Invest Buffalo Niagara has attracted more than $6.2 billion in new business investment to the Buffalo Niagara region since 1999.Canadian companies looking to expand their businesses into the U.S. have been a big part of this growth. They choose to expand for many business benefits including selling with a “Made in U.S.” label, mitigating bridge delays, and reducing their hydropower costs.Nearly 100 Canadian based businesses have benefited from our free project management services, saving time and money by leveraging our expertise.
During my time at Invest Buffalo Niagara, I’ve helped over 90 Canadian companies expand into Buffalo Niagara. The process includes unique challenges and motivations. One of those motivations for business owners to expand is the ease of access Buffalo Niagara provides to Canada and southern Ontario. Here’s the pitch, by the numbers.
One of Buffalo Niagara’s greatest assets, regardless of industry, is its academic institutions. The eight county region has 21 colleges and universities. Within 100 miles of downtown Buffalo, that number expands to 47.
I have been working in the Canadian market for over 15 years. Many of the companies that I work with are manufacturers or warehouse distribution operations in the Southern Ontario area. They tend to be small to medium size companies that have some percentage of U.S. sales and are purchasing U.S. based raw materials.
When working with Canadian companies considering a Buffalo Niagara business expansion, availability, costs, and market conditions are always the primary concerns. Canadian business owners are unsure of the availability of commercial properties, average sale rates, and the current trends relating to Buffalo Niagara real estate.
For many companies, reasons to make the move to the U.S. side are obvious: they’re looking for the desirable “Made in the USA” stamp of approval, lower utility costs, or looking to fill a contract requirement. But there’s another, more specific issue that often gets overlooked: the costs of border crossing.
.In my time with Invest Buffalo Niagara, I’ve had a chance to help 32+ Canadian companies make their way to this side of the border. Along with being part of helping the Buffalo Niagara region boom—to the tune of $706 million in investments and more than 1,600 jobs—I’ve also seen the pitfalls that Canadian business owners need to look out for. For the first in this two-part series, we’ll focus on the beginnings of due diligence: the questions you need to ask yourself when you’re looking to enter the U.S. market.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way: yes, there are legal and tax obligations when Canadians do business in US markets. At Invest Buffalo Niagara, we help companies navigate these requirements—and often, they’re pleasantly surprised at their being less daunting than expected. Here’s a high-level idea of what companies should be aware of when choosing to do business in the market.