Open Your Business in Ontario – OINP Entrepreneur Stream

This stream of the OINP is for individuals from abroad to gain assistance from OINP with either:

  • A new business idea, OR
  • A plan to purchase an existing business in Ontario.

Once their business has been established successfully in Ontario, the individual can then apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Who is eligible for the Entrepreneur Stream

To be eligible, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have at least 3 years full-time business experience in the last 5 years as either:
    • A business owner, OR
    • A senior manager of a business
  • Have a minimum net worth of:
    • At least CAD$1.5 million if your proposed business will be located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
    • At least CAD$800,000 if your proposed business will be located outside the GTA
    • At least CAD$800,000 if your proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector, regardless of where it will be located in Ontario.
  • Make a personal investment of:
    • At least CAD$1 million and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3% if your proposed business will be located within the GTA.
    • At least CAD$500,000 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3% if your proposed business will be located outside the GTA.
    • At least CAD$500,00 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3% if your proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector.
  • Create at least 2 permanent, full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Make at least 1 business-related visit to Ontario in the 1 year prior to your submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI: see below).

Please note that the General requirements, the Additional Requirements if purchasing an existing business, and the Nomination Requirements are the same as the Corporate Stream listed above.

How to Apply for the OINP

Step 1: Preparation

Make an exploratory visit to Ontario to discover opportunities and make contacts and gather ideas for a business proposal. Remember that the following businesses are not eligible:

If your proposed business is within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) the following businesses are NOT eligible:

  • Existing Franchises in Ontario. New franchises that are expanding into the province are permitted.
  • Gas Stations
  • Tire recycling
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Holding companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses previously owned by current or former OINP Business Stream nominees.

If your proposed business is outside the GTA, the following businesses are NOT eligible:

  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Holding companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses previously owned by current or former OINP Business Stream nominees.

Step 2: Register an Expression of Interest (EOI)

Go here and click on the red-outlined box Register an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Entrepreneur Stream. Make sure you are aware of the required documents (see below) and fill in the information. You will be placed in a pool of candidates for the Entrepreneur Stream from which the OINP selects candidates from time to time.  

Entrepreneur Stream. Make sure you are aware of the required documents (see below) and fill in the information. You will be placed in a pool of candidates for the Entrepreneur Stream from which the OINP selects candidates from time to time.  

Remember that the information on your proposed business that you provide when registering an EOI will become part of your contractual obligations under the Performance Agreement you will sign with the government of Ontario (see below).

To register your EOI you must follow the following process:

  • From the page detailed at the beginning of this section on EOI at OINP’s website which you can find here, complete the CAPTCHA
  • Select Entrepreneur Stream and then fill in your name and email to register at OINP’s e-Filing Portal.
  • Then create a ONe-key account and log in
  • Click on Submit New Application
  • Select Entrepreneur Stream
  • Fill in your Expression of Interest.

Once you have completed your EOI, you will receive a confirmation email. The date of your confirmation email is the date your placement begins in the Entrepreneur candidates pool. You will be in the pool for 12 months.

While you do not need supporting documents when filling in your EOI, you will need them if you receive an Invitation to Apply from OINP.

See our other pages on OINP streams to see how to authorize or cancel a representative.

Your EOI will be scored as follows:

FactorPoints
Experience Factors50
Investment Factors100
Human Capital Factors20
Total Points Available170

In general, the higher your net worth and the more years of business experience as an owner or senior manager will increase your points awarded. As well the more full-time jobs your proposed business will create, the more points you’ll be awarded.

You will be awarded points if your business proposal is in these targeted sectors of Ontario’s economy:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Chemical and Biochemical
  • Cleantech
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturing
  • Industrial Automation and Robotics
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Mining
  • Tourism.

Further, if you invest in Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) with populations of less than 175,000 you will be awarded points and even more points if you locate in CMA’s with populations of less than 100,000.

If you create NOC 0, A or B jobs you will also be awarded points. As well, a small number of points are awarded for post-secondary education and language skills beyond CLB 4.

Step 3: Invitation to Apply

Here are some of the latest draws by OINP for the Entrepreneur Stream to give you an idea of what sort of points totals you need to be invited to apply:

Draw DateMinimum ScoreNumber of Invitations
September 21, 201811716
August 20, 201811021
July 17, 201812020
June 13, 201812413
May 14, 201812710
April 16, 201813213
February 5, 201813713
May 5, 201712022
December 22, 201612320
August 29, 201613210

As can be clearly seen, the minimum required point total has tended downwards while the number of draws in 2018 has increased greatly, resulting in over 100 entrepreneurs invited to apply to the Entrepreneur stream in 2018 alone.

If you are invited to apply to OINP under the Entrepreneur Stream, you will receive an email notification with:

  • Instructions on how to log in to your account at ONe-key to access your application
  • Your application deadline (90 days from the date of your Invitation to Apply)
  • An application guide for the Entrepreneur Stream
  • If you are applying with a business partner, each of you will have to submit a separate application.

Step 4: Qualified Vendors

You will receive a list of qualified vendors that will evaluate the personal financial information from your EOI (your personal net worth) if you are invited to apply.

You must provide your qualified vendor with all supporting documentation listed in your Entrepreneur Technical Guide.

You will have to enter into an agreement with your vendor as to the price and service they will provide you in analyzing your net worth.

Step 5: Payment of fees and submission of application

You must pay a CAD$3,500 fee online before you can submit your application. You can only pay by Credit Card online (Visa and MasterCard ONLY).

Fees are non-refundable unless your application is returned as incomplete or you withdraw your application before the OINP begins to process it.

Once you submit your application you will receive a confirmation email from OINP.

Step 6: Assessment and Interview

If your application is complete you (and your business partner if applicable) will have to attend a mandatory interview at OINP’s offices in order to gain more information on your business plan and past experience.

Your proposed business will be assessed and then you will be informed if your business plan is accepted or rejected. If it is rejected, you will have the opportunity to request an internal review. You should email the OINP at: internalreviewrevisioninterne@ontario.ca within 30 days if in Canada or 60 days if abroad from the date you received the notification of rejection from OINP.

Step 7: Performance Agreement

If your proposed business is approved, you will have to sign a Performance Agreement with the government. As in the Corporate Stream it will detail:

  • A description of your business
  • Investment amounts and timelines
  • Number and type of positions created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Mandatory business milestones and achievements
  • Timeframes for any commitments.

Please note that each Performance Agreement is unique and based on the information you provide in your EOI and application. It will provide the business commitments you must fulfill in order to be eligible for a nomination for permanent residence.

Step 8: Temporary Work Permit

Once you have signed the Performance Agreement you will receive a Letter of Confirmation in order for you to apply directly to IRCC for a temporary work permit. The OINP does not issue work permits.

Step 9: Arrival in Ontario

You have 12 months from the date of your Confirmation Letter to arrive in Ontario with a valid work permit. You must inform the OINP of your arrival in Ontario within 7 days of the date of your arrival on a work permit.

Step 10: Building your Business

You will have 20 months from the date of your arrival in Ontario to implement your business plan. You must have filled your required jobs that are outlined in your business plan for at least 10 months in continuous fashion up to the day you submit your Final Report. (See below.)

Step 11: Monitoring your Business

The OINP will monitor your business during this period in order to assist you and ensure you stay on track with your performance objectives. You will also have to provide quarterly reports on your progress in addition to your Final Report.

Step 12: Final Report

You must submit a Final Report that shows how you have complied with the commitments outlined in your Performance Agreement within 18 months to 20 months after you arrive in Ontario. When you reach this stage, an OINP officer will provide you with a template of your Final Report. The OINP may request additional information and may visit your business to ensure you have met your commitments.

Step 13: Nomination by the OINP

Once you have issued your Final Report and have met your Performance Agreement commitments you must also be deemed to have met your nomination criteria which are nearly identical to those of the Corporate Stream:

  • Language: CLB 4 or higher in English or French.
  • Residency: You must have resided in Ontario for 9 months of every year of your period implementing your business plan.
  • You must have been and continue to be actively involved in the day to day management of your business.

You will be contacted by the OINP in order for you to provide supporting documentation that shows you have met your nomination criteria. If your application is successful, you will receive a Letter of Nomination along with a Confirmation of Nomination document.

Step 14: Application for Permanent Residence

With the Letter of Nomination and the Confirmation of Nomination document you must then apply to IRCC for permanent residence status. You have 6 months from the date of your nomination by OINP to submit your application for permanent residence to IRCC.

Step 15: Final monitoring

Your business will be monitored for another 36 months after nomination in order to gain more information and assist OINP with improving the monitoring process.