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Appendices

Appendix 1: Glossary

Active (earned) income: Income generated from core business activities, such as the sale of goods and services, excluding rental and investment income.

Business owner: An individual who owns/operates a business and holds at least 33.33% equity.

Business plan: A written document outlining business goals in detail and plans for attaining them. The plan should demonstrate that the business will be viable and likely to provide material economic benefit to the economy of Ontario as a whole or to the local Ontario economy where the business will be located. Further details can be found in Appendix 3.

Cash: Money (currency) in coins or notes, as distinct from cheques, bank drafts, money orders or credit.

Cash equivalent: Any highly secure financial asset that is liquid (can be readily converted into cash) such as high-interest savings accounts, short-term Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GICs), money market funds, treasury bills (T-bills), and other similar debt instruments.

Census metropolitan area:  An area that consists of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a population centre (known as a core). Census metropolitan areas have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the core.

Census agglomeration: An area that consists of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a population core (known as a core). Census agglomeration areas have a population core of at least 10,000.

CLB: Canadian Language Benchmark.

Direct experience: Experience gained in the same industry and sector corresponding to the first three digits of the proposed NAICS code.

Educational credential assessment: Assessment used to verify that a foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a Canadian one.

Eligible accompanying family members: Your spouse or common-law partner and/or children under the age of 22 as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Final report: Populated template demonstrating that you (and your foreign national business partner, if applicable) have met Performance Agreement objectives. The Final Report is to be submitted to the OINP between 18 and 20 months after you (and your foreign national business partner, if applicable) arrive in Ontario with temporary work permit(s).

Foreign national business partner: The business partner of another applicant for a single proposed business who is also an applicant and must also register an expression of interest (EOI), submit an online application and application fee if invited to apply notwithstanding there is single business proposal.

GTA: Greater Toronto Area (includes the City of Toronto, Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions).

ICT/digital communications sector: Information and communications technology/digital communications sector.

IELTS: International English Language Testing System.

Institutional investor: An institution, including a bank, pension fund, mutual fund, endowment fund, or hedge fund, whose primary purpose is to manage financial assets and that is regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission or its equivalent in another jurisdiction

IRCC: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada – CIC).

Mandatory interview: A required meeting held by video conference in order to gain a better understanding of a business plan and the past experience of an applicant

Median wage: To determine the median wage look at the occupation and region on the federal government's Job Bank website.

Net worth: Your assets minus your liabilities.

New business: A new commercial entity developed with the intent of profiting financially.

National Occupational Classification (NOC): The authoritative resource on occupational information in Canada used to understand jobs found throughout Canada's labour market as defined by Employment and Social Development Canada.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Type 0: Management jobs (e.g. computer and IT managers, financial managers, engineering managers, etc.).

National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level A: Professional jobs requiring a university degree (e.g. doctors, dentists, architects, etc.).

National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Level B: Technical jobs or skilled trades requiring a college diploma or training as an apprentice (e.g. chefs, electricians, plumbers, etc.).

National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Level C: Intermediate jobs (e.g. long-haul truck drivers, butchers, food and beverage servers, etc.).

National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Level D: Labour jobs, where on-the-job training is usually given (e.g. cleaning staff, oil field workers, fruit pickers, etc.).

Passive (unearned) income: Income generated from the sale of goods and services that are non-core business activities such as rental and investment income.

Performance agreement: An agreement between an applicant and the Government of Ontario outlining the terms, conditions and commitments that an applicant must meet in order to be nominated for Permanent Residence by the OINP.

Permanent business: A place of business in Ontario that is owned or leased on a permanent basis. Project-based/seasonal businesses are not eligible.

Permanent full-time job: A permanent position with no anticipated end-date (i.e. of an indeterminate duration) that consists of a minimum of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period.

Personal investment: The minimum personal investment derived from an individual’s personal net worth, required for Entrepreneur Stream eligibility.

Qualified vendor: A professional service supplier who is approved by the OINP to complete a verification report of personal net worth and legal accumulation of funds. The list of qualified vendors and instructions is listed in the application guide.

Related experience: Experience gained in a similar industry operating in a related business line as the proposed business based on the proposed NAICS code.

Schedule I bank: A bank named in Schedule I to the Bank Act (Canada)

Schedule II bank: A bank named in Schedule II to the Bank Act (Canada)

Senior manager (business management): Employee at the highest level of organizational management who has the day-to-day responsibilities of managing a business in part or whole.

Supporting documentation: Documents that support and provide proof for statements made in the application (for example Birth Certificate to confirm birth date).

TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada.

TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada.

Working capital: The capital of a business that is used in its day-to-day trading operations, calculated as the current assets minus the current liabilities.

Appendix 2: Finding the business location category

The OINP uses Statistics Canada’s census metropolitan area (CMA) and Census agglomeration (CA) data to divide business locations across Ontario into three categories based on population size:

  • Category A: Census metropolitan areas with a population of 175,000 or more.
  • Category B: Census metropolitan areas and Census Agglomeration areas with a population greater than 100,000 but less than 175,000.
  • Category C: All other locations that do not fall within Category A or B that have a population of 100,000 or below.

To find your business location category, click on the location listed below. Review the map to confirm whether your proposed business location falls within one of the identified Census Metropolitan Areas or Census Agglomeration areas.

Note: if your proposed business location is not identified within Category A or B, you can claim the maximum points for this factor.

Please note that some locations fall within CMAs or CAs, so we recommend that you check the map carefully to ensure that you select the correct business location category.

Category A: Census metropolitan areas with a population of 175,000 or more
Business locationEOI points
Toronto0
Ottawa - Gatineau0
Hamilton0
Kitchener - Cambridge - Waterloo0
London0
St. Catharines - Niagara0
Oshawa0
Windsor0
Barrie0
Category B: Census metropolitan areas and census agglomeration areas greater than 100,000 but less than 175,000
Business locationEOI points
Greater Sudbury5
Kingston5
Guelph5
Brantford5
Peterborough5
Thunder Bay5
Belleville5
Chatham-Kent5
Category C: All other locations with a population of 100,000 or below
Business locationEOI points
All other towns or municipalities that do not fall within Category A or B10

Source: 2016 Census, Statistics Canada

Appendix 3: Business plan guide

A business plan is a written document that describes your proposed business in detail, including:

  • the purpose and objectives of your proposed business including what it is selling, who are its customers and how it will operate
  • how your proposed business will achieve the purpose and objectives
  • the operational and financial goals of the business
  • what challenges lie between the execution of your business plan and the achievement of its purpose, objectives and goals
  • your plan to overcome the challenges (for example, sales, advertising, pricing, marketing, competition, industry regulations, cash flow and finances, changing market conditions and hiring the right people)

If you are invited to apply to the program you must also demonstrate how your proposed business will meet the minimum requirements of the OINP, including the claims that you made in your EOI (for example, how you will spend/allocate the total investment amount and how you will create the mandatory number of permanent full-time jobs).

Supporting documentation

A strong business plan contains supporting documentation. Wherever possible, empirical evidence is preferred to theoretical evidence and should be provided to support the claims and intentions of the business plan.

Some examples of supporting documentation evidence are:

  • financial statements
  • tax statements
  • sales forecasts
  • competitor analysis
  • industry statistics
  • market trend data
  • employee staffing and human resource plans
  • risk assessments
  • applications for licenses or permits
  • industry association memberships

Since every business is different, there is no perfect standard for business plans. Your plan may be to buy and improve an existing business, or you may plan to start an entirely new business. However, the process of collecting evidence and supporting documentation will lead to a stronger overall business plan because it forces you to think about every aspect of your business, and how it will succeed.

Submission of supporting documentation to the OINP is a mandatory requirement for the OINP to nominate you and your family (and your foreign national business partner and their family, if applicable) for permanent residence.

How to structure your business plan

Your business plan should be complete, clear and concise. The length of your business plan is not as important as its contents.

The business plan must:

  • use size 10-12 point font
  • be single spaced
  • not exceed 20 standard letter-sized pages (8.5 inches by 11 inches or 215.9mm x 279.4mm) in length, not including supporting documentation or other attachments or appendices

Your business plan should contain six sections. The length of each section will vary, depending on the type of business. The sections should be written in the following order:

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Model
  • Regulatory Requirements
  • Risk Management
  • Financial Analysis
  • People Case

Business plan sample questions

To help you write your business plan, sample questions for each section are listed below. Consider each question carefully. Although you do not have to answer each and every question in your business plan, these are examples of the types of questions that will be used to assess your business plan (if you are invited to apply to the program).

If the sample question does not apply to your business plan or you are unable to provide an answer for any reason, you may want to indicate why it does not apply.

Consider the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats for each section.

Each section must satisfy an OINP minimum assessment requirement and if your application is approved, may be measured using performance commitments as part of the Performance Agreement.

Executive summary

The executive summary should respond to and/or address the following:

  • Introduce yourself (and your foreign national business partner, if applicable), your relevant business ownership or management experience and briefly describe your proposed business in Ontario.
  • Explain why you are interested in the OINP and what your proposed business plan will achieve initially and in the longer term (for example, five years from now).
  • Why is your proposed business important for the Government of Ontario?
  • What economic benefit does your proposed business bring to the Province of Ontario?
  • Strategic Case: describe why your proposed business will succeed. 
  • Provide details about the critical success factors for the first six months of the proposed business (consider the purpose, objectives and goals of your proposed business).
  • Provide a full chronology of your proposed business plan including key milestones, dates and amounts for each part of the entire business investment.
  • Provide details of the location of the proposed business. State whether the premises will be owned or leased and, if the latter, provide details including date of lease termination and options to extend lease period.
  • Describe how the proposed business will benefit the local and broader communities.
  • Describe steps already taken to implement this proposed business (for example,  business-related visits, lease agreements).

In addition, a succession business (buying an existing business) should respond to and/or address the following questions:

  • Describe how you will preserve all existing permanent full-time jobs and create new jobs.
    • You must include a list of all existing staff and indicate whether they are full-time or part-time, and permanent or temporary.
  • Describe your plan to invest funds and grow/improve the business.
  • Financial Case: provide audited financial statements for last three years of the existing business.

Business model

  • Product/Service: Describe your proposed product/service, including its competitive advantage (why it will be successful).

Consider the following questions:

  • What is your product/service?
  • Describe the process associated with producing, delivering and/or supporting your product/service.
  • Have you considered packaging, quality, price, service, guarantees or warranty?
  • What is the differentiating factor that makes your product/service unique?
  • What are the benefits associated with purchasing your product/service?
  • Industry: Describe, in detail, the industry in which your proposed business will operate.

Consider the following questions:

  • What is the total size of your industry (potential sales, market share, and number of customers)?
  • Are there seasonal factors that would impact the industry?
  • Describe any trends that could impact the industry (financing or interest rate sensitivities, government regulations, seasonality). Are these trends increasing or declining?
  • What does the long-term outlook look like for the industry sector?
  • Competition: Identify any competitors to your business.

Consider the following questions:

  • Who are your direct/indirect competitors? Ensure that you provide a summary of competition, including: market share, financial health and comparison of product/service in terms of quality, price, service, warranties, image, etc.
  • Target market: Identify and describe the target market for the product/ service.

Consider the following questions:

  • Who is your target market? Ensure that you include demographic statistics such as their age, gender, income, etc. Additionally, ensure that you explain the psychographics (the classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations) of your target market.
  • What is the approximate size of your target market (in terms of gross sales and units of product or service sold)?
  • What trends (industry, socioeconomic, public policy, demographic shifts, etc.) are influencing the target market for your product/service?
  • Does pursuing this target market allow you to meet the minimum requirements of the program? Ensure that you explain the connection clearly.
  • Pricing strategy: Describe your business strategy on price(s) for the product/service.

Consider the following questions:

  • What is your base price and how did you arrive at this figure? What are your fixed and variable costs?
  • How are similar products and services priced? Ensure that you explain how the price of your product/service will compete with market prices.
  • How does your price point align with your target market?
  • What do your costs include?
  • Will you offer discounts?
  • What kind of a return are you looking for and how soon are you anticipating recouping your investment?
  • Does this pricing strategy allow you to meet minimum requirements of the program? Ensure that you explain the connection clearly.
  •  Sales strategy: Describe your sales strategy.

Consider the following questions:

  • How will you distribute your product/service? Ensure that you outline all of the players or technology involved in delivering your product/service to the end customer.
  • How can customers pay for your product? What credit terms will you extend to your customers? Ensure that you include any discounts that you will offer for early payment or penalties for late payment.
  • What is your return policy, service guarantees and/or warranties you intend to offer customers?
  • What after-sales support will you offer? Will you charge for this service?
  • Advertising and promotions strategy: Describe your advertising and promotions plan.

Consider the following questions:

  • How will you advertise your product? Include the medium that you will use (for example, direct mail, internet, radio, television, etc.) How much will this cost? How much business do you anticipate this will generate?
  • What are your plans to generate press for your business? What type of media will you target?
  • What kind of marketing material will you produce? Ensure that you explain brochures, sell sheets, business cards you will use, if applicable.
  • Will you have a website? If so, ensure that you describe how you will use the website to market your business.
  • What other forms of marketing will you use? Consider trade shows, telemarketing, etc.
  • SWOT analysis: Include a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis including factors likely to influence success of your business.

Consider the following questions:

  • Does your response provide a comprehensive assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the business?
  • Does your response provide a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities and threats in the industry?

Regulatory requirements

  • Applicable regulations: Identify applicable licensing and regulatory requirements and the associated operational obligations of the business.
  •  Compliance approach: Describe the proposed compliance approach to ensure all licensing and regulatory compliance requirements are met.

Risk management

  •  Potential risks: Identify and describe potential risks to the business.

Consider the following questions:

  • What are the possible risks within your industry?
  • What are the possible health and safety risks in your business/work site?
  • What will you do if the demand for your goods or services decreases?
  • What will you do if the number of competitors increases?
  • What risks do you face in producing your product/service?
  • What risks do you face with the marketing plan that you have outlined?
  • What human resources risks do you face? Consider your management team, advisors and your employees.
  • What will you do if your key employees quit? What if they are seriously hurt on the job?
  • What if you run out of cash? Where else would you go?
  • What if your major supplier has financial difficulties? What other suppliers exist?
  • What, if any, environmental risks does your product/service face? Do they conform to environmental rules of government, municipality, etc.?
  •  Risk management plan: Describe your risk mitigation strategy.            

Financial analysis

  •  Income statement: Include four-year projected income statements    (including clear assumptions for all revenue and expenses).
  •  Balance sheet: Include four-year projected balance sheets (including clear assumptions for all assets and liabilities).
  •  Statement of cash flows: Include four-year projected cash flow statements (including clear assumptions).
  •  Research:Support all financial assumptions with references to research or personal experience/knowledge.
  •  External financing required (if applicable): Has any required external financing been identified and is it in place/approved?

People Case

  •  Organizational chart: Include an organizational chart of what the proposed business will look like (including roles, responsibilities and skills needed from each employee).

Consider the following questions:

  • How many new full-time jobs are created for Canadians and/or permanent residents?
  • When do you expect to create permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents?
  • What are the skills and job experiences that the people filling these positions have?
  • What will the roles and responsibilities be for employees?
  •  Compensation plan: Outline a compensation plan for employees.

Consider the following questions:

  • How much will you be paying your employees? Will there be any changes in the future?
  • Describe the compensation package for yourself and your employees (for example salary, benefits, profit sharing schemes etc.)          
  •  Key outside advisors: Who are the key outside advisors required for the success of the business (accountants, lawyers, consultants, bankers, etc.)?

Consider the following questions:

  • Who will you need as outside advisors?
  • What is their role in the business?
  • How often will you need their services?
  • How much will you pay each respective outside advisor?       
  •  Recruitment plan: Describe the detailed plan on how to recruit/hire required local staff.

Consider the following questions:

  • What is your recruitment strategy?
  • How will you market yourself to prospective new employees?
  • Where will you recruit employees (internet, job fairs, etc.)?
  •  Training and development plan: Describe your training and development plan for staff.

Consider the following questions:

  • How will you train your staff?
  • What is your policy for ongoing training for your staff?
  • How will you ensure compliance with safety and/or other regulatory regulations?

Additional resources

Appendix 4: Guidelines for net worth verification

You, your spouse/common law partner (if applicable) and your foreign national business partner and spouse/common law partner (if applicable) are required to provide the vendor and the OINP a completed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) form, namely the IMM Schedule 4A - Economic Classes – Provincial Nominees - Business Nominees, as well as provide all the supporting documents described below.

All assets and liabilities must be identified and evidenced by supporting documentation.

All assets must be your personal holdings and must be documented.

If a supporting document is provided in a language other than English or French, you must provide a copy of the document and a complete, certified translation of the document. Refer to section 4.4 for translation requirements.

Documents

  • Schedule 4A section A, B, C, E, F, and G are for the disclosure of personal assets and liabilities. Applicants should not list any type of business assets in these sections. Business assets are included in the Book Value, Section D, of Schedule 4A.
  • You should label supporting documents with the Schedule 4A section letter and corresponding account number, property description, business name etc.
  • In the case of multiple properties, businesses, or other assets/liabilities, you should put all documents specific to that item together in the order as they appear on Schedule 4A. For example, if two properties are declared:
  • Property B1
    • B1a – title deed
    • B1b – property valuation report
    • B1c – purchase agreement
    • B1d – all other required documents relevant to that property
  • Property B2
    • B2a – title deed
    • B2b – property valuation report
    • B2c – purchase agreement
    • B2d – all other required documents relevant to that property
  • Schedule 4A section J legal accumulation of funds narrative document is required and must provide a complete history of the legal accumulation of funds for you and your spouse/common-law partner.  For example, it should include descriptions of any property purchases and sales, previous business ownership and any other sources of income and capital gains.

Personal financial information

  • Personal Income Tax returns submitted for the last two years.
  • Monthly bank statements covering the last two years of activity, for each bank account of you and your spouse/common-law partner, and ending on the same day for each account.
  • Term deposit certificates, share certificates, brokerage account statements, pension statements (current value must be clearly indicated), life insurance statements (surrender value must be clearly indicated), loan documents, credit card statements, as applicable.

If you or your spouse have real estate holdings (for each current property):

  • Title deed.
  • Purchase agreement, showing purchase price.
  • Third-party real estate property valuation, completed within the last 2 years (the valuation must be completed by an appraiser certified by the jurisdiction).
  • Mortgage documentation showing initial and current balance, if applicable.
  • If any holding is an investment property, identify as such and include rental agreement showing monthly rental income earned and evidence of rental agreement deposits.

If you or your spouse have received gift(s) or inheritance(s):

  • Documents attesting to the transfer of sums or assets received together with proof of bank deposit. If asset or property, provide third party valuation.
  • Gift: Identification of the donor, relationship to you and your spouse and proof of financial capacity to make a gift, shareholding, business ownership, property ownership, etc.
  • Inheritance: Act of death certified by the authorized authority, notarized will or court judgement and documents confirming the nature of the inheritance to you/your spouse.

Employment and business ownership wealth

  • Reference letters from present and former employers (for the past 10 years) on the official letterhead of the business.  They must be signed by a person occupying a position of authority and must include that person’s name and title. These letters must also include:
  • address and telephone numbers of the business
  • number of years worked for the employer
  • position and the responsibilities related to the position
  • salary earned (including bonuses, dividends and commission received)
  • Income certificate showing annual salary and bonus/commission (if applicable) prepared by your current employer and signed by a person in authority, and including their name, title and contact information.
  • Evidence of authority to sign banking documents for your organization.

If you are a shareholder or owner of a private business or businesses (for each business owned in the past 10 years; this applies to publicly traded companies if you and your spouse hold or held more than 10% ownership):

  • Incorporation certificates.
  • Registration with the taxation authorities for each business.
  • Documentation indicating ownership structure for each business.
  • Share registry, indicating shareholding of each business and amount of investment (initial and any changes).
  • Statements of changes to equity.
  • Indicate salaries and/or dividends paid to you and your spouse.
  • Financial statements for the most recent two years completed by a Chartered Professional Accountant of other certified professional accountant in the jurisdiction, including income statement, balance sheet, profit & loss statement and statements of changes to financial position. 
  • Corporate Income Tax returns from most recent two years.
  • Business items of your current business such as product brochures, photos, business cards, etc.

Technical problems

If you are experiencing technical issues with applying online, send us an email at business.immigration@ontario.ca and include as much detail as possible about the issue.
OINP staff will review your email and respond to you as soon as possible.

Updated: May 25, 2022
Published: June 24, 2021