I have owned a few businesses over the years and thought I new about most of the regulations, but today I had my eyes opened to what is required to work in St. Albert. If you live in St. Albert and you are starting a business in St. Albert then this first part does not pertain to you. I live in Edmonton, and I have done a lot of work in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, and from time to time in St. Albert. Since I was used to the rules of Strathcona County I didn’t think anything of working in St Albert. To work in St. Albert you need a business license, yes, that makes sense, but this is not the case in Strathcona County where my city of Edmonton business license is fine.
The cost to do business in St. Albert is $600 per year for non residents of St. Albert. Of course this won’t matter if my clients come to me into the city of Edmonton, as they can shop where they like.
If you live in St. Albert and just read that last part don’t get to freaked out, the cost for a business license for residents of St. Albert start at $123. 60 for 2012, and go from Jan 1 to Jan 1. The cost if you license after Sept 1 is $51.50 and goes to Jan 1.
Like most municipalities there are two levels of home business. These are home occupation and home office. Home occupation is subject to a development permit and has certain guidelines that still have to be met, such as the type of business that is operating out of the home. The home office does not require development approval, but does have guideline. If you only operate a home office then you must conduct any business with clients outside of your office and not at your home.
The city of St. Albert provides a great brochure on business licensing that you can pick up from their office at 5st. Anne Street.
Other permits/licenses/approvals that may be required are: building/occupancy permit, provincial license, health, police, and fire.
Naming Your Business
You will need a name for your business and decide on the structure of your business. Are you going to work as a sole proprietor, partnership, incorporation of ltd company? When you decide on a name you will need to do a nuans search. This will check to see if someone else owns the name or not.
Your business name can be tied to your corporation or can be a trade name for your non incorporated business.
You will need business cards right away. These will be one of the most important methods of getting new clients when you first start out.
Write a business plan, get a bank account, set up an account with the CRA, and get a GST number if you will need one. Any business that does over $30,000 per year in gross sales needs a GST number.
How will you get clients? Will you build a website? Market on Facebook? Network? Yellow pages? Each of these is a great way to start getting your name out there and promoting your business. Depending on your budget you can start with one or go for all at once. The sooner you have a strong marketing plan the better.
Commercial Space for Lease
You may need a space for working out of. Check with your broker or with one of ours here.