Business immigrants often settle for any business that might meet their immigration requirements… whether or not they have any desire to operate it!  We believe that you deserve much more.

Buying a business for immigration purposes shouldn’t be much different than anyone else buying a business. If you are going to invest your money, time, and energies for years to come, you should make it worthwhile.

We can help you determine your objectives, find suitable businesses, assess your options, negotiate the purchase, then complete all the paperwork.

 

Discovering Your “Sweet Spot”

In his book, “Good to Great”, Jim Collins noted that great companies focus on things that they are Passionate about; that they can be Excellent at; and that they can make a Profit from.

Passion, Profit, and Excellence

Sadly, many immigrants end up buying businesses for immigration, that they aren’t interested in, aren’t good at, and won’t make any money from or with! As Confucius said, Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

That’s why we first begin with an analysis of your background, your passions, and your interests. What you are good at; perhaps what you have always dreamed of doing.

Then, we’ll consider these in light of the marketplace in Canada; what business opportunities are there that might fit you? Often, the best business opportunities are not readily available for sale or they may not even exist yet! Using our network of local contacts and our understanding of the business culture in BC, we can help you find opportunities that fit you.

4 Ways to Invest into a Business

There are 4 ways for immigrants to invest into a business in Canada: Buying a Business; Buying Shares in a business (for most immigration options, you need to buy at least 33%); Starting a business from the beginning; and Buying a Franchise.

Risk

Cost

Startup Time

Difficulty to Start

Potential Return

Buy a Business

Moderate to Low

High

Fast

Moderate

Moderate

Buy Shares

Moderate to Low

High

Fast

Simple

Moderate

Start New Business

High

Moderate

Slow

Difficult

Moderate

Buy a Franchise

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Simple

Moderate

There are pros and cons to each approach.  Successful entrepreneurs from other countries often have the same attributes that make for successful ownership in Canada.  However, depending on their background, the learning curve can be steep, because of differences in the culture, language, employment norms, taxes, and other factors.

What to examine when a buying a business

When buying a business, it’s easy to fall in love with it…or at least, the sales presentation!  Here are some important things to consider:

  • The Lease:  This is one the most important factors to consider when buying a business. In many cases, the business itself depends on the location; if the lease has only 3 more years to go, and no guaranteed right to renew it, then you are purchasing a 3 year business! Look at the lease term, renewal options, and whether the landlord requires personal guarantees.
  • The Assets: Don’t assume that all of the assets that you see at the business are included in the sale; get the asset list in writing. Ensure that the equipment that you need is owned by the business, or if not, that there are lease agreements in good standing.
  • Financial Statements: Have a good accountant or lawyer review the financial statements and income tax returns for the past 3 years. Your trusted advisor can raise questions for you to ask the Seller.
  • Look for the trends: Is the business growing or declining?  Ask why.
  • Prospects and improvements: Are there areas you can improve?

Business contacts

When doing business in a new country, it is important to be able to make the right contacts, including professional advisors, bankers, industry contacts, trade associations, and others. Lowe & Company has been established in BC since 1990, and our lawyers and team have assisted clients in introducing them to contacts and strategic partners for various industries, including tourism, manufacturing, franchises, food processing, and others industries. We also work with Boards of Trade and regional Economic Development organizations in different parts of British Columbia, who are often able to provide introductions to strategic partners in those areas.