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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.

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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

How Long Should Employers Keep Employee Records in the US?

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Mar 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How Long Should Employers Keep Employee Records in the USGood record-keeping is essential for your business. Keeping records is not only wise, but you may be required by law to have employee documents on hand. Because the length of time you need these records is often governed by law, deciding how long to keep them is often a matter of legal compliance.

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When you expand to a new market, it’s a good idea to check that your company’s record-keeping policies are in line with the local law.

How long should employers keep employee records in the US? It’s one of the most common questions for employers entering the American market. The answer depends, somewhat, on which records you’re talking about.

How Long Should Employers Keep Employee Records?

The easy answer to this question is you should keep employee records for as long as the law states.

Some employers may opt to store employee records longer than the law-stated minimum. Make sure you’re not violating any laws by doing so. New data laws, similar to the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, could affect the maximum length of time you can keep records.

Other employers want to get rid of records as soon as possible. If you keep paper files, these could be cluttering up the office. Even digital files take up storage space on your hard drives.

What do US laws say specifically about keeping employee records? For payroll, the minimum length of time is three years. This includes employees who have terminated their employment with you.

Hiring records must be kept for at least a year after you’ve made an offer of employment. If you conduct drug testing during the hiring process or at any other point during employment, you’ll need to maintain records of the test for at least one year.

Other Record-Keeping Periods

How long should employers keep employee records of other events, such as benefits or requests for leave?

You’ll have to hang on to records of benefits and pension plans for twice as long as payroll records. The minimum length of time you need to keep these on file is six years.

If an employee makes a request under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you have to keep the records for three years. You must keep the paper trail even when you deny the request. Always carefully document leaves that are used intermittently.

Form I-9 should be kept for three years after you hire an employee, or up to one year after they terminate their employment with you. Try to keep this form separate from your personnel files.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you’ll also need to keep collective bargaining agreements and performance appraisals. These must be maintained for two years after an employee resigns.

Other Laws to Be Aware Of

Most record-keeping laws are federal, but individual states can also apply their own regulations. For example, in Texas, you may need to keep wage and tax information records for up to four years.

You’ll want to review your record-keeping obligations under state law.

Other laws may affect record-keeping as well. For example, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers to keep all employment records for at least one year after the employee resigns.

If you’re following the rules about payroll and FMLA records, you should be complying with this requirement. You may want to double-check the list of records the EEOC says you need to keep on hand.

Another great example is drug testing. Some drug tests will fall under the usual rules for maintaining personnel records. If the job is related to transportation, however, you need to keep these records for five years to comply with the Department of Transportation’s regulations.

As you can see, there’s no single answer to the question, “How long should employers keep employee records?” It depends on the record, the law, and many other factors. If you’re unsure, you can always ask for help from a professional employer organization (PEO).


Topics: Business Expansion

The Real Cost of Payroll Errors in the US

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Mar 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The Real Cost of Payroll Errors in the USThe IRS has estimated that around one-third of employers make a payroll mistake in any given year. The average cost of these mistakes to employers clocks in at nearly $850 per year.

As a global employer, however, you’re wondering exactly how much payroll errors are costing you. The answer depends on the types of payroll mistakes you’re making.

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This guide will go over some of the most common errors payroll administrators make. It will also examine just how much these errors could be costing you.

Failure to Pay Is Among the Most Common Payroll Mistakes

The IRS hands out millions of payroll penalties in any given year. The bulk of those penalties are assessed as “failure to pay.”

Failure to pay means you didn’t pay all or part of the payroll taxes you owed as an employer. You may have remitted your income tax withholdings, but you forgot to submit Social Security and Medicare taxes.

The IRS assesses penalties for unpaid payroll taxes, to the tune of 100 percent of the unpaid tax plus interest. The longer the money is unpaid, the higher the interest rate will be.

You may also be penalized if you fail to file Form 941, which relates to your income tax and FICA remittances.

Each W-2 Form Can Cost You

Another common mistake employers often make is forgetting to send Form W-2 to each employee at the end of January for the previous tax year.

This mistake can add up in a large company. The IRS penalizes you $50 for each form you fail to send. If you have 10 employees, that could result in a fine of $500.

You Misclassified Workers

The IRS and various state governments have been trying to crack down on employee misclassification. This situation commonly arises when an employer assesses a worker as a 1099 contractor.

If the IRS determines this worker is actually an employee, you’ll be responsible for paying all of the tax you should have withheld. If the dispute drags on, this can mean paying back-tax for multiple years, which could cost you thousands of dollars.

The Toll of Payroll Mistakes on Your Employees

One of the more “hidden” costs of payroll mistakes is the toll it takes on your staff. If payroll is constantly being administered incorrectly, employees may need to deal with overages and shortages in their pay on a regular basis.

This creates a situation where the employee may lose trust in you and possibly decide to leave the company.

When this happens, you will need to account for the costs of turnover and hiring. While it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons for turnover, the way you handle payroll could be a factor.

If you need to hire employees to replace those who leave, you should consider how much of this additional cost is directly related to payroll errors. Would you need to hire if your payroll was handled more efficiently?

The Labor Costs of Correcting Errors

Unlike hiring and employee turnover, the costs of correcting your payroll mistakes are easy to attribute. When you add them up, you’ll realize each error is costing you more than the penalty you paid to the IRS.

If you need to call someone in to work overtime to get all of your Form W-2s prepared and mailed, those costs must be added to what you’re paying the IRS in penalties. Suddenly, your costs may have jumped from $500 to $1,000.

Get a Helping Hand with Payroll

Once you’re able to consider all the factors involved in payroll penalties, it’s easy to see just how much payroll mistakes are actually costing your global business.

The best way to avoid these costs is to work with an expert team. If you need a hand, get in touch with a professional employer organization in the US to explore your options for better payroll.


Topics: Payroll

5 Important Things Global Companies Need to Know about American Payroll

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Mar 11, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5 Important Things Global Companies Need to Know about American PayrollThe United States is one of the largest economies in the world today, and success in the American market often predicts success in other markets. It’s little wonder that so many global companies put the American market on a pedestal when it comes to expansion targets.

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If you do plan to expand into the United States, you’re probably aware that it comes with a few challenges. The American market can be difficult to crack. Expansion needs to be planned and executed properly.

Beyond concerns about American consumers responding to your product or service, there are also business processes you must pay close attention to. A good example is American payroll. Although you’re likely familiar with payroll regulations in your home market, there are a number of differences to watch out for in the US.

If you plan to employ Americans to staff your expansion or provide service to your customers in the US, you’ll need to know about these five important aspects of payroll.

1. American Payroll Doesn’t Have Set Pay Periods

Most aspects of payroll in the United States are governed under federal law. Individual states are allowed to adopt rules adding to or building on the federal rules.

A good example is the lack of set pay periods in US federal law. There is nothing within American labour law that states when or how often employees must be paid. Employers are free to choose when to pay their employees. If desired, you could pay your employees one lump sum every year.

Some states have created their own rules, so you’ll need to ensure your company policy is in line with the law where you operate. If there is no regulation, you’re free to choose what will work best for your business.

2. Employers Are Responsible for Several Payroll Remittances

Tax withholding is fairly common around the world, and in the United States, the IRS considers it mandatory for employers to remit tax withholdings to them. Employees may be taxed at rates anywhere from 10 to nearly 40 percent, depending on how much they earn.

This only accounts for the federal portion of income tax. In most states, there is also a state income tax. Employers are expected to withhold this amount and submit it to the appropriate state revenue department.

Unemployment taxes are also levied on the employer.

3. Employers Contribute to FICA

Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, you as an employer will be expected to make contributions to programs like Social Security and Medicare. These contributions are deducted from your employees’ wages.

The amounts for these programs vary. You’ll need to check in with the IRS to ensure you’re using the proper calculations for withholding.

There are also wage limits, so if an employee earns above a certain amount, they may not need to be taxed on what they earn above the limit.

Finally, employers are expected to provide a match, which means you’ll need to contribute the same amount from your own funds.

4. Laws around Paid and Unpaid Time Off

Global companies hoping to employ Americans should look out for regulations around paid and unpaid time off.

Generally speaking, the US doesn’t have much in the way of paid time off. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t mandate any paid time off. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) outlines certain medical conditions that entitle employees to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

The US also recognizes 10 national holidays, but employers don’t have to offer these as paid days off.

5. Expertise Makes It Easy

If you’re expanding into the US market, consider getting a helping hand with American payroll to streamline your efforts. Like any other market, the American system has a number of unique regulations you need to be aware of. By working with the experts, you can avoid the most common mistakes and make payroll easier for everyone in your organization.


Topics: Payroll

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.

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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

Expanding into Canada? 5 Considerations You Might Not Have Thought of Yet

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Mar 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Expanding_into_Canada__5_Considerations_You_Might_Not_Have_Thought_Of_YetFor many US businesses, expanding into the Canadian market seems like a lucrative opportunity. This is especially true for American companies. Canada shares many cultural similarities with the US, and the geography is often similar. American business owners may feel they’re well-equipped to enter the Canadian market, and they perceive a demand for their products and services.

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

If a Canadian expansion is on your radar, there are many things you’ll need to consider carefully.

1. You’ll Need a Plan for Employee Severance

In the United States, employers and employees operate on the assumption of “at will” employment. This means that either employer or employee can choose to end the employment relationship at any time, without prior notice.

An employee who arrives to work today could be told not to return tomorrow, and this wouldn’t pose a problem.

In Canada, it’s a different story. Employees must be given proper notice of termination. This is often at least two weeks prior to the end date. For employees who have served for many years, the notice period may be longer.

If you don’t have time to give proper notice, such as in the case of mass layoffs, then you may need to pay severance instead. This will consist of paying the employees for the notice period. If an employee was entitled to two weeks’ notice and you only gave them one, then you’ll need to pay them a week of severance.

2. Sales Tax

You’ve likely thought a bit about taxation, but probably only within the context of how your business will be taxed. You may not have thought much about sales tax.

You’ll want to be sure you know the regulations for collecting tax in the province in which you operate. Federal sales tax of five percent applies throughout the country. Alberta doesn’t have a provincial sales tax, but Ontario applies eight percent. Quebec’s provincial sales tax is even higher.

You’ll need to collect and remit sales tax to the CRA as appropriate. If you don’t, it could result in penalties.

3. Income Taxes

Another tax issue you must contemplate before you expand into Canada is income tax. As a foreign company with sales in Canada, you’ll likely need to file income taxes.

It’s important to do this properly and on time, so as to avoid penalties. The penalties for not filing income tax can be significant. The CRA may decide to audit your records.

It’s important to understand the various tax treaties in Canada, and how your business structure affects what you’ll need to remit. Tax varies as the structure of the business changes, so you’ll need to explore the best option for your business.

4. The Treatment of LLCs

A limited liability corporation (LLC) is a common business structure for American companies. In Canada, LLCs are treated the same as any other corporation for taxation purposes.

This limits your ability to create a “flow-through entity,” which allows your income to be taxed in one country but not the other. This could create a situation where you face double taxation, so be sure to review your business structure options.

5. The Need for Counsel

When you decide to expand your business into Canada, the best thing you can do is get expert advice. Whether you’re trying to determine what business structure is best for you, or you want to know more about the regulations for employment, seeking advice is prudent.

One great option to consider is to get in touch with a professional employer organization (PEO) that operates on both sides of the border to ease the expansion process.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Business Expansion

5 Tips to Manage Currency Fluctuation Adjustments & Salaries

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Feb 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Tips_to_Manage_Currency_Fluctuation_Adjustments_&_SalariesIf your business has international operations, you’re likely all too familiar with the uncertainties of the exchange rate. Today, the exchange might be high, but tomorrow, it might take a tumble. Your buying power can increase and decrease at the drop of a hat.

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

Managing these currency fluctuations is particularly important when it comes to paying your international employees. Here are a few tips you can use to manage these changes in the value of currency as you continue to employ and pay people in international markets.

1. Consider Paying in the Local Currency

One issue employers sometimes face is the question of which currency to pay in. Many favour paying in their own currency versus the local currency. This is often the case for employers backed by a relatively stable currency, such as the US dollar.

Almost every other currency experiences volatility, although to varying degrees. The Canadian dollar, for example, has been weak against the US dollar for some time now, although there was a period when Canadian currency achieved parity with the US dollar. The euro is traditionally very strong, but economic crises in Greece, Italy, and other EU countries have affected the exchange rate. Brexit has been predicted to cause fluctuations in the pound and the euro alike.

Paying in the local currency often isn’t attractive for the employer because its value against the home currency may increase or decrease. Nonetheless, it keeps your employees’ wages stable against these changes.

In some countries, you’ll be obligated to pay in the local currency by law. Always check the regulations to ensure compliance. Even if you’re allowed to pay in another currency, it’s sometimes a better idea to pay in the local currency.

2. Keep an Eye on Inflation

Inflation erodes the buying power of currency within its home economy. Argentina in 2018 provides an excellent example. Consumer prices increased over 47 percent.

What does that mean? If you paid your employees one Argentine peso, they could buy 47.6 percent less with it in 2018 than they could in 2017. Their salary is worth less than it is on paper.

One way to deal with this is to issue bonuses or adjustments on a regular basis. You may opt to do this annually or even quarterly to keep pace with inflation. This allows your employees’ wages to maintain their buying power.

3. Work with an Experienced Partner

What else can you do to ensure you’re dealing with currency fluctuations adjustments properly? Perhaps your best option is to work with an experienced partner. This partner is often familiar with the market and the country you’re operating in or looking to expand to. They can advise you on law and compliance, as well as help you monitor matters of currency.

Professional employer organizations have already helped other companies like yours through currency fluctuation adjustments, and they know the best way to handle them.

4. Choose What to Protect

If you offer your employees packages, such as healthcare benefits or assistance with the costs of living, you’ll need to choose what elements of this package to protect.

Protecting salary is usually a good choice. You may decide to let the value of other benefits you’re providing erode in order to keep employees’ salaries in line with inflation.

5. Establish a Guaranteed Exchange Rate

Another thing you can consider doing if you want to protect against currency fluctuation adjustments is to establish a guaranteed exchange rate for your employees. This can protect against small fluctuations in the market, but it poses a larger risk if the currency experiences extremes.

If you’re not sure what your best option is, get in touch with the experts at a professional employer organization in the US or Canada. We can help you evaluate the situation and determine the best solution for your business.

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

Topics: human resources

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.

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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

5 HR Compliance Mistakes International Businesses Make When Expanding into Canada

Posted by Corinne Camara


Feb 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_HR_Compliance_Mistakes_International_Businesses_Make_When_Expanding_into_CanadaTaking part in an international expansion is an exciting time. It can also be a stressful time. Once the initial excitement has died down, you might encounter mounting challenges.

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

This is often the case when a business enters the Canadian market for the first time. Even with the most careful research, most businesses still make a few missteps. Many of these fumbles occur in HR compliance.

HR compliance is crucial, but it’s sometimes overlooked. HR rules can be complex and often confusing.

Here are a few of the most common HR compliance mistakes international businesses make when they expand to Canada. Knowing about them beforehand can help you avoid them.

1. Not Knowing about Mandated Leaves

Canadian labour law is evolving rapidly. Many provinces have introduced significant updates in the last few years. One of the areas that has undergone change is employee leaves. In many provinces, employees are now entitled to more paid and unpaid leave for a wider variety of reasons.

You must pay careful attention to how many days of leave employees are entitled to for things like bereavement, loss of a child, and personal emergencies. These rules vary from province to province, so you need to research the standards based on your location.

2. Confusion over Public Holidays

Holidays are another common point of confusion for employers just entering Canada. As with leaves, there are provincial variations. The federal government does set out a schedule of holidays. For the most part, provinces follow them, but not every province mandates Boxing Day, for example.

The provinces are also free to set their own holidays, so you may be surprised to find Quebec has a few more holidays than Alberta or Ontario. Be sure to pay careful attention to the holiday schedule and determine which are statutory in nature.

3. Overtime Rules Get Complicated Quickly

A very common HR compliance stumbling block for international employers is overtime pay for Canadian employees. Again, the rules change based on the province, and sometimes from industry to industry.

As a general rule of thumb, employees can work 40 hours per week before they’ll need to be paid overtime. Shift lengths may also matter. If an employee works more than eight hours in a day, overtime may kick in.

As noted, however, this changes with the industry. In saw mills, for example, the work week may be 44 hours or more before overtime applies. Some provinces also make it possible for employers to offer lieu time instead of overtime pay.

It’s easy to see how someone unfamiliar with the rules could struggle. Consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO) for assistance.

4. Termination and Severance Pay Rules Are Different

This is an especially tricky point for American businesses, because the rules around termination and severance pay are vastly different in Canada.

In Canada, at-will employment doesn’t exist. Employees must be given proper notice of termination. The length of notice depends on the employee’s length of service. If the employer can’t provide proper notice, then they may need to offer severance pay in compensation.

5. Payroll and Benefits

When expanding internationally, employers often get stuck on payroll and benefits as well.You determined the holidays but are unsure of how to calculate vacation pay. What with holdings are required to satisfy the requirements of Employment Insurance and the Canadian Pension Plan?

You may also run into rules governing what you can and can’t do. For example, you can’t take the cost of a dine-and-dash out of a server’s pay in most provinces.

If you’re unfamiliar with the rules, the best thing you can do is get help from the experts. A PEO can identify where you need to adjust your policies to become compliant, and they can help you do just that.

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

Topics: Business Expansion

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