You’ve been toying with the idea of expanding your business on a more global scale, and the Great White North is your next market to explore. It makes perfect sense for almost any American firm. The US and Canada have a good trading relationship, share the world’s longest unguarded land border, and have similar cultures.
The same factors that make Canada such a great choice might also contribute to mistakes American companies make as they come north of the border. How familiar are you with Canadian payroll or the tax system? Do you know how workers’ compensation is handled in the province you want to operate in? What about the varying employment labor laws?
These questions and the others that go along with them can feel overwhelming for a company exploring the Canadian market. The solution may be to look for a helping hand. A professional employer organization could be the partner you’re looking for.
What Is a Professional Employer Organization in Canada?
First things first: what is a professional employer organization anyway?
In the United States, professional employer organizations are distinct from employers of record. The EOR is solely responsible for the people working for your business. A PEO, on the other hand, is more like a co-employer.
The professional employer organization helps you manage your Canadian employees. The PEO will provide assistance with payroll, legal compliance, and workers’ compensation.
They also offer support for health and safety and human resources, among other services.
How a PEO Helps
Many American business leaders find themselves at a loss when entering the Canadian arena. Each province and region represents its own distinctive market. Complicating the situation more is the mix of federal and provincial rules. You’ll need to be familiar with provincial employment law and CRA rules about payroll, as well as federal and provincial taxes.
Working with a PEO in Canada can instantly clarify the situation. They’re already established in Canada, and they’ll be able to provide the services you need quickly while guaranteeing compliance with the rules.
Better yet, the PEO lifts some of the strain from your team. If your HR team is having a difficult time sorting out Canadian federal and provincial taxes, it’s not a problem. The PEO will take care of payroll for you and help with tax forms too.
The PEO essentially makes it easier for your business to manage Canadian workers the right way.
Avoiding Costly Missteps
Errors can be costly for businesses, especially small operations. Mistakes on your tax forms or non-compliance with employment law in your province could ground your Canadian aspirations before your business has a chance to take off.
Consider that the CRA penalizes employers for late payroll remittances. If your payment is even one day late, the CRA may charge you an additional three percent. The penalties only climb from there.
Having that money in your pocket is a better plan. When you work with a PEO, they’ll help you avoid making those mistakes in the first place, so you don’t need to worry about the risks.
Keep Your Workforce Happy
Teaming up with a professional employer organization is a smart move for American business leaders looking to crack the Canadian market. Working with a PEO can help you provide the right HR services to your Canadian team.
In turn, they’ll likely be more content and more inclined to stick with you for the long term. In a competitive market where your people can help you stand out, that’s an enormous advantage.
If you’re thinking about expanding to Canada, get in touch with the experts and discover what a professional employer organization could do for you.