Infographic: 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 bilingual and notoriously warm-hearted population. How do these factors affect the conduct of business in Canada? Our Canadian partners, Yulex, told us all about the country and why you should develop your business there.

Country Overview

3rd biggest country in the world in terms of land area, Canada has a population of more than 35 millions people spanning 6 different time zones. The GPD per Capita reaches $48,100, rising at a steady rate of 3%. Furthermore, inflation and unemployment are very low at 1.6% and 6.5% respectively. They mainly import Vehicles (17.2% of total imports), Machinery including computers (14.6%), Electrical machinery, equipment (9.9%), Mineral fuels including oil (6.9%) and Plastics, plastic articles: $16 billion (3.7%). 89.8% of Canadians use Internet, but only 67% own smartphones, and social network users reaches 73% of the total population.

With sharp drops after the 2008 financial crisis and smaller, but still noticeable drops around 2014, net inflows of foreign investments and imports of goods and services aren’t looking too positive.

Doing Business

The World Bank ranks Canada’s Easy of Doing Business in 18th place over 190 countries. As you can see in the infographic, Canada wins points in most categories. For example it will only take a day and a half and 0,4% of a person’s income to start a business in Canada (ranked 2nd worldwide). Furthermore, minority investors are highly protected thanks to the high extent of corporate transparency and the high degree of access to legal recourse against shareholders. But difficulties arise specifically when dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts. Canada made dealing with construction permits more expensive by increasing fees for site plan approval and building permits and enforcing contracts is hard in Canada, it will take on average 910 days compared to 164 for the best ranked country.

Business Etiquette

You will find below the things you need to know if you are planning on doing business in Canada. As mentioned, Canada is one of the biggest country in the world, so depending on the region you intend to expand to, you should know that there are differences between each province, and on the business culture too! Thanks to our local partner, Yulex, you can find below the main Do’s and Don’ts of doing business in the Canada.

Do’s

  • Make eye contact during meetings, it shows your understanding, sincerity and self-confidence
  • Business communication should be straightforward and concise
  • In business meeting, handshake is the appropriate greeting
  • Dress in a conservative and well-dressed appearance

Dont’s

  • Talk a language that no one understands in a meeting, it’s considered particularly rude
  • Don’t be late at meetings. Punctuality is important in Canadian culture
  • Do not start eating before everyone is served when you are invited out for a professional dinner
  • Don’t be offended if pleasantries are exchanged quickly during Business talks

We have looked at many aspects of the Canadian economy and socio-cultural aspects. But why should you expand your business there ? Yulex gave us the reasons to expand there !

Ecosystem performance 2017:

  • Canada holds the distinction of being the easiest location in the G20 to start a business
  • More than 10 000 active startups
  • More than 150 incubators and accelerators

Why Canada?

  • Canada stands among the top countries in the G7and G20 countries
  • A welcoming business environment
  • Diverse, confident, creative, entrepreneurial people
  • A strong growth record
  • Unparalleled market access
  • A highly educated workforce
  • Low business tax costs
  • Competitive R&D environment (if you want to learn more about that, don’t hesitate to read the article we wrote with them here)
  • Financial stability
  • A great place to invest, work, and live”

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Do not hesitate to send us your request to connect with them if you consider developing your activities in the Land of the True North!

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Infographic: Doing Business in the USA

Do we really need to present the USA? From independence to becoming the global superpower we know today, the country has been a major cultural and political influencer, setting the “American Dream” as goal in the minds of millions around the world. The USA’s influence also exerts itself through its innovations and exports. Birthplace of most international giant companies, the country’s growth and capacity to amaze is never fading.

Country Overview

3rd biggest country in the world, the States has a population of more than 326 millions.  The GPD per Capita reaches $59,500, rising only at a rate of 2.2%. But inflation and unemployment are low at 2.1% and 4.4% respectively. America’s growth is driven by IT Systems and Services, Health and Social Services, Construction, Building Equipment and Civil Engineering. Surprisingly, only 76.2% of Americans are internet users but 77% own smartphones, and social network users barely reaches 69% of the total population.

We can’t say that the Net Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment have been stable over the years. But apart from a drop after the 2008 financial crisis, the imports of Goods and Services have been exponentially rising.

Doing Business

The World Bank ranks USA’s Easy of Doing Business in the top 10, at the 6th place over 190 countries. As you can see in the infographic, the States wins points everywhere but specifically thanks to the country ranking 3rd for resolving insolvency. An advantage of doing business in the US, is that records on land ownership are part of public record,  which is only the case in 27 out of 190 economies. But difficulties arise when we start looking at the differences between states, for example, the cost of enforcing a contract can double from one state to another. Unfortunately, minority investors are less protected because of low shareholder’s rights, ownership and control, and lower corporate transparency.

Business Etiquette

When Doing business in the States there are specific points to keep in mind. Thanks to our local partner, G2 Experience, you can find below some Do’s and Don’ts of doing business in the USA.

Do’s

  • Open with a little small talk
  • Keep communications short and bite-sized
  • Begin with your conclusion and explain afterwards
  • Show enthusiasm and passion
  • Follow-up/respond within 48 hours

Dont’s

  • Don’t worry about your English
  • Don’t disappear! Keep in touch even if no news to share
  • Don’t show too much humility (it’s OK to be openly proud)
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Don’t compliment people on their appearance

 

The fragmented aspect of the United States can be intimidating when looking to develop there. Sophie Lechner, founder and CEO of G2 Experience, a company that accelerates the global expansion of companies by helping them successfully enter new markets, gave us very interesting insights on targeting a niche and expanding from there:

“The U.S. population is large but don’t approach it as one single big market. There are big differences across states, regions and cities, and between demographics.

Identify a narrow segment (think “Minimum Viable Audience”) based on a specific pain point or interest. Go beyond basic segmentation to find a group with a unique need, often over-looked and under-served.

Understand that small audience in great depth: their desires, frustrations, ideals. Your in depth customer knowledge will allow you to delight them, and gain reputation and trust as a platform forgrowth.

Address what drives them with a tailored, laser-focused and easy to visualize message. To your niche audience, that message will be compelling, making you the expert with the differentiated offering.”

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Infographic: Doing Business in Japan

The land of the Rising Sun’s fame is ever-growing. Birthplace of major automobile constructors and major tech companies, the country is not giving up on his leading role in worldwide innovation.

Country Overview

Japan has a population of more than 126 millions and a GPD per Capita of $42,700 which is growing at a rate of 1.5%, not a very great rate since it places Japan only a 174th in the world on GDP growth. But the inflation and unemployment are low at 0.4% and 2.9% respectively. Furthermore, the growing sectors in Japan are the automotive, shipbuilding’s, biotech’s, nanotech’s, renewable energies, semi-conductors, optical instruments, and robotics industry.

92% of the Japanese population are internet users but only 39% own smartphones positioning it at the 6th and 23rd place in the world respectively. Japanese use of social networks are similar than the smartphone users, at 51%.

Doing Business

The world bank ranks Japan Easy of Doing Business at 34 over 190 countries. As you can see in the infographic, Japan wins points thanks to its easy of resolving insolvency, getting electricity and trading across borders. But the difficulty comes from getting credit (made harder by the absence of credit registry coverage), enforcing contracts (which will take at least a year) and protecting minority investors.

Business Etiquette

Doing business in Japan can be very different than in any other countries. Thanks to our local partner there, you can find some insights below on the Do’s and Don’ts of doing business in Japan.

Do’s

  • Always be on time
  • Dress formal
  • Clarify everything, and be as specific as possible
  • Always fulfill your commitments
  • Listen more than talk. Always give the impression that you value and respect people’s input

Dont’s

  • Don’t consider Japan as fortress: they are constantly looking for high-performance, eco-friendly and safety increasing solutions
  • Don’t underestimate the level of investment (human resources, budget) that would be required to achieve the goals
  • Don’t take any immediate decision, even to save time. Always request additional time to consider an offer
  • Don’t deny your responsibility when problems arise
  • Don’t see responsiveness and proximity with your partner as an option

Japan’s path to development and innovation doesn’t seem to give signs of halt and continues to attract many foreign investments. Cetana, a partner of Beeleev, is a company that helps companies develop international from Japan. Jean-Michel Mollier, founder of Cetana, gave us a very interesting overview and insights on the matter:

“The negotiations on the Japan – EU Trade agreement that started in 2013 were finalized on December 2017, paving the way to a new potential for EU firms that already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year. Agri-food products, electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, transport equipment, textiles, and forestry products are among those sectors that will be given further promotions. Moreover, the forthcoming Olympic games have already demonstrated the benefits in the long run of such a big event, in a country well known to be “innovate-alcoholic”.

 

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Why Richmond, VA is a Hotspot for Doing Business in the U.S.

New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Silicon Valley… Many places come to mind when choosing a location to set up business in the U.S. But you’d be missing out on great opportunities would you restrict yourself to this list… One of these gems is Richmond, Virginia: a vibrant and growing community of nearly 1.3 million people, home to 8 Fortune 500 headquarters. Located just south of Washington DC, it ranks 2nd for total number of firms and has many other advantages beyond its ideal location…

The Greater Richmond Partnership

GRP Logo

During their recent tour of France, we had the pleasure of meeting the great team from The Greater Richmond Partnership Inc. (GRP). The GRP is the leading regional economic development organization for the City of Richmond. They serve as a single point of contact for the network of private sector and state and local government professionals. They assist companies through the process of developing in Richmond and its surroundings by preparing custom research based on the firm’s parameters and data requirements, including information on labor, transportation, taxes, government regulations, and available incentives.

Thanks to their support, the process of developing in the Richmond area is made simpler. Once a prospection visit to the area is confirmed, a staff member creates a structured itinerary that includes a community overview, travels to available sites and buildings, and scheduled meetings with suppliers and professional service providers. They also offer “Peer to Peer” meetings with local business leaders to obtain insights into conducting business in the area.

They also provide companies with their Global Assistance Program as Barry Matherly, the President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership tells us: “Navigating an unfamiliar set of legal, monetary and other systems can be intimidating and it is easy to fall into any number of pitfalls without the proper knowledge. That’s why we established a Global Assistance Program to help provide a soft-landing for international firms.”

If you want more information don’t hesitate to contact Bethany Miller, Vice President of Business Development, by calling 804-643-3227 or emailing her at bmiller@grpva.com.

Richmond and its Surroundings

Demographics & Location

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Located on the East coast of the Unites States, it is only one hour and fifty minutes driving away from Washington D.C. The location of the city is definitely an asset as Matherly tells us: “One of the best reasons to choose Richmond as a business destination is our strategic location to the majority of the U.S. population within a days’ drive”. It includes a world-class transportation system including four interstates, two international airports and one of the nation’s largest sea ports. Its proximity allows businesses to access 45% of the U.S. population within one-day’s drive.

Richmond is not a small city. Ranked as the nation’s 45th largest metropolitan area in 2016, it has now a population of 1.3 million people. Its millennial population, the 25-to-34 segment, increased by 15% from 2010 to 2015, as reported by Time magazine in June 2017.

A Healthy, Diverse Economy

Richmond has a great combination of resource diversity and advantages, making it an ideal location for many industries (supply chain management, advanced manufacturing, data centers, Health and life science, corporate headquarters…). Since it isn’t dependent on a single industry, you’ll find that the city hosts a very diverse ecosystem of companies, including 8 Fortune 500 headquarters located there (ranking 13th over 100).

With a lower than average and stable corporate tax of 6% (which hasn’t changed since 1972), electricity rates 30% below the national average, unionization and unemployment insurance among the lowest in the U.S, Richmond has a stable and healthy economy from which companies can benefit on the long run.

An Educated & Growing Workforce

Richmond boasts a highly-educated and talented workforce, with 60% of working adults having college experience. This might be related to the fact that 7 Richmond area High Schools are ranked in the Top 35 High Schools in Virginia, leading to higher rates of students going to university afterwards. Additionally, the Richmond Metro Area counts 30 Universities, many of which offer programs to stimulate entrepreneurship amongst their students like the VCU’s Venture Creation University, or Virginia Union University Center for Small Business Development.

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Incentives Programs

The state of Virginia and the Richmond area are one of the best pro-business area in the United States thanks to the many incentives put in place for new and existing companies. Incentives include financial assistance, infrastructure development grants, tax credits and exemptions, customized training and technical support programs. You can learn more about Richmond’s Incentives Program here.

Quality of Life

According to the center for Community and Economic Research Cost of Living Index in 2017, Richmond’s cost of living was 5% below the national average. This is not the only reason why Richmond’s quality of life is valuable. With a climate encompassing the 4 seasons, and a 400 years old history, Richmond has a wealth of cultural and artistic amenities giving the area a cosmopolitan flair to benefit from.

Doing Business in Richmond

Why should you choose Richmond as a location for your future company to expand? Ippon Technologies, a Paris-based technology consulting firm which recently settled in Richmond, gave us insights on their decision making process: “Virginia is business friendly from a tax standpoint in helping businesses,” explained Romain Lhéritier, the Managing Director of Ippon USA in Richmond. “Our target market is the East Coast, and when you look at Richmond on the map, it’s pretty central. So, all these were the business reasons to do things here.” As Romain mentioned, Virginia is business friendly, with a low cost of doing business. Barry Matherly also tells us that “Virginia is one of the best states to do business and it’s due to our convenient tax and legal structures.”

In addition, investment in the region is growing as Matherly points out: “Billions of dollars are being invested in the region.” This rise in investment is due to a few incoming projects: “The Richmond Region is finding momentum from investments in the Richmond Marine Terminal, speculative building construction, as well as Facebook’s plan for a $1 billion data center. We’re very proud that Richmond has been selected as the top mid-sized U.S. city for foreign direct investment by FDI magazine.” Matherly continued.

“We’re very proud that Richmond has been selected as the top mid-sized U.S. city for foreign direct investment by FDI”

And if words aren’t enough, you can watch this video on the Greater Richmond’s attractivity, courtesy of the GRP!

After collaborating with the GRP on this article, we – for sure – will put this great part of American land on our map for our next Learning Expedition to the East Coast. For the rest, we hope to have inspired some of you to make the move to the U.S. through Richmond !

Infographic: Doing Business in Portugal

This week’s Infographic is about beautiful Portugal !

We worked alongside our partners from CMS Portugal to provide you with our second issue of Doing Business in PORTUGAL!

Hope you’re enjoying our new format! Please feel free to comment and tell us what you think. We’d really appreciate your feedback.

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Infographic: Doing Business in India

Hear Hear!

You might have noticed, but a lot of changes are happening within Beeleev. First, we launched our Community Platform and now, a new format is born: the Doing Business Infographic!

Much more readable and comprehensive, it will include all the important informations for developing your business abroad: macroeconomic country data, ease of doing business and cultural specificities to take into account.

We worked alongside our partners from CCI India to provide you with our first issue of Doing Business in INDIA!

Hope you’ll enjoy the format! Please feel free to comment and tell us what you think. We’d really appreciate your feedback.

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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!