Foreign investments

Foreign-owned companies or non-Canadians who acquire control of an existing Canadian business or who wish to establish a new Canadian business are subject to the Investment Canada Act.

Foreign-owned companies or non-Canadians must file a notification or an application for review of their business investment.

Overview of the Investment Canada Act
This overview provides a summary and requirements and frequently asked questions about the Investment Canada Act.


Most foreign investments are handled through notification. A notification can be filed up to 30 days after the investment has been made. Foreign-owned companies or non-Canadians must file a notification:

  • Every time they commence a new business activity in Canada
  • Every time they acquire control of an existing Canadian business (where the establishment or acquisition of control is not a reviewable transaction)

Application for review

Foreign-owned companies or non-Canadians must submit an application for review if they plan to acquire a Canadian business with an asset value that equals or exceeds specific thresholds.

Applications for review (except for cultural businesses) are submitted to Industry Canada. Canadian Heritage reviews investments in cultural businesses under the Investment Canada Act.

Complete forms for notifications and applications for review.
Dual Filing Requirements
Find filing requirements with both Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage.
Investment flow charts
Review flow charts that outline the filing process for establishing a new business in Canada or acquiring control of a Canadian business
Restriction to foreign ownership/investment
Certain industries, such as broadcasting or telecommunications, have federal or provincial restrictions on foreign ownership or investment.
Foreign Ownership of Land in Alberta
The Agricultural and Recreational Land Ownership Act ensures Alberta's rich soil and recreation resources continue to be owned and enjoyed by Albertans and other Canadians.