Are you a non-Canadian who has an established business in your own country and would like to start a business in Canada? Or are you a non-Canadian who would like to open a company in Canada? Below we share 11 benefits of do business in Canada.
1. An abundance of seed capital
Seed capital is in abundance today compared to 10 years ago, according to Lai. “For a seed-stage startup, Toronto is almost as good as anywhere else, except San Francisco,” he explains. “We have so much seed capital going around, relatively speaking. There’s never been a better time to start a seed stage company.”
2. Access to a variety of government grants and tax credits
Government grants like FedDev Ontario and the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provide mentorship, entrepreneurial support and financing to help new businesses succeed.
The feds also provide some relief for startups at tax time. “If you’re doing any sort of R&D, the government support that we get here through the SR&ED [Scientific Research and Experimental Development] tax credit is far better than anywhere else in the world,” points out Lai. “There’s nothing even close in the U.S.” Businesses can get upwards of 50% back in cash from the investments they make into R&D.
3. Access to great technical talent
The University of Waterloo and University of Toronto are two of the best engineering schools in North America says Lai, noting that top tech companies like Google and Facebook routinely recruit there.
“You’re always going to be competing with US companies that have a foreign exchange advantage and also a scale advantage,” acknowledges Lai. “But there’s always super-talented people that don’t want to live in the US, and that pool of people is quite significant.”
4. A low cost of living
“The only other spot where you’re going to find this level of technical talent is really the San Francisco-Bay Area, and the cost of living there is ridiculous,” observes Lai. “It’s way cheaper to live and build your company here than [in] San Francisco.”
5. A favorable exchange rate
The low loonie is a significant boon to companies who raise capital from U.S. investors. “You get your investment, then there’s another 40% bonus [from the exchange rate],” . Companies selling their goods to U.S. clients receive a similar financial lift.
6. An abundance of entrepreneurial talent
“We’ve got a lot of entrepreneurial talent that’s developed over the last 10 years,” says Lai. “Maybe not as much [as] San Francisco, NYC, and a couple of other regions in the world like Israel, but much better than 90% of cities out there.”
7. Canada’s strong and stable macroeconomic fundamentals.
These fundamentals include a commitment to sound public finances that was born out of the painful experience of reducing public debt during the 1990s.
8. Canada’s natural resources.
Canada produces and exports oil and gas, hydro-electricity, lumber, potash and minerals. The development of these natural resources has been a huge boon for American investors and companies, in such areas as manufacturing, engineering and construction, who supply the Canadian market or do business there.
9. Canada’s top-quality human resources.
Canadian employees are highly educated and trained. Canada has the highest percentage of adults aged 25 to 64 having completed post-secondary education – at almost 49 percent in 2008 – among the group of eight major economies (G8) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. This is well above the OECD average of 28 percent and the U.S. figure of 41 percent. Canada’s universities produce quality graduates and attract top researchers and professors from all over the globe.
10. Canada’s pro-business climate.
Its economy and supporting financial system are among the soundest in the world. The banks in Canada are stable, well-funded and well-regulated, such that the financial crisis and credit crunch that brought down many financial institutions, businesses and individuals in the U.S. did not spill over to Canada.
11. Canada is a great place to locate your business and your family.
Canada’s cities have strong neighborhoods, numerous public and green spaces, excellent public and private schools and low crime rates.
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