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Doing business

Doing Business in Canada

For information on business opportunities in Canada, visit InfoMercatiEsteri, and in particular:


For information on Canadian legislation regarding the establishment of a business in Canada, from legal and tax requirements, to aspects pertaining to labour law, rules governing investment, and incentives offered by various public administrations, please visit the website of the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) at


Public Procurement Process

Different regulations apply at the various levels of government: federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal. In addition, there are two different judicial systems in Canada: common law and civil law. The first applies in most of the country, both federally and provincially, with the exception of the province of Quebec, where the second is the norm.

In Quebec therefore, public contracts are regulated by specific legislation with rules and regulations regarding implementation. Outside Quebec there is no single specific legislation governing public contracts; rather the system is based on a governance structure consisting of a series of trade agreements, government legislation, practices, and guidelines that regulate the procurement process for federal departments and agencies.

For trade agreements in this area, see:

– WTO agreement on public contracts (WTO GPA);

– Economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA);

– Domestic Canadian free trade agreement (CFTA);

– North American free trade agreement (NAFTA), which will be replaced by the Canada – United States – Mexico free trade agreement (CUSMA), signed on November 30, 2018 and awaiting ratification.


At the federal level, the rules governing governing public contracts can be found in the following legislation:

– Legislation establishing the Department of Public Services and Procurement Canada;

– Law on financial administration (FAA);

– Government regulation on contracts;

– Accounting law;

– Law on the Canadian international trade tribunal;

– Procurement Ombudsman regulation;

The above also reference various federal practices and some provincial legislation.

Useful tools and resources

Public Services and Procurement Canada recently launched a single platform for information on all public tenders at the federal, provincial and municipal levels Homepage | CanadaBuys. The free access website makes it possible to search for new public contract opportunities and to consult contract history in a given sector.

MERX is a national internet portal for information on public calls to tender. It lists all contracts subject to current national and international legislation (WTO, NAFTA and other legislative instruments.) The system is used by various departments, agencies, government bodies, and other institutions to publicize contracts open to bids by both Canadian and foreign companies.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency (ICE,) the Association of Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad (Assocameraestero) Unioncamere and Confindustria, launched the EX TENDER platform where companies can find news of international calls to tender for the supply of goods or services and
construction projects.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed the NEXUS portal to manage requests for trade assistance. Interested companies may forward requests using the form available at

The Embassy of Italy, in cooperation with the Italian Trade Agency offices in Toronto and Montreal, has developed two user guides in consultation with KPMG and leading Toronto law firm Blakes, to provide potentially interested parties with information on the process for investment and participation in public tenders in Canada, and introduce them to current pertinent Canadian legislation. guide

Doing Business in Italy

If you are interested in doing business in Italy, we invite you to take a look at the following: