Are you setting up a business in Calgary? Here’s what you need to know.
September 28, 2015
In our lead up to Small Business Week Calgary 2015 we have reached out to some of our partners to provide valuable content to our small business friends. This week The City of Calgary looks at how to set yourself up for success when starting a small business.
When setting up a business and getting your business licenses, here are some things that you should consider:
Location, location, location
If you are thinking of setting up a home based business, you will need a Home Occupation permit that will grant you Land Use Approval. If you intend to set up in a commercial location, you are responsible to ensure proper Land Use approvals are met. This may come in to form of a Development Permit, Building Permit or Tenancy Change. We can assist in determining which approvals are required for your specific location by calling 403 268 5311.
The nature of your business
Depending on what your business does and how it operates, you may only need a Business Identification Number (BID) rather than a business license, which could mean cost savings for you.
Note: any business that operates within city limits is required to be registered with a BID in The City of Calgary.
When starting a new business, there are initial licensing and inspection fees that may also include partner regulatory agencies, such as; Alberta Health Services (AHS), Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC), and Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC).
Business taxes are charged only to commercial business and can be paid by lump sum or through installments, for more information visit www.calgary.ca/businesstax. Home based businesses are exempt from business tax.
There are a number of resources available that will help guide you through the process:
- BizPaL is a free, online tool run by Industry Canada that provides one-stop access to permit and licensing information for federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. It is a good starting point for new business owners by reducing their research time and helping them start up faster.
- Once your business plans are more concrete, the Business Registration System (BIS) is an important first step in the business application and approval process. It is an online tool run by The City of Calgary that helps prospective business owners determine what approvals, permits and business licenses they may need to operate a business within Calgary. Some business types may be applied for using this online tool.
The ownership of a business must be determined prior to a business license being applied for. There are three different types: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, and Corporation. Corporations are set up with Service Alberta and may have fees associated with them.
Please visit the website or contact Service Alberta at 1 877 427 4088.
Current business owner information
Renewing a business
Business owners are required to renew their business on an annual basis. Fee schedules are available online and business owners will be provided with a renewal invoice 45 days prior to expiry. The renewal can be paid in person or over the phone with a credit card.
If you are thinking of selling, moving, closing, or changing ownership of your business, you are required to inform The City and may be asked to provide the appropriate documentation to support these changes. In most cases these updates can be done over the phone in one phone call!
Doing business with The City of Calgary
Did you know that The City of Calgary is one of the largest, single purchasers of material, supplies, equipment, and services in southern Alberta? Through open, fair, and transparent municipal purchasing, The City seeks to provide the best value possible for citizens.
For businesses interested in doing business for The City of Calgary, such as providing commodities, services, construction, or equipment rentals, bid opportunities are advertised on Merx Calgary and the Alberta Purchasing Connection.
For everything you need to know stop by our booth at Small Business Week Expo booth on October 22, 2015 or contact us at:
Planning Services Counter
Third Floor, Calgary Municipal Building
800 MacLeod Trail SE
Calgary, Alberta T2P 2M5
403 268 5311