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Tips for Newcomers Starting a Business in Canada


Published September 4, 2018 • 3 Min Read

For newcomers starting a business, there can be extra challenges in the beginning, such as limited contacts in Canada, language barriers, familiarity with business practices and access to credit. Here are some tips as you start to plan.

Build a Credit History.

A limited credit history can impact your access to financing. Unfortunately, your banking records from another country are not readily available to Canadian financial institutions. One of the easiest ways to start developing a Canadian credit record is to apply for a Canadian credit card and use it wisely.

Develop Your Network.

One major challenge of starting a venture in a new country is the absence of relevant contacts. To start building contacts, look for an association you could join or networking events you could attend. Identify potential clients and ask them for feedback on your ideas. The people you meet will be able to provide market intelligence, and they may also become close friends and business mentors.

Don’t forget to leverage your supplier/producer networks in your home country. This is an advantage you have as a newcomer.

Create a Business Plan.

Creating a business plan is not unique to a newcomer hoping to start a successful business, but it is perhaps more crucial. The research process will provide you with in-depth knowledge of a market that might be unfamiliar. You can also clarify your strategy and visionat this stage and pivot where appropriate. The financial planning and projections you develop in this process will also aid in securing financing.

Get started on your business plan now with this business plan template.

Working with a Financial Advisor

An advisor can be an extremely helpful resource for managing the financial ins and outs of starting your first business in Canada. RBC offers our RBC Newcomer advisors free of charge to help you with your banking needs, your financial planning, and getting you connected and settled in your new community. Click here to learn more about meeting a Newcomer Advisor that fits your needs.

Research Government Support.

The Government of Canada has several websites to assist you in finding out more about starting a business in Canada. If you are in the planning process for immigrating to Canada, information about applying for the Start-up Visa will be useful.

Please visit the RBC Newcomers Hub for more useful advice on easing the transition of moving to Canada.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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