Canadian Law Group

CKR Law Canada: Entrepreneur/Investor Series

by Veronique Malka

Canadian Province of the Month: Ontario


Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, housing the National Capital Region of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city. Ottawa’s population is just under 1 million people, while the Great Toronto Area (GTA) has around 7 million inhabitants. There are many federal and policy related government jobs available in Ottawa. Toronto, on the other hand, is the corporate and otherwise metropolitan capital of Ontario. In fact, Microsoft is moving its Canadian headquarters downtown Toronto, set to open in 2020. For those interested in the FinTech and Blockchain markets, Waterloo, colloquially referred to as Silicon Valley North is about one hour outside of Toronto and the ‘corridor’ between both cities is booming with new startups.

 Ontario uses an Expression of Interest (EOI) form, after which the province invites select applicants to apply. Ontario also ranks candidates by score in their selection pool. If your application is approved you will be required to sign a Performance Agreement outlining your commitments from your EOI and a temporary work permit support letter will be issued to you to assist you in applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). If you suitably perform your commitments from the Performance Agreement, the Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP) may nominate you for Permanent Residence status (note: successful nominees have 6 months to apply for PR status once nominated). A nomination will also grant additional points to an applicant interested in permanent residence!

Your business partner must also meet the aforementioned criteria if you are applying together:



A minimum of 3 years of full-time experience out of the last five years as a business owner OR as a senior business manager.

2-Required net worth varies by the location of your proposed business:

-Greater Toronto Area (GTA: Toronto, Durham, Halton, York, Peel regions) at least 1,500,000 CAD (approximately 1,157,988 USD).
-Located outside the GTA at least 800,000 CAD (approximately 617,593 USD).

Regardless of location, ICT/Digital Communications sector business proposals require a net worth of at least 800,000 CAD (approximately 617,593 USD).

3-Required personal investment funds also vary by the location of your business:

-GTA: at least 1,000,000 CAD (approximately 771,992 USD) personal investment and an equity ownership of at least 1/3rd.

-Outside GTA: at least 500,000 CAD (approximately 385,996 USD) personal investment and an equity ownership of at least 1/3rd.

Regardless of location, ICT/Digital Communications sector business proposals require a minimum personal investment of 500,000 CAD  (approximately 771,992 USD) and 1/3rd equity ownership.

4- Applicant must create a minimum of two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

5- If you intend to purchase an existing business, at minimum you must make one business-related visit to Ontario the year prior to submitting your EOI

For your convenience, Ontario has created a self-assessment questionnaire to determine whether you personally meet the minimum eligibility criteria, available here. For additional information from the Program Guide, click here.