INC Nautical, L.P. Partners with PSI by IRIS to Expand Their Workforce into Canada
For over forty years, INC Nautical, L.P., based in Houston, Texas, has been a leader in its industry; offering an array of petroleum and marine technical services. The company provides operational and risk management services worldwide, with a strong presence in the United States and South America. While they’ve historically engaged in various one-off projects in Canada, a transformative shift is on the horizon driven by a new contract with a prominent U.S.-based petroleum company renowned for its global oil refinery operations.
INC Nautical has a 25-year history with this major fuel refiner, handling approximately 10 cargo shipments in Venezuela each month. When the refiner sought enhanced third-party oversight for its U.S. and Canadian operations, INC Nautical became the preferred collaborator for their Canadian venture. With their goal of establishing a workforce of four to eight employees and contractors in Montreal and Quebec, navigating the challenges of a Texas-based company venturing into Canada proved to be an unforeseen journey.
“It is very difficult to get set up as a new business in Canada”, says INC Nautical President, Scott Bormaster. “There are a million different small, moving pieces, and the differences between doing business in the U.S. and Canada are mind-boggling.”
Enter PSI Payroll Services, Inc. by IRIS, launched in 1995 to help businesses worldwide do business in Canada by simplifying payroll, HR, benefits, tax, and other critical workforce management initiatives. In July 2023, PSI began working with INC Nautical to smooth the transition from U.S.-based contractors working in Canada, to ultimately being able to hire Canadian-based employees and contractors as a full-fledged company by early 2024. It started with PSI helping them secure a Canadian business license and number, then expanded to additional assistance with payroll, HR, benefits, tax, and other employer/employee issues.
“PSI manages every single piece of the puzzle and is walking us through the entire process,” Bormaster says.
The differences between the U.S. and Canada regarding taxation, employment laws, and regulations have posed significant hurdles for INC Nautical. “In Canada, taxation of employees is totally different. Taxes are a lot higher, and there has been a lot of confusion as to how to navigate correctly, and how withholdings work.”
The process in Quebec requires a few additional steps compared to other provinces that vary, depending on the scope and type of service that impact provincial withholdings, remittances and disbursements. PSI can provide subject matter expertise to address these hurdles and ease the process.
Another complex issue has been workers’ compensation insurance. Though INC Nautical has an international policy that covers all its employees and contractors around the globe, certain Canadian provinces may require additional coverage depending on the type of work being performed.
The PSI by IRIS Difference
“The steps required to get set up to do business in Canada are massive compared to what’s required in the U.S. Every step is a chore,” Bormaster says. “But PSI is walking us through every step, including being our liaison with the Canadian government when we were three months behind on our projections of getting our payroll set up. There is no question or request I’ve asked that PSI hasn’t been able to handle or coach us through. We absolutely would not be able to do this without them.”
Bormaster also speaks highly of the alignment between INC Nautical and PSI regarding core values: “We have three core values in our company: honesty, integrity, and communication. PSI matches those values to a tee. When we first met with a PSI representative, he took extensive notes, compiled an incredible summary and sent a massive proposal with 20 attachments. I just felt, ‘Wow! This company really understands what we need.’ From the beginning, they were very upfront about what they could handle in-house and what they would outsource. And they are very responsive, even when that means late Friday afternoon phone calls going through the barrage of next steps.”
The journey of INC Nautical’s expansion into Canada demonstrates the crucial role that a knowledgeable and dedicated payroll and HR partner can play in simplifying complex cross-border operations. Visit the PSI Payroll Services page to learn how we can help your business expand into Canada.