Eligibility for the Entrepreneur Program.

Start and operate an innovative business (Component 1 of the Entrepreneur Program)

To immigrate to Québec as an entrepreneur – Starting and operating an innovative business, you must meet the following conditions.

List of conditions to be honoured

Want to start and operate an innovative business in Québec with help from a support organization
You must settle in Québec to start and operate an innovative business.

To do so, you must have obtained a service offer from a support organization, such as:

  • A business accelerator
  • A business incubator


  • A university entrepreneurship centre

The organization that wishes to support you in your project must fall under one of the following definitions:

  • Business accelerator: an organization with an establishment in Québec that offers support services to individuals whose business projects are designed to grow innovative businesses. In particular, it must provide a service for seeking financing.
  • Business incubator: an organization with an establishment in Québec that offers coaching services to people whose business projects are designed to start innovative businesses.
  • University entrepreneurship centre: an organization managed by an institution of higher learning incorporated under the laws of Québec or another province of Canada. It may also be an organization affiliated with such an institution that offers coaching services to entrepreneurs.
Have received a service offer from an organization that is committed to supporting you
The organization must be able to demonstrate that it can support you in your business project. To do so, the organization must draw up a service offer that describes the services it intends to offer you for carrying out your project. The service offer makes it possible to assess the fit between your business project and the capacity of the organization to support you in carrying it out. The resources used by the support organization must be sufficient and also adapted to the needs related to carrying out your project.

The service offer must include:

  • The proposed support plan: this plan must include a list and description of the services that the organization plans to offer you to carry out your project.
  • The operational plan: this plan must contain a detailed budget and a schedule for carrying out the support activities offered to you.

Conditions for immigrating to Québec as an entrepreneur – Starting or acquiring a business


Start a new business or acquire an existing one (Component 2 of the Entrepreneur Program)

List of conditions to be honoured

Settle in Québec to start or acquire a business
You must intend to operate this business.
Have a minimum net worth
You must have a net worth of at least CDN$900,000. You can share this net worth with your spouse or common-law partner who is accompanying you to Québec. You must be able to demonstrate the legal origin and accumulation of your net worth.
Submit your business project in the form of a business plan
 Own and control a portion of the equity in the business
If you choose to start a business, you must own and control at least 25% of the equity in the business.

If you choose to acquire a business, you must own and control at least 51% of the equity in the business.

Manage the business
You must manage the business you want to start or acquire and be actively involved in its management and day-to-day operations.
Acquire a business that has been in operation for at least five years
If you wish to acquire a business, it must have been in operation for at least five years prior to the date of your application.

Are you interested in coming to Québec to establish or acquire a business?

A strategic location between Europe and the Americas, Québec offers an abundance and variety of natural resources, highly-skilled, multilingual workers, a vibrant cultural community and an exceptionally high quality of life. Add to these advantages Québec ’s steadfast commitment to R&D, and you have one of the country’s most innovative economies, with high technology industries and ‘green’ energy increasing prosperity in the 21st century.

Business Environment
  • GDP of CDN $301 billion in 2008, 60% generated by the service sector
  • GDP per person 18th in the OECD, comparable to Germany and Italy , surpassing Spain
  • Tax rates on business profits among the lowest in North America
  • Tax incentives and labour force assistance and training programs ($2.5 billion annually)
  • Exports account for 33% of GDP , with 72% of international exports shipped to the US
  • Access to NAFTA market of over 440 million consumers
  • A market of 110 million consumers within a 1000 km radius
  • Within a 600 mile radius of Boston , New York , Washington and Detroit
  • #1 exporter of newsprint, 2nd largest magnesium producer and 4th largest aluminum producer in the world
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway offers easy access to the industrial heart of North America
  • Highly-educated workforce—19 universities produce 65,000 graduates annually
  • 85% of workers have post-secondary or more , 22% a university degree
  • Highly bilingual and multilingual workforce—40% speak French and English; 13% speak a third language
 Key Advantages
  • Québec ranks among the 10 most important health sciences industrial pools in North America. As a proof, the ten largest pharmaceutical companies in the world have operations in Québec : Canadian head office, fundamental R&D or manufacturing facilities.
  • Nearly half of the Canadian biopharmaceutical industry and most of the basic and clinical research activities are concentrated in Québec
  • Over 62% of overall Canadian aerospace industry production takes place in Québec
  • Internationally, the Greater Montréal region is considered one of the major world centres for aeronautics, on the same level as Seattle, Wichita and Toulouse
  • Montréal also has one of the highest concentrations of high-tech jobs in North America along with San Francisco, Seattle and Boston
  • Clean energy producer supplying electricity to other parts of Canada and the US
  • R&D spending—2.7% of GDP—is the highest in Canada and higher than the average of the OECD, the G7 and the European Union. Furthermore, Québec’s objective is to invest 3% of GDP in R&D by 2010
  • Over 200 specialized university R&D centres—McGill is the Canadian university awarded the most patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office
  • Private and public capital to fund investment projects
  • Efficient road and rail networks and airport infrastructure
  • 110 international financial centres
  • Montreal Stock Exchange a Canadian hub for financial risk management and a significant partner in specialized markets in North America
  • Home of the Canadian Space Agency
Potential Sectors
  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture & Agri-food
  • Automotive & Ground Transportation Equipment
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Construction
  • Energy (hydro-electric & wind)
  • Environment
  • Forestry
  • Financial Services
  • Genomics
  • Information & Communications Technologies
  • Information Technologies & Software
  • Light Metals
  • Microelectronics
  • Mining
  • Multimedia
  • Textiles
  • Tourism