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.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) welcomes foreign national entrepreneurs willing to invest in Ontario. Candidates who are invited to apply for permanent residency nomination under the Entrepreneur Stream would be considered, but not guaranteed for approval, and applications are assessed against the criteria as set out under section 13 of Ontario Regulation 422/17 (General), as further explained in the Application Guide: Entrepreneur Stream. The criteria include an applicant demonstrating that they meet minimum personal net worth and investment criteria. While passive investments, including mutual and/or pooled fund securities, are permissible for the purpose of satisfying the personal net worth criterion, they are not eligible for inclusion in an applicant’s minimum business investment amount.

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:

  • 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 at least 10% 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 Application Guide for more detailed information.

Entrepreneur Stream

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