Owner Operator Program in Canada

Updated on Wednesday 14th April 2021

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The Owner Operator program in Canada refers to the immigration process through which a foreigner can relocate here for the purpose of developing a business activity. However, one has to know that this program combines regulations concerning immigration for investment purposes with the ones available for foreigners who want to relocate here for work purposes. 
This is given by the fact that the Owner Operator program in Canada requires the applicants to either purchase a company (or purchase the majority of voting rights in a company) that is registered in this country or to incorporate a new legal entity. At the same time, another particularity of the program is that the founder of the company or the shareholder will act as an employee of the company
If you want to open a company in Canada as a foreign businessman, you can rely on our team of specialists for information on how to access the Owner Operator program. Our consultants in company registration in Canada can present the steps you should follow in this case, but we also invite you to read the information below, which offers a short presentation regarding this subject. 

What are the main characteristics of the Owner Operator in Canada?

First and foremost, the purpose of the program is to act as an immigration system for those who want to relocate here for a given amount of time or on a permanent basis. Through the Owner Operator program in Canada, one can receive the permanent residency, while developing a business activity here. 
An advantage of the program is that those who want to open a company in Canada are not bound by investing a minimum amount of capital in a business, as there aren’t any capital requirements. The program is applied at a national level, and all the Canadian provinces require the accomplishment of the same steps, the sole exception from this rule being in Quebec, where additional regulations have to be met.  
If you want to participate in this program, we highly advise you to gather as many details as possible with regards to the documents necessary for this procedure, the steps you have to follow, the fees that you may need to pay and others. For all these aspects, our team of specialists in company formation in Canada remain at your disposal.  
The main idea of the program is the following: the foreigner will start the process of Canada company formation or will purchase a local company or will purchase at least 51% of the shares of a company. After this is done, he or she will begin the process for Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), though which he or she will be able to obtain a work permit and a residence permit
The program is created with the purpose of providing a high level of flexibility for investors who simply want to invest in this country and who will later on will consider relocating here for a longer period of time. If this is something of interest, then the investor will start the LMIA process, through which he or she will request the right for his or her company to hire foreign workforce. In this particular case, the foreign employee will be represented by the company’s owner.  

What does the Canadian LMIA form contain? 

The LMIA form is a type of document that has to be completed by all those who arrive in Canada for business purposes or work related activities. The LMIA form is created for the Temporary Foreign Worker program and special procedures have to be completed by the Canadian employers. The form contains the following sections: 
  • Section 1 – information on the company’s trading name, registered address, company type and others;
  • Section 2 – contact information of the employer, such as name, address, phone number, etc.;
  • Section 3 – third-party information (here, the authorized representative of the employer can also provide his or her personal information);
  • Section 4 – Labor Market Impact, a section where the employer has to provide information on whether the respective employment contract is signed for a job shortage, for the creation of additional jobs, etc.;
  • Section 5 – details on the job opening and duration of the employment contract. 
The form requires information on the place where the job activity will be developed, the hourly and monthly salary of the employee, the benefits that the person will be entitled to, the manner in which the recruitment is performed, the purpose of the application (permanent residency and the issuance of the work permit) and others. For more information regarding this subject, we invite you to contact our team of consultants in company formation in Canada, who can advise you on all the requirements that have to be met.