Franchising is a booming industry in Canada representing $120 billion. While it’s the twelfth largest industry in Canada, it is the second largest franchise industry in the world (CFA). Canada certainly offers an appealing opportunity to non-Canadian entrepreneurs who are seeking franchise ownership. In fact, according to the Canadian Franchise Association:
“Since the introduction of the International Franchise Attractiveness Index in 2020, Canada has consistently ranked among the top five countries with attractive franchise markets for balanced growth. This means international prospective franchisees, from the U.S. and otherwise, have a strong chance of maintaining growth in Canadian sectors.”
9 Tips for New Immigrants On Selecting a Canadian Franchise
Starting a franchise business in another country is an exciting yet challenging endeavor. Here are several tips to help guide new immigrants through the process of choosing a franchise in Canada.
#1 – Understand the Canadian Market
No matter where you decide to run a business, it’s essential to understand the local market so that you can make tailored decisions. You will need to do this even more so if you’re opening a business in a country that you’re not familiar with. Make sure to research the market in Canada so that you understand consumer preferences, cultural nuances, and business practices. In order to have a successful franchise business in Canada, you will need to know how to meet the specific needs and demands of the community where you plan to operate.
#2 – Legal and Regulatory Compliance
You will also need to be familiar with the business regulations and franchise laws in Canada. You shouldn’t expect the requirements to be the same as the United States. For example, while the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is recommended as best practice it is not required in all 13 provinces in Canada. Make sure to secure legal advice that will ensure compliance with the local and national regulations related to franchising.
#3 – Explore Industries of Interest
Not only should you know which industries or sectors align with your skills, experience, and interests, but you should also consider the growth potential of different industries in the Canadian market.
According to Canadian Franchising: A 2023 Industry Overview (CFA), categories to watch in Canada include:
- Business to business
- Consumer services
- Children’s products & services
- Quick service restaurants
#4 – Evaluate Franchise Opportunities
As you research various franchise opportunities in Canada you should consider their track record, reputation, and financial stability. This will help you find a franchise with a proven business model and a successful history of supporting franchisees. Your risk as a business owner goes down significantly when you invest in a franchise that has already been proven to succeed.
#5 – Review Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) & Franchise Agreement
While the FDD isn’t required in all 13 provinces in Canada, it’s still recommended as best practice. It’s a document that provides detailed information about the franchisor and franchise system. If possible, you should request and thoroughly review the document before making any decisions.
You should also pay attention to the terms, fees, support services, and any restrictions outlined in the franchise agreement, which is the official contract between the franchisor and franchisee.
#6 – Language and Cultural Considerations
You shouldn’t assume that your own language and culture will be enough to effectively communicate with customers in Canada. When deciding which franchise to buy, you should consider language proficiency if relevant. You should also make sure you’ll be able to navigate any cultural differences.
#7 – Explore Financing Options
There are various options for financing a franchise purchase in Canada. While there aren’t any specific subsidies for foreign entrepreneurs, there are government programs and incentives available to foreigners. You should investigate all of the options that are available for immigrants, including government loans. Just like you should for any large investment, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the financial requirements and the sources of funding available to you.
#8 – Work-Life Balance
Make sure you choose a franchise that aligns with your personal and professional goals. There are a variety of franchises to choose from, including a lifestyle franchise and a home-based franchise. When buying a franchise, you should consider the work-life balance that different franchises offer.
#9 – Consult with Professionals
It’s always a good idea to seek advice from professionals to help you make an informed decision. This includes legal counsel, financial experts, and business advisors who have experience with the Canadian market.
Ready to Pursue Franchise Ownership in Canada?
FranNet offers another key resource that you should take advantage of. Our expert franchise consultants can help a Canadian immigrant successfully navigate the path to franchise ownership. Not only will we help match you with the right franchise opportunity, but we can walk you through the process of buying a franchise from start to finish. Schedule your free consultation to get started!