There are a number of advantages that Calgary offers small business, making it an attractive option for small and micro businesses. The area offers low inflation and the lowest overall taxes in Canada, and small businesses do not pay PST (provincial sales tax), only GST. With a strong resource base and a highly skilled workforce, Calgary provides an employer friendly environment that has attracted a growing number of small businesses over the years.
Calgary’s geographical location provides exceptional market access, making it popular for import and export businesses with a sophisticated transportation infrastructure, and the area is considered a transportation and distribution hub. This provides many opportunities for small businesses.
The Alberta government is receptive to business investment, and has key business development initiatives in place for many industry sectors, including:
Architecture, engineering and construction
Chemicals and petrochemicals
Environmental products and services
Information and communication technologies
These initiatives provide support to small businesses in these areas, allowing small business to thrive.
Running a small business in Calgary can be expensive despite the tax relief offered, as employees tend to be expensive, as is real estate. With careful planning and sound business sense though, a thriving business can be achieved.
Legal requirements for starting a small business are the same as in most of Canada. A business name must be submitted and approved, then registered. A business license must be obtained, from federal, provincial and/or municipal authorities depending on the nature of the business.
GST (goods and services tax) is only payable by small businesses earning a gross annual business revenue of more than $30,000. Keeping accurate business records and using the services of a small business accounting services firm will help the small business owner keep taxes and other financial issues up to date and within legal requirements.
Growth sectors in Calgary include new technologies such as advanced materials, nano technology, information and communication technologies as well as in bio-industry, and small businesses in these sectors are expected to experience considerable growth.
Associations and organizations supporting small business provide assistance and advice for both start-ups and existing businesses. This makes running a small business in Calgary less burdensome, giving the small business owner the support needed to ensure that their business succeeds. Calgary is well placed to support small business, particularly in the sectors mentioned. Environmental products and services are experiencing considerable growth, and businesses in this area are doing extremely well.
Running a small business in Calgary requires the same dedication and vision as running a small business anywhere, but the advantage of government support, a diverse population and sophisticated transport infrastructure make it a popular choice for small business owners.