Buying a Business in the USA as a Canadian

Buying a Business in the USA as a Canadian
Last Updated: 01 Jun 2023

When buying a business in the USA as a Canadian, a local foreign exchange specialist like MTFX can help you save on international business money transfers.

Key Takeaways

  • Buying an existing business in the USA is possible as long as you secure the appropriate immigration status.
  • Canadian citizens have two options for buying a ready-made U.S.-based business. They can apply for an E2 visa or the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
  • Buying a business in the USA as a Canadian comes with particular challenges, such as foreign exchange risks and expensive overseas transfer fees. It's best to avoid using your bank and work with a specialist provider instead. 

The U.S. is open to business, especially to Canadian citizens, who are the equivalent of next-door neighbors. For global-minded business owners, and from a Canadian standpoint, there are several advantages to purchasing an existing business in the U.S.

Such a business usually has an already established brand, existing clients, and a tried-and-tested supply chain. In addition, the U.S. is a complete package because of its thriving economy, advanced technology and infrastructure, tax benefits and government incentives.

Additional benefits include new markets, a quality workforce, lifestyle benefits, and no communication or cultural barriers.

That said, optimizing your bottom line is still essential even when making corporate acquisitions in America's lucrative business climate. For example, exchange rate fluctuations can affect your transactions and need to be managed.

Here's what you need to know about successfully buying a U.S. business as a Canadian. 

Five Steps to Buying a Business in the U.S. as a Canadian

Buying a business in the U.S. as a Canadian comes with many variables, but there are basic steps any firm can follow. 

Step 1: Explore the Best States to Buy a Business in the U.S.

Corporate acquisitions in the U.S. are appealing because of business-friendly laws and regulations. Some of the best states to buy a business in the U.S. include:

  • California¹. The Golden State has the largest state economy and GDP among U.S. states.
  • Texas² – The Lone Star State is one of the least expensive states to run a business and has friendly corporate tax laws.
  • Colorado³ - The Centennial State, or "Colorful Colorado", offers a business-friendly environment and a thriving entrepreneurial community.
  • Florida⁴ – Buying a business in the Sunshine State comes with tax benefits and a robust labor force.
  • North Carolina⁵ – The Tar Heel State has low corporate and property tax rates and a favorable business climate. 

There are 50 states in America plus Washington, DC, so there are plenty of options. In addition, there are many factors to consider when choosing which state to register your business in. The list includes tax laws, business regulations, workforce, cost of doing business, infrastructure, and access to capital.

Step 2. Secure the Right Immigration Status

Buying a business in America doesn't entitle you to work or live in the country, so you need to obtain a separate visa. The two popular visa and green card options for Canadians buying a business in the U.S. are the E-2 treaty investor visa and the EB-5 green card.

  • E-2 visa. Canada has signed an E-2 treaty with the U.S. You need to make a substantial investment in a U.S.-based business to obtain this visa. E-2 visas are renewable every five years and expire if you terminate the business.
  • EB-5 green card. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program requires a more substantial investment, but you'll be eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence). 

Step 3: Do your Research about Investing in the U.S. as a Canadian

Any corporate acquisition requires intensive research, especially for cross-border deals where you may be unfamiliar with the target company's country.

Areas to focus on include laws and regulations, market potential, how the buying process works, the best way to manage the business, whether you want a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, and more. The good news is that the internet helps you make an informed decision as a foreigner buying a business in the U.S.

Step 4: Work with Reputable Experts

It's essential to work with reputable experts to minimize risks to your capital investment. For example, experienced business and immigration lawyers can help you find the perfect ready-made business in the United States that suits your requirements.

They can also provide legal support when it comes to buying and auditing the business, applying for the right immigration visa program, and making sure your business is compliant. You may also benefit from professional assistance from an experienced accountant, real estate broker, and tax attorney.

Step 5: Find the Best Currency Exchange Service

When buying a business in America while in Canada, some elements, such as making international payments, can be complicated. The best way to simplify overseas transfers is to use a specialist international payments provider, such as MTFX.

This is a more affordable option compared to making international transfers through business bank accounts, and it also comes with many value-added services.

Buying a business in the US Foreign Exchange

How MTFX can help Canadians Buy U.S. Businesses?

Are you looking to buy a business in America as a Canadian citizen? Do you need to convert Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars for your business?

MTFX can make it worth your while with competitive exchange rates, low transfer fees, expert foreign exchange tools, and personalized currency exchange guidance.

Competitive Exchange Rates and Low Transfer Fees

Buying a business in the U.S. as a Canadian requires you to send large sums of money across the border, and it's crucial to reduce the pressure on your bottom line.

As a specialist provider, MTFX offers competitive exchange rates and significantly lower fees. Specialist providers are often the cheapest way to make international business money transfers because they use a high-volume, low-margin approach.

Risk Management Solutions

Foreign acquisitions have risks, such as fluctuations in the CAD/USD exchange rate. Buying a company in the U.S. as a Canadian takes time. The exchange rate may be favorable today, but there's no guarantee it will stay so by the time you're ready to close.

MTFX can help you mitigate exchange-rate risk and improve budget certainty with tools like forward contracts and market orders that track, target, and even lock in your desired exchange rate.

Expert Guidance from Currency Exchange Specialists

We have dedicated currency specialists to provide guidance on the currency market, share trends in the CAD - USD exchange rate, and give insight into how new developments affect your business. By skipping the bank, you can enjoy simple and easy business money transfers.

MTFX offers reliable and trusted currency exchange services for Canadians looking to buy a business in America.

With MTFX, you benefit from competitive exchange rates, low transfer fees, personalized guidance from dedicated currency specialists, and a range of tools for making business international money transfers and other payments online via our secure platform.

Open an account today with MTFX to save on foreign exchange costs when buying a business in the U.S. as a Canadian.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a Canadian citizen buy a business in the USA?

Yes. Canadian businesses have the advantage of strong economic ties between Canada and the U.S., as exemplified by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA⁶), which was preceded by The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Can I get a visa if I buy a business in the USA?

Yes. The two main options are the E-2 and the EB-5 Visa. The E2 visa is a temporary visa which expires after a defined number of years. The EB-5 visa is a permanent visa which requires a more substantial investment and leads to a green card.

Can Canadian businesses do business in the U.S.?

You can live, work, and do business in the USA as long as you obtain the appropriate immigration status.

How can MTFX help with buying a business in the U.S.?

MTFX offers safe and secure currency exchange services and a cost-effective way to exchange CAD for USD and make international business payments. We're regulated by FINTRAC and have specialized in F.X. and global payments for over 25 years.

Popular Related Articles:


  1. International Trade And Investment
  2. Why Texas?
  3. The Best States To Start a Business In 2023
  4. Best and Worst States To Start a Business In
  5. TAX and other cost saving
  6. USMCA: Definition, Purpose, Major Provisions, Vs. NAFTA


Copyright © 2024 MTFX Group