Updated: June 02, 2023

14 Best Canadian Business Books to Read in 2023

Here is our list of the best Canadian business books.

Canadian business books are guides by Canadian business experts and authors who share their experiences in the business world. These books cover small business management, leadership, and sales. Examples include This I Know by Terry O’Reilly and The Complete Canadian Small Business Guide by Douglas Gray and Diana Gray. These books help business owners navigate the super competitive global business climate.

Canadian business books are similar to international business books, British business books, Australian business books, business history books, and business books. You can also check out other entrepreneurial resources like entrepreneur podcasts and business podcasts.

This list includes:

  • Canadian business management books
  • Canadian business textbooks
  • business books by Canadian authors

Let’s get to it!

List of Canadian business books

Canadians have excelled in business globally, and many of their books summarize their experiences and expertise. Here are some of the best business books by Canadian authors.

1. Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies by Andrew Dagys, JoAnn Kurtz, and Margaret Kerr

Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies is one of the best Canadian business management books for small businesses.

​The book covers all aspects of creating small businesses, including:

  • creating a business plan
  • managing finances
  • marketing
  • hiring employees
  • legal and accounting
  • online marketing and social media

The authors’ writing styles are clear, concise, and easy to understand. This clarity makes the book relatable and engaging for Canadian entrepreneurs with little experience. The real-world case studies in Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies also help illustrate the authors’ points. Additionally, this book provides practical tips and tools that business owners can easily apply.

Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies is an excellent resource for novice and experienced entrepreneurs. Professionals looking to build a successful small business in Canada and elsewhere will find this book useful.

Notable quote: “Whatever your reason for wanting to go into business for yourself, and whatever the business you decide to go into, stop and check yourself whether you have the right personality for the adventure before you start.”

Buy Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies.

2. Canadian Legal Guide for Small Business by Nishan Swais

The Canadian Legal Guide for Small Business offers tips on how to set up your Canadian business under the law. The author, Nishan Swais, targets small businesses that may be unable to afford huge lawyer fees. The book answers many business law-related questions that small business owners would otherwise need to hire a lawyer to answer. Hence, business owners can save time and money they could spend on growing their businesses.

The principles in the Canadian Legal Guide for Small Business can also save businesses from preventable litigation. Since many small business owners are also first-time entrepreneurs, the book is simple, clear, and concise.

Canadian Legal Guide for Small Business covers the following:

  • types of businesses in Canada
  • ​choosing a business name
  • ​licenses and permits
  • ​insurance
  • ​intellectual property
  • ​contracts

Swais draws on his experience advising corporations on various legal matters. He has also written several articles and books on the legal side of the business. Finally, he distills his knowledge into this manual, making it an essential read for entrepreneurs.

Notable quote: “The simplest and least expensive way to carry on a business in Canada is the sole proprietorship.”

Buy Canadian Legal Guide for Small Business.

3. The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros

George Couros’ The Innovator’s Mindset encourages readers to embrace a growth mindset. The book teaches how to cultivate innovative and creative culture. The author believes that every individual has the potential to be an innovator. Yet, developing the right mindset and skills is necessary to succeed in business.

A critical theme in the book is empowering and trusting individuals to drive innovation. Leaders must create a culture that values and rewards experimentation and learning. The right workplace cultures encourage individuals to own their work and pursue their passions. This mindset can drive positive change, resulting in a more dynamic workforce.

The Innovator’s Mindset is informative and inspiring. Entrepreneurs looking for Canadian business textbooks should look into this book.

Notable quote: “What you can do is create the conditions where change is more likely to happen.”

Buy The Innovator’s Mindset.

4. Canada’s Entrepreneurs: From The Fur Trade to the 1929 Stock Market Crash: Portraits from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography by Andrew Ross and Andrew Smith

Modern entrepreneurship would not be possible without its early origins. Canada’s Entrepreneurs examines early business leaders’ contributions to the Canadian business world. The book begins with a general overview of Canada’s economy and entrepreneurialism.

Then, readers will review the profiles of 61 significant businesspeople, including:

  • the merchants of the first trading posts and the commercial empire of the St. Lawrence
  • the industrialists of the Maritimes, Central Canada, and the West
  • the railway builders and urban developers

The authors discuss several important lessons we can learn from Canadian business history, including governmental influence, geographical location, and the need for adaptation. For businesspeople interested in Canada’s business background, Canada’s Entrepreneurs is the book for you.

Notable quote: “Particularly influential were the members of the Innis school, who argued that the exploitation of a succession of ‘staples’—fish, fur, wheat, wood, pulp and paper, oil, and minerals—determined Canada’s economic path and may have hampered diversification and industrialization.”

Buy Canada’s Entrepreneurs.

5. Understanding Canadian Business by William G. Nickels, Jim McHugh, Susan McHugh, Rita Cossa, and Julie Stevens

Understanding Canadian Business is one of the best Canadian business textbooks around today. The authors are prolific writers and renowned academics.

The book breaks down must-know details of the Canadian business climate, including:

  • Canada’s diverse population
  • the country’s regulatory framework
  • the nation’s resource-based economy
  • international trade
  • marketing
  • ​finance

Furthermore, this book discusses contemporary developments such as cryptocurrencies, the gig economy, and ethical consumerism. As a result, this book is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs interested in doing business in Canada.

Notable quote: “When your customers are happier and they enjoy shopping, it also makes your employees’ lives happier, so it is a virtuous cycle.”

Buy Understanding Canadian Business.

6. This I Know: Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence by Terry O’Reilly

In This I Know, advertising veteran Terry O’Reilly advises small businesses on marketing. He draws on his decades of experience as a radio host and advertising guru to provide insights into the art and science of marketing.

The author emphasizes the importance of building customer relationships, regardless of budget size.

​O’Reilly’s guide includes tips on the following:

  • understanding the true nature of your business
  • focusing on small gains
  • embracing counterintuitive thinking
  • recognizing opportunities

This I Know offers a lifetime of marketing wisdom. The practical guide helps small business owners develop effective marketing strategies within their budgets. Hence, the book is ideal for readers looking to capture customers’ attention.

Notable quote: “A truism of business is that what you sell and what people buy are almost always two different things. Companies look to sell products and customers look to buy solutions.”

Buy This I Know.

7. The Complete Canadian Small Business Guide by Douglas Gray and Diana Gray

The Complete Canadian Small Business Guide provides a comprehensive and practical guide for Canadian entrepreneurs. Douglas Grey is a Canadian lawyer specializing in business law, taxation, and estate planning. Diana Grey is a business consultant and former chairperson of Women Business Owners.

Some of the topics explored in the book include:

  • business planning and structure
  • financing and funding options
  • marketing and sales strategies
  • tax planning and compliance
  • intellectual property protection
  • risk management and insurance

The authors illustrate their points with real-world case studies. In addition, the book has other helpful resources to assist small business owners worldwide, including simple guides on hiring, getting credit, and maximizing the value of your lawyer.

Notable quote: “An entrepreneur must have an ability to live with the uncertainty of job security.”

Buy The Complete Canadian Small Business Guide.

8. Make Sure It’s Deductible: Little-Known Tax Tips for Your Canadian Small Business by Evelyn Jacks

Evelyn Jacks, the author of Make Sure It’s Deductible, founded the Knowledge Bureau. The institution provides continuing education for Canadian tax and financial professionals.

Jacks’ book helps Canadians understand task deductibles for personal and business. The book explains deductible expenses related to employment, self-employment, rental properties, and investments.

Make Sure It’s Deductible teaches you how to:

  • understand the Canadian tax system and how deductions work
  • identify deductible expenses and keep proper records
  • claim deductions for home-based businesses and home office expenses
  • maximize deductions for medical expenses, charitable donations, and education costs
  • navigate the tax implications of investments and real estate

Make Sure It’s Deductible seeks to help individuals and small business owners cut their tax liabilities. Lower tax liabilities allow entrepreneurs to keep more of their hard-earned money.

This book is for you if you want to reduce your tax burden and optimize your financial situation.

Notable quote: “Sometimes the business simply makes too much money—a nice problem to have but one that must be managed with tax efficiency to maximize the opportunity.”

Buy Make Sure It’s Deductible.

9. Real Estate Investing For Canadians for Dummies by Peter Mitham and Douglas Gray

The 2020 edition of Real Estate Investing For Canadians for Dummies reflects new changes in the Canadian real estate market and tax laws. Peter Mitham, the book’s lead author, is an estate journalist and consultant. In the book, Mitham simplifies Canadian real estate investment.

Real Estate Investing For Canadians for Dummies focuses on the following:

  • understanding the Canadian real estate market
  • choosing the right investment property
  • financing and funding options for real estate investments
  • managing rental properties and dealing with tenants
  • flipping properties and renovating for profit
  • tax strategies for real estate investors

Mitham and Gray poured their years of experience in the industry into this book. The authors wrote Real Estate Investing For Canadians for Dummies in an accessible, easy-to-understand style. Newbies and experienced investors will find the book helpful in navigating Canada’s real estate market.

Notable quote: “Leverage is all about using a small amount of your own money and letting someone else’s cash do the rest of the work.”

Buy Real Estate Investing For Canadians for Dummies.

10. FastStart Your Business: Everything you need to know about starting your Canadian (and Quebec) based sole proprietorship by Ronika Khanna

FastStart Your Business is a sole proprietorship starter guide. Ronika Khanna offers a step-by-step framework for building a solid company. The book also helps you cut unnecessary stress when starting a business. Hence, you can focus on what matters most for long-term success.

The guide covers important topics, including:

  • business registration in each province
  • sales tax
  • hiring employees
  • tax reduction strategies
  • choosing the best business structure

FastStart Your Business is one of the best business books by Canadian authors for freelancers and independent contractors. If you own an organization, then the valuable insights in FastStart Your Business can help you retool for more success.

Notable quote: “Starting a business in Canada is remarkably easy. You mostly need to have a marketable product or service and be aware of certain obligations.”

Buy FastStart Your Business.

11. Starting & Running a Small Business for Canadians All-in-One For Dummies by Andrew Dagys, Margaret Kerr, JoAnn Kurtz

Starting & Running a Small Business for Canadians boasts three reputable experts as its authors. Andrew Dagys, Margaret Kerr, and JoAnn Kurtz are prolific finance and business writers. Between them, the authors have written several globally acclaimed books. Starting & Running a Small Business for Canadians is a certified bestseller and one of their best works.

This book covers many business aspects, including:

  • developing a business concept
  • creating a business plan
  • finding financing
  • hiring employees
  • marketing
  • scaling

The authors also address legal and tax issues, explaining how to register a business, get permits and licenses, and pay taxes. Starting & Running a Small Business for Canadians is unique for its readability. The authors present business tips in a free-flowing and relatable style. For example, the authors designed the book for quick reference, with helpful tips and summaries at the end of each chapter. With its wealth of practical hints, this book is a roadmap for business success in the Great White North.

Notable quote: “No excuses—success is up to you, and failure is your fault. You will have to keep on top of changes in your field.”

Buy Starting & Running a Small Business for Canadians.

12. Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise And Fall Of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff

Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff collaborated to document the sordid tale of BlackBerry’s rise and fall. In Losing the Signal, the authors recount BlackBerry’s story, starting from the founders’ humble beginnings. The engaging story tracks the company’s trajectory from its early days to its downfall.

Losing the Signal is well-researched and analytical. McNish and Silcoff provide a balanced view of Blackberry’s legacy. Despite its initial success, BlackBerry could not keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape. The company’s failure hinged on its inability to adapt to the rise of touchscreen phones. In this book, the authors educate readers on adapting to a fluctuating world.

Notable quote: “If the rise and fall of BlackBerry teaches us anything it is that the race for innovation has no finish line, and that winners and losers can change places in an instant.”

Buy Losing the Signal.

13. No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies by Naomi Klein

More than two decades after its publication, No Logo remains a top choice in business branding books. This sharp and incisive book is a groundbreaking critique of corporate organizations. The no-nonsense activist, Naomi Klein, cuts into the deceitful branding culture dominating our society.

Klein exposes corporations’ use of branding to create a false sense of identity. Klien explains why revered brands seem to be going out of favor with the populace and how you can avoid it.

The author’s writing style is engaging and informative. The book suits business owners looking to comply with best business and branding practices. Hence, she offers many alternatives for the ongoing branding epidemic. If you want to learn about branding your business the right way, then No Logo is the book to read.

Notable quote: “In this part of the world, hundreds of workers every year burn to death because their dormitories are located upstairs from firetrap sweatshops.”

Get No Logo.

14. The Context of Business: Understanding the Canadian Business Environment by Natalie Guriel and Len Karakowsky

The Context of Business analyzes the various factors influencing businesses and the economy. Each of these social, political, and technological factors has its role.

Guriel and Karakowsky cover a range of topics, including:

  • ethical considerations
  • globalization
  • the role of government in business

The authors emphasize the importance of understanding the context in which businesses operate. Guriel and Karakowsky argue that these contexts significantly impact a business’s success or failure.

The authors’ clear writing styles make the book easy to understand. The Context of Business provides rookies with a seamless introduction to the business world.

Notable quotes: “The study of business is really about the study of the society.”

Buy The Context of Business.


Canadian business books are useful beyond Canada, although some guide you specifically on doing business in the Great White North. Many of these books by Canadian authors detail new ideas and opportunities in business. Business leaders and entrepreneurs must read to stay updated with emerging trends and strategies.

If you are an entrepreneur, then you can learn about starting a business in Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies by Andrew Dagys, JoAnn Kurtz, and Margaret Kerr. More established businesspeople can pick up The Context of Business by Natalie Guriel and Len Karakowsky.

For resources on Canadian team building, check out these articles on Canada Day ideas and Canadian escape rooms.

FAQ: Canadian business books

Here are some answers to popular questions about Canadian business books.

What are Canadian business books?

Canadian business books are publications authored by Canadians for professionals in the business world. These books contain valuable tips for business startups, growth, and leadership.

What are the best Canadian books on business?

Canadian business authors have written a plethora of quality business books on various key topics. Some of the best Canadian books include:

  • Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies by Andrew Dagys, JoAnn Kurtz, and Margaret Kerr
  • Understanding Canadian Business by William G. Nickels, Jim McHugh, Susan McHugh, Rita Cossa, and Julie Stevens
  • The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros
  • This I Know by Terry O’Reilly
  • The Context of Business by Natalie Guriel and Len Karakowsky

These books help professionals in and outside Canada get ahead in business.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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