Home Blog


Ray Gonder


Recent Posts

How a PEO Can Help Global Companies with Employee Management in the United States

Posted by Ray Gonder


Jun 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How a PEO Can Help Global Companies with Employee Management in the United StatesAnyone in HR knows how difficult it can be to provide effective employee management. It’s a challenge even when you’re working in the same office building, in the same country.

Download our whitepaper "7 Tips to Help You Hire the Right PEO" today!

Global companies have an even larger challenge. They could have employees in many different markets, and those employees may have varying expectations about the workplace culture. The legal frameworks and employer responsibilities can also vary drastically. Add in the fact that many of these employees are working remotely or in satellite offices, and you have your work cut out for you.

It’s one of the many reasons global companies often choose to work with a professional employer organization (PEO). Here’s how a PEO could help your global firm manage your US employees more effectively.

The Legal Aspects of Employee Management

One of the most important ways a PEO helps global companies manage employees in the United States is by navigating the legal framework around employment.

The US is a particularly complex situation because there are multiple levels of government. Federal laws, state laws, and even local laws may apply to employment arrangements at your company.

A PEO could help in this arena due to their experience and expertise with US laws. They might be able to give you expert advice and help you ensure compliance.

Help Finding the Right People

Another advantage of the PEO’s experience is their knowledge of the labour market. While you’ll remain in control of hiring decisions, the PEO can offer you tips and advice on every aspect of the hiring process.

This could include information about job hot spots and areas with talent shortages. They may be able to advise you on legal aspects of the hiring process, such as how to avoid discrimination in interview questions. New York City, for example, has banned questions about past salary.

Handling Payroll Is Easier with a PEO

One of the toughest parts of employee management is handling payroll. The US payroll framework isn’t an easy one to master either. There are multiple levels of government, all of them expecting different tax withholdings.

You’ll need to withhold both federal and state taxes, as well as FICA funds for Medicare and Social Security. Even local governments may require you to pay taxes to support schools, public transit, and other local infrastructure.

There are other aspects of payroll to consider as well. Overtime pay is one of them. Minimum wage might be another.

If you’re not familiar with the rules, then collecting the right amounts and remitting them on the right schedule can be difficult. Mistakes in payroll add up, resulting in penalties and additional expenses for global companies.

A PEO can help. By providing payroll services, they’ll ensure you’re following the rules and remitting all your withholdings on time.

Other Areas of Compliance

There are many other areas of employment where compliance is important. Record-keeping is a big one. How long do you need to keep employee information on file? Which records do you need to keep? You must also evaluate how your record-keeping aligns with data and data security regulations.

Another concern might be workers’ compensation and other forms of insurance, which you may be required to have. Different states have different regulations.

Even employee classification is a growing area of concern for global companies looking to employ people in the United States.

An experienced PEO can help you navigate all of these ins and outs.

Get the Helping Hand You Need

As demonstrated, a PEO can assist global companies with US employee management in a number of different ways. If you need help managing this aspect of your US operations, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Payroll Edge.


Topics: Professional Employer Organization

Bill 66: What International Companies Employing Canadians Need to Know

Posted by Ray Gonder


May 29, 2019 9:00:00 AM

bill-66-what-international-companies-employing-canadians-need-to-knowInternational companies doing business in Ontario, Canada, have had a lot to keep an eye on recently. The provincial government has been rolling out initiatives to keep Canada’s most populous province “open for business.”

Download "12 Differences to Expect When Expanding into Canada" today!

So far, this has included measures such as putting a freeze on minimum wage increases and revising some policies about paid and unpaid leaves for employees. In April 2019, the government passed Bill 66 into law.

With the passage of the bill, many business owners and managers have asked how their workers will be affected. This quick survey will tell you what you need to know.

International Companies Should Review Revisions to Legislation

Bill 66, known as the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, makes revisions to existing Ontario employment legislation.

The Act made immediate changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Pension Benefits Act. International companies who employ Ontario workers will need to review the new legislation to make sure their policies are in compliance with the revisions.

Bill 66 also made changes to the Labour Relations Act, 1995. These adjustments will come into effect at a later date.

Effects on the ESA

One of the key areas of change is the overtime requirements in the Employment Standards Act, 2000. The Act originally stated employees could work a maximum of 48 hours per week. If employees were to work more than 48 hours, the employer needed to receive approval from the Director of Employment Standards.

The maximum number of hours of work is still the same, but Bill 66 removes some of the red tape for employers and employees in workplaces where overtime is common. Employers and employees can still enter into an agreement for employees’ hours to exceed the ESA maximum.

The agreement no longer needs approval from the Director of Employment Standards, which makes it easier for employers and employees to implement overtime agreements. In unionized workplaces, bargaining units can enter into these agreements.

Employers can also average the hours an employee works over a specified period in order to limit overtime pay. Bill 66 removes the necessary approval from the Director of Employment Standards for overtime averaging. It does introduce new requirements, such as defining a start and end date for the averaging period. The averaging period also can’t exceed four weeks.

Changes to the LRA and PBA

Bill 66 also made changes to the Labour Relations Act, 1995. The biggest difference here is the new definition of “non-construction employers.” This category now includes hospitals, universities, and many different administrators, among others.

What this does is redefine who is impacted by the LRA and how. The Act treats non-construction employers and construction employers differently. Those who are no longer considered to be part of the construction industry won’t be subject to the industry-specific criteria of the Act.

Bill 66 also made adjustments to the Pensions Benefits Act. The process employers use to convert single-employer pension plans to jointly sponsored plans has changed.

How This Affects International Companies

What does this mean for international companies with Canadian employees living and working in Ontario?

The change that will have the largest effect is the revision to the ESA. With the new overtime requirements, you may have an easier time approving employees’ overtime. You’ll also have more control over how much overtime you pay out.

For international companies that face high rates of overtime, this is welcome news. The overtime averaging allowances make it easier for you to meet staffing needs on a more flexible basis. The removal of the approval from the Director makes implementing agreements faster and easier.

Changes to the LRA will only affect certain employers. If you don’t have a pension plan, the change to the PBA likely won’t affect you.

If you’re concerned about your compliance in light of the changes, get in touch with a PEO. We can help you understand how the changes will affect your business.


Topics: Compliance and Legislation

How Do US Companies Pay Taxes in Canada?

Posted by Ray Gonder


May 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How Do US Companies Pay Taxes in CanadaAs a US business owner, you’re eager to expand to Canada. Like many other American business leaders, you believe the Great White North is the best market for expansion as you continue to grow. After all, both countries have similarities in culture and a strong history of trade.

Download "12 Differences to Expect When Expanding into Canada" today!

That said, you still have to carefully consider every aspect of your Canadian operations. That includes taxation of the business.

How do US companies pay taxes in Canada? The answer depends on different variables.

Determining Residency

Before you know how you’ll pay Canadian taxes, you have to determine residency. Non-resident corporations are treated differently than Canadian corporations.

Generally speaking, if the company was incorporated in Canada and continues to be incorporated in Canada, it is resident. A resident corporation can be deemed non-resident, provided it's being taxed comprehensively in a tax treaty country.

A non-resident company is incorporated outside of Canada. This includes parent companies that operate Canadian branch offices. Subsidiaries are separate legal entities, so they’d be more likely to be incorporated in Canada and considered resident.

The General Rule for Permanent Establishments

If you create a permanent establishment in Canada, you’ll only pay Canadian tax on the income you generate in Canada. This follows the principle of eliminating double taxation for foreign entities.

A permanent establishment includes a branch office, a workshop, or a factory. A permanent establishment can also include employees or agents who may conclude contracts in your name.

Generally speaking, the tax rate is around 25 percent. There are ways to reduce how much tax you pay, such as through tax treaties.

Tax for Subsidiaries and Separate Legal Entities

If you create a separate legal entity for your Canadian expansion, your tax situation will change. How and what you pay depends on the business structure you adopt.

Subsidiaries are considered Canadian operations, and they’re taxed accordingly. If you pay non-residents, including investors, you’ll need to subject those payments to tax withholding.

If the subsidiary does business in other countries, then you can apply for tax relief through treaties in those countries.

Filing for Non-Resident Corporations

If your business is considered a non-resident corporation with a permanent establishment, you’ll need to file and pay taxes in Canada.

You’ll need to file a T2 corporation income tax return, along with Schedule 97 on additional information for non-resident corporations. You’ll also have to submit Schedule 20, Part XIV, Additional Taxes on Non-Resident Corporations.

If you have Canadian employees, you’ll need to register for a payroll deductions account. You must also withhold a percentage of payment for services you render in Canada, as well as withhold on passive income you receive.

Finally, you’ll need to file dispositions of taxable Canadian property if you happen to sell taxable property in Canada.

Payroll withholding will be remitted to your payroll account, and the GST/HST collected will be paid to your business’s GST/HST account. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will collect payments for tax, GST/HST, and payroll withholdings through its different branches.

Filing for Resident Corporations

If you operate a subsidiary or are otherwise determined to be a resident corporation in Canada, you’ll pay tax the same way other Canadian corporations pay it. This means filing a T2, along with other relevant forms and schedules.

Like non-resident corporations, you may need to collect and remit GST/HST. If you have employees, you’ll need a payroll account so you can remit your withholdings to the CRA.

Get Help with Payroll

The best step to take is to consult with the professionals, such as a tax lawyer or a financial professional.

Another option you have to make paying Canadian taxes easier is to partner with a professional employer organization (PEO). We can help you look after payroll, which can make your taxes less confusing at the end of the year.


Topics: Business Expansion

5 US Tax Forms International Companies Employing Workers in the US Need to Be Familiar With

Posted by Ray Gonder


Apr 22, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_US_Tax_Forms_International_Companies_Employing_Workers_in_the_US_Need_to_Be_Familiar_WithIf you’ve just expanded your business to the United States, you’ve taken a huge step toward growth. Now you want to ensure the success of your expansion. One of the best things you can do is secure the right people.

Download "7 Challenges Companies Face When Expanding into the US" eBook

Another key is making sure you’re following the law, including tax regulations and employment legislation. Whenever you hire a new worker, you’ll want to be sure you’re familiar with the forms you’re legally required to submit.

You’ll need to submit some US tax forms when you first hire an employee. Some will need to be issued on an annual basis, while others will need to be updated from time to time. Here are five forms you should be familiar with if you plan to employ even one worker in the US.

1. Form W-4 Allows You to Withhold Taxes

The first form you’ll have any employee fill out is a W-4. This form authorizes you to collect and withhold income tax from the employee’s wages.

If an employee doesn’t fill it out, you can’t pay them. It’s in their best interests to complete this form and allow you to file it as soon as possible.

2. Form I-9 Verifies Employment Eligibility

Everyone you hire for your business operations in the US should be legally allowed to work. That’s why they must fill out Form I-9, Verification of Eligibility for Employment. If an employee refuses to fill out and file an I-9, they may not be eligible to work.

Hiring workers who aren’t eligible to work in the US can have repercussions on your business. You may be penalized by the IRS or even subject to visits from immigration officers. It can also disrupt tax withholding and payroll, as employees who are not eligible for employment may also not fill out Form W-4 discussed above.

3. Form W-2 Must Be Filed for Income Tax

As an employer, you’ll also need to fill out and remit Form W-2 each tax year. If you pay any employee more than $600 US in a year, you must complete this form and file it with the IRS.

A copy of your filing should also be sent to the employee for their records. Legally, you must send out W-2s before the end of January each year for the previous year. If you know this is going to be a challenge for your business, you may want to outsource payroll.

4. Form 1099 Is for Contractors

There may be times when you hire workers who don’t quite fit the bill as “employees.” You may hire them for a special project or for consulting work. These people are contractors, and you’ll need to fill out Form 1099.

Contractors engage with you on a business-to-business case, so you don’t need to withhold taxes from them. They don’t need to fill out Form W-4 to authorize you to withhold taxes since they look after their own taxes. Instead of a Form W-2, you’ll provide them with Form 1099 at the end of each tax year.

Make sure you’re classifying your employees and contractors correctly. Employee misclassification can result in penalties for your business.

5. Form SS-5 Must Be Filled out If an Employee Doesn’t Have a Social Security Number

If you hire a new employee, but they don’t yet have a social security number, then they need to apply for one. Form SS-5 is the form they’ll need to fill out.

You’ll need to be sure the employee obtains a Social Security number before you can proceed with the rest of the forms.

These are only some of the forms you’ll need to look after if you employ workers in the US. If you're having trouble keeping up with all the paperwork, you might want to think about outsourcing to a professional employer organization (PEO).


Topics: Payroll

Where Should You Expand? 5 Innovation Cities in the US

Posted by Ray Gonder


Mar 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Where Should You Expand 5 Innovation Cities in the USWhen an international expansion is the next step in your business’s growth, careful selection of your destination is important. Conducting thorough market research can help you choose the right location opportunities. Some cultures will be more receptive to the products you offer. Some markets just aren’t ready for your services.

Download "7 Challenges Companies Face When Expanding into the US" eBook

When you’re investigating different locales, you may want to consider how innovative they are. Innovative cities often offer support to new businesses developing product and services. They may also be experimenting with other policies designed to incentivize new business.

If you’re looking to establish your US branch in an area known for being innovative, take a look at this list.

1. San Francisco Is the Top Innovation City in the World

When thinking about innovation cities, you no doubt thought of California’s famed Silicon Valley. Perhaps surprisingly, California’s top-ranked city is actually on the other side of the bay. Silicon Valley is on the southern side of the San Francisco Bay Area but doesn’t include San Francisco itself.

That may be changing, as San Francisco is now the top-ranked innovation city in the world, at least by a few different measures. When it comes to the amount of investment capital in the area, San Francisco gets top billing.

2. In a New York Frame of Mind

If the technology-centered culture of the West Coast doesn’t have much appeal, you can look toward another hub of business activity in the US. On the Eastern Seaboard, New York City has always been one of the drivers of American business.

It’s little wonder, then, that the city that never sleeps manages to collect its share of investment capital. By some measures, it’s tied with San Francisco and San Jose, so you won’t go wrong by choosing this East Coast alternative.

3. History and Innovation Collide in Boston

When you think of Boston, you may think of the city’s historical association with events like the Boston Tea Party. Or you may think of their sports teams. Some people will even associate Boston with its academic and literary scene.

In the past, Boston was a center of both culture and business, and that still rings true today. If you need proof of the city’s innovative roots, simply look at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

MIT isn’t the only organization innovating in one of America’s most historical cities. Depending on the measure you use, Boston ranks within the Top 10 or even the Top 5 of innovation cities around the world.

4. LA Is a West Coast Hub of Innovation

San Francisco, San Jose, and the remaining Silicon Valley area generally steal the spotlight when people talk about innovation cities in California. You shouldn’t overlook Los Angeles, however, as the city ranks within the Top 10 on most measures. For example, it ranks seventh in the world in terms of investment capital.

One of the benefits of LA is its proximity to other major global hubs, such as Tokyo and Beijing. It’s also a stone’s throw away from Silicon Valley, which means you’re really getting the best of both worlds here.

5. Consider the Windy City

The American Midwest may seem to have been dismissed on this list, but you can look at Chicago as an example of Midwestern excellence. Although the Windy City currently ranks outside the Top 10 on a few measures, it’s still an excellent location to consider.

Although not as big as New York or LA, Chicago is still a major metropolis. It’s also an important central hub, connecting the East and West Coasts, as well as providing easy access to the Canadian markets.

Dozens of Other Cities

This list only includes some of the top cities, and it only considers a few measures. If you use different measures, another US city might be the right innovation city for you. Dallas–Fort Worth, Atlanta, and Denver could all be considerations for your business expansion.


Topics: Business Expansion

Canadian Business Owners: 5 Smart Reasons to Explore the US Market Now

Posted by Ray Gonder


Mar 6, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Canadian_Business_Owners__5_Smart_Reasons_to_Explore_the_US_Market_NowMany Canadian business owners have big plans for their companies in 2019. Economic growth has been strong, and numerous businesses have been expanding.

Download "7 Challenges Companies Face When Expanding into the US" eBook

One thing you may have on your mind is international expansion. As you scope out markets and determine where to expand, you may have some preferences for different countries.

The US is one of the markets that may not be on your mind but most definitely should be. Some Canadian businesses opt not to expand into the US market first because it can be difficult to succeed in the market. You may also be hesitant because of the current environment.

There are so many smart reasons you should be considering the US market right now. Here are a few of them.

1. The Economy Has Been Strong

Like Canada, the US has entered a boom time of economic growth. Unemployment is low, and the American people are optimistic about their job prospects and career growth. This is a stark contrast to a few years ago when more negative outlooks prevailed.

Why is this good for business? High employment and economic growth usually result in people having more money to spend. This means they may be willing to purchase new products or services.

Businesses too have more capital at their disposal, which makes them more likely to invest in new technological solutions or services.

2. A New Trade Deal Is in Place

Another reason you may want to consider the US market now is that a new trade deal will be coming into effect shortly. Negotiations for the North American Free Trade deal, or NAFTA, had been dragging on for months, creating uncertainty for businesses doing cross-border transactions.

This was finally resolved in late 2018, with the signing of a new deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). As the deal enters into force, Canadian businesses may find some advantages to heading south.

3. The US Market Can Set You up for Success Elsewhere

The US market does have a reputation as being difficult to enter, which is why some Canadian business owners may choose to avoid it during international expansion, especially early on. They may decide to try their hand in a few more forgiving markets before attempting to expand to the US.

There is a compelling reason to go to the US first. Success in the US market often predicts success elsewhere. If you can succeed in this market, you may be more likely to succeed in almost any other market.

By concentrating your initial expansion efforts on the US, you’ll make expanding into other markets later easier. It’s also easiest to expand into the US market first since all your resources can be concentrated on this single expansion market, rather than several others.

4. Canada and the US Have Strong Ties

The strong ties Canada and the US have as trade partners is another great reason to consider expansion into the US. The new North American trade deal has already been mentioned. The two countries also have various tax agreements and other deals to make doing business with each other easier.

Canadians and Americans also share some cultural sentiments, which makes the US market more amenable to Canadian companies. You’ll still need to conduct careful market research.

5. Great Help Is Available

When you enter the US market, you’ll be able to get expert help and advice from a professional employer organization (PEO) that operates on both sides of the border.

If you’re planning an expansion any time this year, why not get in touch with a PEO today?


Topics: Business Expansion

5 Tips for Franchise Chains Heading into Canada

Posted by Ray Gonder


Feb 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Tips_for_Franchise_Chains_Heading_into_CanadaMany American franchisors look towards the Great White North as the site of their first international expansion. It makes perfect sense. After all, Canada has similar geography and a similar culture. Many US brands see Canada as an extension of the US market to some degree.

Download "What Are You Leaving to Chance By Handling Payroll on Your Own" Guide

It’s why brands like The Cheesecake Factory and Chick-fil-A have moved across the northern border. This assumption, however, is also the reason why giants like Target can fail to expand into Canada successfully. The Canadian market is often more different than corporate decision-makers account for.

If you’re planning to expand, take a look at some of these tips. They’ll help you manage your move into Canada successfully.

1. Make Sure You Understand the Legal System

Canada and the US have multiple levels of government. The federal level governs the entire country, while states or provinces govern their various territories. In both countries, you must pay attention to both federal law and state or provincial law.

You’ll want to make note of some differences in Canada. Many of the regulations that are considered federal-level in the US fall to the provinces in Canada, and vice versa. For example, in the US, unemployment programs are handled at the state level. In Canada, the federal government administers the Employment Insurance program and the Canada Pension Plan. While Medicare and Medicaid are federal-level programs in the US, healthcare in Canada is handled by the provinces.

Employment law is also handled by the provinces in Canada. Pay particular attention to Quebec, which often has very different laws.

2. Employment Laws Are Very Different

One of the first shocks for American companies doing business in Canada is the difference in legal protections for workers. A great example is that “at-will” employment doesn’t exist in Canada.

In the US, it’s legal for either employer or employee to terminate the employment relationship with no further notice. In Canada, however, an employee often needs to be given notice of termination two or more weeks before the end of their employment. If proper notice isn’t given, the employer may be required to pay the employee severance.

There are also different regulations regarding time off, such as vacation entitlements and public holidays. Many provinces also have legislation about various types of leave, both paid and unpaid.

3. Consider Cultural Differences

Take some time to consider how well your franchise will export to Canada. Many Americans make the mistake of assuming Canadians share a very similar culture, which means everything that works in the US will work in Canada.

Target found this out the hard way. The brand’s Canadian expansion didn’t last because it couldn’t meet Canadian consumers’ expectations.

Do some research and discover the differences between your American markets and your intended Canadians market. The differences may be subtle, but it will pay to make appropriate adjustments before you open your doors.

4. Tax Considerations Need to Be on Your Radar

Another thing an American franchisor must think about is the tax implications of the franchise structure. The franchise fees a Canadian franchisee pays to you will likely be subject to tax withholding.

There can be other factors at play as well. You may want to incorporate in Canada in order to avoid those cross-border fees and taxes, but incorporations can be subject to different terms provincially. Some may require you to have a certain percentage of Canadians on the board of directors.

5. Do Your Research

Take a look at your target market and determine whether expanding into Canada makes sense. For some businesses, it’s a no-brainer, but others may want to carefully consider their decision.

With these tips, you can manage your expansion activities in Canada and beyond more successfully than ever.

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

Topics: Business Expansion

7 Ways a Canadian PEO Will Help You Work Smarter and Save Time in 2019

Posted by Ray Gonder


Feb 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

7_Ways_a_Canadian_PEO_Will_Help_You_Work_Smarter_and_Save_Time_in_2019With 2019 in action, you’re likely seeking ways to improve your operations and build on what you did last year. Maybe growth is in the forecast, or maybe you need to scale back. Whichever the case, you’re looking for ways to work smarter, not harder.

Download our free guide on what US companies need to know about paying  employees in Canada.

How can you save time and money in 2019? One of the smartest steps to take may be to partner with a Canadian professional employer organization (PEO). There are many ways a PEO partnership could help you achieve your 2019 business goals.

1. Tap into Industry Expertise

One of the best reasons to work with a PEO is to gain valuable insights and expert knowledge about your industry.

A Canadian PEO may have more experience or understanding of the local market for your products and services. They also have better knowledge about the job market for international operations. Getting this expertise on your side is one easy way to make sure you’re working smarter.

2. Manage Risk and Compliance with Ease

If you’re expanding your company into Canada, you might already be aware of some of the issues surrounding risk and compliance. How familiar are you with the legal requirements around hiring an employee or terminating employment in Canada?

Again, the PEO’s expert knowledge is invaluable to a company operating in multiple markets. Having this knowledge at your fingertips makes it easier than ever to manage risk and ensure compliance.

3. Payroll Management Is a Breeze

Payroll is one of those important, yet time-intensive tasks that can bog down your business operations. If it’s not done on time or correctly, you could find yourself in trouble with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Payroll also takes up your valuable time, however, and since it must be done regularly, it ends up distracting you from your core tasks.

When you work with a Canadian PEO, you can get back to business sooner. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing the PEO will handle payroll correctly and efficiently.

4. Take Care of Your Taxes

Another way a Canadian PEO can help in 2019 is by filing your taxes. Like payroll, business taxes can take up a lot of your time, and they can cost you if you’re not careful with them.

Call on the PEO’s expertise again. Their experience is an asset as they prepare your taxes, file on time, and ensure remittances are sent in before their deadlines.

With the tax burden off your plate, you can turn your attention to growing the business instead.

5. Let a PEO Handle Benefits Administration

Offering benefits to your employees is a smart business move. It can also be a make-work project, particularly if you don’t have a PEO partnership to help you stay on top of the administration.

Changing regulations and benefits plans translate into benefits administration that can take more time than you’d like. A PEO can handle the paperwork and track compliance so you don’t have to. Better yet, the PEO may even be able to offer access to better plan pricing for small businesses.

6. Handle Workers’ Compensation Easily

Workers’ compensation may be another area you’re concerned about, especially if you’re expanding into a foreign market. You may not be aware of the requirements your business will need to meet.

A PEO can take this concern off your shoulders, handling the process from end to end.

7. Get Access to the Latest Technology

How does a PEO make your HR operations so much simpler? One way is by using the latest technology. If you’re not sure you can or should invest in a new HR system, partnering with a PEO may be your best bet.

There are so many ways a Canadian PEO can help you work smarter this year. Get in touch and discover what the HR experts can do for you.

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

Topics: Professional Employer Organization

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.

Download "7 Challenges Companies Face When Expanding into the US" eBook

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

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts


Posts by Topic

see all