The Entrepreneur Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
This stream is for entrepreneurs from outside of Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario.
It gives an entrepreneur (and up to one business partner) the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario.
Before you register an expression of interest
- Make sure you meet the mandatory requirements
- Check the list of ineligible types of businesses
- Understand the expression of interest process
- Read the registration instructions
To qualify under the Entrepreneur Stream, you must have a viable business activity that will bring significant economic benefit to Ontario. You and one business partner (if applicable) must both meet the eligibility requirements.
If you are invited to submit an application, you must provide supporting documentation to demonstrate you meet the requirements.
1. Business experience
You must have at least 36 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months.
Your experience must be as a business owner or as a senior manager (business management). As a business owner you must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business. As a senior manager you must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business.
2. Net worth
If your proposed business will be located:
- within the Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto and Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions) you must have a minimum net worth of $1,500,000 CDN.
- outside of the Greater Toronto Area you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.
If your proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.
3. Personal investment funds and minimum equity
If your proposed business will be located:
- within the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $1,000,000 CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
- outside of the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
If your proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and control at least of one-third of the equity in the business.
4. Active involvement
You must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.
5. Capital investment purpose
The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit. It must not be to derive interest, dividends or capital gains.
6. Job creation
You must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the first 20 months of establishing or acquiring the business and they must be paid at the median wage level for the position.
7. Additional requirements if purchasing an existing business
If you plan to purchase an existing business:
- you must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an Expression of Interest
- the business being purchased must have been in continuous operation by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months
- ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant or any business partner
- you must use a portion of your personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario
- you must keep all permanent full-time employees that worked in the business prior to the transfer of ownership
General business requirements
In addition to meeting the minimum requirements listed above, you must also meet the general business requirements listed below.
1. Business purpose
The business purpose must be to make a profit from active income through the sale of goods and/or services.
2. Canadian and Ontario legal requirements
Your business must comply with all relevant federal, provincial or municipal legal, regulatory and licensing requirements. This includes compliance with Ontario’s labour and employment standards laws.
3. Permanent business
Your business must be permanent. Project-based and seasonal businesses are not eligible.
4. Business in Ontario
You must maintain a place of business in Ontario at all times.
Refer to the Entrepreneur Stream Program Guide for more detailed information.
Ineligible types of businesses
Before you start the process of applying you need to ensure that your proposed business is not one of the ineligible types listed below.
- automated car wash business
- holding companies
- pay day loan and related businesses
- scrap metal recycling
- tire recycling
If your proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area, the following types are also ineligible.
- existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
- gas stations
- bed and breakfasts
Use a representative to apply
You may choose to appoint an authorized representative, such as an immigration consultant .
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