How We Helped a European Union Company Set Up in Canada

by | Jun 8, 2023

If you’re a business owner in one of the countries in the European Union and you’re thinking of setting up a business in Canada and transferring employees to Canada, is this even possible? It absolutely is. In this blog post, we will delve into a case study of a Danish company that successfully established its presence in Canada and transferred an employee on a work permit to Canada along with his dependents.

Establishing a Canadian Operation

The Danish company sought assistance in becoming established in Canada, and with the help of a corporate lawyer, they were able to incorporate themselves within the country’s borders. This initial step was crucial for the company to lay the foundation for their expansion plans.

The CETA Investor Program

The company’s next goal was to transfer one of their high-level employees to Canada. They found a suitable avenue for this through the CETA Investor Program. CETA stands for Canada Europe Trade Agreement, an international trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. This agreement includes provisions for immigration options for nationals of European Union countries, making it an excellent fit for our Danish company.

Work Authorization and Eligibility

For the employee to work in Canada, obtaining work authorization was a necessity. The CETA Investor Program emerged as the most suitable option to facilitate the employee’s transfer. However, to ensure the application’s approval, several requirements had to be met.

The Importance of a Solid Business Plan

One crucial requirement for the CETA Investor application was the inclusion of a comprehensive business plan. This plan served as a roadmap for the company’s operations in Canada, outlining how they would finance the operation, compensate the employee, and fund their overall business activities.

Establishing a Physical Work Location

To comply with the program’s guidelines, the company needed to demonstrate a physical work location within Canada. While some businesses choose to purchase or lease a property, others opt for alternatives such as utilising their lawyer’s address or virtual addresses. Regardless of the chosen approach, it was essential for the company to showcase a physical presence in Canada.

Meeting Financial Obligations

Apart from the physical location, the business plan also needed to demonstrate the company’s financial capacity to sustain its operations in Canada. This included projections for anticipated revenue in the first year and plans for hiring Canadian employees, among other aspects. Providing a comprehensive financial overview was crucial to instill confidence in the viability of the company’s expansion.

Application Process and Consular Offices

Typically, applications for the CETA Investor Program must be submitted through Consular Offices rather than at the airport or other Port of Entry. In the case of our Danish company, they had to submit their application through the consular office in the UK. This step ensured that the application received proper consideration and review.

Including Dependents

The company’s success extended beyond the employee transfer. The approved application also covered provisions for an open spousal work permit for the employee’s accompanying spouse and applications for their dependent children who were of school age and wished to study in Canada. This holistic approach ensured a smooth transition for the entire family.

A Viable Option for European Union Business Owners

For business owners based in the European Union who wish to establish a business in Canada and transfer employees or themselves, the CETA Investor Work Permit emerges as a viable option. By meeting the eligibility requirements and fulfilling the necessary criteria, European Union companies can successfully expand their operations to Canada and benefit from the opportunities the country has to offer.


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