moved: buying a business

Old Mar 23rd 2008, 10:35 am
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Default moved: buying a business

hi, wandering if i can get some info. my wife and i want to buy a b&b business somewhere in canada. what type of visa do you need, and can you buy one before you get it. also any idea how much downpayment is required to purchase such a property, and how to go about it. will it take a long time to get a visa for this particular venture?
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Old Mar 23rd 2008, 11:11 am
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

For visa information start at http://www.cic.gc.ca
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Old Mar 23rd 2008, 11:58 am
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Hello, Andrew, and welcome to the BE forum.

Many of the "usual suspects" seem to be absent from the forum. I dare say it's because it's the late afternoon / night of Easter Sunday in Canada. JAJ is in Oz, so it's already Easter Monday in his time zone. To accommodate the travel plans of visiting friends, we're actually going to have our main Easter celebration on Easter Monday. That's why I'm able to post now.

One of our forum members, Paradisefound, seems to own Oyster Lodge in Nova Scotia. But I don't know if he (she?) used that as his (her?) entry route to Canada.

There are various types of visas associated with a business. The ones of which I'm aware are:
  • Applying for a permanent residence (PR) visa as an investor, entrepreneur or self-employed person. I imagine that there are more people who can qualify as entrepreneurs than those who can qualify as investors or self-employed persons (according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's definitions).

  • Applying for a PR visa via one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). Here is a web page with links to the websites of the various PNPs. Some, but not all, of the PNPs have categories for business owners, entrepreneurs, etc. One warning about the business streams of the PNPs. I've read on this forum that the conditions are so onerous that some members of this forum have investigated, but decided against, going down that route. See, for example, Nova Scotia Nominee Program - Proposed new Entrepreneur Stream. (That thread seems to suggest that the Business Stream of New Brunswick's PNP is okay.)

  • A lesser known route is to get a temporary work permit on the basis that you're starting a business. R I C H did that by creating an equestrian centre in Kamloops, BC. My understanding is that such an application, if it was successful, would take only a few months. But, while I don't know the details, it's fairly obvious that that route also requires capital, business acumen and guts.

Something you need to consider in Canada is that, in many parts of the country, the B&B season is finite.

This website, called How to Run a Bed and Breakfast, looks as if it has links to useful articles.

My view is that many people who are looking for jobs in Canada would be able to handle their own immigration applications. I feel that a business application is complex enough that an applicant would benefit from professional assistance. One of our members, Tiaribbon, submitted her own business immigration application and was successful. But I think you really have to have your head screwed on to pull that off. If I was submitting a business application, I would hire an immigration consultant. Read the BE Wiki article called Immigration Consultants.

Hope that helps.
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Old Mar 23rd 2008, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Oh yes, I was so focused on the business route into Canada that I forgot to mention the Nova Scotia Community Identified Stream. If Nova Scotia appeals to you, you also could consider applying via the NS-CIS. Then, once you were accepted and had received your PR visas, you could operate a B&B. Reports on the forum suggest that processing times for NS-CIS are pretty short, just a few months.
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Old Mar 23rd 2008, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

I also submitted my own business application and it is a mammoth amount of work.

It is unlikely that a typical B & B would qualify under the regular business programs and there is minimal likelihood of employing Canadian residents.

Self Employed is for farmers and self employed in cultural activities and athletics.

Entrepreneur, might be a distant possibility if the OP meets the criteria
You must have managed a qualifying business and have had control of a percentage of equity of the qualifying business for at least two years in the period that begins five years before you submit your application and ends when a decision is made on your application.

Investor is an arms length investment paid to the government of $400,000 and the applicant must have a net worth of $800,000 and have business experience. No interest is paid on the investment sum.

The level of finance one could get on a business venture would depend on the strength of the business plan, security offered to the lender, the level of investment the applicant is willing to make and the viability of the project. It is unwise to speculate what down payment would be required. The lender makes this decision at the time of application and it also depends very much on the individual as well as the business idea. What was approved for one, might not be for another. If the project was a house with a couple of B & B rooms, investment would be minimal above purchasing the property. If however it was a lodge or spa type then the investment could be quite large.

The Work Permit route would seem the most likely to get the OP into the country, then PR could be applied for, however this is not without its risks.

Last edited by Surrey Expat; Mar 23rd 2008 at 12:26 pm.
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Old Mar 23rd 2008, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Originally Posted by Judy in Calgary
[*]A lesser known route is to get a temporary work permit on the basis that you're starting a business. R I C H did that by creating an equestrian centre in Kamloops, BC. My understanding is that such an application, if it was successful, would take only a few months. But, while I don't know the details, it's fairly obvious that that route also requires capital, business acumen and guts.
You can come to Canada as a tourist, and apply for a WP to start a business while you're here on holiday - no need to leave the country, except to flagpole at the border to collect your visa. The application is made at the border, and involves an interview process. If you're successful, the the visa is issued (mine was for 3yrs), so the timescale is effectively a day out.

As Judy rightly pointed out, the application isn't without risk, particularly as immigration may well want you to be able to show financial commitment prior to issuing the visa - by that I mean you may have to purchase the business premises or make whatever investment first. The risk to the immigration authorities is that if they issue a visa before you make a commitment, there's a chance you won't follow through with your business plan. Of course, having spent your $'s, there's no certainty that immigration will guarantee you a visa, so I'd highly recommend finding an immigration lawyer/consultant to help you with this process if you think it's worth pursuing. They'll be able to ensure that your business plan is appropriate and likely to present the best argument for having a visa issued.
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Old Apr 12th 2008, 4:20 am
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Hi
I've been working with an immigration consultant in London and she doesn't seem that savvy on business applications. Has anyone had a good experience of using a consultant to help them via this route?
I've checked out the Canadian society of consultants, but I'd prefer a personal recommendation if possible?
Also, what help is available once I arrive to get me up and running with issues such as employment law, taxes etc? Or am I on my own?!

Thanks

Sas x
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Old Apr 12th 2008, 5:45 am
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Originally Posted by saskia07
Also, what help is available once I arrive to get me up and running with issues such as employment law, taxes etc? Or am I on my own?!
You are not quite on your own, but you should expect to hire a lawyer to help you with the purchase of your business, and an accountant for tax advice and ongoing help with books and records.

Employment law is very straightforward compared to Europe. See the labour standards here.

The Business Development Bank of Canada has some excellent resources on their web site. This one, for instance, goes through the steps of stating a business. The BDC is a Federal Government run bank that offers financing and consulting to small and medium sized businesses. It is a secondary bank. It doesn't offer chequing accounts. It is by far the easiest lender to deal with and should be on your radar.

The Canada Business site also has many useful resources.

Last edited by JonboyE; Apr 12th 2008 at 5:56 am.
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Old Apr 12th 2008, 5:49 am
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Originally Posted by saskia07
Hi
I've been working with an immigration consultant in London and she doesn't seem that savvy on business applications. Has anyone had a good experience of using a consultant to help them via this route?
I've checked out the Canadian society of consultants, but I'd prefer a personal recommendation if possible?
Also, what help is available once I arrive to get me up and running with issues such as employment law, taxes etc? Or am I on my own?!

Thanks

Sas x
We did and he was very good and when my OH comers back I will get his name! He was in the Netherlands, will get back on this.
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Old Apr 13th 2008, 10:48 am
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Cheers, thanks for the info, and in particular the links. Plenty to keep me out of trouble!

I'd be grateful for the immigration consultant contact too.

Thanks again.

Sas xx
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Old Apr 13th 2008, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

We did not use a consultant and did everything ourselves. We originally were buying a high street business, but later decided to buy a vacation home (Oyster Lodge) and work on other projects too. We were 18 months on the federal skilled worker route, when we transferred over to the NSNP CI route, which took 8 months. The entrepreneur route tied up too much cash, which could be put to better use.

Last edited by Paradisefound; Apr 13th 2008 at 7:17 pm.
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Old Apr 15th 2008, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

We used Overseas Emigration who are based in Edinburgh. Our contact there was Paul Hiltemann in the Netherlands. We found them professional and helpful. Good luck
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Old Apr 23rd 2008, 3:01 am
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Default Re: moved: buying a business

Thanks for the tip on the consultant, much appreciated.


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