A lot of companies have been considering business expansion into Canada, with many more hoping to take the leap in the new year. Canada is a large, diverse country with a great deal of opportunity and a lot of untapped potential in terms of the market. Business expansion just makes sense. That being said, there is always some sort of barrier and, regardless of country, it tends to be administrative in nature.
You have new laws to consider, a new environment and marketplace to familiarize yourself with, and a healthy amount of bureaucracy to wade through before you can begin. The process doesn't have to be completely painful, however—there are ways to make it simpler that can benefit everyone.
Think (and Research) Ahead
Any business expansion into Canada, of course, needs to start with a plan. But that's not the only thing. You need to consider the administrative process involved in effectively starting a “new” business. This means registering with the Canadian Revenue Agency (the IRS of Canada) and obtaining a business number. Without a business number, you're unable to operate on any level within Canada. That means no hiring, no sales, no offices, and no ads. It's a very critical step.
Once you have your business number, you'll have tax accounts to deal with. This means you'll want to do some pretty intense research to ensure you can meet Canadian tax codes, as well as comply with local, provincial, and countrywide labour, employment, and human rights laws. Health and safety laws also need to be taken into account. Your business expansion into Canada means learning and following all Canadian laws.
On average, registration takes a few weeks or months, but can often end up taking longer than expected, depending on the complexity of your filing, the size of your company, as well as several other factors. You'll want to plan ahead for some extra time so you don't miss any important deadlines, or jump the gun on any important decisions. If this all sounds like a lot of trouble, there’s another way to simplify your business expansion into Canada: a professional employer organization.
Consult a PEO
A professional employer organization (or, an employer of record as they're known) is by far the easiest path to simplification. Given all the work involved in business expansion, it's no wonder that so many businesses decide against it—even if it hampers international growth and opportunity. That said, PEOs and EORs are becoming increasingly popular for their services and a favourite of those who want to expand. Consulting a PEO means you can skip administrative woes and get started in Canada faster.
A PEO already has a Canadian presence. That means a business number, tax registration, appropriate banking and financial infrastructure, and everything else required. When you partner with one, they're hiring employees on your behalf—they pay them, they handle human resources, they even file your taxes for you—and all of that means you can skip the whole registration process and get started sooner. Naturally, you still retain control over operations as well as employees, which means all the oversight you require with less work. PEOs are not just payroll experts, but they also specialize in human resources and legal compliance, which rolls several departments into one. If you’re a business that partners with a PEO, you’ll save a great deal of money, resources, and time.
Consider how simple your business expansion into Canada could be if you could set your schedule ahead by several months. Talk to a PEO and find out just how simple it can be.