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3 Foundational Tips for Creating a Successful Canadian Immigration Business Plan

Canada Immigration | Immigration Business Plans

Every business can benefit from a well thought-out business plan. Whether you’re building a company from the ground up, asking investors for funding, or even just establishing a side hustle, a solid business plan is vital to the success of your business. But if you’re applying for a Canadian immigration benefit based on a start-up idea, investment, or other stream that requires an immigration business plan, quality and expertise is of the utmost importance.

In Canada, there are a number of visa programs that require business plans for applications.

For example, investors, entrepreneurs, and managers who have a desire to purchase or start a business in British Columbia or Manitoba need a business plan to apply for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in either of these provinces.

There’s also the new office Intra-Company Transferees (ICT) category, which allows international companies to transfer executives, managers, and skilled employees to open up a new office in Canada. That requires a business plan as well.

And there’s the Start-Up Visa Program, which draws entrepreneurs to Canada to start globally competitive businesses that will create new jobs and spur economic development, and they require, among other things, a business plan.

Sure, you can find plenty of great information online about creating a generic business plan. But if you need a business plan for immigration purposes, there are nuanced considerations that don’t necessarily apply in other instances. That’s what this article is about.

So, here are three foundational things you should know if you want to create a successful Canadian immigration business plan.

Consider the visa requirements before writing your Canadian immigration business plan

If you’re creating a Canadian immigration business plan, you must establish that you and your business meet the main requirements of the specific immigration path you’re seeking, such as the Start-Up Visa, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program’s Entrepreneur Pathway, etc.

If you’re applying for a Start-Up Visa, the first thing you’ll need is a letter of support. A letter of support is given to start-ups looking to launch or expand in Canada by what’s called a designated organization, defined by the Canadian government as “business groups that are approved to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-up Visa Program,” as proof that they will support the business idea.

To get a letter of support, you’ll need to submit a business plan as part of your application to a designated organization. This will demand that you research and select the designated organizations that best suit your needs, and then research each designated organizations’ requirements for application.

Another example is the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program’s Entrepreneur Pathway that allows folks to purchase a business or become partners in an existing business in Manitoba. The business plan that you submit as part of your application should prove that you have the required business experience and that your business will benefit the local Manitoba economy.

Each visa pathway has different goals and requirements, and your business plan should be tailored for each application. Fortunately, some programs, like Manitoba’s PNP, have a published checklist of business plan guidelines, but you might need to do some research to find requirements for other applications, like with the Start-Up Visa’s designated organizations.

Keep the language simple and clear for your business plan’s intended audience

If you’re writing a Canadian immigration business plan, your audience will most likely be an immigration officer or a potential immigration-focused investor (if you’re applying for a Start-Up Visa and need a letter of support, as mentioned above). In either case, your audience’s main objective is to determine if your business is viable but also, and perhaps more importantly, if it meets the requirements of the particular visa you’re applying for.  

Immigration officers are typically not business or finance experts and their job is to process applications efficiently. With this in mind, you want to avoid too much business jargon and make sure your business model — no matter how complex in practice — is explained in a way that can be understood quickly by them.

If you’re writing a business plan to secure seed funding or just need a letter of support for immigration purposes, your audience will be potential investors who look at business plans every single day. But that doesn’t mean you should throw business jargon at them with your business plan — you are still applying for immigration benefits and have to clearly spell out why they should support your business idea as part of your immigration application.

Different visa applications will require you to highlight different sections of your business plan

Not all business plans are created equal simply because every business plan has its own unique goal. Identifying your unique goal is like starting your journey with a clear roadmap. A well thought-out objective will clarify the fine details of your business plan, such as the way you’ll prepare it, which details you’ll focus on, which sections you’ll cover broadly, and which you’ll cover in detail.

As an example, let’s consider the Start-Up Visa program. To qualify for the Canadian Start-up Visa program, the applicant can’t pitch any old start-up idea to catch the attention of an investor — the idea has to be innovative, scalable, and equipped to compete on a global level.

Convincing a designated organization that a start-up has all three of these things is key to getting them on board and getting a letter of support. The business plan you submit should highlight all the ways your business will meet or exceed financial expectations and give the investor a return on investment.

As another example, let’s look at the new office ICT program, which allows key employees of a company to open up a new office in Canada, to be able to move to Canada and get work authorization. The business plan you submit for an ICT application should focus on everything about your existing company that will ensure its success in Canada. The business plan you submit should also highlight the personnel you hope to transfer to Canada and why they are vital to the success of your new Canadian branch. 

As you can see, while all business plans have common elements, Canadian immigration business plans should be written keeping specific goals, tips, and best practices in mind.  

Joorney specializes in Canadian immigration business plans - let us help you!

Navigating the Canadian immigration process can be tough, which is why it’s so important for foreign entrepreneurs to get expert help. When it comes to Canadian immigration business plans, that’s where Joorney comes in.

Joorney works alongside entrepreneurs and investors looking to find success in Canada as well as their Canadian immigration experts – such as consultants and lawyers – to help them expand or establish their companies in Canada.

At Joorney, we specialize in crafting immigration-specific business plans, market research, financial models, and other support documents and services for investors and entrepreneurs, especially those looking to build a business in Canada or the US.

Learn more about how Joorney can support your expanding business, or reach out to us directly to set up some time to discuss!

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Joorney Business Plans Canada Inc. is not a law firm nor an immigration consulting firm and all information provided in this document should not be considered as legal advice or any advice or recommendation on any immigration application program. All information provided in this document should be verified by a licensed or certified immigration professional before the reader can act on this information. As such, it is understood that Joorney Business Plans Canada Inc. shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other) whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this document, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this document.

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