When your business decided to expand into Canada, you knew you had your work cut out for you. You needed to conduct rigorous market research and determine the best business structure for tax efficiency. You needed to think about your workforce and your logistics.
In many cases, you’ll want to partner with other firms to help your expansion efforts. You may decide to work with a lawyer to ensure you're making the right legal decisions for the business. Partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) is also a great idea.
How should you go about choosing your partners? The process should begin before you put the wheels in motion. Here are some tips to get started.
1. Find the Right Legal Advice to Expand into Canada
Before you do anything else, you should partner with a legal partner to consider the legal ins and outs of an expansion to Canada. This might be a lawyer or another legal professional.
This partner can help you assess the current legal climate and make the right decisions for setting up your business. A tax lawyer might be able to inform you about the best way to create tax efficiency. A business lawyer and an employment lawyer can share insights about their fields of expertise.
These partners can help you craft better policies and even structure your business correctly. Without the right legal advice, your expansion may not get off the ground. You could find yourself tied up in red tape.
How do you choose the right legal counsel? A general rule of thumb favours expertise and specialization. Find someone who deals with international businesses entering the Canadian market on a regular basis.
They’re much more likely to have the expertise to make the process quick and easy, even if they do charge a higher per hour rate. With their insights, you’ll be up and running sooner.
2. Choosing a Banking Partner
When you expand into Canada, you’ll need funds to fuel your operations. That means you’ll require the right banking partner to support the financial side of the expansion.
You’ll want to employ the opposite strategy here. Instead of seeking a specialized partner, choose someone with a broad range of expertise.
There are many players in the banking industry, but only some of them will be the right fit. You want a banking partner who can grow with you. If the partner you choose is too niche, they may not be able to support your growth. That could tie you up as you try to unravel the partnership and engage another entity.
Be sure to examine which banking partners best reflect your growth strategy. If their capabilities and values line up, you’ll find a more flexible, supportive partnership ahead.
3. Get On-the-Ground Help with Property
If you need to acquire land or real estate, you should seek out an environmental expert. This specialist will help you understand local rules. They’ll also reduce your risks.
Going in alone could mean you purchase a building that isn’t up to code or land that isn’t zoned for your use. You might also be responsible for maintaining or remediating a property to environmental standards.
The right help here is invaluable.
4. Partner with the Right PEO
A professional employer organization can help you navigate the details of having a workforce in Canada. Experts at a PEO can assist with payroll, HR, and compliance. They can offer other services too, such as health spending accounts for employees.
The right PEO typically has expertise in helping international businesses as they expand into Canada. They also have a network of other professionals and knowledge they can draw on to make expanding easier than ever. And they'll already have the infrastructure you need to expand.
Do your research before you begin expanding, and begin building relationships with your Canadian partners as soon as possible. With the right network, it’s easier than ever to expand into Canada.