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Can I work as a freelancer on a IEC work Permit?

Discussion in 'Start Your Own Business in Canada – Self Employmen' started by HarryBeaven, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I currently have a valid work permit for 2 years in Canada but as a non-canadian resident, am I able to set up my own business and work as a freelancer?

    If yes, how would I go about registering the business? Would I need to sort out tax declarations? I was reading on the Canadian Revenue Agency website that if you earn less than $30,000 over each business quarter you do not have to submit for the GST/HST, is this correct?

    Also if the company I would freelance for is outside of Canada are there any other restriction to this?

    Any help greatly appreciated,

  2. I am really interested to know the answers of your question from any candidate or expert that face similar situation,


  3. Yes certainly you can. You need to hire accountant to manage your tax documents. Client won't pay you directly. They would pay via third party and then third party would deposit fund to your account after deducting their percentage. So basically you need to deal one third party and one in house accountant.
  4. Not sure about the above. But I freelanced for 2 years on my IEC visa. Didn't have an accountant do anything. I just registered for GST, got my business number, and invoiced my clients each month - both Canadian and UK clients. UK clients I don't charge GST as they are exempt. It's much simpler than you might expect!
    madmaxi likes this.
  5. I think there is a disconnect between the two agencies here. From my research (as always do your own research) but the answer is No.

    It appears you can create a company as there are no residency checks (in BC anyway) to create a limited company.

    But there is a condition of your IEC that you are a worker and not an owner of a company.

    For this you would need a startup/entrepreneur visa.

    This is based on the information that I have received from smallbusinesscanada and Canada immigration the agent could be wrong.

    I think you could do it but you are note supposed to do it which could risk re-entry.

    This is a huge bummer for me as now it means I need to go through a third party (who will take a cut) so if I am wrong please let me know.
  6. The wording on the website seems to contradict itself.

    An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:

    who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions, or
    who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.
    You can only get an open work permit in specific situations. Find out if you can apply for an open work permit.

  7. Any recommended "third party" clients?
  8. This is great news - as this currently what I'm doing/have done. Only slight worry in my mind is that if I decide to go for PR there might be some problems. Did you go for PR? Where there any problems?
  9. Hi guys!
    I would appreciate some clarity regarding this topic as I'm extremely lost.
    Let me give you some background:

    - I'm Spanish and I'm moving to Toronto in January with a one year open work permit.
    - I will be working for a company in the UK remotely with a freelancer contract for one year.

    Is it posible for me to do this with an open work permit? How do I set up my taxes and so on? It would be super helpful if you could guide me with the numbers since I have to give this company my day rate.

    And finally, does anyone know a trustworthy accountant that could handle of my paperwork and tax declaration?

    Any help is highly appreciated :)
  10. Yes - you can do that. You'll need to file taxes in Canada on your worldwide income.
  11. Do you know what is the percentage I need to pay each month ? That way I can make the maths better for my net monthly income...
    Also, do you know and agency or something like that who could help me out with this? I'm just terrible at bureaucracy :/
    Thanks a lot!!
  12. It's not a straight percentage. It depends on your overall income, where you'll be living and other factors. You'll need to google to find an online calculator that you can use to estimate your taxes.
  13. Great, thank you! I'll try to work it out, there's just a couple of variables I cant seem to fully understand.
    Thanks for the info :)

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