5 Great Services To Do Business in Canada or with Canadian Companies

Many Businesses, International Investors and Entrepreneurs around the world are looking at doing business in Canada, form alliances or partnerships with Canadian companies to expand their markets or services offerings, or even to emigrate their own countries to settle in Canada.

If you are in search of how to connect with the Canadian Market or with Canadian companies, this article is for you.

Canada is Among the Top Options Globally to do Business.

Canada has one of the strongest Banking Systems and lowest Tax Rates globally. It ranks 6th Best Country for Business in the World.

Exporting products or services to Canada can bring great opportunities for companies abroad because Canada has a strong internal market in terms of consumer demand, and integration with many regional and global supply chains.

Also, Canada welcomes Investors and Entrepreneurs who can have controlling ownership of Canadian Companies because they generate jobs for Canadians and a positive overall economic impact. Acquiring a business in Canada, either in Full Ownership or in a Partnership, can be an incredibly attractive proposition for many Businesses, Investors and Entrepreneurs outside Canada.

Canada Ranked Among Top Countries to Do Business in the World

Source: Government of Canada, “Invest Canada” report

Expanding your products or services offering in your Country is another possibility. We can help you find Canadian companies to create an alliance or partnership with, so that you can add their products or services to yours and increase your competitive edge, client base and market size, and sales in your own country.

Canada’s Start-Up Visa program is also a great option for those International Entrepreneurs that wish to open a business in Canada and Immigrate with a clear path to Permanent Residence. Our Team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants can help with this in every step.

We also provide Immigration Services related to other Immigration Programs for Investors and their Families that want to immigrate to Canada and settle.

Summary of Our Services

Through our services, we design a bespoke plan to expand your business into Canada, add value to your business by diversifying into new products, services or markets in alliance or partnership with Canadian companies, or help you start or partner in a business in Canada.

Below is a summarized list of the Market Development services we offer to Companies, Entrepreneurs, and Investors outside Canada.

Our 5 Market Development Services to Do Business in Canada

Why Enter the Canadian Market through Our Professional Market Development Services?

Clearport Market Development Graphic

Clearport Market Development represents leading Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs. We have helped them to gain new markets, clients, and projects; form partnerships abroad; sell and acquire businesses; enter or expand new geographic markets; and more. We have also assisted Canadian companies to find opportunities, distributors, partners, and investors abroad.

In the process, we have provided services to Investors abroad to open paths to immigrate to Canada and be eligible for Permanent Residence, created valuable networks in Canada to detect opportunities for Companies and Entrepreneurs abroad, and gathered insights across several industries that can be especially useful to you.

1) Entering the Canadian Market

When businesses depend only on their local market, or even in one or two export markets only, they are more exposed to potential economic downturns, regulatory or price changes that will weaken their business, and even to political changes that might negatively affect their outlook.

Diversifying your markets is the antidote. The popular saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” reflects the need to diversify as a key success strategy, and as a strong insurance policy against negative changes in your existing market(s).

Market Diversification-Eggs in More than One Basket

Diversification is a long-term strategy for growth, and it can also make your business more resilient and stable when facing changes in the economic environment that may be out of your control.

The Trade Commission of Canada says that, “by definition, Diversification is a risk-reduction strategy that involves adding product, services, location, customers, and markets to your business’s portfolio.” Here are the Benefits of Diversification as per this source:

Benefits of Market Diversification

Per the above, diversifying can mean many things.

For businesses outside Canada that want to grow, diversifying into Canada or forming alliances with Canadian companies is an exceptionally good alternative. But strategies to do this can go from expanding your business to Canada to decreasing your dependency from one or two markets, to launching new services or products (abroad or in your own country) thanks to an alliance with a Canadian company, or expanding your client portfolio to stop or mitigate dependance on a limited number of large clients, or starting or investing in a business in Canada.

We can help you define the best strategy for you and then help make it happen.

We plan for many important aspects. For example, the implications of finding opportunities in Canada for products are quite different than those applicable to services. The former requires considerations about labeling and packaging, freight, custom codes, warehousing, freight, etc., while selling services in Canada will likely require local partners, certifications, travel, bidding processes, and other factors.

We can help you diversify through a full suite of Market Development Services.

2) Exporting Products or Services to Canada

If what you want to do is export to Canada, we can help with tailored Market Development services. From evaluating the Market, to finding potential partners, distributors, and clients, we help you in every step. Our Market Development Services are a variable cost to you because our fees are based on success. That way, we have a vested interest in your growth, and we will work tirelessly to generate sales for you.

Our Market Development Services Are A Variable Cost To You

To ensure that our Clients are also committed, we do require a minimum draw (or advance) on future commissions, which is mostly recoverable from commissions on the first sales that we generate.

We can become your Sales Force in Canada, with extensive market knowledge (the “know-how”) and a wealth of contacts (the “know-who”) to develop your business in Canada.

Finding Partners in Canada

A Partner in Canada might be the right path to your growth.

As an example, adding your products or services to theirs might be an attractive option for a Canadian company, to expand their Client base or to make their offering more attractive in the Canadian Market. In turn, they bring local knowledge of the market, regulations, best practices and more.

We have experience and can help you find the right partner and get the agreement that would work for you and the Canadian company.

Market Development Services to Find the Right Partner

Finding Distributors in Canada

We can also help finding Distributors in Canada. We have the experience building distribution channels and finding the right distributors, and can help you establish a pricing and distribution model that will work in Canada for all parties.

Finding Clients in Canada

Aside of finding partners and distributors, we can also help Business-to-Business companies abroad by finding direct Clients in Canada, through an extensive network of companies in many industries and the capabilities to get access to almost any potential client in Canada.

3) Finding Businesses in Canada to Acquire in Full or in Partnership

Another reason you might need Market Development is to acquire Full- or Part-Ownership of a Canadian Business. As an Entrepreneur, if for whatever reason you have achieved a stage in which doing it makes sense, this is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

We help you to find opportunities that fit what you want; review and assess target opportunities objectively; evaluate them in terms of their value and attractiveness to you; find and engage potential sellers; and negotiate with them until the operation is closed and executed.

4) Expanding Your Offering in Your Country Forming Partnerships or Alliances with Canadian Companies

Finding a Canadian company that offers products or services that might gain you new markets in your country or make you more competitive might be the best avenue for you. But once the Canadian company is identified, what are the next steps?

We can help you, with our experience assisting companies forming alliances, partnerships, Joint Ventures, distributorship agreements and other forms of collaboration.

5) Start-up Visa Program in Canada to Open a Business and Immigrate with Your Family

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program in Canada (officially called the “Canada Start Up Class”) is a great initiative by the Government of Canada for international Entrepreneurs and Investors.

The program is designed to offer Canadian Permanent Residence to qualified Immigrant Entrepreneurs / Investors that can provide innovation, can invest in starting a business in Canada, and can get support from a designated Canada-based investor before coming to Canada.

Canada Start-Up Visa for International Entrepreneurs and Investors

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is aimed at Immigrant Entrepreneurs / Investors with the skills and potential to effectively build a business in Canada.

The Process

If you have innovative business ideas, you can present them to organizations designated by the Government of Canada to get their support. They will consider the innovative components of your idea, if it can create jobs for Canadians and Permanent Residents, and if your idea is globally competitive.

Canada Start-up Visa Process Graphic

Book a Start-Up Visa Immigration Consultation

Once you have defined your Business Idea, book a Start-Up Visa Immigration Consultation with one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants.

We can help you from beginning to end of the process, and certainly with one of the critical steps within the Start-Up Visa Program: Getting a Letter of Support by one or more of the Designated Organizations defined by the Government of Canada for this Program (a Venture Capital Fund, an Angel Investor Group, a Business Incubator, or a combination of two or more of them).

Click Here to Book an Immigration Consultation

Please beware of advice from “immigration consultants” that are not regulated or in good standing. Only a Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant in good standing with the ICCRC can offer consultancy services for applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)

ICCRC Insignia

Verify Status with ICCRC: link to ICCRC site

Rui Jiang, RCIC # R530523

Dongkai Li, RCIC # R522600

How do We Help You?

Our Team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) will help you in every step of your application to the Start-Up Visa Program, including the following:

1. Guiding you through the procedure to apply for a Letter of Support from the Designated Organization(s).

2. Creating a business plan based on your input, background, and qualifications:

  • Explaining and presenting the market opportunity for the product or service.
  • Demonstrating early technology validation and/or traction with customers.
  • Demonstrating the viability of your business, from both a financial and market perspectives.
  • Ensuring that your business will operate in an innovative sector.

3. Presenting your business plan to the Designated Organization(s).

4. Adapting your Business Pitch as necessary for the type(s) of Designated Organization(s) and for each specific organization’s requirements.

5. Preparing you for an interview / presentation with the Designated Organization(s).

6. Obtaining the Letter of Support from the Designated Organization(s) after a successful interview / presentation, and ensuring they submit to IRCC Canada their Certificate(s) of Commitment.

7. Helping you to gather all necessary documents for a Start-Up Visa Application, including documentary proof that you meet Language Requirements and those necessary to your Proof of Funds.

8. Submitting your Start-Up Visa Application to the Government.

9. Once you qualify, preparing and submitting your Permanent Residence Application.

Processing time

The latest Processing Times for a Start-Up Visa Application can go from 12 to 16 months. This will vary over time and depending on your country of application.

Canada Start-up Visa Processing Times

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:

  • Have a business / business idea that qualifies (be a Qualifying Business),
  • Get a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization,
  • Meet the Language Requirements of the program, AND
  • Prove that you have sufficient Funds (Proof of Funds) to settle in Canada for at least one year.

Canada Start-Up Visa Qualifying Business

What is Qualifying business?

At different times of the process, a Qualifying Business must meet the following conditions:

  • At the time you get a Commitment from a Designated Organization:
    • Each applicant must hold 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners), AND
    • The Applicants and the Designated Organization must jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation that are outstanding at that time
  • At the time you receive your Permanent Residence:
    • You must provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada,
    • An essential part of the operations of the business must take place in Canada, AND
    • The business must be incorporated in Canada

Accordingly, you as Applicant must have formed in Canada an entity for business and/or commercial purposes that has an ownership structure meeting -at a minimum- the percentages established above.

Canada Start-Up Visa Business Ownership Structure

For clarity, in order to have a Qualifying Business, the Applicant must meet the following criteria upon application, or intend to meet them upon receiving Permanent Residence:

1. Provide active and ongoing management of the business from within Canada,

2. An essential part of the business operations must be conducted in Canada, including but not limited to:

  • Physical location
  • Facilities
  • Equipment
  • Inventory
  • Warehousing
  • Management Information Systems
  • Staff

3. The business must be incorporated in Canada

What Amount of Funds is required to be Secured from the Designated Organization?

Venture Capital Funds: If you present your idea to a Venture Capital Fund, they must commit to invest a minimum of CAD $200,000.

Angel Investor Groups: If your idea is presented to an Angel Investor Group, one or more investors connected to it must commit to invest a minimum of CAD $75,000.

Business Incubators: If you present your idea to a Business Incubator, no specific amount of investment is required.

Once we help you obtain the Letter of Support, it will be included with your Permanent Residence application.

Canada Start-Up Visa Funding Requirements

The Designated Organization that issued you a Letter of Support will send a Commitment Certificate directly to IRCC (the Government of Canada). The Certificate submitted to IRCC must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Be issued by 1 or more Designated Entities,
  • Be less than 6 months old on the date of application,
  • Be issued without the Designated Organization charging a fee to review and assess the business proposal or to assess the business,
  • Include a Term Sheet/Client Agreement,
  • Include details of the Amount of the Investment and who is investing,
  • Include details of the services to be provided to the Applicant by the Designated Organization,
  • Include details of any fees to be charged to the Applicant by the Designated Organization (or other costs/exchange of funds), and when will these fees be collected,
  • Include information on each Applicant (no more than 5 persons may be identified in a Commitment to a single Business Proposal),
  • Describe the relationship between the Applicant and the Investment Team, AND
  • Describe the business and the Applicant’s role in the business, including the applicant’s title and any tasks the applicant is expected to perform for the company, and identifying those considered essential to the business.

Build your Business while your Permanent Residence is Processed

You can start building your business while your application for Permanent Residence is being processed, applying for a Temporary Work Permit.

Canada Start-Up Visa Path to Permanent Residence in Canada

Meet the Language Requirements

You must take a language test and include the results with your application. Specifically, you must meet the minimum Level 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in either English or French in all of these four areas:

  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing

This is equivalent to an IELTS (General Training) English score of no less than 5.0 in each of the areas above.

The ability to communicate and work in English, French or both languages will help your business succeed in Canada.

If You Need to Improve your English, We Can Help

With a Clearport Investor Membership, you get access to SRT, our English Assessment and Improvement tool, to determine where your English is at. But SRT is more than just an English and Skills Assessment.

Our SRT-Success Readiness Tool will also tell you if you are ready to come to Canada, because it gives you the approximate score you would obtain in other English tests that are popular in the market, such as IELTS. And there is more! SRT identifies any gaps you may have, then gives you a Personalized Learning Plan to improve focusing only on those areas (with hundreds of free online lessons and activities). It also lets you test again to measure your progress.

In summary, SRT gives you precise Result Reports, a Learning Plan, a Certificate for each of the 6 areas tested, and lets you test again to measure your progress. SRT gives you great value for money! Become a Clearport Investor Member to get SRT.

Click Here to Become a Business or Investor Member

Bring enough money to settle

Your Start-Up Visa Application must include Proof of Funds. This means documentary evidence that you have enough funds available to support yourself and your dependents at least during the first year after you arrive in Canada. Borrowed funds (a loan, etc.) cannot be used as Proof of Funds. Documents such as Investment Statements, Bank Statements and others are acceptable.

The amount you need to demonstrate depends on the size of your family, as shown in the table below.

Number of
Family Members
Funds required (Canadian Dollars)
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
For each additional
family member

Complete the Document Checklist

We will provide you with the latest version of the Government of Canada’s Document Checklist for the Start-Up Visa Program. We will also guide you in gathering all the supporting documents and necessary information (we will let you know when Certified English Translations are required).

Your Application must include all the forms, supporting documents, signatures, language test results, proof of funds, and proof of payment of the processing fees.

Canada Start-Up Visa Document Checklist

Your answers in every form and for every question must be complete and true. If you submit false information or left out important details:

  • your application could be refused,
  • you could be found inadmissible to Canada, AND
  • you could be barred for five years from applying to come to Canada for any reason.

Pay your Application Fees

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • Processing Fees for you and anyone included in your application,
  • The Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), AND
  • The Biometrics Fee.

Biometrics Fee

A majority of Applicants will be required to submit Biometrics. If that is the case, you must pay a Biometrics Fee when you submit your Application. The Biometrics Fee covers the cost of collecting your fingerprints and your digital photo.

Canada Start-Up Visa Biometrics Fee

After you pay the Biometrics Fee with a completed application, you will receive a Biometrics Letter confirming that you need to then go in person to an approved facility to have your Biometrics taken (you will likely need to book an appointment). You must show the Biometrics Letter at that facility when you give your Biometrics.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

  • Medical Exams,
  • Police Certificates, and
  • Language Testing

Submit your application

Each Foreign National included in the business as a partner must submit their own application.

To make sure you have a complete application, you must:

  • answer all questions;
  • sign your application and all forms;
  • pay your processing fees and attach a copy of the receipt to your application; and
  • include all the supporting documents.

Our Market Development Division

Launched in 2015, in Canada, Clearport’s Market Development Division helps Canadian companies to grow, expand, discover new opportunities, and face economic downturns.

Clearport Market Development becomes your own expert Business Development and Sales Force, with research and market know-how, marketing and sales capabilities, plus valuable networks (the “know-who”) to find the right opportunities that best fit your needs.

We also offer some Related Services that support your Market Development needs, with transparent fees and a clear value add to let you decide which of these related services you want to engage.

Our Process

Our Market Development Process for Companies Outside Canada includes 3 phases: Discover, Sell and Grow.

We help you in every step through each of these phases, always with a sense of urgency and a clear focus on results.

Clearport Market Development Process Graphic


We start by understanding what your Company / business is and does: what are your services and/or products; what distinguishes you from competition; what is your business model; what are your ideal markets, clients, or projects; what are your strategic needs; and what is it that you want to accomplish.

This helps us to support you in discovering realistic opportunities that can help your business grow. This is an absolutely key step. If your services and/or products can objectively be competitive, and you can deliver them efficiently, there are opportunities for your business.

The best opportunities will be specific to each business. For one business, the best opportunity might be to find new clients in Canada, or to find distributors here; for another, the opportunity might be to acquire Full- or Part-ownership of a business in Canada; for yet another one, it could be to find Canadian partner(s) to establish a joint venture or an alliance focused creating an expanded and more competitive offering in your country.

We will consider with you some of these matters:

  • Are your services and/or products competitive in your country? Can they be competitive in Canada?
  • Can you deliver them efficiently?
  • Are you and your Company open and committed to new markets, and to adapt as needed to get them?
  • Can your business manage the additional demand from a staffing, capacity, and financial perspective?
  • What local support will you need in Canada (a local partner, or distributor, etc.)?
  • Will you need local staff or contract personnel, and when?
  • And many more.

Once we agree on the opportunity, we define with you the Target Market(s) to focus on, and generate a Market Development Strategy, Mechanisms and Plan tailored to your business.


Once the Discover phase is completed, we move to the Selling phase. We start it by “re-packaging” your needs, or your services and/or product offering, as appropriate.

Then, we engage the potential Targets as needed, start the conversation, and move to define agreements that work for all parties. We then go into the execution phase.


The final phase in our process is called Grow. After completing the due diligence on your Target Market(s), we continue to provide Post-Sale Services, such as Account Management, Market monitoring to discover new opportunities, finding new clients, and more. We build on initial success to continue to expand your business, constantly adding value to you.

Opening New Markets Abroad

Our services start with establishing what are your opportunities in New Markets in Canada (or even in your local market in association with a Canadaian company), by understanding your company and business, where can it be competitive and attractive, and how. This is the blueprint to your success in new markets.

Related Services

Many Businesses that engage our Market Development services can also benefit from Related Services offered by Clearport, such as Human Capital Management (HCM) services to support their projects with the right talent. Click on the image below to read more about our Human Capital Management (HCM) services.

Clearport Human Capital Management Services

Our Expertise and Alliances

Through in-house expertise, international coverage, and a broad network of alliances, Clearport Market Development can support your goals.

Clearport Footprint and Alliances Graphic

Book a Consultation to review your needs and how can we help.

Expand your horizons doing business in Canada or with Canadian companies.

Clearport-Expand Your Horizons

We can help you to determine your needs and goals, and the viability of doing business in Canada or with Canadian companies.

With our extensive business network and expertise, we can find the right opportunities for you. Get a personalized roadmap to your success!Click Here to Book and Immigration ConsultationWe are Your Door to Canada!

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