Buy a Business, Move to Canada: Part One

How Canada is Welcoming Entrepreneurs: Part One

Canada has made it clear that entrepreneurs are welcome. Unfortunately, the path to immigration for foreign investors can be long and complicated. However, there is an emerging route that may simplify and speed up the process. It is based on requirements set out by a Federal written policy rather than a traditional immigration program. To understand it better, we will highlight the four key steps and what each entails.

1) Initial Investment

Foreign investors must buy a business in Canada. It can be a new or existing business. The chief component is that they hold a controlling interest. It can be a sole proprietorship or a corporation, as long as the investor is the majority shareholder, with 50.1% or more. There must be no way in which the person can be dismissed from their position.

2) Labour Market Impact Assessment

After the business is purchased, the owner can apply for an owner/operator Labour Market Impact Assessment. The Owner/Operator LMIA is intended strictly for an individual who has controlling interest in a Canadian business. An LMIA is a document that verifies a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians are available to do the job. Being the owner/operator of the business is considered a reasonable argument. As such, no advertising or recruitment is required.

3) Temporary Foreign Work Permit

Once the individual has the LMIA, they can apply for a work visa as a management employee under the Temporary Foreign Worker program. This is through the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizen Canada. It is normally valid for a period of up to two years. However, there are a few conditions that must be met to acquire the permit, in addition to controlling interest in a business:

a) The applicant must have a sound business plan.

b) The owner/operator must fund the business.

c) The company must employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

d) The foreign national must prove they are active in the management of the company.

4) Express Entry Program

As soon as the foreign investor arrives in Canada, they can pursue permanent Canadian resident status through the Express Entry Program. The program will ask questions about nationality, age, language ability, family, education, work experience, and current job status. Points are given depending on each answer and added up to calculate whether or not the candidate qualifies. An owner/operator will generate a significantly higher chance under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. While there is no guarantee, and other requirements must be met, as long as the foreign national has demonstrated an authentic effort to create a successful business, they have a good chance for success.


Canada wants to attract successful foreign nationals to invest in business and immigrate here. Entrepreneurs are the key to the Canada’s future success – to learn how to buy a business and move to Canada click here. It will ensure economic prosperity while creating future jobs. By following the path outlined below, savvy business-minded individuals have an opportunity to buy a business in Canada, but a start a whole new life, too.  To view ARBB listings, click here and call us to see how we can help you today!