Hire a Canadian as an Executive for a US Company

Can I Hire a Canadian as an Executive for a US Company?

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed companies to go remote and while many have since returned to the office, others have opted to allow all or some of their workforce to continue working remotely. Companies with remote work and hybrid work policies are taking advantage of the opportunity this creates to recruit and hire from all over the world, for all kinds of roles – including executives. The Canadian talent market, rife with highly qualified individuals looking for new opportunities, is particularly appealing to US companies looking to fill executive roles.

In this blog we will explore pros and cons of hiring a Canadian as an executive for a US company, including compliance challenges (and how to overcome them) and business advantages!

Why You Should Consider Canadians for your Executive Roles

If you are reading this blog, you are already curious about searching in Canada for your executive hires – and that is great! Canada is one of the best options for executive hires outside of the United States. Canadian executives bring different experience than Americans do but can also seamlessly integrate with your team. Many Canadian executive candidates have international experience, are used to leading diverse teams, and have high cultural competency. At the same time, like all Canadians, they are extremely well educated about their neighbors to the south.

Canadian executives can bring a lot to American countries – the question is not why to hire them, but how!

How to Hire Canadians for a US Company

Can US companies hire Canadian workers? Absolutely!

As a US-based organization, you cannot directly non-Americans living outside of the US as full or part-time employees. Some companies opt to limit their international hiring to contractors only, but that can prevent you from hiring and retaining the best of the best. There is a better way!

US companies looking to hire Canadian employees have two options: open a local subsidiary or work with an Employer of Record who can hire on their behalf. Opening a subsidiary can be a lengthy process and it comes with many new business responsibilities, including corporate and sales taxes, setting up payroll, and compliance reporting.

Companies that want to hire in Canada, but not necessarily do business in the country, often opt to work with an Employer of Record like Canadian Payroll Services. EORs hire employees on behalf of other companies, handling onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, and HR compliance.

Because EORs hire employees on behalf of other companies, they can take advantage of economies of scale in building benefit and perk packages and offering HR support – just two of the reasons that EOR is the best option for companies hiring just one or a small group of employees in Canada.

So, Can I Hire Executives Outside of the US?

So, is it legal to hire executives specifically to work remotely from outside the US? Yes, it is, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Remember, you cannot hire an international remote employee for your US company unless you secure a visa for them to relocate to the US. While many international workers are happy to receive a US-based job offer and relocate to the country, some will opt to continue working from their home country. That is where Employers of Record come in!

Your EOR partner should provide:

  • A locally compliant employment contract for your new executive
  • Accurate and on-time payroll, including tax forms and reports
  • A supplementary benefits and perks plan designed for executives
  • A rock-solid agreement to ensure you own your intellectual property
  • Advice on total compensation
  • A review of your bonus and severance plans
  • A W8-BEN on your request

Typically, your EOR will not provide:

  • A method to flow through stock options
  • Crypto payment options 
  • Corporate credit card – you could provide this directly 
  • Negotiations – we can provide advice, but you should lead

If I Hire an Executive Through an EOR, Who Is the Employer?

When you hire an executive through an EOR, the agency is the employer – on paper. As we explained above, your Employer of Record partner hires workers on your behalf and then leases them to you through a service agreement. This allows EORs to completely take on the administrative aspects of employment and payroll, including issuing tax forms, deducting, and remitting taxes, and providing worker’s compensation coverage. Most importantly, this service allows you to hire in Canada without opening a local subsidiary and local accounts.

This makes your new executive their employee, but only on paper. EOR employment contracts are carefully designed to clear up any confusion about employment. Anyone you hire through an EOR works exclusively for you: you direct their day to day; you own your intellectual property; you handle discipline and choose when to terminate a contract.

Let Canadian Payroll Services Help with Your Executive Hire

Canadian Payroll Services has helped many US companies hire Canadian executives. Our team will support you throughout the hiring process and beyond, providing you with advice on employment terms, total compensation, how to handle time off, intellectual property and more. In addition to our Employer of Record services, we offer,

  • A ready-made Executive Benefit package that will exceed your candidate’s expectations
  • The option to work with our HR team to build your own plan
  • Retirement matches with vesting options
  • A full compliance review of your time off and bonus plans

Want to learn more about how Canadian Payroll Services can help? Get in touch!

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