I know it is exciting to start your own business. You want to kick-start your new life by starting your own business but hold on to your horses before you put your whole life savings on the stake because once the money is gone it’s gone.
Do not start any business right away. You need to understand the Canadian system, norms and culture. Every Canadian industry is regulated by a certain body and there are strict compliance and regulatory standards. You need to spend the time to understand these regulations. It is a good idea to work for in the industry in which you are planning to do business. Learn about all the departments and understand the system inside out before you put any money in the business. You should postpone any big purchase decision for at least a year from your arriving date.
Avoid motels, gas station, laundry shops, rental units, grocery store and franchises like a plague. These are family run businesses and if you do not have your family working in the business 24/7 you will be unsuccessful and at the end of the year you will only end up making your salary plus a bit more. It's like buying a job and it's not worth it. A lot of immigrants get trap in these businesses, do not be one of them.
You can never be too careful There is a reason why a business is on sale and unless someone is retiring no one wants to sell a profitable business. Your friends and relatives already in Canada are a good source of guidance but make sure that you do your own proper due diligence even when purchasing a business from them. This can save you from making costly decisions. Consult an accountant with the business financials and seek independent appraisal, valuation and inspection.