The Business Stream is for people who want to start a business in the NWT, purchase an existing business based here, or invest in and operate an existing business based here.
In the NWT you can expect no wait-list for your application, faster processing times, and real people in the NWT helping you through the process from start to finish.
Do you Qualify?
To apply via the Business Stream, there are some criteria you must meet.
1. Applicants must be able to commit to one of the following investments:
• a minimum of $300,000 CDN equity to start or buy a business within Yellowknife; or
• a minimum of $150,000 CDN equity to start or buy a business outside Yellowknife.
2. You must also provide proof that you have a personal net worth of:
• at least $500,000 CDN to start or buy a business within Yellowknife; or
• at least $250,000 CDN to start or buy a business outside Yellowknife.
3. Once you are formally accepted into the program, you must also provide a good faith deposit of $75,000 CDN to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.
4. You must demonstrate you own at least 33.3% of the business, unless your personal equity investment is at least $1,000,000 CDN, in which case you may own less.
5. You need to achieve a proficiency of level 4 against the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 4) in English or the equivalent language level against the Niveaux de competence linquistique Canadiens (NCLC) in French.
6. You need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the NWT and its economy and which businesses will bring significant economic benefit to the territory.
7. You must be able to make at least one in-person business trip to the NWT to gain knowledge about the territory’s business environment.
8. You need to have the necessary experience and education to successfully implement your proposed business plan.
9. And of course, you must be ready and willing to settle full-time right here in the NWT!
How to Apply
If you are interested and think you meet the criteria, download the full application guidelines or contact a member of our team to discuss your application.
Here’s what to expect if you decide to apply:
1. First, there is a self-assessment where you determine if you meet the minimum eligibility criteria, as listed above.
2. That’s followed by a trip to the NWT for an exploratory visit and face-to-face interview.
3. After your visit, we conduct a pre-screening of your business concept and evaluate your interview results. If you are successful, we will formally invite you to apply and submit your application and business plan.
4. Your application is then reviewed. If it is approved, we come up with a Business Performance Agreement. This is a two-year legal agreement between the applicant and the Government of the Northwest Territories, outlining the obligations you must fulfill in order to receive a nomination certificate.
After that, it’s over to you to develop and run your business! If successful, you are nominated for Canadian Permanent Residency.