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Why your business should expand into Canada

Hailed by CNBC as “a start-up mecca rivalling Silicon Valley”, there are a huge number of factors which have helped Canada rank third in the US News’s 2020 rankings of the best countries for business. After all, companies like Google, Facebook and Airbnb wouldn’t have a presence in cities like Montreal and Toronto without good reason. If you’re looking to expand your own company outside of the UK, here’s why you should consider heading to the Great White North.

Its beneficial business environment

Canada is consistently ranked among the top 15% places in the world where it is In the easiest to do business, boasting a particularly impressive score when it comes to starting a business. This is in no small part thanks to its low corporate tax rate of just 15%, and the support offered to SMEs. There is a range of government grants and loans available, with initiatives like FedDev Ontario and the Industrial Research Assistance Program also providing mentorship and entrepreneurial support. The Start-up Visa Program is particularly beneficial to foreign business owners.

Its economic stature

Canada is counted among the world’s top ten economies, and further growth is forecasted for the country over the next decade. It has been progressing steadily for some time now and was one of the few countries unaffected by the 2008 financial crisis, which demonstrates just how robust it is. Some of the most thriving sectors include manufacturing, banking and transportation, and the business hubs of Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto have proved particularly tempting to entrepreneurs. This economic stability is aided by Canada’s calm political landscape, with peaceful handovers of power between opposition parties meaning there’s no need to fret about drastic changes from one five-year term to the next.

Its familiarity

Canada shares many corporate traditions and customs with the UK, which makes it much simpler for entrepreneurs to acclimatise. For instance, the most common business greeting is also a handshake, unlike in Japan, where businesspersons typically bow instead. Meanwhile, the country’s legal system is based around British common law traditions. English is one of the country’s two official languages, spoken by over 85% of the population.

That said, almost 30% of Canadian citizens speak French, which has gained a growing status as a business language in recent years, thanks to the country’s huge rising power. Being able to communicate in French will give you a better chance to successfully expand your horizons even further.

Its talented workforce

Running a business in Canada gives you access to a huge pool of talent from which to hire staff. One of the nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada has the third-highest number of 25-34 year-olds (61%) with tertiary education. Meanwhile, almost 70% of the country’s private workforce is already employed by small businesses, while Canada’s productivity levels are strong, with its GDP in 2018 standing at £83.58 per hour. This is much higher than nations like the US (£81.10), the UK (£79.56) and South Africa (£75.84).

Its quality of life

Canada has been ranked number one for quality of life in the US News’s Best Countries Rankings for four years in a row, owing to factors like the country’s low crime rate, affluence and flourishing housing market. As such, setting up a business in Canada is beneficial from both entrepreneurial and personal points of view. In fact, according to OECD statistics, Canadians rank their satisfaction with life at 7.4 out of 10, a marked increase on the world average of 5.6.

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