Ontario

Home - Ontario

Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

The Ontario Entrepreneur 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 foreign national business partner) the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario. Once nominated, an applicant qualifies to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Application Process (Stage 1 & Stage 2)

  • null
    Register an expression of interest by email
  • null
    If invited, submit an online application
  • null
    You and your business partner (if applicable) attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP office in Toronto
  • null
    If your stage 1 application is successful, you must sign a performance agreement
  • null
    We issue a temporary work permit support letter so that you can apply to IRCC for a temporary work permit
  • null
    Establish your business – you have 20 months to implement your business plan and submit a final report
  • null
    If your business meets all requirements, we ask you for documentation to make sure you are eligible for nomination for permanent residence

Requirements

To qualify under the Entrepreneur Stream, you must have a viable business that is likely to provide material economic benefit to the economy of Ontario as a whole or to the local Ontario economy where the business will be located. You and one business partner (if applicable) must both meet the eligibility requirements

1. Business experience

You must have at least 24 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 800,000 CDN.
  • outside of the Greater Toronto Area you must have a minimum net worth of $400,000 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 $400,000 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 $600,000 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 $200,000 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 $200,000 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

If the business will be located inside the Greater Toronto Area, you must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If the business will be located outside the Greater Toronto Area or in the information and communications technology or digital communications sector, regardless of location, you must create at least one permanent full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Jobs must be created within the first 20 months of establishing or acquiring the business, must be filled continuously for at least 10 months and 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:

  • null
    you must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an Expression of Interest
  • null
    the business being purchased must have been in continuous operation by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months
  • null
    ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant or any business partner
  • null
    you must use at least 10% of your personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario
  • null
    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.

 Business purpose: The business purpose must be to make a profit from active income through the sale of goods and/or services.

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.

Permanent business: Your business must be permanent. Project-based and seasonal businesses are not eligible.

Business in Ontario: You must maintain a place of business in Ontario at all times.