Thinking of expanding to the U.S.? We often encourage companies to think about cross border expansion as a “team sport”. While Invest Buffalo Niagara (InBN) provides a variety of services, a successful expansion to the U.S. often requires assistance from partners on both sides of the border.
Cross-border travel and business have made a significant comeback with life largely returning to normal in the post-COVID-19 world. Canadian businesses and United States (U.S.) businesses employing Canadian nationals should be aware of the post-pandemic U.S. immigration processing times for Canadian nationals and formal and informal policy changes impacting certain visas frequently used by companies for cross-border business. These include:
Canadian business expansion to the U.S. and Buffalo Niagara typically includes hiring a U.S.-based employee.Perhaps this will be an operations person, charged with getting the U.S. site going, or perhaps it will be a sales employee tasked with growing the U.S. customer base.Either way, consider these items before you find your perfect candidate.Don’t lose your top choice U.S.-based employee because of a delay in the logistics of becoming a U.S. employer!
While travel over the Can-Am border remains restricted, the Toronto Blue Jays have decided to call downtown Buffalo their home for the time being. This new American headquarters for the Blue Jays allows for easier travel between cities and a home base for its players.
It has been over two years now since the U.S Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in the South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. case and every state that imposes sales & use tax has enacted economic nexus thresholds for “remote sellers” with the exceptions of Florida and Missouri. A remote seller is any seller (foreign or domestic) that does not have physical presence in a state but who sells products or services for delivery to customers into that state.
Buffalo Niagara’s proximity to the Canadian border sometimes makes it easy to forget our communities are in separate countries as we visit, shop, and attend sporting events across the border with relative ease. However, as Canadian business owners consider Buffalo Niagara for U.S. expansion, it is important to remember there are many HR differences between our two countries. Understanding these differences is key to finding and retaining good talent and successfully running operations on both sides of the border. We cover many of these differences and other HR related topics in our Canadian Guide to Business Expansion Vol. 3: Workforce and Workplace but I thought I’d highlight a few of the major differences between HR in the U.S. and Canada below.
Frank Ralphs, a company out of Montreal, manufactures composite panels used predominantly in the rail industry as well as other industrial applications. Companies in the rail industry find that having a “Made in the U.S.A.” label can be beneficial to growing their business and sales in the U.S. There are many opportunities for U.S. government contracts for public transit projects. Frank Ralphs was interested in capturing more of this business and adding final assembly in the U.S. to their offerings.
If you plan on crossing the border with an electronic device, it’s important to know your rights and to take precautions to keep your information safe. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers have far greater ability to conduct searches at the border than they would inside of the U.S. CBP can search the contents of your electronic devices like phones, tablets, cameras, and laptops without probable cause that you are doing something wrong, and without your permission.
For Canadian companies, and specifically those in southern Ontario, interested in the U.S. market, Buffalo Niagara is the natural front door. These companies can leverage the size of the U.S. market, Made in the U.S.A labels, and much more all from a U.S. location close to their Canadian headquarters.
I have been working with Canadian companies looking to expand into the U.S. market for over 11 years. Many of the companies 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/or are purchasing U.S. based raw materials.