Doing Business in Canada
Canada has a large and thriving free market economy, and though there is more government intervention here than in the USA, there is far less than in many European countries. Locals tend to be open-minded and tolerant, and it follows that expat businesspeople can look forward to a welcoming working environment.
Furthermore, as a testament to its solid infrastructure and transparent policies, Canada was ranked 14th (out of 189 countries) by The World Bank in its Ease of Doing Business Survey in 2016. Specific business criteria that Canada ranks highly for include starting a business (3rd), protecting minority investors (6th) and getting credit (7th). Surprisingly, the one area where Canada scored relatively badly was that of getting electricity (105th).
The work week in Canada is Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, although longer hours are common.
A handshake is the usual greeting but business associates in Quebec may greet one another with a kiss on the cheek.
Business culture in Canada
Egalitarian management structure
Meetings are generally well-organised affairs and schedules are adhered to. Canadians appreciate politeness and expect others to adhere to the correct protocols of a given situation. It is common to exchange business cards so it's good to carry a few to every business meeting.
When presenting information to business associates in Canada, it is important to be fully prepared with facts, figures and documents to substantiate claims and promises. Canadians tend to be rational and logical in business and thus won't be convinced by the over-use of emotion and passion.
Dos and don’ts of business in Canada
Don't assume everything is the same as in the USA
Do be prepared with facts and figures for presentation
Don't use aggressive sales tactics
Do learn some French if doing business in Quebec
Do avoid personal discussions at business meetings