Can Foreigners Be Shareholders in a Canadian Corporation?

Expanding your business ventures into Canada as a foreign individual offers a multitude of opportunities. If you are considering investing in a Canadian corporation, you may wonder whether foreigners are allowed to be shareholders. At Falcon Law PC, we specialize in providing comprehensive legal services for foreign individuals seeking to navigate the complexities of Canadian corporate law. Feel free to contact us at 1-877-892-7778 or via email at to discuss your specific circumstances and receive expert guidance.

Understanding Canadian Corporate Law

Canadian corporate law welcomes foreign investors and allows them to participate as shareholders in Canadian corporations. The country’s business-friendly environment and open economy attract investors from around the world. As a foreign shareholder, you can benefit from Canada’s stable economic climate, access to international markets, and various business incentives.

Share Ownership in Canadian Corporations

Foreign individuals have the right to own shares in Canadian corporations, subject to certain legal requirements and considerations. Here are some key points to understand:

1. No Citizenship or Residency Restrictions

Canadian corporate law does not impose any citizenship or residency restrictions on share ownership. As a result, both Canadian residents and non-residents, including foreign individuals, can own shares in a Canadian corporation.

2. Non-Resident Ownership Restrictions in Specific Industries

While there are generally no restrictions on foreign share ownership, specific industries, such as broadcasting, telecommunications, and transportation, may have regulations that limit or regulate non-resident ownership. It is essential to consult with legal professionals, like Falcon Law PC, to ensure compliance with any sector-specific restrictions.

3. Certain Restrictions on Voting Rights

In some cases, non-resident shareholders may have limited voting rights. The Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) specifies that shares owned by non-residents do not carry voting rights unless the corporation has a specific provision allowing it. It is crucial to review the articles of incorporation and shareholder agreements to determine the voting rights associated with your share ownership.

4. Tax Implications for Foreign Shareholders

Foreign shareholders should also be aware of the potential tax implications associated with owning shares in a Canadian corporation. Canada has tax treaties with many countries to avoid double taxation, and it is advisable to seek professional tax advice to ensure compliance with relevant tax laws and optimize your tax position.

Seek Professional Guidance

Navigating Canadian corporate law as a foreign shareholder requires a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape and compliance with various regulations. Falcon Law PC has extensive experience assisting foreign individuals in their Canadian business endeavors. Our team of legal professionals can provide tailored advice and support to ensure a smooth and successful process.


As a foreign individual, you have the opportunity to be a shareholder in a Canadian corporation. Canadian corporate law is generally welcoming to foreign investors, offering a favorable environment for business growth and expansion. However, it is essential to be aware of any industry-specific restrictions and consider tax implications. To navigate the complexities of Canadian corporate law and receive expert guidance, contact Falcon Law PC at 1-877-892-7778 or Our team is dedicated to providing you with comprehensive legal solutions tailored to your specific needs.

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