Doing Business in Canada

Despite strong competition from neighboring USA, Canada remains a land of hospitality and multiculturalism where anyone can find his place. The country is blessed with a bilingual and notoriously warm-hearted population and is also the 2nd largest country worldwide while counting only 2 inhabitants per square kilometer. How do these factors affect the conduct of business in Canada? During our last Breakfast Talk, Frederic Letendre (Attorney and Partner at Yulex, Canada) told us more about the country’s business attraction…

ABOUT YULEX

YULEX

As part of the Interlegal Network of lawyers, YULEX is a Montreal law firm offering entrepreneurs and their businesses legal services in business law, intellectual property and technology law. They are bilingual (French and English) lawyers with an Anglo-Saxon mindset!

In answer to Customers’ demand for a different approach to legal services, YULEX innovated their value propositions:

  • A frame of collaboration with clients inspired from Project Management Theory;
  • A more detailed breakdown of commercial offers;
  • A modern work environment, in contrast with the precious wooden furniture traditionally found in Law Firms;
  • A Web Platform allowing clients to store and download all their legal documents;
  • Techno breakfasts, webinars…

ABOUT CANADA

Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world but counts only 2 inhabitants per square Km. The consequences for firms involved in distribution or logistics are massive, since they must take into account the huge travel distances to cover the national market. It is, though, an interesting hub, due to its location between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the USA.

montrealThe country is officially bilingual (English & French) but the language skills of the population vary depending on the province. Outside of Quebec (the main French-speaking province), most people only speak English but there are other parts where people only speak French ! Therefore, bilingual packaging is mandatory in order to cover the national market. In Quebec, there’s even a law protecting the use of French and companies that couldn’t comply with it decided not to distribute their products.

CANADIAN LAW

Canada is a federal state. Consequently, there are legal matters that fall under federal Law and others, provincial Law.

Amongst those that are under federal jurisdiction, you’ll find intellectual property and criminal  laws, for instance.

In matters that concern the provincial level, you’ll find business matters and land ownership (although you are also able to create a company on federal level).

To simplify things, some matters are under the federal jurisdiction AND the provincial jurisdiction, such as immigration law, some parts of the incorporation of businesses, etc.

CREATING YOUR COMPANY

It is very easy to create a company in Canada. A variety of options are available but the main two corporate structures are corporations and partnerships. Both are very easy to incorporate or dissolve and enjoy low legal fees.

An important point: companies created under Quebec law are not subject to the mandatory presence of a Canadian resident on the board of directors, unlike companies incorporated under federal jurisdiction!

Legal liability of Directors & shareholders is very limited in Canada, since the country is of liberal tradition. Directors enjoy limited liability regarding the obligations of the corporation. There is also a corporate veil between the shareholders and the corporation which limits their liability, with exceptions such as but not limited to: unpaid taxes, salaries or social charges, environmental responsibility, anti-spam laws and menace to public order. In the end, there is no liability regarding the commercial activities of the company.

There are, however, some downsides to Canada’s liberal business tradition. Since shareholders have limited liability, it is generally required to write a shareholders’ agreement when raising funds. This agreement might include a number of clauses ranging from shares transfer terms to arbitration clauses, events of death and requirements for life insurance.

There is however a tendency towards the disappearance of non-compete clauses, as is already the case in Silicon Valley. The reason comes from the fact that the definition of “Territory” in such clauses is becoming more and more challenging in today’s internet-dominated economy.

In a nutshell, there is complete freedom to define the shareholders’ agreement clauses, within the limits of the law. In the event of a dispute between the shareholders, if the shareholders defer their case to the court, all the information contained in their shareholder’s agreement is made publicly available for anyone to read. However, the information is kept private if the shareholders opt for arbitration instead.

THE CANADIAN ECOSYSTEM

In Canada, you will get little support from public authorities in your business. You must therefore plan for everything and work in a “close-knit guard” mindset.

Evaluation of clients, suppliers or competitors is made more difficult by the fact that there is no legal obligation to publish corporate accounts. One can only obtain this information through an investigation, for which the assessed company has to give its authorization. It is therefore not a usual procedure. In exchange, companies often ask for legal reassurances.

Lawyers in Canada often take the role of the business partner, in contrast with France, where meeting your lawyer doesn’t happen often.

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Montreal is a great start-Up ecosystem. Several dedicated hubs also exist in the city Montreal, and the Greater Montreal Region, dedicated to different industries.

Want to contact YULEX? Tell us about your project through the Smart Connector and we’ll take care of the introductions!

 

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Can Vacation do your business good?

Here comes the season when “Any vacation planned?” replaces “Hello”.  As you have the whole company to run (and sadly, not all clients are leaving for vacation), can the pleasure of holidays make up for “lost” sales? Just last Wednesday, we have an open discussion with Charlotte Cadé @ SelencyThibaut Lamarque @ Castalie and Julia Salfati @ Salfatix Media on why and how to take a break. Arguments are diverse. Don’t you want to know who has the best solution for you?

At the evening of the laureates of the Réseau Entreprendre in Paris (which Beeleev participated), a question was asked to all entrepreneurs:  Should we take a vacation?

If the answer is “Yes”, the group is then divided into sub-group based on their type of vacation: Full time vacation? Abroad? With or without connected devices?

Vacations, by all means, are taken seriously by the CEOs. It’s an opportunity to recharge, step back and return with new business ideas.

How to manage your employees when you are on holiday?

Employees must be able to continue working normally during your absence.

The important thing is to set achievable, clear and precise objectives. Once these objectives are set, they can organize themselves to reach them.

Want to know how?

Our Beeleevers recommended  How to Hire A Player by Eric Herrenkohl, which is an easy-to-understand handbook on effective recruitment and collaborator management.

What pace to adopt to make the most of vacation?

Entrepreneurs hold different views on this matter.

Some root for full-time vacations to get a change of air and come back with new business ideas. The difficulty lies in resisting the temptation of checking work mails or the anguish of what can happen in our absence.

This is why some entrepreneurs prefer alternative forms of vacation.

Some recommend spending half the day working, and the other half relaxing. For the most anxious entrepreneurs, this avoids the stress of the re-entry and the 2000 unread mails.

A Beeleever, Thibault opted to another rhythm: spend the first 3 days of each week at work, and the rest for vacation. However, this might equal to 3 overloaded working days and unfulfilled week-end vacation.

Our advice: Go boating.

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Yes you read it correctly. We are asking you to buy (or rent!) a boat. Let the salty wind blow throw your hair, getting rid of negative thoughts and the sun warms you up with new inspiration.

Not a fan of boating? Fancy private boat is not your thing?

Alternatives are plentiful. The gist, indeed, is to isolate yourself from habitual environment and stay disconnected. Put down your phone and talk to your inner self instead. Ideas will find its way to you.

Have you found the answer you are looking for? Become a Beeleever to join our upcoming events and get inspired by the Community!

 

 

The Beeleev team thanks you for this amazing year!

2016 was an unbelievable year thanks to all of you! The community grew, our Beeleevers shared their best advice on the blog, the number of connections skyrocketted. Here is a retrospective of everything we lived together in 2016.

Our community

+ 1000 members in only one year! With over 100 expertise articles shared, you benefited from relevant advice and experience to develop internationally in the best conditions. Beeleev wouldn’t be the network it is without you. The bigger we get, the further we grow.
Thank you!

Our events 

Always more participants, always more events and always more information. We spent more than 10 outstanding events together this year and others are coming soon – so is winter. We are proud to announce you 2017 will be full of surprises.
Thank you!

We Connect, you Grow!

 2016 was a successful year. You, entrepreneurs, get more and more connected with each other : About 300 connections were recorded this year! It means that you can get even more support from all parts of the world.
The cumulative turnover of our Beeleevers reaches out $4 billion dollars. Therefore, “We connect, you Grow!”

Thank you!

The whole Beeleev team wishes a Happy New Year 2017 to all of you! May 2017 be even more fruitful than this year.

cta-beeleev

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Thank you for “Daring Africa” (Osez l’Afrique)!

Beeleev participated on November, 23rd to the event “Osez l’Afrique” (Dare Africa) organized by the Municipality of Roubaix and “Réseau-Entreprendre Nord” around the thematic of Doing Business in Africa. The event gathered more than 150 attendees and many institutional and private experts from various sectors in the beautiful premises of the town hall.

Our VP for the Middle-East & Africa, Hicham BAHSOUN, participated as a speaker in the chapter dedicated to “Customized Local Support”, alongside other experts from Total, BusinessFrance and the French Foreign Trade Council.

He was able to expose the way Beeleev can help entrepreneurs realize their projects in Africa, share his personal experience of Senegal and Bissau-Guinea and raise awareness about the cultural and Doing Business specificities of Africa. Here’s a small excerpt:

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Forget “Business is Business”. In Africa, “Business is HUMAN”!

In our Western societies, corporate culture usually commands to maintain a distance with your employees and collaborators. In Africa, if you do not take time to grow a personal relationship with them, you’ll never obtain their full collaboration. Listen to your employee’s personal problems and make yourself available.

Get ready to make the best of what you have!

Do not be put out by the lack of infrastructure, occasional power outages and slow service. Africa has a huge potential of growth and, if you agree to have your foundations shaken, you’ll hopefully manage to transform this challenge into a full success!

 “Network is Net Worth”!

In Africa, you are who you know. Networking is of the essence and the circles of influence are relatively small. You can fare safely without being in contact with them, but you surely won’t benefit from the incredible business booster they can represent.

Thanks again to “Réseau-Entreprendre Nord” and the municipality of Roubaix for allowing us to focus our attention on Africa! We hope to see you soon at one of our next events!

We Connect, You Grow!

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Thank you for this amazing event at BlaBlaCar’s!

Beeleev Pitch Contest at BlaBlaCar’s: Great tips from the Jury

Organized by Beeleev and Early Metrics, with a jury composed of Frederic Mazella (BlaBlaCar), Nicolas Bergerault (L’Atelier des Chefs) and David Amsellem (John Paul), our contestants definitely had here a great opportunity to get hands-on advices on how they should conduct their International Development. 80 people attended the event!

BlaBlaCarThe event was rich in diversity and went on for several hours, but we decided to treat you and share some of the great tips given by those who once struggled as start-up founders, only to become leaders of incredible success stories:

  • Go international as soon as you can to benefit from a scale effect! That is, if you are already strong on your core value offer.
  • Do not neglect cultural specificities! Create focus groups, travel and rely on local expertize to discover your customer’s habits and adapt your Go-to-Market accordingly.
  • Adopt an international culture within your team! Vary point of views and methods in order to become international-proof.
  • Acquihire local companies! It’s the best way to benefit from external growth and obtain crucial human assets. Otherwise, finding the right local partner and hiring local managers with share packages will be key.
  • Never hesitate to invest big on big markets! You just can’t conquer continents with a toothpick.

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Does it ring a bell? If you are familiar with Beeleev and our core values, it most certainly will! Connect with entrepreneurs worldwide and accelerate your international development with the Beeleev platform.

Be featured in our next blog article

 

How to achieve a successful fundraising?

On July, 21st, Beeleev was in WAI Paribas for an exciting conference about fundraising! 

We want to thank our partners BNP Paribas and CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre for this great event! A big thank you for all the speakers: Francine Bertrand, Arnaud Manceron, Xavier Chopard, Christophe Blondeau, Philippe Gosset and our Beeleever, the CEO of Guest to GuestEmmanuel Arnaud. 

Here is a little feedback of this Beeleev lunch!

 

Emmanuel Arnaud's testimonial for a successful fundraising

 

Legal and fiscal aspects of fundraising

Christophe Blondeau and Philippe Gosset from CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre (which supports companies in their fundraisings), were the firsts who took part in the discussion.

As they told us fundraising is a long process for which you need to be well prepared:

Some anticipation and a lot of energy are required to reach your goal.
The eco–system is also an important feature that you think of.
Don’t under estimate the psychologic dimension: you have to learn how to sell yourself to potential investors, look for information and create a dialog with them in order to find the right partner, someone who is going to be active and willing to participate.
It is also important to be aware of what is going to happen at the end of the fundraising and all the related issues.

It is important to highlight the attractiveness of your project in order for your interlocutors to be sure this is a profitable investment and thus reinforce their decision to invest! On the fiscal side, companies can also benefit from several levers.

Financial helps from the banks

BNP Paribas's tips for a successful fundraising

After, Xavier Chopard told us about the financial helps the BNP Paribas bank can provide to start-ups. Banks are a useful lever in order to raise funds. 

Funny fact: Did you know that, in Europe, France is the first country in number of start-ups that got funded?

Let’s get to the heart of the matter! What are the key points to follow in order to increase your chances of raising funds?

Fundraising is a long-term process: You cannot receive everything the first time. The most important rule to bear in mind when it comes to fundraising, is to understand that for every entrepreneur, banks seek to know if they will be able to raise funds. According to Xavier, 2 points are essential to respect to increase your chances:

1. You cannot raise funds if you are alone (or just 2 with your love partner). You must be a skilled and compatible team.

2. Just an idea on a paper doesn’t work at all. Your cash flows will be under examination but even if they are negative, you can still be funded.

Testimony of Emmanuel Arnaud on his own experience

a pitch about a successful fundraising Then, our Beeleever, the CEO of Guest to GuestEmmanuel Arnaud, explained his long experience of fundraising. He succeeded in achieving 3 fundraisings. Therefore, his testimony is gold.

According to Emmanuel, A successful fundraising is mainly about stimulating the investors. They want you and you have the choice. It is not the other way roundYou should seem confident by telling a story that is believable. You have to make yourself be desired and as long as you show that they are lucky to invest in you, then, most of the task is done. 

Feeling a bit nervous for your fundraising? Remember this funny quotation:

Just picture yourself as a security guard of a night club. You let specific people in and these people will attract other people and so on” Emmanuel Arnaud.

Thanks to all of you for this event!

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Women’s Unstoppable March to Equity

Who hasn’t heard of the recent “MeeToo” & “Timesup” Campaigns on social media? Supported by every actress and actor on the red carpet of the Golden Globes in 2018 by wearing black, these movements are the latest warning shots, adding to the women’s movement. But, when it comes to the Business Life, what do women still have to retake?
In the light of those events, we take the time to think about all the inequalities that remain between women and men, especially in the workplace.

What are the “HeforShe” and “Timesup” campaigns?

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#HeforShe: As you can see in the picture, “HeforShe” is a campaign promoted by the UN in order to bridge the gap between men and women. You can join the movement and support the UN’s fight for gender equality from education to politics here.

I’m inviting you to step forward, to be seen, and to ask yourself… If not me, who? If not now when?

-Emma Watson

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#Timesup: This movement was created in 2017 by 300 women in Hollywood, including Eva Longoria, Blake Lively, and Kerry Washington. It aims at equity, parity, safety and inclusion of women and marginalized people in all industries around the world. 

The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly.

-Open Letter From Time’s Up

Entrepreneurship for Men and Women

As Beeleev is a network for entrepreneurs, we will focus on the inequalities in the workplace and more precisely in entrepreneurship. We can claim that the gap is being bridged, however figures aren’t yet optimistic. In 2016 the gender gap in the European Union was of 11,9%, and the proportion of senior business roles held by women was 24%. Mckinsey has found that inequalities start at the hiring stage, with women having less chance of being hired than men.

It would be a false claim to say that women do not want to run a company or set up a business. Of course some don’t, as it also is the case with men. The real argument is a practical one.
Women still have the responsibility of their children’s daily care and, without infrastructures allowing them to lift this  load off their backs, they are bound to be less independent than their male colleagues. In this very case, equity is enabled by creating more Day Care Centers, but let’s be precise: having such a perk at your office shouldn’t be the exclusivity of Silicon Valley Companies. Private corporations, themselves, have to be at the spearhead of change.

Change is Tough? Read Again:

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I always wanted to have my own business but entrepreneurship was impossible in Soviet Kazakhstan, and my husband was never supportive of the idea,” says Shaiza Mirtina, 74, from Karaul, East Kazakhstan Region. “He didn’t want our neighbours to gossip about us and said it was a purely male affair.” But Shaiza persevered. Her bakery has inspired fellow women and has created jobs for local youth. If you want to read the whole story, you can go there.

This is one of the million inspiring stories that shows us how much still has to be done. We have to acknowledge the obstacles women are facing in order to overcome them. Thanks to social media and campaigns like #Timesup, we seem to be heading on the right path. 

What About You?

We have faith in female entrepreneurship as much as we do with their gender counterpart. To any women who wants to try this amazing adventure: Believe in yourself and follow the path of Successful female entrepreneurs like Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanks) or Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo).

If you’re part of Beeleev’s Community, you can also connect with these 3 Successful Female Entrepreneurs and ask for their advice and support:

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Hannah Oiknine, CEO & Founder at Babbler Barbora Balazikova, CEO at Robootek Beena Paradin, founder at Beendhi

This issue is serious and the fight for gender equality is far from over, as the gap is not bridged yet. Entrepreneurship is a beautiful adventure we all should be able to dare. We, at Beeleev, will continue promoting Gender Equity and the great successes achieved by women. Let’s make the world aware that we’re here!