This article was originally featured on the RBC Discover Blog Series and has been adapted for the Arrive Hub. 

For newcomers wanting to start a business, there can be a few unique challenges in the beginning; limited contacts in Canada, language barriers, familiarity with business practices, and access to credit are some of them. A little bit of preparation can go a long way to help you overcome some of the challenges.

Here are some tips as you start to plan:

1. Build a credit history
Credit history is crucial to obtaining funds and a limited credit history can impact your access to financing. Unfortunately, your banking records from home country are not readily available to Canadian financial institutions. One of the easiest ways to start developing a Canadian credit record is to apply for a Canadian credit card and use it wisely.

At Arrive, we equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed. For your finances, read more about Credit and Credit Scores in Canada.

2. Develop your network
One major challenge of starting a business in a new country is the absence of relevant contacts or connections. Some of the ways you can start building your network are:

  • Look for an association you could join.
  • Explore networking events you can attend; Eventbrite is a good site to get started.
  • Identify potential clients and ask them for feedback on your ideas. The people you meet will be able to provide market intelligence, and they may also become close friends and business mentors.
  • Stay up-to-date with organizations supporting newcomer entrepreneurs on LinkedIn. Follow and learn about companies like BDC and Scale Without Borders for actionable resources.
  • Sign up on Arrive Connections and start building your Canadian network of like-minded people. We connect you with our growing community each week.
  • Don’t forget to leverage your supplier/producer networks in your home country. This is an advantage you have as a newcomer.

3. Create a business plan
Creating a business plan is an essential step for anyone wanting to start a business. The research process will provide you with in-depth knowledge of a market that might be unfamiliar. You can also clarify your strategy and vision at this stage and pivot where appropriate. The financial planning and projections you develop in this process will also aid in securing financing.

Get started on your business plan now with this business plan template.

4. Research government support
The Government of Canada has several websites to assist newcomers in finding out more about starting a business in Canada. If you are in the planning process for immigrating to Canada, information about applying for the Start-up Visa will be useful.

With these initial steps, you’ll be in good shape to get started on your entrepreneurial journey in Canada! Check out the Arrive Hub for more resources on career, life, and finance.

Register for our upcoming webinar on Starting A Business in Canada

Shikha Bhuchar (Co-founder, Arrive) will be joined by Sharon Connolly from BDC’s (Business Development Bank of Canada) Newcomer Entrepreneur Success team, along with Clarinda Andes from RBC’s Business Accounts team to guide you through the steps of starting a new business.

This webinar will cover a range of relevant topics. You’ll learn:

  • Getting started on your business plan
  • How to finance your business
  • Resources and programs available for newcomers
  • Tips and recommendations

Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
Time: 11 am ET / 8:30 pm IST



Note: Arrive is not an immigration consultancy and therefore does not provide support with immigration or student permits. We created this post to support our users who have inquired about immigration-based questions. All information provided here has been sourced from the RBC website. For in-depth info on the type of visa you may qualify for or assistance with regards to the process for obtaining work or student permits, please have a look at the Government of Canada website. 
Disclaimer: This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by the Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.