Canada: Why Do Business In Canada?

Last Updated: June 24 2014
Article by Jennifer Raoul and Paul Y. Fortin

Most Read Contributor in Canada, September 2016

Companies seeking to do business in North America should consider the many benefits of doing business in Canada. Canada has a stable economy, a highly-skilled work force, diverse manufacturing capabilities, and a sophisticated and cost-effective patent regime. Canada is viewed as a gateway to the United States and is frequently used as a test market before entering the larger North American marketplace. Outlined below are some of the reasons companies should consider doing business in Canada.

10 Reasons to Consider Entering the Canadian Market

1. According to a detailed study of international business costs in 11 countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, conducted by KMPG, Canada's business costs were second-lowest.

2. Canada is the best country for business in the G-20 according to Forbes Magazine's November 2012 study. It remains a welcoming and profitable place for international business and foreign direct investment.

3. For the fifth consecutive year, the World Economic Forum rates Canada's banking system as the world's soundest.

4. Canada has the most highly-educated population in the OECD and attracts the best and brightest from around the globe.

5. International companies recognize Canadian leadership in industries such as fiber optics, aerospace and biopharmaceuticals. The country is also a world leader in fields such as medical devices, digital gaming, and agri-food.

6. Canada is strategically located in the crossroads between the North American marketplace and the booming economies of Asia.

7. Canada offers businesses favourable R&D tax credits and incentives, effective intellectual-property protection and enforcement, open competition in domestic market in the deployment of digital information and communications technologies and platforms, transparent government-procurement practices, and openness to high-skill immigration.

8. Canada offers ease of cross-border trade with lucrative markets. Canada is a signatory to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – a tri-lateral agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Canada recently joined The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.

9. According to The World Bank's Doing Business report, Canada has one of the simplest business start-up processes in the world. Opening your business requires a single procedure and takes around five days – one of the quickest turnarounds among nations analyzed in the report.

10. Canada ranks third in the world for quality of life, according to The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

10 Reasons to Seek Patent Protection in Canada

1. Canadian patents not only protect your market share in Canada, they also protect against competing products being imported into Canada or being made in Canada and exported to foreign markets, such as the neighbouring USA.

2. Canada has a sophisticated and cost-effective patent system. Government fees are fairly low, there are no claim fees, and multiply-dependent claims are permitted.

3. Canada has a "first to file" patent system and a convenient one-year grace period for inventor-derived disclosures. A patent must be filed in Canada within one year of the disclosure.

4. An international PCT application may enter national phase in Canada up to 42 months from the priority date (standard is 30 months), providing additional time to make business decisions while deferring costs.

5. Examination may be deferred up to five years from the filing date. This provides an opportunity to assess prosecution in other jurisdictions before making decisions regarding Canada. Conforming the claims to those granted in another jurisdiction may expedite prosecution in Canada.

6. Examination may be expedited by requesting Special Order or using the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Expedited examination is also available for cleantech applications.

7. Patent prosecution in Canada is fairly flexible. Claims may be amended at any time during prosecution and strict verbatim support for amendments is not required, as long as the subject matter is reasonably inferable from the specification as filed.

8. Examination continues to progress as long as new arguments and amendments are being put forward. Final Actions are rarely issued and examiner interviews are permitted.

9. Canada has adopted the "Saccharin doctrine" which provides added protection for patented processes. An imported product can infringe a Canadian process patent even if the process was performed outside Canada.

10. Additional protections for drug patents are provided under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (akin to the Hatch- Waxman system in the USA) and data protection is available for innovative drugs.

For additional information on doing business in Canada, please feel free to contact the authors or visit for access to free publications.

Originally published in LifeSigns - Life Sciences Legal Trends in Canada

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