Hadson Immigration

Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream

Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream

The Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream is one of the streams of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), operated by the province of Nova Scotia. This stream is designed to target experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia.

Successful applicants must start a new business or buy an existing business in which they participate in the day-to-day management duties. After operating the business for one year, the entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status.

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract individuals who wish to start or acquire a business and settle permanently in Nova Scotia.

Program Requirements


Express Entry ProfileNo
Connection to ProvinceNo
Job OfferNo
Language ProficiencyCLB 5
Level of EducationNo minimum
Work Experience3 years business ownership or 5 years senior business management
Investment RequirementInvestment: $150,000 CAD
Personal Net Worth: $600,000 CAD

In order to qualify as an eligible business under the Entrepreneur program, the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant must own at least one third (33.33 percent) of the equity of the business;
  • The applicant must provide active and on-going participation in the day to day management and direction of the business from the place of business in Nova Scotia. The business must not be managed from another location in Nova Scotia or from another Canadian province or territory or other country;
  • The business must be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • The business must meet the legal requirements of the community in which it operates;
  • The business must be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985;
  • The business is liable to pay income tax on taxable income earned as a result of a “permanent establishment” in Nova Scotia, irrespective of income or other taxes which may also be payable in other jurisdictions as a result of income earned or other business activity; and
  • The business must have potential to create an economic benefit to Nova Scotia. For example:
    • Increasing value added through manufacturing or processing, exports, destination tourism, research and development, and technology commercialization,
    • Developing innovative approaches to traditional businesses,
    • Transferring technology and specialized knowledge to Nova Scotia, or
    • Providing products or services to an under-served local or regional market.

If starting a business, the applicant must also:

  • Create at least one full time (or equivalent) employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Nova Scotia (non-relative workers). This position(s) must:
    • Be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant;
    • Be relevant and directly related to the applicant’s business; and
    • Meet the prevailing wage rates in the province. 

If purchasing a previously existing Nova Scotia business, the following requirements must be met:

  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five years;
  • All applicants must complete an exploratory visit to meet the current owner(s);
  • Applicants must provide evidence that reasonable efforts were taken to establish a fair market value for the business;
  • The business must be actively in operation and not in receivership; and 
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.

Application Procedure

The Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream operates on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Eligible candidates must submit a profile to a pool of candidates.

All the profiles are then assigned a score based on the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Ranking System. The candidates with the highest-ranking profiles will be invited to apply to the stream in one of the program’s periodic intakes. Candidates must include a business establishment plan and a net worth verification report with their application to the stream.

  • If the applicant successfully demonstrates that they meet the stream requirements, they will be invited to participate in an interview with an immigration officer in Nova Scotia. 
  • If the interview is successful, the candidate will be invited to sign a business performance agreement. 

Once the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) receives the signed business performance agreement, it will issue the applicant a letter of support for a work permit. The applicant must then apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a temporary work permit. Work permits issued to business immigration candidates generally do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

If the applicant is issued a temporary work permit, they may then travel to Nova Scotia to establish their business.

  • If the applicant meets the conditions described in the business performance agreement, they will be eligible for a provincial nomination from Nova Scotia once the business has been in operation for at least 12 months.
  • After receiving a provincial nomination, an applicant has six months to submit a federal application for Canadian permanent residence.

Applicants in this program must complete and submit a paper-based application for permanent residence and submit it by mail to the appropriate application centre.

Paper-based PNP applications for permanent residence are generally processed within 18 months.

Business Idea

The business idea section of the Business Establishment Plan must:

  • Specify the industry/sector that the proposed business will operate in;
  • Provide a description of the business;
    • The description should outline:
      • Ownership percentages; the candidate must demonstrate that he or she will own at least 33.33 percent of the business and all other investors must be listed along with their contact information;
      • The legal name and trading name of the business (in the case of business succession); 
      • Details of any changes the candidate is considering to the business operation (in the case of business succession); 
  • Provide business ownership information – partnership, proprietorship, corporation, acquisition, franchise;
  • Specify the proposed location for the business (city or town); and
  • Provide details on the geographic coverage (local, regional or national) of the business.

The first step towards moving to Canada is to get an assessment of your specific situation. Call us today at 1+613.222.7154 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form. 

Whatsapp:  1+613.222.7154

Discover your Canadian immigration options! Complete our free assessment today and a member of the HadsonTeam will contact you to discuss your immigration to Canada.

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