Doing business in Canada
Opportunities and other considerations
Southern Ontario is more than just beautiful beaches, Niagara Region wineries, the Shaw Festival and the city of Toronto. It is also the gateway – via four Niagara River bridges – for Western New Yorkers to access all of Canada, a country with nearly 35 million people!
Over 5 million Canadians live within a 2 hour drive of the Peace Bridge (in the Niagara region, in Hamilton, in Kitchener, in Toronto and in the many communities surrounding these municipalities). That’s right – about 5X the population of Erie and Niagara Counties are nearby – right on Western NY’s door step. What could expanding your business into Canada do for its growth rate and profitability?
Here are some of the many advantages of pursuing business opportunities in Canada:
- Highly developed and advanced economy
- Highly educated, multicultural, population; the size (approximately) of California
- Strong language, legal and cultural similarities to the U.S. (and some differences); along with millions of cross-border familial connections (going in both directions)
- Low barriers to entry vs. most other countries
- Low corporate tax rates for businesses (when appropriately structured)
Here are some other items to consider when pursuing business opportunities in Canada:
- Immigration/visa aspects of expanding a business and/or moving employees into Canada.
Hint: have a good immigration consultant, or legal firm, assist you in doing this right.
- Learning the tax aspects of:
- Making sales in Canada (i.e. collecting and remitting HST or GST/PST, as applicable; and filing associated returns)
- Having Employees Working in Canada (i.e. Various Payroll Taxes on Employers; Source Deductions from Employee Pay; and various filings for non-residents rendering services in Canada)
- Forms of Doing Business (i.e. Corporation/Partnership/Branch/Unincorporated Business) and the planning for a tax efficient structure; and related tax filings, and tax installments requirements
- Specialized International/Cross-Border tax implications (i.e. transfer pricing, tax costs and benefits, filings and withholdings) and Treaty benefits considerations.
Hint: have a good accounting firm – that is well versed in crossborder tax issues, as well as domestic Canadian tax matters – assist you in doing this right.
- Learning about the specific rules and regulations associated with your business’ market niche (i.e. learning about licensing, labour laws, safety or environmental standards, etc.).
There is, of course, much more that you could learn about doing business in Canada.
Would you like to know more? If so, the website of the Chamber of Commerce (or Board of Trade) in the Canadian community you would like to expand in is a good place to start looking for more information and resources.
Questions or comments?
Brian Krauss, MBA, CPA (NY)
Senior Manager, Southern Ontario Leader, US Personal Tax
Lorena Boda, CPA, CA, CPA (IL), MTax
Manager, US Personal Tax
Brian Krauss is a Sr. Manager, and Lorena Boda is a Manager, with Grant Thornton LLP (Canada). As part of a team of cross-border specialists, these two CPAs serve US Taxpayers throughout Southern Ontario.
Grant Thornton has offices all across Canada, including one near you in Fort Erie, Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Beamsville, Hamilton, Mississauga, Kitchener, Markham, Barrie, Toronto and several other Southern Ontario locations.
About Grant Thornton in Canada
Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian accounting and advisory firm providing audit, tax and advisory services to private and public organizations. Together with the Quebec firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP, Grant Thornton in Canada has approximately 4,000 people in offices across Canada. Grant Thornton LLP is a Canadian member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, whose member firms operate in close to 100 countries worldwide.
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