Your business has been growing steadily, but you’re always on the lookout for new opportunities. As your current markets have reached maturity, you’ve been wondering what your next move will be.
One option on the table is an international expansion to Canada. Like any country, Canada has unique employment and taxation structures, market demographics, and regional economic differences. If you are thinking about how to expand your business into Canada, it is important that you understand the Canadian business environment in order to set yourself up for a successful international expansion.
While there are a number of different ways to understand the market and set up shop in Canada, some are more effective than others. This guide will break down a few options, and highlight what may very well be the best way to expand business in Canada.
There Are Many Ways to Expand Business in Canada
For some business owners, moving into Canada involves opening a physical location, like a branch office. This office is much like any other branch office; it is a separate location, but part of the same business entity. The only exception is that it’s on Canadian soil. If you’ve opened offices in multiple cities or states, this may feel like the most logical move for you.
Just like the process of expanding into a different state, you will want to check the legislative governing branch operations to get up to speed on local zoning, employment regulations, and national and provincial tax laws in Canada. Regulations differ across provinces and cities, so it's important to understand your options and what your particular business will need. If cost efficiency is a major priority, perhaps consider Alberta, where there is no provincial sales tax. If being near financial hubs and access to international relationships is important, locating your branch in Ontario or British Columbia would be smart options.
You can also set up a subsidiary company to facilitate your Canadian expansion. This creates a new Canadian company, which is considered a separate entity from your parent company. This separation can simplify the taxation process when you begin doing business in Canada and is a way to protect the assets of different business entities from each other’s liabilities.
An acquisition is another way to expand business into Canada. You could buy a Canadian business or property, or invest to become a stakeholder in an existing Canadian company. Acquisitions can give you access to new markets with a significant portion of the on-the-ground business operations already in place.
In any of these scenarios, it’s prudent to consult with experts in finance, human resources, and business law before making any major decisions. Having professional advice can strengthen your confidence as you make informed decisions. You want to make the best choices for your business as you begin expanding into Canada.
Work with a PEO
Whether you will be setting up as a branch office or a subsidiary, the easiest route into Canada for most businesses is through a partnership with a professional employer organization, or PEO. Working alongside a PEO takes the guesswork out of the HR logistics and other regulations associated with your Canadian expansion.
Working with a PEO is like bringing in a specialized Canadian HR team. Their experts can help you monitor compliance, and they’ll administer your payroll. Your Canadian employees will be paid on time, every time, and you won’t need to worry about penalties from the Canada Revenue Agency.
The PEO will also provide access to other infrastructure, such as banking or insurance. Some PEOs provide benefits such as health savings accounts for your employees. Through their robust insurance and benefits capabilities, you can rest assured you’re getting the best price and that everything complies with Canadian business regulations.
Is a PEO Partnership Right for Your Business?
You might ask yourself whether you’re in the right position to partner with a PEO. Most businesses can benefit from working with a PEO. The PEO is built to handle clients of all sizes, which means their infrastructure could help you as your business expands. Whether you have five employees or 500, the PEO is able to provide timely, efficient HR assistance for your business.
This is even more important for those wanting to expand business internationally. The PEO’s expert team should already know the ins and outs of employment law, payroll taxes, and more, so they can help you conduct payroll, pay taxes, and provide leave, vacation, and more to your employees.
Talk to a PEO Today
With the right assistance, crossing borders and expanding into new markets is easier than ever. If you’re thinking of ways to expand your business into Canada, talk to a PEO today. Expert insights could help you get started on the road to a successful Canadian expansion.