations.


Topics: human resources

Know These Facts before Hiring a 1099 Employee in the US

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Jan 14, 2019 9:00:00 AM

HKnow_These_Facts_before_Hiring_a_1099_Employee_in_the_USiring across international borders comes with its own unique set of challenges, as any hiring manager who has done it can attest. Differences in employment legislation can cause headaches in the hiring process. Even the differences in labour markets in different areas can prove challenging.

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For Canadian employers, hiring in the US can seem daunting. At first glance, hiring may not seem very different than it is here in Canada, but the regulations can vary widely from state to state. Even the federal definitions of different types of workers can vary from what’s familiar here in Canada.

You might be thinking about hiring what’s known as a 1099 employee for your American operations. If so, there are a few things you’ll want to know before bringing them on board.

A 1099 Employee Isn’t Really an Employee

In the United States, employee misclassification is a big concern. The IRS has a program dedicated to determining how a worker should be classified.

Worker classification determines an employer’s responsibility to them. Employees are entitled to certain benefits. And although they’re called “employees,” 1099 employees are actually contractors or freelancers.

Hiring a 1099 employee reduces the employer’s responsibilities to them. In most ways, it’s similar to hiring a vendor to deliver a service. You sign a contract with them, agreeing to pay them a certain amount for the services they deliver.

You Have Fewer Responsibilities

As mentioned, American employers have certain responsibilities towards their employees. Some of them will be familiar to Canadian business owners. For example, American business owners need to provide workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance for their employees. They’re also responsible for taxes.

When you hire a 1099 employee, however, you’re not responsible for these costs. You also aren’t expected to provide office space or equipment, as the contractor should supply their own. Finally, you don’t need to train them. The person you hire should already be competent. If they need more training, it’s at their discretion and cost.

You Also Have Less Control

When you hire an employee in the US, you’ll have control over many aspects of their job and how they perform it. For example, you can require them to be at work in your office between certain hours. You can also specify the equipment they’ll need to use, and you can provide it.

With a 1099 employee, you have much less control. The contractor can fulfill the terms of the contract the way they see fit. If you give them a deadline, they can work on the project when they have time, provided they meet the deadline.

There Are Penalties for Misclassification

As discussed above, there are concerns about employers misclassifying employees as contractors. The issue often stems from the concern that employers are purposefully misclassifying workers in order to reduce their responsibilities and save money.

The IRS uses a test to determine employee classification, which you should take advantage of.

There are penalties for misclassification, and some states levy their own fines as well.

Contractors Retain Rights to Intellectual Property

If you hire a contractor to produce work for you, they may still own their IP at the end of the day. Even if your contract specifies the work as being work-for-hire, the contractor might still have rights.

In order to qualify as work-for-hire, the work must meet three criteria. It must be specially commissioned, it must fall into one of several categories, and you and the contractor must agree to terms.

Working with a PEO Can Help

Hiring 1099 employees can be tricky for international companies. Working with a professional employer organization can help you navigate the nuances.

If you have more questions about how to hire the right people for your business, talk to a PEO today.


Topics: Compliance

5 Ways to Mitigate Human Capital Risk When Employing in North America

Posted by Ray Gonder


Jan 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Ways_to_Mitigate_Human_Capital_Risk_When_Employing_in_North_AmericaWhether you’re a Canadian business owner looking to hire American employees or an American manager staffing a Canadian expansion, you know exactly how much stock your organization places in your people. Human capital is often one the biggest assets any company has. In fact, many experts now theorize people are one of the only things that set organizations apart from their competition.

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As with anything in business, building and maintaining human capital comes with risks. People you’ve spent years training may decide to leave. Hiring a new person has inherent risks. There are also risks associated with labour laws and compliance, some of which can turn into costly legal matters. Accidents and injuries are other risks.

These five methods can help you manage and mitigate some of the risks associated with human capital in North America.

1. Plan Ahead for Risks

The first thing you should do is identify the risks associated with your human capital on both sides of the border. What are the costs associated with an unmotivated or disengaged employee? What are the risks of hiring someone who isn’t the right fit?

Keep in mind that risks extend beyond hiring and dismissing employees. Many accidents and injuries take place in the workplace, which pose risks to you in terms of talent loss and legal costs.

Don’t wait for the worst to happen. Instead, identify the risks and create a plan to deal with them as they arise in the business.

2. Foster a Positive Workplace Culture

Many of the human capital risks for North American businesses involve employee behaviour. A disengaged employee is a flight risk, but they might also engage in unethical behaviour. Employees who are under pressure to perform may not act ethically either. Still other employees may abuse positions of power.

You can avoid many of these problems by building a positive work culture in your organization. Determine your values and communicate them to employees. Then walk the walk. If you say you value employee feedback, be sure to collect it and act on it.

Put some emphasis on valuing your people, and, in return, they’ll value your company.

3. Change How You Conceptualize Risk

While the traditional HR approach to managing human capital risk is solid, you might want to take cues from some of the other divisions in your organization. How does the IT department approach risks? What about the financial division?

One way to see risk is not as a risk, but as an opportunity to optimize uncertainty. You don’t know which employees will be star performers and which ones won’t quite fit the bill when they start. Take steps to manage this uncertainty. In doing so, you’ll increase the chances you’ll find more star performers.

4. Use Data to Inform Strategies

You collect workforce data; put it to good use. Don’t just collect it. Instead, organize and analyze it.

By doing so, you can discover the insight you need to make better decisions. Determining where your risks are can provide you with the knowledge you need to develop a better risk management strategy.

5. Work with the Experts

Human capital risk management across borders comes with many challenges. You may not be familiar with the local labour market, for example, or you might not be familiar with regulations around the hiring process.

Working with experts on either side of the US-Canada border can help you manage your risks more effectively. It’s particularly helpful when you’re navigating the legal waters around your HR operations.

These tips can help you reduce and mitigate various human capital risks in your operations. By doing so, you’ll set up your company to grow its human capital and succeed in almost any market you enter.


Topics: human resources

5 Best Practices for International Compliance

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Jan 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Best_Practices_for_International_ComplianceWhen you operate across international borders, the legal situation for your company becomes more tangled. There are rules you’ll need to watch on either side of the border. You’ll need to ensure your compliance with the law no matter where you are, which can mean adjusting policies and practices for each new market you enter.

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This can be especially difficult for companies operating in North America. Canadian business owners may not realize all of the shifting details of American regulations, and their American counterparts may face a similar situation when they cross into Canada.

With these five best practices, you can improve your international compliance. No matter which side of the border you’re operating on, you’ll be ready to adapt to new laws and regulations wherever you go.

1. Read up on the Legislation

Before you expand into any foreign market, be it Canadian, American, or otherwise, you should familiarize yourself with the regulatory climate. Keep in mind that you may need to look beyond the federal level. In both the US and Canada, for example, states and provinces have at least some say in labour regulations.

It’s also a good idea to keep up with the ongoing changes. Subscribe to local newspapers or legal newsletters that can keep you up to date on proposed legislation and changes being debated or passed in the legislature. This can help you stay up to date and pre-emptively amend your policies.

2. Create a Compliance Plan (and Follow up on It)

It’s never too early or too late to make a compliance plan. Having a process in place for monitoring your compliance and correcting it can save you both time and money. After all, it’s better to make a proactive change than to pay fines and need to change your policies anyway.

Once you’ve created a compliance plan, you’ll need to make sure your employees are executing it. If they’re not, it’s time to ask why. Understand the challenges and make implementing and monitoring compliance as easy as possible.

3. Understand the Relationships Between Your Countries of Operation

Canada and the US are close neighbours and closer trading partners. In fact, the US is Canada’s largest market, and American companies often see Canadian operations as a prime market for their own services and products.

Given the close ties between these two countries, it’s little surprise they have many treaties and regulations governing trade. The most famous was probably NAFTA, which was just replaced in late 2018 with a new trade deal. The two nations also have tax agreements to minimize double-taxation.

They also have agreements about immigration and work permits, which can ease the process.

Be sure to investigate the various agreements governing trade between your home country and any foreign market you plan to enter. This is especially important for Canadian and American companies, but it’s a good rule of thumb no matter where you go.

4. Get Help from the Experts

You won’t know all the laws when you expand your business operations to a new country. Nonetheless, you will be expected to enforce compliance.

It’s difficult to comply with laws when you don’t know they exist or don’t understand the nuance of them. That’s why you should get help from the experts whenever you want to expand or ensure your compliance. A professional employer organization with experience in both the Canadian and American markets can help.

5. Remain Flexible

The regulatory framework is changing all the time. It can sometimes seem overwhelming to keep up. Remaining flexible is one of the best things any business owner can do, whether they’re maintaining compliance in their home country or in several international markets.

Taken together, these best practices will help you implement and maintain compliance, no matter where your business expansions take you.


Topics: Compliance

5 Ways to Streamline Your US Expansion Efforts

Posted by Ray Gonder


Jan 2, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Ways_to_Streamline_Your_US_Expansion_EffortsExpanding to the US is an exciting opportunity for many businesses around the world. That said, the American market can also be a tough nut to crack. Many international businesses have learned this lesson the hard way after expanding haphazardly into the US.

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As you prepare to take your business into the US, what can you do to streamline your efforts? A good expansion process will help you find success in the American market sooner, and it will also help you use your resources wisely. Finally, a streamlined process for entering one of the largest markets in the world will be easier to replicate as you move into other international markets.

These five tips will help as you look to expand into the US market.

1. Use Enterprise Resource Planning to Fuel a US Expansion

One of the best things you can do to streamline your expansion into the US is to make sure have a solid strategy before you make a move. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) can help you achieve the strategy you need to make your expansion successful.

ERP helps you allocate your resources in the most efficient manner. It can help take the guesswork out of knowing when to upgrade your IT infrastructure versus when to invest in your inventory.

2. Focus on Logistics

The US is an enormous country, both in terms of geography and population. There are more than 300 million people in the United States, and they live in a country that spans between the Pacific and the Atlantic, with additional states and territories.

Getting your services or products delivered to these people in a timely manner can be a challenge. Companies from large countries like Canada may not find the geography quite so intimidating, but they may find a challenge in serving so many people.

3. Get Your Immigration Paperwork in Order

If you’re planning a US expansion, you might anticipate sending a least of few members of senior management to oversee operations on the ground. If so, make sure to get your paperwork in order for US immigration.

Your employees will likely need a work permit and a visa as well. The type and duration will depend on the assignment you’re giving them. Getting this paperwork ready ahead of time can limit the headaches and stumbling blocks you may otherwise face.

4. Tackle One Market at a Time

The United States is not a monolith, although many people tend to think of it as one. As you undertake your US expansion efforts, however, try to think of the US market as a number of smaller markets. Each of these markets is unique.

Once you begin thinking this way, it’s easier to spot the markets and regions it will be most lucrative for you to expand into. Focus your resources on those markets first. Additional expansions can come later.

5. Streamline Business Processes

A final step to take as you streamline your US expansion efforts is to look at your business processes. How do you go about paying employees and vendors? Who handles IT delivery or meets your accounting needs?

You can streamline processes by using a mix of outsourced and in-house services. Choose the services your team has the most expertise in and keep those in house. For other services, seek outside help from partners with experience in the US market.

Work with a PEO

If you’re planning to expand to the US, working with a professional employer organization is a smart move. They can be especially helpful if you want to streamline business processes associated with human resources and compliance. With the right help, you can make your US expansion even easier.


Topics: Business Expansion

Canada Hiring Basics for International Companies

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Dec 31, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Canada_Hiring_Basics_for_International_CompaniesAlthough Canada is a smaller market than the US, it shares many similarities with the American market. Canadian and American cultures often follow similar sensibilities, and the logistics of shipping products around a geographically enormous area are as present in Canada as they are in the US.

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If you want to expand into Canada, however, you’ll probably want to hire a few Canadian staff members to help with the expansion. As with all countries, Canada has its own employment law. Hiring here can pose challenges for international employers. That’s why it’s important to start with the basics.

Canadian Employment Is Contractual

This particular fact can be difficult for American employers and those from countries where “at will” employment is legal. In Canada, there is no such thing as “at will” employment.

All employment in Canada is considered contractual, which means contract law applies. If one party seeks to break the contract, there are certain protocols to be followed.For this reason, it’s best to lay down the terms of employment in a written contract.

If there is no written contract, then courts may impose obligations on you as the employer. You can create limited-term contracts.

Canadian Labour Law Has More Protections and Worker Entitlements

Employers from European countries may find Canadian labour law lax in terms of protections and rights for workers. American employers and those from other parts of the globe, by contrast, may find the rules in Canada to be more demanding.

A good example is paid parental leave. Canadian labour law offers up to a year of paid parental leave, in addition to laying out other paid and unpaid leaves. Employers, for example, must give workers bereavement leave.

There Are Provincial Differences in the Rules

Work hours, minimum wage, overtime, and even holiday pay and vacation time are governed by provincial laws. You’ll need to be familiar with the requirements in every province you operate in.

Federal law applies across the country, but it is only applicable to federal employees.

This means minimum wage in Ontario is different than minimum wage in Alberta. It also means Saskatchewan and Quebec can have different formulas for how to calculate vacation time, and even for which holidays workers are entitled to.

The rules in any province can be complex, so it’s best to work with an expert team to navigate them.

Ending Employment Can Be Difficult

Since Canadian employment is considered contractual, it can be difficult to end employment arrangements. In Canada, employers usually need what’s termed just cause to end employment.

This is a protection against discrimination. A just cause might be downsizing your operations. It might also be poor performance on the employee’s part. It’s your responsibility to prove that letting someone go is the only choice.

You’ll also need to observe notice periods. The longer an employee has worked for you, the more notice you’ll need to give them. If you can’t give notice, you’ll be required to pay severance.

Protecting Identities and Information

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms entitles Canadians to live their lives free of discrimination on a number of grounds. During the hiring process, you’ll need to be careful of bias and discrimination. There are certain questions you can’t ask, for example, such as whether a person is married.

You’ll also need to be clear about what information you collect from employees, how it’s stored, and how it’s used within your company.

As you can see, Canadian employment law is quite different from US labour law or that of any other country. If you need a hand navigating these tricky legal waters, don’t hesitate to reach out.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: human resources

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