montreal, quebec

When deciding where to design your new product, it is important to carefully consider a number of factors. It may seem simple and convenient to design your product locally, however there are other factors, such as cost, and creativity that should be considered. Montreal has a lot to offer startups and large businesses alike when it comes to the design process, costs, efficiency, and variety. At Surface ID, we have been developing products for World-renowned U.S. firms for over 12 years. Apart from our extra savvy industrial design team, companies also choose us for the wealth of benefits that come with our prime Montreal location.

From financial savings to a highly diversified workforce, below are some of the reasons why designing your next product in Montreal is a great idea:

Montreal & Canada will help finance your production costs

When it comes to financing production, Montreal has lots to offer. For example the SR&ED Program (Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program) is a Canadian government program that provides financial support — in the form of tax credits or refunds — to businesses, partnerships and individuals. Quebec currently offers the highest territorial investment tax credit rate at 30%, which heightens Montreal’s existence as a product development haven. The majority of other provinces in Canada offer between 10 to 20%.

In order to qualify for Quebec’s SR&ED tax credit program, your product must not necessarily be a “high tech” product as many companies falsely assume. As long as you or your employees have solved some type of technological problem at some point within the development process, your project or a portion of it should qualify for the tax credit.

If your project does not qualify for the SR&ED program, don’t worry, there is still Quebec’s Industrial Design Tax Credit program. Much more general than the SR&ED credit, this program helps finance industrial design expenses in the form of a 12% to 24% tax credit. It can be applicable to your industrial design team expenses, and often directly related activities (such as the services we perform for you at SurfaceID 🙂 )

Even for US companies, if they are willing to establish an office in Canada, they too can access our tax credit programs. It is simply a matter of where the corporation lives and where the innovative work gets done. We receive tax credits for a number of our projects, and our team has been through the application process numerous times. We know the auditors and have a great team of tax credit specialists that can help you write your claim. Of course we cannot guarantee approval but we have definitely learned how to streamline the process. We’ve recently received tax credits for many of our projects. Come in for a meeting, and we will tell you all about it!

Exploit highly skilled designers at a lower cost

Finances aside, there are a number of great reasons to design your company’s products in Montreal. Montreal is a cultural melting pot, meaning companies have access to designers from vast backgrounds with unique talents to bring to the table. Many of our designers indeed come from over-seas places like China, Vietnam, Ukraine, France, etc. They bring great benefits to the design process like international experience, thinking outside the box, and a highly focused work ethic as well. It is similar to a talent pool like New York City, only without the extreme costs of doing business in NYC.

Tap into our weak Canadian Dollar

Whether it’s for a shopping spree or for business purposes, as an American you should naturally already be lured in by our historically weak currency. Not only are product design costs and overhead lower in Montreal, they’re even further reduced by the low exchange rate. You don’t have to “imagine” reducing your product development costs by 30% — all it really takes is a trip across the border, or even just a phone call and some video conferences to kick off a project with us. Exploiting the Canadian Dollar is a great way to guarantee a big cost savings in product development.

Harness the power of diversity

One of the perks of working in a destination city like Montreal is the large and growing number of expats that make Montreal the culture pool it is. Students and skilled workers alike move here from all over the World, bringing their diverse talents and specialties with them. At SurfaceID, we have designers from a number of different backgrounds whose immense and specialized abilities really make the company what it is.

From Cirque du Soleil to Bombardier, Montreal is home to a wealth of sophisticated multinational corporations in addition to an increasingly thriving startup scene. At SurfaceID, we tap into that energy by providing an optimal balance of creativity, multiculturalism and high quality resources at a fair price. SurfaceID has a team of industrial design experts in the studio who have access to excellent resources at an excellent price.

Need help getting started? Give us a call, we’d be more than happy to help!