How to pay freelancers in Canada

Freelancing in Canada continues to grow in popularity, as more people leave their 9-5 jobs to pursue careers that give them the flexibility to work and do what they enjoy.

With its publicly funded health care system that helps people save money, and access to loans for those who are self-employed, Canada is one of the most desirable places to work as a freelancer, and businesses from around the globe can take advantage by hiring highly educated, talented individuals across a wide range of industries.

When you decide to hire freelancers in Canada to help you meet your business goals, it’s important to consider what you’ll need to do to pay them the rate that they deserve, while also saving money whenever you send money internationally. The short guide below can help you get started by covering:

How to pay an international invoice

1. Negotiate currency exchange rates

Talk to your freelancers to find out if they would be willing to accept payment in your domestic currency. For example, if you’re a business in the United States and you need to pay a company in China, you may find that many businesses are happy to be paid in dollars.

2. Find a money transfer provider that works for you

Paying for an international invoice to a freelancer in Canada doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With the right provider, you can transfer your money easily online, and at a better rate. We’ll compare two popular options for making an international money transfer later in this article.

3. Mitigate your currency risk

Currency risk is the risk that a business or individual’s financial performance or position will be impacted by fluctuations in the exchange rate. Depending on the provider you choose, you can access tools to help mitigate risk like forward contracts to protect against any unfavourable currency movements. This will help with offering consistent pricing if you need to pay freelancers in Canada regularly.

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How to transfer money to freelancers in Canada

When transferring payments to your freelancers in Canada, you have more options than you might think at first. While you may immediately think of using your bank, an alternative international money transfer provider could be a smarter way to go. Here’s why:

Transferring with a bank

The common problem business find with using a bank to transfer money is that they end up charging high margins and fees whenever you use them to send money abroad. All of those costs add up, meaning you spend more money to hire freelancers in Canada, when this strategy should be helping you save money instead.

Another thing to consider is the fact that, when you transfer money this way, intermediary banks that are also involved in the transfer might tack on their own margins and fees. And the recipient’s bank might even add more fees as well. This can cause your freelancer to take quite a hit on their earnings, and they might start asking you to cover the extra costs so they make the full rate expected for their work.

Transferring with an alternative international money transfer (IMT) provider

Online money transfer services like OFX are a much better option when you need to send money to Canada. OFX don’t charge high margins and fees like banks do, and our margins on the interbank rates are much lower.

Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice speed or security when you use OFX. In fact, because we operate 24/7, you can lock in your transfers anytime, and you can keep track of every transfer using our handy mobile app.

OFX even offers helpful tools, like currency charts, to help you see exactly what your money will look like once it’s been converted into Canadian dollars. All of this adds up to your freelancer getting paid on time, and getting the rate that they deserve.

Let's compare:

Fixed fees Exchange rates margins Support
OFX Low to no fixed fees, depending on where you’re sending from. A small margin that’s typically lower than the banks’ margins. Available 24/7 over the phone to provide helpful human support for all currency-related enquiries.
Standard bank Hefty fixed fees, sometimes around $30, just to make a transfer. Many banks can charge up to a 5% margin on the interbank rate, depending on how much you’re transferring. Banks operate within certain hours of the day, so you can’t always get the support you may need.

What your business should look for in a global money transfer provider

When choosing a global money transfer provider, there are a few things to consider:


You don’t want to keep your freelancer waiting, so it’s best to use a service that moves money swiftly. Thanks to a global network of 115 bank accounts, OFX can typically transfer money very quickly. Most transfers might only take 1-2 days* from the time OFX receives your funds, but some transfers in the major currencies like USD, CAD and AUD might even be completed within the same day.

Good rates

As we mentioned above, banks are likely to charge you high margins and fees when you need to submit payments to freelancers in Canada. It shouldn’t cost you so much just to have your money converted and moved internationally, which is why OFX makes it more affordable for businesses, so you can get back to what’s important, running your business.

When you use OFX, you also gain access to various transfer options to help you reduce the risk of spending more money because of exchange rate fluctuations. Those include:

OFX’s Forward Exchange Contracts, which let you lock in an exchange rate, even if you aren’t going to submit a payment right away, and transfer at that rate for up to 12 months in the future. This is great for paying freelancers because you can purchase the amount you need in bulk at that great rate, and use it to ensure your freelancer gets consistent pricing on their paycheck.

Limit Orders, which let you choose your target exchange rate. We’ll contact you as soon it’s reached so you can make your transfer at the most opportune moment.

Human service

24/7 customer service can be hard to come by, but it’s what OFX believes in. Whenever you need assistance, we’re here for you, so all you have to do is reach out. Even if you’re planning on sending a transfer in the middle of the night and you have questions, we’ll be there. Banks, on the other hand, work within certain business hours, so they aren’t always available to help.

A person paddleboarding on a lake

Freelancers in Canada are responsible for tracking their income and paying the necessary taxes on it based on Canadian tax laws. They aren’t required to charge you, their client from abroad, any taxes. However, they might consider the fact that they need to put money aside for taxes when coming up with their rate.

The best places to find freelancers in Canada

Accessing a large pool of Canadian freelancers can be done completely online. Here are just a few of the top websites where you can connect with talented workers:

  • Hubstaff Talent
  • Upwork
  • Truelancer
  • Virtual Gurus

Canadian freelancers can help your business save money

Hiring a freelancer in Canada can be beneficial to your business in several different ways. You can enjoy a flexible working relationship that allows you to hire someone whenever you need them, and you can save money by outsourcing certain tasks rather than hiring staff to work in your office full-time. Most importantly, you give yourself the chance to work with highly talented individuals that you otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. As long as you’re using the right money transfer system when you need to pay freelancers, you’ll begin reaping the benefits of this strategy right away.

*Delivery times are indicative and measured in business days from the time your funds are received by OFX.
IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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