Starting a Business

Have business related questions? Mountain View County staff is available to assist you. Contact our Economic Development Officer at 403-335-3311 or via email at

I want to start a business in the County, what do I do?

  • Research
    Think of a business idea you would like to pursue and do enough research to confirm that you have a viable business opportunity.
  • Write a Business plan
    Businesses can be solely-owned proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, etc.; which type of business structure works for you will depend on the size and type of business you start. Use your research to form the basis of your business plan. You can find an excellent business plan template here
  • Funding
    Contact your local Community Futures Office for training, support and financing options (Community Futures Central Alberta)
  • Pick a location
    When deciding on a location for your business, stop by the County office for a chat with the Economic Development Officer and Planning and Development staff to determine if your business is appropriate for the current land use zoning of the area you are considering. If you need to change the land use zoning of the location of your business, you will be required to apply for redesignation with the Planning and Development Department. The redesignation process will evaluate the proposed zoning’s compliance with County policies and compatibility with the surrounding area.
  • Licensing & Permits
    Depending on the type of business you want to start, you will require licenses and/or permits from the federal, provincial or municipal government.
    County staff from Economic Development or the Planning and Development Department will assist you to determine your municipal requirements and the best course of action to be successful in your start-up venture.
    For provincial and federal regulations, your one stop shop is BizPal, which can be accessed here. Answering their step-by-step questions will result in a complete list of provincial and federal licenses and permits you will need to obtain to operate your business.
  • Register Business Name
    Go to an authorized location to register your business name. More information available here.
  • Business Number
    Register a business number with the Canadian Revenue Agency in order to pay GST and payroll tax. More information here.

What is a Development Permit?

A Development Permit allows a specific type of development or use to proceed in compliance with the County's muncipal bylaws.

The Development Permit review process determines: the use of the property, intensity of that use, building height, building site coverage, setbacks from property lines, other building and parking requirements and offsite impacts. Development Permit conditions address such things as: hours of operation, number of employees and visitors to the business etc.

When do you need a Development Permit?

If you are operating a business, adding a business to your existing property, building a new structure, adding to, replacing or repairing an existing building, changing the use of a building or land, or if you are increasing the  intensity of use of your land — you will need a Development Permit.

You may also need a development permit if you are changing the grades by excavating, filling or stockpiling soil or putting up signs on buildings or private land.

Businesses in Mountain View County must obtain a Development Permit prior to beginning operation.

What is the process for obtaining a development permit?

First and foremost set-up a FREE pre-application meeting to discuss your plans. In this meeting you can expect to learn the process of applying for and obtaining a Development Permit. You will be provided with supporting documents that will help you understand if your business plan aligns with the County’s Land Use Bylaw.

What is a business license?

A Business License is a permit typically issued by urban municipalities that allow individuals or companies to conduct business within that municipality’s geographical jurisdiction. 

Mountain View County does not require businesses to obtain a business license prior to operating. However, all businesses must obtain a Development Permit prior to beginning operation of your business.

What is a building permit?

A Building Permit allows construction or change of use of buildings or structures in compliance with the Alberta Building Code

A Building Permit is required for the construction, alteration, repair, relocation, demolition, or change of use of a building. Farm buildings, and non-hazardous accessory buildings under 100 square feet (10m2) do not require a building permit. 

What is a Home Office business?

A Home Office business is located within your home and has zero impact on your neighbours. The business has no clients visiting its location, no storage and no signage. This type of business is exempt from requiring a development permit. Contact the Economic Development Officer to obtain a Home Office Application form to determine if your business fits within this category. 

What is a Home Based business?

Home Based Businesses do require a development permit. These businesses are:

  • Limited to operate within your existing home and accessory buildings; and the business owner must live on the property.
  • Can not have any outside storage, no variation from the external appearance and residential character of the land or buildings.
  • No signage.
  • May generate up to two (2) business-related visits per day.
  • May have up to two (2) commercial vehicles.
  • Allowed one (1) employee in addition to the permanent resident(s) of the property.

What is a Contractors business?

a Contractors Business is much like a Home Based Business and requires a development permit, however the differences are:

  • Outside storage is allowed but must be kept within a building or screened storage area and shall not be within yard setbacks.
  • The business shall not generate noise, smoke, steam, odour, dust, fumes, exhaust, vibration, heat, glare, or waste considered offensive or excessive by the approving authority.
  • One (1) sign is allowed in accordance with Mountain View County Industrial and Commercial Design Guidelines; cannot be illuminated and must be approved as part of the development permit.
  • Customer traffic and commercial vehicles shall be at the discretion of the Approving Authority.
  • Employees, in addition to the permanent resident(s) of the property engaged within the business, shall be allowed at the discretion of the Approving Authority.

What information do I need to apply for a development permit for Home Based or Contractors business?

A detailed description of your business, including:

  • Hours of operations
  • Explanation of all activities that will take place on-site.
  • List of  materials, equipment and/or vehicles that will be used, where they will be stored on-site and, if stored outside, what screening will be provided from the road and neighbours.
  • Existing and/or new buildings where the business operation will take place.
  • Existing and/or proposed servicing arrangements for water, electric, gas etc.
  • Proposed signage including sign details, size and design.
  • The number of resident and non-resident employees visiting or working at the site.
  • The number of business visits per day to the property.
  • The number of parking spaces on the property.
  • The potential for exterior impacts from the business (i.e. noise, smoke, fumes, dust, traffic etc.), and what measures will be undertaken to alleviate these impacts on neighbours.
  • Site sketch

Things to remember….

  • Businesses in Mountain View County must obtain a Development Permit.
  • Before submitting an application, call ahead to schedule a free pre-application meeting to ensure the business fits within the zoning of your property, and to understand the full process of obtaining a permit.
  • Make sure all of the information you provide in your application is  current, accurate and includes consideration for future growth of your business.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to obtain your Development Permit.
  • Do not begin development before your permit is issued. 
  • Development Permit approvals may be appealed.  Allow yourself additional time for the 21-day appeal period to expire.
  • Approved Development Permits stay with the property. If you sell your property,  the next owner can operate the same business within the existing conditions of the permit (unless the permit is canceled by written request of the registered landowner).
  • You will require a new Development Permit if you choose to move your business to a new location.