Canada flag Canada: Investing in Canada

Investment framework and opportunities in Canada

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Foreign ownership and investment can be subject to scrutiny by the Canadian Government. Foreign investment is subject to the Investment Canada Act. The federal government has a mandate to screen proposed foreign investments to ensure that they are likely to produce a "net benefit to Canada" and may also review transactions on national security grounds.
Acquisition of Holdings
Possible so long as the procedure for an in-depth examination of the project is respected.
Obligation to Declare
Canada is first among OECD countries in terms of the low number of procedures (2) and the shortest time limit (3 days) required for setting up an industrial or commercial company. A foreign company can set up in Canada by creating a distinct legal entity or a subsidiary under Canadian federal law or a provincial law governing companies. A subsidiary is treated in the same way as a branch office. It must have a commercial permit or be registered with the province where it does business. Moreover, foreign investors from countries with specific trade agreements with Canada must generally file an application with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Invest in Canada
Citizenship and immigration Canada - Guide 4000
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Investment in specific sectors is covered by special legislation. The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over broadcasting (radio, television and their distribution, including some internet activity) and telecommunications. At least 75% of the voting interests of an air service must be owned and controlled by Canadians. The Bank Act requires ministerial approval (Finance Department) for any foreign investment in the financial sector to acquire or hold control of, or a substantial investment in, a Canadian bank. Non-resident ownership of uranium mining properties is restricted to 49% at the stage of first commercial production. Investment in any activity related to Canada's cultural heritage or national identity is administered by the Heritage Department.
For further information, see investment laws in Canada.

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Latest Update: June 2022

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